For me, a homemade gift needs to be chill to make. If it’s not, then I’ll just buy something, you know?
These homemade sugar cubes couldn’t be simpler because they require two ingredients: sugar AND water (which comes out of the tap). So really, they only require one and you most likely have sugar in your pantry right this very second.
I got this idea when I was walking through Harrod’s last month with Stephanie and saw the most adorable sugar cubes evrrrr. There were heart sugar cubes and sphere sugar cubes and sugar cubes shaped like snowflakes. I wanted to buy them and almost did until I saw the price tag of 30 pounds. Umm…yeah no.
Turns out sugar cubes are the simplest thing to make in the world; I’m so glad I decided to DIY this sucker instead of fall for that Harrod’s trap (seriously tho that person is very smart to sell sugar and water for $30—respect!).
The only think you do need to buy is a silicon candy mold. You may have one already, if you don’t, don’t worry because they’re not expensive.
I used this candy mold but you can find others if you like.
I teamed up with FanJoy to bring you all of my favorite things from The Year of Cozy in one box!
In the box, you’ll get:
1. A (2 ounce) bag of Stumptown Coffee. (As you know, coffee is life!)
2. A pair of gold crafting scissors. (I used these for pretty much every DIY in the book.)
3. A “SO HANGRY” t-shirt. (This is inspired by the kitchen banner DIY in the book that says this. Basically, this phrase is an expression of my soul.)
4. A pretty box of matches from The Social Type.
5. The Year of Cozy book signed by me and Amelia.
6. A personalized note from me.
The box retails for $49.95 and is limited edition (meaning: there aren’t that many!)
I’m super excited about this box because it feels like the book coming to life. I love all these items, especially together, especially the t-shirt. I hope you love them too!
When I set out to make this book I wanted it to be a bit different than this blog; I wanted it to be an extension, tell a slightly different story. It is just that. It’s a story about working through all the muck that is our mundane and very normal and, often times, challenging lives. It’s about controlling what you can in life because sometimes things aren’t so easy. One thing I found I could control was my thoughts, how I spent my free time and my perspective. I know this idea sounds a bit lofty and it sort of is. The inspiration came from listening to This is Water by David Foster Wallace, a life-changing listen (if you haven’t, I highly recommend it).
While the book’s introduction may sound a bit like, ok calm down, Adrianna, the rest of the book is happy. It’s broken up into sections: “Make,” “Live, “Do.” There are DIYs, recipes and ideas to make your day a bit sweeter.
There’s also a ton of Amelia. Hello grain-free doggie doughnuts!
Today I’m sharing a recipe for Fruit Sugars. It took me a looooong time to figure out this recipe and when I finally nailed it, I felt silly because it really couldn’t be simpler. Freeze dried fruit is pulsed in a food processor and then mixed with sugar and a teeny bit of water. As you mix the two vigorously with your fingers, the sugar will take on the fruit’s color. I think it’s beautiful.
Put this sugar in tea. Sprinkle it on cookies. Put it on all the things!!!
I’m not sure you know how much A Cozy Kitchen means to me. I imagine you don’t because I don’t really talk about it all that often, do I?
The whole world could be crumbling, but as long as I can bake and cook and shoot and do it with Amelia by my side and you reading, all will be ok.
This space encourages me, it inspires me, you inspire me. Thank you so much for hearing my very hormotional rant right now. Thank you for spending your hard-earned money on my book. And thank you for simply being here and reading this. I appreciate you all so very much.
Autumn has finally arrived in LA and I’m rolling in it like a dog in recently fertilized grass. Yesterday I put on my fluffiest of fluffy socks, put Notting Hill on the TV and baked my lil’ heart away—it was my favorite Sunday.
One of the things that has been on my to-make list forever is this—honeycomb! I don’t think it’s a big secret that I don’t love corn syrup. I’ll use it on occasion but I try and avoid it when I can; mainly because I hate the flavor. (I do love it in marshmallows though.) For me, corn syrup has this acidic flavor that hits me in the back of my throat that I don’t love. This honeycomb doesn’t have a drop of corn syrup, instead it uses honey because duh, that’s what honeycomb should be made with!
I used clover honey, but feel free to use wildflower or another type of honey that you like. I’d probably avoid raw, mainly because I haven’t tried it that way and I want you to actually end up with something edible, breakable and delicious.
The honeycomb is cooked in a large pot (I used a 5-quart Dutch oven). When you add everything to the pot, you’ll think it’s a bit silly and it’s way too big but when the baking soda is added, the whole thing bubbles up quite a bit so you want that extra space. SAFETY!
It really takes like 10 minutes to make. And after that you just transfer it to a baking sheet and wait for it to set, which is like a minute.
Today I’m taking a break from my Amy Schumer-binge watching to discuss one of my favorite topics: props! YAS. Maybe you have your own food blog and wanna add a few things to your collection or maybe you’re just super nosy and wanna know what I use. Or, maybe you’re like me and just love flatware, plates and mugs. Either way, this is all the stuff I love to use when shooting food. I’m also including a bunch of stuff I’m currently coveting because yes, I do need more stuff.
Probably my most used category of prop-age. A few years ago, I started throwing ceramics and I surprised myself by actually being able to make things that could properly contain liquids and foods. Who knew! I use a lot of my own small bowls for “ingredient shots.”
And these bowls from Anthropologie are pretty too. I bought them on sale for about $4 a piece. Scour the sales!
I forgot who makes the big orange bowl but I got it from a ceramicist in New Mexico. The peach color is exactly the color I think of when New Mexico pops in my mind.
I have a collection of Heath plates for my apartment. They’re simple and classic and food looks great on them. They’re also incredibly sturdy, which is great because I don’t want to stress about expensive ceramics breaking when I’m just eating some random quesadilla I made in 5 minutes.
One of my favorite plates is this one from Someware Goods. Her stuff is beautiful.
I also love the light blue flat plates with this lip all the way around. (Forget who makes them and they’re not marked on the bottom.) I actually need some new plates so if you have ones you’re coveting, let me know!
I’m really on the look to buy some new flatware. I use this collection that I bought from Amazon the most.
And this spoon! One day I’m gonna actually eat some soup with that spoon rather than just stare at it.
These types of accessories are my guilty pleasure. Put me in a store and I’ll come out with a tons of useless little things that have no real purpose other than “looking cute.” A lot of these items have been collected over time and weren’t bought all at once–that would be a bit crazy.
We’re gonna be psychos and make Christmas presents in July. Yes. This is happening. A good first step to getting in the mood for Christmas is open up your freezer and stick your head in it. It’ll rev up your wintery engines. (That is not a euphemism, by the way, “wintery engines.”
Cherries are in full bloom right now. I was lucky enough to come across sour cherries and they are my absolute favorite. They require a bit of sugar to give them a nice balance, but not too much because I like to celebrate their tartness rather than just blast it out to oblivion.
I’m sure you’ve had cheap, bright pink maraschino cherries. Perhaps you had them when your mom ordered you a shirley temple and you loved them. I was the same way.
But they have no place in my adult cocktails nor my adult banana splits. (Again, that sounds bad!)
It’s time for us to grow up and make fancy-ass maraschino cherries. This step in the right direction starts with a bottle of Luxardo liqueur.
I guess you could say I like to collect a few things. I have a collection of vintage ice cream scoops. I have a few vintage salt and pepper shakes. And recently, I’ve been slowly buying beautiful ceramics.
Well, a few of them have broken. The bowl you see pictured was broken by Amelia who excitedly ran into it when someone knocked on the door. (It was on the floor because I was unpacking from a shoot.) The spoons were broken because I didn’t realize the bag was on the bed and when I threw off the covers because I was exhausted, well, they went flying.
I always have something that needs repair. I always promise myself that I’m going to glue things back together and I often times do but this time I wanted to try something different.
Enter: Kintsugi. It’s the Japanese art of repair. Think of it like a beautiful rendition of gluing things back together. The philosophy behind kintsugi is about seeing the breakage and repair as part of the object’s history—embracing it rather than hiding it.
I feel like there could be some sort of analogy drawn out of this DIY and applied to life and I’m especially hormational today so I’ll stop while I’m ahead!
Traditionally kintsugi involved mixing a lacquer (gold, silver, copper) with a binding rice flour. It sounds simple, but nailing does that ratio is incredibly difficult. For some, repairs can take up to two months!
We ain’t got that type of time on A Cozy Kitchen, so I made some shortcuts. Here’s what you’ll need:
Remember last week when I made homemade cream cheese and I told you to save that whey?!? Yeah! I put it in hamburger buns. Yass! And since I think I’m particularly clever, I wanted to tie it back to a bagel by adding the “everything” mixture to the top of the burger bun.
Well, I’m pretty happy. I currently feeling myself. I’m patting myself on the back. Skipping in the street. I think I’m smart, but mainly I’m just stoked about making another delicious thing that involves carbs.
If you’ve never made hamburger buns, you’re in for a lil’ treat because not only are they super fun to make, they’re not too, too difficult either.
These buns were tweaked from King Arthur’s Flour, which in my opinion, has the best burger bun recipe out there. The whey gives these a softer texture but not so soft that it feels like cheap, store-bought white bread. It’s sort of in between of what you would get if you used half water and half milk.
3. My pager from childhood. My most used pager codes: 143, 80085, 123
4. A sweet note Joshua wrote me a few weeks ago
5. All carbs. Especially bagels.
So naturally, cream cheese is also very important to me. I’ve been wanting to make homemade cream cheese 4evrrrrr. I’m so glad I finally bought da stuff and decided to do it. It definitely took me a few times to get it exactly right. I ended up buying this animal rennet from Amazon. They also have vegetable rennet.