Bacon

Pig Candy // www.acozykitchen.com

Two years ago today I went on my first date with my now boyfriend, Joshua. Up until that point I had dated all the wrong people; most of them were nice and fine but all were wrong for me. I arrived at the restaurant early and he arrived 15 minutes late, which makes me laugh when I think about it because it’s very telling of who we are.

He picked a (now closed but his amazing wine store lives on!) wine bar called Lou’s. It was a pretty ideal first date spot; it was dimly lit and quiet, but full of people, especially for a Monday night, and they served interesting, hard-to-find-wines with really good snacks. We ordered our respective wines – him a barnyard-y Gamay and I ordered a Malbec. There was a charcuterie plate, a burrata salad with roasted grapes and an order of pig candy.

Pig Candy // www.acozykitchen.com

As we ate, we talked about all sorts of things; happy things, funny things, random things and sad things, too. Josh asked me what my hardest challenge in life was thus far. I answered, and then he answered; and then I remember us just staring at each other, absorbing the other’s answer.

Some would say sad stuff is a terrible thing to talk about on a first date, but that’s where we were in our lives. Josh had just experienced the loss of his mom and I think when you’re really sad it’s hard not to mention it. I’m glad we talked about such things. And plus, I’ve never been good at adhering to dating do’s and don’t's.

Pig Candy // www.acozykitchen.com

The next day I flew to my parent’s house to work on my book and I remember wondering what would happen. I was, for the first time in a long time, excited about getting to know someone, to dive deeper into their life and perspective on the everyday.

We went on a few more dates but a relationship wasn’t something Josh could take on at the time. I was pretty heartbroken and I wasn’t sure why. I didn’t even know him that well! But something just clicked; something with him just felt right. So, I left him alone, but couldn’t forget about him. We ended up running into each other almost eight months later; he was in a better place and so was I. And we’ve been pretty inseparable ever since.

We haven’t been together for a full two years, but the day we sat down for the first time and talked for five hours is a day I love to remember. So, of course, since I’m a romantic, I’m celebrating with Pig Candy.

Pig Candy // www.acozykitchen.com

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How to Make a Fancy-Ass BLT // www.acozykitchen.com

A few weeks ago I made a fancy-ass tuna melt and I loved every second of it. I’m tempted to make this a whole series. The idea would be I take something seemingly normal, typical, usually run-of-the-mill…and then I make it fancy.

I’ve always loved fancy things. I’m just now coming to terms with it and admitting it to myself/everyone. My parents would agree. I was always the kid wanting to order the most expensive thing on the menu. “Wait, why can’t I order the lobster for two?! I don’t like anything off the kids menu! Who wants pasta and cheese and butter?! I love lobster and steak and calamari.”

This BLT is fancy with a capital-F. There are steps in making the easiest sandwich known to man, well, fancy. I have the steps. I have step-by-step pictures, too (sort of). I gotz everything on this bright, sunny Monday!

How to Make a Fancy-Ass BLT [click to continue…]

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This is such a silly “recipe.” Do you need to know how to wrap bacon around a hot dog and put onions and red bell peppers on it? No. You totally caught me wanting to do something I’ve wanted to do for a loooong time.

Bacon wrapped hot dogs are always that “post bar 4th meal” kind of thing that happens totally by accident. If you live in LA (or have visited), you’re probably familiar with these bacon hot dog stands that exist on the sidewalks of East LA after-hours. If you’re not, then it’s definitely something you should experience at least once–they’re pretty amazing.

Better yet, save your dollarzzz on a plane ticket, splurge on some shoes (I know you got some in mind) and just follow this super “joke of a recipe”!

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I’m doing this thing–not sure if I told you–where I cook alongside Bravo’s new show, Around the World in 80 Plates (which airs each Wednesday at 10pm/9pmc on Bravo!!). Wherever they go, I go…kinda sorta.

Each week they’re in a different international city cooking away and competing, stressing out and being judged, while I stay home, turn on some music, make a dish (corresponding with each city), all while intermittently checking Instagram and texting away–it’s fun!

This week’s show takes place in the gastronomy capital of the world, Lyon, France. Um…this location had my brain in knots because it’s like the equivalent of someone letting me loose in fifty combined Chanel boutiques and saying, You can have whatever one thing you like. Too many options! Too much pressure!

I had lots of elaborate dishes on my brain, but I kept circling back around to my favorite salad ever: Salade Lyonnaise. This salad is everything. There’s frisée tossed in a bacon mustardy vinagrette topped with a perfectly poached egg. And sprinkles of salt and pepper make it extra pretty. Nothing fancy. Total simpleness at its best.

I now welcome you to the sandwich version…

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We all love Larry David, right? I’m just going to speak for everyone, and say yes, yes we all love Larry David. Now, have you seen his recent parking lot fiasco? He’s confused by the parking lot ticket machine, people are honking, someone has to get out of their car to assist him–the whole thing is just incredible. It made me recall my very own, real life Larry David encounter, and omg did it not disappoint. It was Curb Your Enthusaism in real life. IRL!!!

STORY TIIIIIME!

A few Christmases ago, I was on a flight from LA to Miami. I got off the ridiculously packed flight, headed down to baggage claim and waited–along with the rest of the gajillion people that were on my flight. We waited, and waited, and waited some more. We waited so long that my dad got sick of driving around in circles and finally parked the car to join me in this epically long wait. As we were all learning this horrible lesson in patience, I looked up and noticed this really tall man with bushy grey hair, a wrinkled blazer, faded jeans and a worn baseball cap standing directly in front of me. It was Larry David. And he was looking around looking really, really confused.

A small latin man approached him and told him in broken English that he was his driver. Larry nodded. The driver motioned for him to go to wait in the car. And Larry, in his famous awkward disposition, was like, “Ok, ok, well you’re gonna get my luggage then?” The driver nodded.

Larry wasn’t done. He continued, “Ok, ok, well it’s gonna be the black suitcase. But they’re all gonna be black, so you have to check the tag. It’ll be the black one. Make sure you check the tag.” The driver nodded, obviously having done this a million times. Larry left…only to return, I’m not kidding you, like a minute later. He asked, “Which one is your car? The black one? Which black one?” The driver proceeded to tell him which black car was his. Larry left. Again.

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On Monday morning I did something totally crazy.

I reached for my cell, dialed Time Warner and cancelled my cable. This was a desperate measure to take my life back. Sound dramatic? Probably. But last week I called my mom to discuss Bethenny and Jason’s marriage, which sort of seems on the rocks (right?!!?). And on Sunday night I was all like, “Whoa Cythia! That orphan comment you said about Kim was craaaazy messed up. KIM, DON’T FORGIVE HER!”

I have to draw the line sometimes, you know? Being invested in TV relationships is just too much for me right now. I can’t deal. I’d rather spend my life thinking about other things…like bacon and popcorn, and cookies with brown butter in them.

Also, this means I have more money to spend on shoes. Shoes > Cable. DUH!

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Maple bacon doughnuts are nothing new to my world (evidence: here and here). I lead a lucky life.

And despite me loving them, I’ve never felt the urge to make them myself. When I think of homemade doughnuts, I get sleepy. Sooooo much work. The dough making, the rolling out, cutting out, the two rises and the frying. Ugh. Too much. It’s way easier to drive downtown and pick one up.

A few days ago though, I found a happy compromise: hot oil…but NO rises. Cake doughnuts. Whoa. WHOA.

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I like to think that galettes are like lazy, messy, casual pies. You only sorta have to roll them out. You only sorta have to make them look pretty. But really, the messier the better. It’s about the easy.

I can’t really think of a meal of the day where easy is most welcomed than on a cold, hazy January morning.

Let’s have pie for breakfast. But let’s leave the fruit for the summer. It’s January. So, pie…with runny eggs, lots of cheese and salty bacon.

Too good!

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Pig Candy

in Sides, Snacks

Pig candy is a real thing. Didyouknowthis?

I did not. Until last week when I had dinner at Lou’s, this wine bar in a random strip mall next to an even more random laundromat. In other news, I’ve been pronouncing the word “laudromat” like “laundry-mat…” up until, oh I dunno, like, yesterday.

Not sure if you knew this, but in Los Angeles things like kitchen floors that aren’t made from formica, a washer & dryer in your unit, and a parking space for your vehicle, are all considered luxuries. I have two out of the three and I feel lucky and rich.

Pig Candy. Let’s go back to that.

It’s really special. I’d even go as far as to say that it’s important.

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Hi Jalapeño. Hi Bacon. Hi Cheese.

It’s kind of crazy to think that all those glorious things can exist in one bite…but they do. They totally do.

If you want to see how this is done, jump over to the Tasty Kitchen blog where you’ll find: step-by-step pictures (by me), and a the recipe. This is all so you too can create these bites of awesomeness.

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