Posts tagged cozy dinner series
Zucchini Lasagna Roll Ups
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The other night on Instagram stories I was talking about this healthy meal that’s a go-to of mine when I’m craving something hearty and cozy without the pasta. This meal just screams ‘home cooked’ in that way that makes you want to dim the lights and get in your coziest clothes while stuffing your face. However, this option comes without the major guilt. Plus, its surprisingly good (obviously, not as good) when you have it for leftovers the next day. I’m all about doing work that I can get 2 meals out of. In order to get 2 full meals for 2 people out of it, double the recipe!

Ingredients:

4 large zucchini (about 4 pounds)

Sprinkle of salt

Olive oil spray

1 cup fresh spinach

Freshly ground black pepper (1 T)

1 cup part skim ricotta cheese

1/3 cut freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 large egg

1/4 cup fresh basil (chopped)

2 cloves of garlic (minced)

1 1/2 cups marinara sauce (divided)-I use Raos Arrabbiata sauce for an extra kick

2 cups shredded mozzarella (divided)

Directions:

  1. In the morning, slice your zucchini lengthwise into thin strips (about 1/8 inch thick). Lay the slices flat onto paper towels and then sprinkle them with salt. Lay another paper towel on top of the zucchini. Let is sit for a few hours (or until you make the meal that night) to lose as much water as possible.

  2. Once you are ready to prep the filling, spray a large skillet with olive oil spray and place over medium heat. Sauté the spinach in the pan until it reduces. Set it aside so it can cool down.

  3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, parmesan, 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese (so 1 cup), spinach, garlic, egg, black pepper, and basil. Stir to combine.

  4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

  5. Spread 1 cup of marinara sauce onto the bottom of your baking dish. Set aside.

  6. Spread approximately 1 T of the ricotta mixture onto each zucchini slice and then roll it up and place it inside of the prepared baking dish. Repeat until the dish is filled with the zucchini roll ups. Then, top with the remaining marinara sauce and remaining mozzarella cheese.

  7. Cook in the oven for approximately 30 minutes or until the lasagna rolls are heated throughout and the cheese is golden brown.

  8. Serve and enjoy immediately!

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Blood Orange Margarita For Halloween
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I wanted to make a Halloween cocktail that would pair well with the Mexican food that I've been majorly craving (when am I not though?!). Enter the Blood Orange Margarita! Get it...blood...Halloween. It's stupid easy and perfect since blood oranges are currently in season. I actually got mini blood oranges and they worked perfectly. 

INGREDIENTS (Yields 4 cocktails):

12 oz freshly squeezed blood orange juice 

4 oz freshly squeezed lime juice 

4 oz agave 

8 oz tequila (I used Silver) 

DIRECTIONS: 

Combine all ingredients and pour over ice. You can garnish the glass with a wedge of blood orange if you'd like!  

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Pumpkin Butter Apple Pie
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What do you do when its apple season and pumpkin season?! You combine the two into the ultimate pie recipe! This Pumpkin Butter Apple Pie is fall personified in each bite. This pumpkin butter recipe is enough for the pie and for you to keep some pumpkin butter on the side. I used the pumpkin butter in my oatmeal and overnight oats. It'd also be great on waffles, pancakes and crepes..YUM! I think that half of the success while baking can be attributed to the right tools so I linked all of the ones that I used at the bottom of this post. Happy cozy baking!

Pie Recipe

Ingredients for filling:

5 cups of peeled and diced honey crisp apples

1/2 t cinnamon

1/4 t pumpkin pie spice

1 t sea salt

1/3 cup raw cane sugar

2 T pumpkin butter (recipe below)

1.5 T all purpose flour

Ingredients for Crust (I frequently sub a homemade pie crust for an Immaculate Baking Company pie crust that I keep in my fridge):

2 cups flour

1/2 t sea salt

1/2 t cinnamon

2/3 cup + 2 T unsalted butter

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and place rack in the bottom 1/3 of your oven

Peel and slice the apples 

Toss apple slices with cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, salt, sugar, pumpkin butter and unbleached flour in a bowl and set aside

Make the crust by whisking the flour, salt and cinnamon together in a large bowl. Then, use a pastry cutter to add in the 2/3 cup of cold butter until its crumbly

Add very cold water, 1 T at a time, until a dough forms

Transfer the dough to a floured surface and use your hands to mold it into a ball

Divide the dough into 2 parts, 1 for the bottom and 1 for the top of the pie

Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough

Add one of the flat doughs to the pan

Use a crust cutter (the one that I use and love is linked below) to cut the other half of the dough into whatever designs you want

Add filling to pie crust lined pan

Top with the lattice dough cutouts

Brush the top of the dough with the leftover 2 T of melted butter

Bake for 30 minutes and then place tinfoil over the edges of the crust to prevent them from burning

Bake for another 15 minutes or until the crust is a nice golden brown

Serve warm a la mode!

Pumpkin Butter Recipe

Ingredients:

4 cups pumpkin puree

1 cup brown sugar

1 T cinnamon

1 t nutmeg

1 t fresh lemon juice 

1 t vanilla extract

4 T pure maple syrup

Directions:

Place all items into your slow cooker and mix.

Cover and let cook on low for 8 hours.

Cool completely and then store in a sealed container in the fridge for 3 weeks.

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Gold Specks Cake
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I slightly adapted Sweetapolita's watercolor buttercream recipe (linked below) for my husband and mother in law's birthday cake. I loved the idea of using edible gold leaf flecks on a cake so I purchased them (and linked them at the bottom of this post). They were easy to use and looked cool with the gold candles (also linked below). The best thing about this cake was that it was still fresh tasting and the m-word (I hate that word!) 3 full days after making it. I attribute the freshness to the cake container/transporter that I linked at the bottom of this post. Shout out to great products that actually do their job and SUGAR! 

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups (285 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 cups (450 g) superfine sugar
  • 1 cup (120 g) unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (360 ml) buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 cup (240 ml) hot coffee (if you can't use coffee, substitute with very hot water)
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, room temperature

Ingredients for icing:

  • 1 cup (227 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening (see Notes)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 5 cups (620 g) confectioners' sugar
  • 2/3 cup (160 ml) heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon warm water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Edible gold leaf (linked under 'Shop The Post' at the bottom of this post  

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F (180°C). Spray the bottom of three 8-inch round cake pans with cooking spray and line bottoms with parchment rounds. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl or measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, coffee, oil, and vanilla, and then mix in eggs.
  4. Add liquid mixture to dry ingredients and whisk until smooth, about 1 minute. Divide batter equally among the three cake pans or weigh for accuracy--each pan should weigh about 580 grams.
  5. Bake the first two layers until a wooden pick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out with a only a few crumbs, about 23 minutes. Try not to over-bake. Let cakes cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes, and then turn onto rack to cool completely. Repeat with the final cake layer. When ready to assemble the cake, wrap the layers in plastic wrap and chill for about 30 minutes.
  6. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, shortening, and salt on medium speed until very pale and creamy, 8 minutes.
  7. Reduce the speed to the lowest setting and gradually add the confectioners' sugar, heavy cream, vanilla bean paste and water. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until very light and fluffy, about 6 minutes.
  8. The frosting will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Bring chilled frosting to room temperature and beat on low speed to soften. If necessary, you can warm the frosting in a heatproof container in the microwave in 10-second intervals, stirring after each one, until smooth and spreadable. Add a small amount of water, one tablespoon at a time, if the frosting needs more "glide."
  9. Put your first cake layer top-up on the cake board or plate, and spread about 1 1/4 cups of the frosting evenly across layer. Put the second cake layer on top and repeat with another layer of frosting. Repeat again.
  10. Using a turntable, if possible, frost entire outside of cake with a thin layer of the frosting to seal in the crumbs. Chill until the frosting begins to firm-up, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, tint the remaining pink frosting (there should be about
  11. Remove the cake from the refrigerator and return it to the turntable. Using a medium straight palette knife spread the icing around the cake.
  12. Add the gold flecks by gently pressing random patches of the gold onto the cake. Serve at room temperature.

http://sweetapolita.com/2015/06/watercolor-buttercream-party-cake/

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Summer Salads and Summer Wine

I love dining al fresco in the summer! We spend a lot of time grilling on our patio but we also like to mix it up and eat in spots that have a nice view of the NYC skyline. I mean, we can see a postcard worthy scene right from our rooftop or right in front of our building. When food is supposed to be served hot though, I need to it to be hot when it enters my mouth...it's a thing I have. So I've taken to having salads on these nights that we eat outdoors. I like to get a bottle of wine that pairs well with the salad because that's something that makes my guy happy. As you guys know, I like getting as much stuff delivered to my door as possible (hello easy living!). Winc is my favorite service for wine delivery because they have tons of cool brands that I haven't bought before. It's fun to try new brands and I have yet to order one that didn't go over well. Also, I'd be lying if I said that the pretty labels didn't sell me. Cozy Curator readers can receive FOUR bottles of wine for $27 and get complimentary shipping by going to www.trywinc.com/cozycurator and entering the code COZYCURATOR at checkout. 

Summer Salad Recipe:

Ingredients:

2 ripe peaches

8oz. mixed greens (I used an arugula and spinach mix)

Squash blossoms

8oz. fresh mozzarella (I used bocconcini) 

3T of your favorite pesto

2T balsamic vinegar

2T olive oil

Directions:

Slice the peaches

Slice the bottoms off of the squash blossoms

Mix all of the ingredients together

Drizzle the pesto, balsamic, and olive oil over the salad

Enjoy!

This post is sponsored but all thoughts and opinions are my own!

Cozy Dinner Series

Cozy dinners aren't limited to soups in the winter. This meal is perfect for Spring because its light and fresh tasting but still cozy. I'm a vegetarian but I am engaged to a carnivore so I cook meat. I make a lot of chicken since its a lean meat and a healthy weeknight option. I am also a huge Zoodle fan because you get that comfort food feeling of a hot dinner while eating vegetables. I'm in no way shape or form pretending like it can take pasta's place because pasta is always going to win, but it gives an illusion of it. The only thing missing from this meal was some wine. We like to keep our bar cabinet stocked so that we have something on hand for when Jay is wanting a drink with dinner, we have something that compliments the meal. 

Winc's wine club membership is perfect for having a variety of wine's on hand. We get to try a variety of wines that we don't see in our local liquor stores. They even send a little booklet that tells you how to pair each of your wines with food, which I think is so cool! My readers are getting the opportunity to try Winc at a discount!

You can get 4 bottles of wine for $27 instead of the normal $52 that it costs. Just follow this link and enter the coupon code at checkout.

www.trywinc.com/cozycurator

Coupon Code: COZYCURATOR

Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken Recipe

Ingredients:

4 chicken breasts

Pinch of freshly ground pepper

Pinch of salt

1/2 t oregano

1/4 t basil

3T unsalted butter or ghee

4 cloves minced garlic

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1T honey

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper

Melt 2T of butter in a dutch oven on the stove top and add the chicken. Flip the chicken over after 2-3 minutes. Sear the chicken until both sides are golden brown. Remove the chicken breasts.

Melt the other tablespoon of butter in the skillet and add the minced garlic and cook it for 2 minutes.

Turn off the burner and add the brown sugar, honey, oregano and basil. 

Return the chicken to the dutch oven and place the dutch oven into your oven. Cook for approximately 25-30 minutes.

Garlic Parmesan Zoodle Recipe

Ingredients:

4 zucchini 

1T olive oil

2 cloves of minced garlic

1 pint of grape tomatoes

1/4t ground pepper

1/2t salt

8 leaves of fresh basil

2T grated parmesan cheese

1T pine nuts

Directions:

Use a spiralizer to turn the zucchini into zoodles

Mince the garlic

Cut the grape tomatoes in half

Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat for a minute and then add the garlic. Cook the garlic for another minute.

Add the spiralized zoodles and tomatoes into the pan and toss so that the olive oil and garlic coat the zoodles. Cook them for another two minutes.

Turn off the heat and add the cheese, basil, salt, pepper and pine nuts. Serve!

Please note that this post is sponsored but that all thoughts and opinions are my own!