Snacks

Watermelon Tomato Water Popsicles

You might be giving me side-eye right now. Skeptical side-eye. It’s ok. I get it. Tomato and watermelon are a bit of a weird combination.

A few years ago I walked into one of those very LA cold-pressed juice shops in Venice. Not to go on a juice cleanse, oh no that would never work. Instead I just like to have some juice as a bit of a late-afternoon snack. (It’s better for this overly energized human than coffee.)

Watermelon Tomato Water Popsicles

Anyway, the flavor that jumped out at me the most was watermelon tomato and lime juice. I was intrigued and was surprised at how delicious and refreshing it was. So, here you go. As a popsicle now!

For this recipe, I teamed up with McCormick Gourmet. The hit of cayenne pepper and salt add a nice savory quality to this popsicle. If your watermelon is super sweet (mine wasn’t), feel free to skip the sugar.

It’s a super refreshing snack when it’s sweltering outside.

Watermelon Tomato Water Popsicles [click to continue…]

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Veggie Grilled Cheese Bar

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.

Veggie Grilled Cheese Bar

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!

Veggie Grilled Cheese Bar [click to continue…]

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Everything Soft Pretzels

Everything bagels are my everything; hence the reason why I figured it’d be a slam dunk of an idea to put that everything topping on soft pretzels. It’s like one of those duh-this-will-taste-good-moments. I’m not sure I can properly express my excitement for this recipe because if you can’t sense it then I’m doing a v v bad job articulating how freaking excited I am!

Some people are sesame bagel people. Some people are asiago bagel people. But then…there are everything bagel people and that is where I fit in. My home belongs in between the poppy seeds and the onion flakes and the sesame. It’s a glorious place to be that makes your mouth smell terribly and there’s a good chance you’ll have dark seeds stuck in your teeth but whatever! Basically, everything bagels aren’t first date material. But they’re good life material.

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Dukkah

in Appetizers, Snacks

Dukkah | www.acozykitchen.com

Ok, yes, I know I just posted about dukkah crackers but this is different! This is just the spice mixture, which you’re supposed to keep in your cupboard, in a jar, so you can sprinkle it on anything and everything.

When I made these crackers I put the nut inside the cracker so the topping wasn’t exactly straight-up dukkah, but together it made up the flavors. I used the remaining topping in like a day. I wanted to make some regular dukkah, but this time with pistachios. I made this right after and it didn’t last long. I put it on chicken, scrambled eggs, beet hummus and even a simple lil’ boiled egg. And I know we’re like a bajillion light years away from Christmas but I think it’d be even great as a gift, too!

For the whole recipe and more photos, hop over to PBS Food.

Dukkah | www.acozykitchen.com

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Dukkah Goat Cheese Crackers | www.acozykitchen.com

I’m having a moment with two things: The Bachelor and making spice mixtures. I know, I know, it’s the most random combination ever and no, they do not have any relation to one another, thank heavens, but I’m sort of obsessed with them both.

I’m into The Bacheclor for the first time, ever. Past seasons never interested me but now I can’t stop watching. It’s like one part tragedy meets comedy and I’m v v into it. And for the record, if I was on that show I’d have one convo with Chris and be like, NOPE THIS DUDE IS BORING BYYYEEEE. Seriously, I’ve never watched a human be less funny in my entire life.

Dukkah Goat Cheese Crackers | www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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Bloor Orange Curd | www.acozykitchen.com

Right now, at this very moment, I’m really into the art of relaxation. When I think of proper relaxation, I think of George from Seinfeld (and all of the other people who followed him) eating a candy bar with a knife and fork. I have no idea why but eating something that you should eat with your hands with a knife and fork feels like pure luxury to me! George was a man who knew how to live right.

I tried to eat this cracker and cheese and curd situation with a knife and fork and sort of failed but the attempt was ridiculous and absurd but soooo enjoyable. Today I teamed up with The Laughing Cow® to bring you a reinvention on an old classic: the cheese, cracker and jam combo.

Bloor Orange Curd | www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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Collard Green Wraps // www.acozykitchen.com

I read one of those lame trend reports and apparently collard greens are the new kale. Did you know this? I feel like every year there’s always some sort of claim saying something is the new kale. Let’s just all be ok with the fact that kale is NEVER going away. It’s here to stay. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have a moment with new greens.

I loooove collard greens. I love them braised like super Southern-style with ham hock and a side of fried chicken and I love them in this healthy iteration: blanched, air-dried and then stuffed with smooth, sumac-spiked hummus, crispy carrots, avocado, sprouts and herbs.

I could eat a million of these and it’s nice to know that it’s a-ok if I do…that’s if Amelia doesn’t steal them before I get to ’em.

For the whole recipe and more photos, go to PBS Food.

Collard Green Wraps // www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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Holiday Nuts, Three Ways | www.acozykitchen.com

Invites for holiday parties are started to sprinkle in. I’m always surprised when people invite me to their parties. Is that weird? I’m always like, Oh, I guess they like me? I’m a lil’ weird, I know.

Social situations where I barely know anyone make me super nervous. They make my palms sweat and they make me even more shy than I should be. For this situation I need party ammo. Things I can bring into the maybe-awkward-social situation that will work as lovely conversation starters.

“How ‘bout them nuts?! I made them!” That line will definitely make it more awkward but hopefully the person I’ll be speaking with has a sense of humor and will laugh and I’ll be fast friends.

Holiday Nuts | www.acozykitchen.com

For this post, I teamed up with McCormick Gourmet. These nuts are all super easy to make, take under 30 minutes combined and make good presents, too!

Holiday Nuts | www.acozykitchen.com

The first variety is Sweet and Salty Rosemary Marcona Almonds. If you’ve never had a Marcona almond, you’re in for a treat. They’re very different from a traditional California almond. They’re softer in texture, lighter in flavor and are a bit sweeter. You can find them in the bulk bin at your local Whole Foods or (possibly) health food store.

The savory and herbaceous rosemary is lovely with the sweet and saltiness. It’s a no-brainer. And very very holiday-esque. Super into them.

Holiday Nuts | www.acozykitchen.com

The second nut situation we have are Honey Sesame Cashews. They’re sweet and salty and the sesame adds a nice nuttiness to them. If you’re feeling fancy and dramatic, use black sesame seeds. They’ll look really pretty.

McCormickNuts_4 [click to continue…]

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How to Make a Fancy-Ass Grilled Cheese | www.acozykitchen.com

I’m gonna be honest with you: there isn’t anything necessarily fancy about the ingredients in this grilled cheese (minus the brioche). This isn’t one of those grilled cheeses filled with expensive cheeses, spreads or meat like prosciutto or anything like that. This is more about the actual preparation.

Here’s why: The first time Josh and I made a grilled cheese together, I was shocked at how haphazard he was with the technique. The heat was too high, burning the bread! The cheese in the center wasn’t completely melted, and instead of butter, he used olive oil. THIS IS ALL WRONG!

Like all awesome things in life, grilled cheeses are ridiculously simple to make. And like all simple things, the details matter A LOT.

Here is a fun “how-to” on making our favorite childhood sandwich. And, as always, if you have tips on this matter that you feel passionate about, please leave them in the comments below; we’ll all benefit.

How to Make a Fancy-Ass Grilled Cheese | www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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Paprika Cheddar Cheez-Its | www.acozykitchen.com

For the past few weeks, everyone has begun gushing about the commencement of fall, and all I could think about was ice cream, cold drinks and basically dunking my entire head into a vat of iced water. We just finished up a pretty intense heatwave and pumpkin spice was the furthest thing from my mind.

Now that the weather has stopped being an a-hole I feel like I can honestly entertain the idea of soup and squash and stuff. And plus, now I’m actually beginning to see gourds that have leprosy and cute baby white pumpkins (always a favorite). I’m excited!

The fall-inspired recipes will start soon, I promise, but I’m thinking this year I might ease into it rather than start with a big pumpkin boom!

Paprika Cheddar Cheez-Its | www.acozykitchen.com

These cheez-its are an example of me scootin’ into the season. There’s nothing fall about them, they’re just some crackers for snackin’! Just some schnacks.

When I first started cooking and baking, crackers were the thing I loved to make the most. I’d make them after work and bring them in the next day and people’s minds were blown, “You made crackers?!” My co-workers thought I was genius, but what they didn’t realize was that crackers might be the easiest thing to make EVRRRRR.

Paprika Cheddar Cheez-Its | www.acozykitchen.com

For this recipe I teamed up with McCormick Gourmet. These crackers call for a bit of hot Hungarian sweet paprika and a dash of cayenne pepper. The cheddar and paprika are made for each other. It’s a union that in my brain makes sense but should be exploited more.

These are like fancy adult cheez-its. If you have chillren, then I say bring down the paprika and get rid of the cayenne all together.

Paprika Cheddar Cheez-Its | www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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