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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I feel like I’ve told you about my obsession with the Amalfi coast and how all I’ve wanted to do recently is get on a plane, stay in an apartment overlooking the ocean, swim all day and eat all night. The dish that I’m guessing I’d eat copious amounts of is this linguine con le vongole.
Since there’s no trip to Italy in sight, I figured maybe making the dish from the place I’ve been dreaming about might make me feel better. It totally didn’t, but it did make for an amazing lunch so I figured I’d share it with you in case you, too, might be needing a dish to make you want to be in some place other than your desk/current location/grey cubicle, etc.
For this dish, I teamed up with McCormick Gourmet spices because it seems like I can’t really make anything without adding a bit of crushed red pepper flakes. They are staple in my house. A ramekin of them sits right next to the black pepper and salt. I add them to EVERYTHING.
I’ve learned in the last few weeks that giving your corn headbands is a good idea. Husks look adorable still attached to corn; they just need some help being tamed so you can smash your face into the cob of corn. Headbands made of husks totally work.
I feel like I might make elote in a somewhat controversial way. A lot of people boil corn in espazote to give it a good flavor; but honestly I loooove raw corn so I say scratch the boiling step and just go straight to the grill. The juicy, fresh-tasting corn with the bits of char are a winning combo. Boiling sounds like no fun at all. I think boiling on the scale of cooking options might be my least favorite, unless it’s boiled in butter or oil; but then it’s more like frying.
Other additions that must accompany elote? Lots of cotija cheese all crumbled, lots of lime wedges, crema or mayonnaise and ancho chile powder.
For the full recipe that isn’t really all that much like a recipe, hop on over to PBS Food
Tomorrow I’m headed to Sonoma for a friend’s wedding and I’m excited to leave L.A. for three days and drink lots of bourbon and maybe dance. I also have a tight dress I need to fit into and Ice Cream Week didn’t help at all. Also, Chipotle. I dunno what it is but since I practically cook all day, with most of it being sweet, all I want at the end of the day is SALT. Like, “Hi, I’ll take the kale salad with a side of salt,” or “I’ll take that piece of healthy fish and please season it a.k.a put hella salt on it.” It’s a part of my need for balance which in this instance backfires.
There are currantly (someone told me to do that on Instagram and I couldn’t resist – so cheesy yet still funny!) like ten different flavors of ice cream in my fridge and this is the one I keep going back for. The white chocolate unexpectedly works. I usually don’t even like white chocolate but it’s really lovely.
The currant part is so pretty and pink. Dat color! It’s like cotton candy pink which is maybe my favorite shade of pink. And it’s tart! So dang tart in the best way possible.
Today I’m very (what I like to refer to as)….#Hormotional. (And the hashtag part is important.)
Do you ever have friends who teach you things? A few weeks ago my friend Lara was talking about trying to buy a new home and all the pitfalls and hang-ups that come with that, especially in city like Los Angeles where property is ridiculously priced and everyone seems to have more money than you. After a phone call of bad news from her realtor, she hung up and decided to fix up her apartment. Not because she felt like she’ll be there forever, she still intends on moving, but she felt like if she was striving for something bigger and better, that maybe it’d be a good idea to feel grateful for what she already has. Asking, striving from a place of gratefulness.
I haven’t really stopped thinking about that conversation for a few weeks now. I’m not sure what it really means for me, but I know that every day I try and with that comes anxiousness and impatience. Two traits that aren’t the most admirable in myself and in other people.
Recently, I’ve felt like stopping for a moment to say thank you. Not necessarily to a specific person or thing but just in general.
So every single day, I’ve been taking mental notes of things that make me happy in the smallest ways.
Do you ever do this? It’s one part cheesy and one part absolutely necessary.
A few weeks ago I made creme brûlée. Do you remember this? Let me preface by saying that whenever I shoot my recipes, Amelia is right there because she’s always hoping and praying that I drop something so she can swoop in and eat it. She’s eaten A LOT of things normal dogs haven’t eaten. There was this one time a tortilla chip fell out of a bra (I was going through a rough time) and she ate it within seconds of it falling onto the floor. We’re best friends.
Anyway, so I poured a few teaspoons of sugar on to each custard and ignited the torch. Right when the flame started, Amelia went and bolted to the bathroom where she started peeing (sorry I said “peeing” on a food blog but it’s a part of the story!). I quickly realized that she is petrified of the torch. So, I put it away and haven’t brought it out since, but now I think she’s confused that the torch is the same as my camera. Whenever I shoot recipes and pull out my camera, she goes and hides under the couch.
I’ve tried everything: putting snacks next to the camera, placing the camera next to me to show her that look, it’s fine, it’s JUST A CAMERA! It’s times like these that I wish I was Cesar Milan. I’m not sure how to make her not scared of my camera. I don’t want her all stressed out, especially since I practically shoot recipes on a daily basis.
If you have tips, I’m ALL ears.
Today, we are continuing ICE CREAM WEEK with this Cherry Ice Cream with a Whole Wheat Crisp. It’s fruity, sweet and creamy with a salty, slightly sweet crisp topping. HEAVEN.
ALSO, a giveaway with Whole Foods Market! If you’ve visited your local Whole Foods recently, you’ve probably noticed the cherries. They’re insanely amazing right now!
This giveaway is for a $150 gift certificate. To enter, do this: