Cookbooks

I love cookbooks. LOVE. There’s a gigantic part of me that wishes I could edit cookbooks, that’s how much I love them. I want to read, gaze and cook from every single one that catches my eye. Most of the cookbooks you see above aren’t out yet, but they will be soon, so feel free to get your pre-order on!

1. Bar Tartine. I went last month for the second time (the first time was years ago) and it was incredible. Josh of course geeked out on the server and we ended up leaving with three loaves of free bread. I’m not kidding. The free bread isn’t want makes me want this book. I just know that the book will be full to the brim with perfectly written recipes that will wow anyone who comes over when I make them. Also, dat font on da cover.

2. Prune. Ions ago I read Gabrielle Hamilton’s memoir, Blood, Bones and Butter and loved it. Every single time I go to New York, I make a promise to go to Prune and then something happens and I don’t. Now I can just open up the book and be transported there instead.

3. Homemade Decadence. Joy was the first blogger I got an internet crush on. I was like, I want to eat all the baked goods she makes AND be her friend. I’m really excited about all the indulgent things I get to bake this season. And I imagine her witty sense of humor and heart will be in this book too. How can it not be?

4. Make It Ahead – Oh Ina. She can do no wrong, except when she bakes with extra large eggs and tells me to cook with fancy red wine. Why??? If it’s fancy then I want to drink it, not put it in my coq au vin. Besides that, she’s the queen. Her food is beautiful and simple. And I want to grow up to have that barn! Also, Jeffrey! I love Jeffrey.

5. Flour and Water. I have a dream and it is to be able to make pasta at home in a super legit way. Most of the pasta I’ve made (and it has been on very rare occasion), has been really awful. I went to a restaurant a few months ago, which will remain nameless, and their homemade pasta was so terrible that I compared it to my homemade pasta. Not ok. This cookbook should fix my issues.

6. A Kitchen in France. Mimi lives a life that doesn’t seem real. Me, over here in my one-bedroom apartment with way too much dog hair accumulating near the wall’s baseboards…very real. Mimi? Not so much. But who cares, that’s why I read her blog and am so fascinated with her whole shebang: life a farm, with a ton of kids, a handsome husband and even more animals than kids. It’s fascinating! I want to jump in the book and cook with her.

7. Ovenly – One lesson I’ve learned over the years is always go to meetings with treats. Always. It’s a really simple gesture that goes such a long way. It’s your way of saying, Hey you, Tuesdays suck, here’s a cookie. When I was in New York last fall for a few meetings, I went to Ovenly and picked up an array of cookies. Everyone loved everything! Luckily in the cab ride over, I was smart enough to eat a shortbread cookie studded with caraway seeds and dried cherries…bomb. P.S. I love the cover so freaking much.

8. Thug Kitchen. The f-word might be my most used word. It’s true. I love it. And in this space of lifestyle, food blogging, da internets, I feel like everyone is trying to be the next Martha Stewart. Everyone acts so dang perfect. And it drives me crazy. Really, it makes me want to say fuck. A lot. I’m excited about this book because apparently the f-word shows up a lot, along with some fun recipes.

9. Dominique Ansel. The cronut was the thing to eat in 2014. And apparently it still is in 2015. I never understood the fascination. Deep-fried croissant dough? Lots of people can do that…but then I visited his bakery last fall (pictured here) and can honestly say the rest of his pastries are really what’s special. They were magical, perfect and really, REALLY beautiful. It felt like I walked into Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, except Ansel wasn’t some mad man tyrant, but instead an actual real pastry chef who constructs all these delicate little prizes of sugar. If anything, the cronut has brought attention to his bakery, but it’s his other pastries that really are worthy of the obsessive 5am hoards of people.

10. Heritage. This is on this list because I’m obsessed with his laugh. It’s this, like, southern laugh that reminds me of my uncle. I can’t describe it. Awesome laugh aside, Husk is at the very top of my must-visit restaurants. His episodes of PBS’s Mind of a Chef are my absolute favorite and his approach to food and story is what draws me in.

Am I missing any? Are there a few that are on your list?

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How To Make a Tomato Sandwich

A few ex-boyfriends ago, I learned an incredibly valuable less: how to properly make a tomato sandwich. I am forever grateful.

During the summers we’d drive to Virginia to his family’s lake house. It was there where I’d buy big-ass tomatoes from old men who sold them out of their pick-up trucks parked alongside the road. They were beautiful and warm from the sun (the tomatoes not the old men). There’s something about a southern tomato that’s just really special. They’re kinda magical.

How To Make a Tomato Sandwich

The first step to a glorious tomato sandwich is salting the tomatoes and allowing them to sit and drain on a few paper towels. This makes it so the tomato sandwich doesn’t end up being soggy. NO SOG ZONE.

I learned that tomato sandwiches MUST be eaten on white bread.

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Fish Tacos

in Dinner

Fish Tacos | www.acozykitchen.com

We’re dealing with a bit of a crazy, scary heatwave that unfortunately is super common in Los Angeles during the month of September. Good ol’ September! All I want to do is bathe in a bath full of ice cubes, drink nothing but cold beer and eat ceviche and fish tacos.

That’s classic hot weather-food. It’s also the food I want to eat when I’m craving something filling and awesome, but also leaves me feeling with a bit of pep in my step.

Fish Tacos | www.acozykitchen.com

But mainly I made this because I want to share Stephanie’s new book, Easy Gourmet! It’s a really beautiful book.

The food looks glorious – and easy! If you like Stephanie’s blog, i am a food blog (it’s a must-read!), then you’ll love the book. The same design element from her blog is sprinkled throughout the book, the photos are modern, sleek, austere (in a good way!) and the food makes me want to run to my kitchen and make spicy chicken wings.

Also, Stephanie’s sweet and familiar personality comes through in the recipe head notes.

Fish Tacos | www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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Chilaquiles | www.acozykitchen.com

The question of today is: why has it taken me so long to make chilaquiles? Seriously, I’m sort of shocked this is the first time I’m posting about them because they might be one of my favorite breakfast dishes EVER.

I’m pretty sure they fall into my ‘favorites’ category because they’re so nimble; they’re great for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Since I am so passionate about them, this means I’m also bratty about them.

I like chilaquiles with a bit of beer simmered in. I like them to have a bit of spice. I like there to be cheese, but not too much cheese. And I love the wedges of tortillas to be freshly fried, preferably a tad bit over. This means that when they’re topped with a bunch of sauce, they still have a bit of crunch to them.

This isn’t the right way, it’s just sort of my way.

For this recipe of my beloved Chilaquiles, I teamed up with Mi Rancho tortillas. These tortillas are made with non-gmo corn, yay! And the taco sliders (along with their other products) can be found at stores like Whole Foods or Gelson’s. I really love them.

Chilaquiles | www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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Amelia | www.acozykitchen.com

I think it’s safe to say that August was a pretty rough month for the entire world. There was a lot of stuff going on; a lot of sad stuff.

For me on a personal level, it was pretty work-focused. I’ve been plugging away at finalizing the recipes and DIYs for The Year of Cozy and I’m feeling pretty good about it. I’m excited and nervous, but mostly just crossing my fingers you’ll like everything as much as I do.

I tested these cookies a few times…

Cookie

I made these doughnuts way too many times.

Doughnuts | www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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Whole Wheat Blueberry Bundt Cake | www.acozykitchen.com

I met Jessica a few years ago (gulp, maybe 3 years ago?), and she’s always been one of my favorite people in the food blogging community. Her recipes are fun, FUN!; her personality in person is exactly the same as her blog; and her photos make me want to leap into the computer screen and eat EVERYTHING she makes.

This book, Seriously Delish, is very much her in book form. Her personality shines through, there are tons of enchilada recipes (thank you, Jessica!) and the food looks slutty and gorgeous all at the same time.

It’s a keeper of a book. And I have a feeling I’ll be gifting it a lot this upcoming holiday season, which I don’t want to really believe is almost around the corner. Please, let’s not say the H-Word, T-Word or C-Word for a while. I can’t deal.

Whole Wheat Blueberry Bundt Cake | www.acozykitchen.com

Whole Wheat Blueberry Bundt Cake | www.acozykitchen.com_7 [click to continue…]

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Baked Pretzel Doughnuts | www.acozykitchen.com

Can we talk about Tinder for a second?

I’m currently trying to convince two of my very single friends to sign up for Tinder. I’ve heard nightmare stories, I have, but I also know at least two or three friends who have ended up finding legit relationships on there. Dating is hard. I hated dating. I actually hated dating Joshua…haha. So much wishy-washy BS, so many, like, should I do this or should I text that. Too much guessing, man. You’re either in or you’re out! But I suppose that’s also what can make it exciting and fun.

I’m actually quite fond of my current role, which is being the go-to person for dating advice amongst my friends…mainly because I’m nosey and love being all up in their business. I’ve attempted to be the match-maker, and while I love it, I’m not sure I’m that great at it. Though, there is this couple I set-up in high school and now they’re married, have two kids and a super cute dog, so I have had success!

Baked Pretzel Doughnuts | www.acozykitchen.com

Speaking about success…Pretzel Doughnuts, man. Hello! I teamed with Almond Breeze for this recipe and yes, it’s absolutely dairy-free. If you like, you can substitute the oil for melted butter—it’ll taste delicious. I steeped the Almond Breeze with pretzels for a few hours, in the fridge, until they were nice and soft. I blended the milk mixture, resulting in almond milk that tasted EXACTLY like pretzels…with a hint of almond-y flavor.

PretzelDoughnuts_4 [click to continue…]

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Rice Hoe Cakes with Succotash | www.acozykitchen.com

One of my favorite summahtime memories was in college. I got a job on a film set in Maryland for a few days and instead of flying, which they offered, I took it as an opportunity to go on a solo road-trip through the south.

It wasn’t too far, actually, maybe six or seven hours. And instead of opting for highway only, I went for the route that took me on a lot of one lane roads, running straight through a bunch of small towns in North Carolina and Virginia.

I packed a large sweet tea, made a super long mix-CD and filled up my Jetta.

Rice Hoe Cakes with Succotash | www.acozykitchen.com

Nothing crazy happened. I stopped off at a diner, had hoecakes and ate Western North Carolina BBQ. At dusk, fireflies helped light up the roads. I listened to music my parents did. But mostly I remember thinking that everyone seemed so happy and normal and maybe this whole idea of moving to Los Angeles to work in the film industry, which is inherently sort of abnormal, was maybe flawed. Maybe they had it right and I had it all wrong.

Rice Hoe Cakes with Succotash | www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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Honey Dew Granita | www.acozykitchen.com

When I was a kid, softball practice might’ve been my favorite extracurricular activity ever. It mostly had to do with my love of gossiping with my friends, smacking a ball from time to time and using the $4 I begged from my mom to buy as much candy as possible before she picked me up.

I grew up in a household where everything awesome wasn’t allowed. No candy, no game consoles (this was such a big deal when I was a kid) and no junk food. This meant that when I when I went to the outside world I went ballistic. I made sure to play as many video games as I could and eat as much sugar as humanely possible. The concession stand was my heaven and a must-buy every time was a lemon-y Italian icy. Why this very American concession stand sold Italian icys, I’ll never know but I remember it being so ridiculously sweet and tasting faintly like fake-lemon. “Chemical lemon” is how I like to remember it.

Luckily I grew up and found real recipes for clean, fresh-tasting granitas, much like this one from Erin’s new book, Yummy Supper.

Honey Dew Granita | www.acozykitchen.com

Erin writes one of my favorite blogs on the internets. It’s full of beautiful photography, a friendly voice, someone who you’d hope would be your neighbor and friend, the type of friend who would share her best recipes with you. When I first visited Erin’s blog I didn’t even realize it was gluten-free.

The dishes that you’ll find in her book are ones that are naturally gluten-free; combining fresh food in smart and delicious ways. This dessert is no different. It’s refreshing, simple and ideal for the August heat.

Honey Dew Granita | www.acozykitchen.com

Today I’m giving away three copies of Yummy Supper! To enter do the following:

1. Leave a comment below answering the following question:

“What was the name of your first crush?”

Mine: Jake. I met him at the softball field and didn’t dare to ever speak to him!

Three winners will be chosen at random on Monday, August 25th at noon PST.

Honey Dew Granita | www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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Hatch Chile Macaroni and Cheese | www.acozykitchen.com

I tend to avoid bringing up world events or politics on A Cozy Kitchen. Not because I walk around with rose-tinted glasses on but I honestly figure you get enough of that elsewhere. And plus, this is the place I created to celebrate fun and warmth; devoted to things like cheese, butter and corgis. But this week has been particularly rough and I’m finding it hard to muster up the energy to talk about Aviva throwing her leg across the table.

Robin Williams’ death made me so unexpectedly sad. If you know me, you know that me crying is a very common occurrence, but I was still shocked by how much I cried on Monday. I felt like I lost someone I knew; someone who had been there at so many different times in my life.

Hatch Chile Macaroni and Cheese | www.acozykitchen.com

Also, the sheer irony in a man who dedicated his life to making so many laugh and yet was dealing with so many personal struggles, is just tragic. It’s a reminder that we really have no idea what’s going in other people’s lives and their own personal struggles are ones we aren’t always privy to. It reinforces my belief in trying to give people the benefit of the doubt.

Oh gosh and #Ferguson. Don’t even get me started. Good gracious. I can’t believe this is happening in 2014…yet I sort of can which is even sadder.

Hatch Chile Macaroni and Cheese | www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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