As you may know, I’m what the world considers a grilled cheese enthusiast. I’m not sure there’s another sandwich that can make me feel all the feelings of warmth, comfort and just plain ol’ fun. For this post, I teamed up with Tillamook, the farmer-owned Co-Op from Oregon, to inspire you to create your own all natural, veggie-filled, gooey, delicious sandwiches perfect for a spring party with friends. Every single party in life should have a Veggie Grilled Cheese Bar. HELLO! This is the definition of comforting fun!
Spring is finally here, which means all of my favorite farmer’s market vegetables are back in season. I always miss them in winter. Winter veggies aren’t my favorite, but spring? YASS! These grilled cheeses aren’t difficult to execute, no, not at all, but like anything simple, the amazingness is in the details. This means paying attention to each and every ingredient carefully.
We’ll start with the most important part: da cheese. Tillamook cheese is naturally aged, made with milk from cows not treated with artificial growth hormones and contains no artificial ingredients. This is the real deal when it comes to cheese. Tillamook has actually been making cheese for over 100 years! I vote for giving people a few options. I went with Tillamook Sharp Cheddar (a classic), Tillamook Pepper Jack (for the people who love spicy a.k.a. me), Smoked Medium Cheddar and lastly, Smoked Black Pepper Cheddar (my favorite).
Also, don’t be shy to mix and match them. My favorite combo was sharp cheddar with the smoked black pepper cheddar—it was glorious!
I miss the south sometimes. A lot of times actually. I miss the summer rains, the golden leaves in fall, the beautiful flowers blooming in spring and the biscuits. Oh man, the flakey biscuits. Whenever I don’t know what to cook, I’ll usually think of something super boring and then give it a southern twist.
I like to think that this is a dish a southern girl would make after she spent the summer backpacking through Europe. Maybe she spent a few weeks in Switzerland, maybe she had a fling with a Swiss dude (think Before Sunrise-like) and during that fling she ate at a restaurant and was introduced to the wonderfulness that is raclette.
This isn’t the “right way” to eat raclette. It’s usually cheese that’s cooked over an open fire, the cheese gets super melty and then the cheese is scraped onto awesome things like a variety of meats, vegetables and carbs.
My eyeballs sting and my feet sort of ache from standing all day but it’s ok because a rendition of this bowl is in front of me and Broad City is on the TV. Have you watched?
I watched Girls for the first few seasons but there was always something I didn’t like. I couldn’t really put my finger on it until I started watching Broad City, which I like a million times more, and then it dawned on me: I wouldn’t be friends with any of the women in Girls. Not one of them. They all complain about their lives and it’s annoying and boring and gets old. But Abi and Ilana, THEM MY GIRLS! I wanna hang out with them all day long.
Moving onto this bowl, it’s a single person’s dinner, though it could easily be doubled if you’re into that sort of thing.
I’ve been eating really healthy (do not count those two glasses of wine Monday night plz) and I feel great. I sort of say that with an “ugh” because the sluggish feeling I had before was all thanks to cinnamon rolls and the glory of brioche bread. Probably. It’s always a bummer when you eat healthy food and you’re like, YEP they’re right!
I wish I felt fantastic when I ate all of the delicious things I love cooking and baking but I often times don’t. I mean, I don’t feel awful, awful, I just feel better when I eat healthy. I’m pretty sure I speak for all of us when I say that.
If there’s one thing I’ve always wanted to do is create a bunch of recipes for one person because A LOT of the time, I eat alone. And it’s not sad, it’s actually glorious! I make dinner, I pour myself a glass of wine or beer, or in this case, a La Croix over ice, put a trashy TV show on and eat. It’s super chill!
Cooking for one isn’t always easy. I’m not a big leftovers person so I don’t really care to eat the same thing the next day for lunch.
Over the next few days, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite, super easy, go-to dinzez (dinzes?) for one. The first one couldn’t be simpler. It’s full of flavor thanks to the soy sauce and mirin (Japanese cooking wine), ginger, lime and lots of garlic.
My first introduction to the glory of French Dip sandwiches was after school at the fast-food chain, Arby’s, recently made re-famous by Pharrell’s hat that looked like its logo.
Remember his hat? It paved the way for unfortunate copy-cats. Don’t wear that hat, people, BUT please make this sandwich because it’s legit and tasty and this homemade version is a million times better and less scary than the drive-thru version.
This past Wednesday I had one of those epic food days. I ate sushi for lunch; there was a over-priced (but worth it) fresh-pressed cucumber juice for a late afternoon drink situation; dinner was a decadent Italian meal, proceeded by a warm buttered rum as a nightcap. Oh and cookies and milk!
I’m not sure if I’ve had a better food day than that, ever, but it’s coming to a screeching half, ladies and gentlemen, because the month of March is all about eating healthy (for me). Don’t worry, A Cozy Kitchen won’t be turning into a Paleo blog but I will be sprinkling in healthier recipes from time to time, this one you see as my first.
For this post, I teamed up with McCormick Gourmet to give you a healthier take on cottage pie (also known as shepherd’s pie). It’s for St. Patrick’s Day or any day when you’re looking for a healthier but still comforting dish to make.
When I was a kid, Sundays always meant something was simmering on the stove. The day was filled with lots of food, playing outside, family; and the focus was always to enjoy the thing we never have enough of: time.
What you see pictured is the Sunday food of my childhood. It’s the dish my mom and dad would get started in the morning and let cook in the oven for hours and hours. The smell is intoxicating—it’s the smell of my mama’s homeland, and in turn the smell of Sundays growing up. The other day when I recreated it, I had forgotten for a moment what the smell meant to me; I missed home for a bit.
My favorite thing in the world to eat is pasta. Like, if I was seeing my last days and someone was like, Adrianna, what would you like to eat because dying sucks? I’d be like, BRING ME PASTA! A gigantic bowl of pasta bolognese with a glass of lambrusco would be it for me. So, it’s not really a surprise that the dish I crave the most when I’m trying to eat healthier is pasta.
Last year I got super into zucchini noodles. I’m pretty sure I ate zucchini noodles with turkey meatballs every single night for like weeks, WEEKS. I actually first discovered the glory of spiralized vegetables from Ali’s blog, Inspiralized. At first I was like, uh, I dunno, I like real pasta but then I was needing something healthier in my life and this seemed like an awesome alternative.
When I was a kid I loved pasta night because it meant that I could take a raw piece of pasta and act like it was a cigarette.
I liked doing this with other things like straws, Fun Dip and Pocky. Even to this day, that is one of the first things I think of when I remove raw pasta from its container…me fake-smoking.
Anyway, pasta for Valentine’s Day is a gigantic no-brainer because it’s the easiest thing to throw together. While bolognese takes about an hour to simmer, this sauce takes minutes. This sauce, if anything, almost goes too fast so you’ll need to prep all of your ingredients before you get started.