Drinks

Summer Sweet Tea

It’s hot and horrendous everywhere and all I want right now is a hot dog and some sweet tea. I made the sweet tea, I’m working on hot dog logistics!

I learned how to make sweet tea where it was invented: the south. In college, I worked at a restaurant and my side work was usually to make the sweet tea and roll a bunch of silverware. Making the tea was my favorite.

Summer Sweet Tea

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The way I made it was deemed “the Yankee” way and depending on who my co-workers were, there was usually a ton more sugar added as soon as I walked away.

I don’t like it too sweet! If you loooooove it sweet, then feel free to add another cup of sugar to the hot mixture below.

I used Lipton, though I was on the hunt for Luzianne because that’s what I always used way back when. If you want, feel free to use the free-range/pasture-raised/gluten-free black tea that you get from those fancy-ass tea shops. That stuff will be delicious, too.

Summer Sweet Tea

Add some lemon slices and mint and you have yourself a glass of something that is really the most refreshing thing you could possibly get on a hot summer’s day.

Summer Sweet Tea [click to continue…]

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Homemade Luxardo Maraschino Cherries

Soo…here’s what we’re gonna do today. Ready?

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.

Homemade Luxardo Maraschino Cherries

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.

Homemade Luxardo Maraschino Cherries [click to continue…]

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Pisco Sours

in Drinks

Pisco Sours for West Elm

Getting back in the swing of things after a vacation is tough, isn’t it?! Phew! I feel like I’m barely holding it together.

I’m currently spending all my free time watching episode after episode of Property Brothers on HGTV. I can’t stop watching. And it took me a million episodes to realize they’re twins. :(

Pisco Sours for West Elm

Anyway! Just because 4th of July is in our past doesn’t mean summer is over. Oh no. This Pisco Sour recipe is refreshing, perfectly tart and the froth that lives on the top of the drink, makes the best mustache. All good things!

This recipe is on West Elm. And, if you stroll into a West Elm store, you’ll see a little stanchion with the recipe on it. FUN!

I’m doing a few more Peruvian recipes with them to promote their new fair-trade Peruvian items (I took a look at them and they’re really pretty!). To check out the recipe and the rest of the photos, check out their blog, Front and Main.

Pisco Sours for West Elm [click to continue…]

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Black Plum Shandy

When I hear the word shandy, I imagine myself wearing large sunglasses and a mumu with a fat corgi on my lap while I play bridge or something.

Oh yeah and I live in Palm Beach. I’m with all of my older lady girlfriends and we all talk over each other (a la Goodfellas) while we sip on shandies.

Black Plum Shandy

I love different iterations on shandies. I made a grapefruit shandy last year and OMG did I love it. This year I wanted to go a less traditional route, but I’m feeling lazy and wanted it simple.

Black Plum Shandy

Black Plum Shandy [click to continue…]

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Blackberry Pie Bar Milkshakes

Ice cream was one of the first non-baby food items I ever ate. I know this only because there are tons of pictures of baby Adrianna with ice cream all over my face. I must’ve been 3 months old? Is that even ok? Probably not but it was the 80s and my parents were too young to care. I totally survived but it left me with a huge love for ice cream. My dad is to blame, obviously.

It’s no secret that I love pairing summer fruit with spices like cinnamon, cardamom and ground ginger. Those warm, fall-ish spices are so glorious with fresh fruit. Today I teamed up with McCormick Gourmet to bring you these Blackberry Pie Bar Milkshakes. The ground ginger works gloriously with the fresh blackberries.

Blackberry Pie Bar Milkshakes

And can we speak about pie bars for a quick moment? I’ve always loved a good pie bar. I was looking through the recipe index a few days ago and was sort of appalled that not one recipe for a pie bar lives in the archives. We will change this! Change is coming! I’m thinking something peach-y and creamy…and maybe something else.

In the meantime, we have milkshakes! Let’s make a syrup and a crumble and pair it with milk and ice cream. This milkshake is something I want to drink, guiltless, on a stoop while I watch people walk by. I think of myself in a place like New York or something. There’s something sort of magical and gross all at the same time about New York in the summer. It’s muggy and balmy but everyone is outdoors and I love that so much. I love New York in the summer.

Blackberry Pie Bar Milkshakes [click to continue…]

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Rhubarb Gin Fizz

When’s the last time you had a “me day”?

On Sunday I did nearly no work, I put on a mask, which smelled sort of disgusting by the way, binge-watched Empire (just a lil’ obsessed!)…and then I ate nachos all by myself. It most likely was a sad sight but believe me when I say it was puuuuuure bliss.

This rhubarb egg white fizz fit into the equation later on, when it was nighttime and candles were lit. I had some almost-on-the-way out rhubarb in the fridge and I wanted to make myself a cocktail that was sort of girly and tasted delicious. Dis was it.

Rhubarb Gin Fizz [click to continue…]

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Strawberry Cashew Milk

I bought a nut bag like three years ago and finally used it for this post.

Nut bag sounds like a terrible insult. You nut bag, you. It also sounds like something your doctor would hold while telling you to cough. OK I’LL STOP NOW THIS IS A FOOD BLOG SORRY.

We’re talking about this milk, spiked with sweet, fragrant strawberries and dates. It tastes gloriously healthy and yet like a total treat.

Strawberry Cashew Milk

Strawberry Cashew Milk [click to continue…]

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Beergaritas

in Drinks

Beergaritas

I’m gonna be honest with you and let you in on a lil’ secret: I’m not a margarita girl.

I hardly ever crave MARGS and I actually hate the way that word sounds. Maybe it’s because my grandmother’s name is Margarita and when you say it in Spanish it’s actually really pleasant-sounding—it means daisy! But the word “Margs” sounds like something a drunk girl on spring break would yell out and it’s just disgusting to me. I’m sorry if I’m being a negative right now! Sometimes I just don’t wake up all positive and on brand. Sowie.

Beergarita

I made these beergaritas, which also has a questionable name, and realized very quickly that their name is totally excusable and that I actually just dislike tequila. And mescal. And cristal. I’m so much fun right now! I like beer more. This is a combo of fresh lime juice, simple syrup and crisp, fresh beer. OMG so good. And that salted rim around the glass is soooo good with it too. Salty, sweet and sour for the absolute win.

Beergarita [click to continue…]

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The Gift of Coffee: A Coffee Tray | www.acozykitchen.com

It’s my favorite time of year! WOOHOO! Fall has finally decided to arrive in full force in Los Angeles. There will be a Christmas tree in my near future. And this week I’m going to try my hardest to send out my holiday cards. I’m also knee-deep into planning holiday gifts. I decided to conquer one of the most important ones first: this coffee tray.

This year work has been busy, busy. And behind the scenes with this lil’ blog there are projects and collaborations, which in many cases means there are contracts that I usually don’t understand. This stuff is not fun, but luckily I have my boyfriend’s dad, Michael, help me.

He reads contracts over, explains the details to me in an English I can understand, is so ridiculously patient when I ask the same question a million times, and he makes sure I’m not signing Amelia away in the process. (I’m not that stressed about it, I guarantee they’d return her after a few weeks!)

The Gift of Coffee: A Coffee Tray | www.acozykitchen.com

He just opened his new law office in downtown LA and I wanted to get him something really nice for it. Like every person who has to focus for long periods of time, he loves coffee, especially espresso.

This coffee tray is streamlined and simple, he can move it around his office if he likes, while still giving him exactly what he needs to make delicious espresso or coffee any time of the day.

Nespresso sent over their new VertuoLine system, which is great because it makes coffee and espresso. I picked up other goodies from Sur La Table like these beautiful and simple mugs from Bodum, their Nespresso Aeroccino frother; it requires no stove (a bonus for an office since his doesn’t have a kitchen), some cute birch straws in case he pours his coffee drinks over ice, and a candle because, well, it’s cute.

The Gift of Coffee: A Coffee Tray | www.acozykitchen.com

The tray I picked up at Target (it’s actually from Oh Joy’s line). Oh and there are a few good-quality napkins in case he spills stuff. The colors are sort of holiday-esque but at the same time it won’t look THAT much like Christmas in June.

I also included a set of capsules from Nespresso. Maybe Amelia got a hold of one and chewed it a lil’ bit. Whoops!

I hope he likes this coffee tray (I think he will).

The Gift of Coffee: A Coffee Tray | www.acozykitchen.com

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Brighter_1

The big T-Day is next Thursday and if you’re the organized cute person I know you are, you’re probably in big time planning mode. This week is Thanksgiving week on this lil’ blog. There will be sides. There will be a big bird. And of course, PIE will make an appearance!

To kick things off, we’re starting with the most important cooking aide: wine. Cooking is so much better, albeit a little more dangerous, when there’s a glass of wine in everyone’s hands. Wine has the ability to iron out all of the inevitable Thanksgiving woes like fun family tension, messing up the pie crust and maybe making the bird a bit too toasty.

Today I teamed up with my friend, sommelier, and Bottle Stock owner, Whitney Adams. She’s recommending three Thanksgiving wines that are all under $20.

I know most of you aren’t in Los Angeles, so I’m approaching this a few different ways. Two of these wines are available via Domaine LA and they can be shipped to you. If you’re in LA, you can obviously just stop in and pick them up.

We’re also providing tasting notes for each of these wines. The idea behind this is that you can go into your local wine shop and request a wine that tastes similarly.

So, for instance, with the wine just below, you can drop into a wine shop and say you’re looking for an orange wine that’s bright, a little chewy, and under $20-$25. And lastly, if the wine shop doesn’t have an orange wine, there are other alternatives listed that might be a good replacement.

Three Thanksgiving Wines | www.acozykitchen.com

2013 Folk Machine Jeanne d’Arc – (Chenin Blanc from California) Skin contact white wine, or “orange” wine, is so versatile with food because of its savory edge. A little chewy, golden and delicious.

Alternatives: Sherry, Chardonnay or Savagnin from the Jura, Bottle fermented beers, Cider.

Pictured with Bottle Stock Tie-Dye Leather Cocktail Napkins, Corkscrew in Gold Burst and Bodega Tumblers.

Three Thanksgiving Wines | www.acozykitchen.com

Three Thanksgiving Wines | www.acozykitchen.com

2013 Un Saumon Dans la Loire ‘La Boutanche’ Gamay – (Gamay from Loire, France) It comes in a full liter so it’s already winning. Light with cranberry tartness and a touch of funk and herbaceousness.

Alternatives: Frappato, Pinot Noir, Beaujolais, Loire Cabernet Franc.

Pictured with Tie-Dye Leather Coasters in Light Blue/Dark Blue, Corkscrew in Sweet Tart and stemless wine glasses.

Three Thanksgiving Wines | www.acozykitchen.com

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NV Provenza Spumante Rosato ‘Turbian’ – (Gropello and Marzemino blend from Lombardy, Italy) Fruity but bone dry, refreshing and gulp-able. And a perfect example of why you shouldn’t buy wine based on how the bottle looks : \

Alternatives: Lambrusco, dry Italian or French rosé, Txakolina, Pink Petillant Naturel

Pictured with Tie-Dye Leather Coasters in Slate and Putty and Duralex (4-ounce) Tumblers.

Three Thanksgiving Wines | www.acozykitchen.com

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