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Meet Adrianna and Caroline

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Tasty Kitchen Blog: Meet Adrianna and Caroline of A Cozy Kitchen.

Today is a bonus day for us, because we’ll all get to meet two lovely ladies: Adrianna and Caroline. They’re the ones behind those incredibly mouthwatering recipes you see above, and together, they make A Cozy Kitchen.

Adrianna and Caroline met in film school at the North Carolina School of the Arts. “It was there,” they say, “in the depths of a depressing cafeteria, that we realized we had a love for food and cooking.” Both currently based in Los Angeles, their blog A Cozy Kitchen is a vast collection of recipes that range from pure comfort, elegantly simple, creatively exotic, and just about everything in between.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Meet Adrianna and Caroline of A Cozy Kitchen.Clockwise from top left: Blood Orange Granita with Whipped Cream, Maple Bacon Pancakes, Cream Cheese Pie Crust, Lemon Olive Oil Pound Cake, Fig Cinnamon Jam, and Buttermilk Cheddar Jalapeno Biscuits.

They make a wonderful team because they seem to have just the right balance of shared tastes. When pressed for time, Adrianna’s snack of choice is bananas dipped in Nutella. Caroline’s secret (well, not so secret anymore) favorite food combo? Nutella on saltine crackers. They both need to have stock or broth always on hand. Caroline is Italian and can whip up a pasta dish in no time, and Adrianna? She loves to eat raw pasta. Which sort of counts as a pasta dish in no time too, right?

As much as they have in common, there are other things, too, that set them apart. For one, Caroline is (mostly) meat-free. Her favorite ingredients are typical Italian basics, like garlic, lemon, tomatoes, and cheese. Adrianna, on the other hand, loves salty and sweet, and confesses to eating those maple bacon pancakes above for dinner. I don’t blame her, but then again, neither would I pass up a chance to have any of their dinner recipes below.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Meet Adrianna and Caroline of A Cozy Kitchen.Clockwise from top left: Cauliflower and Brussels Sprout Gratin, Rigatoni with Eggplant Puree, Fried Green Tomatoes with Jalapeno Cheese Grits, and Shrimp Scampi.

If you’re in the mood for a snack, they’ve got that covered too. From corn dogs to simple sandwiches to an amazingly delicious twist to regular popcorn, I wouldn’t miss the Nutella if I could enjoy any one of these snacks instead.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Meet Adrianna and Caroline of A Cozy Kitchen.Clockwise from top left: Homemade Corn Dogs, Smoked Gouda Croissant with Tarragon Mayonnaise, Chocolate Popcorn with Sea Salt, Curry Egg Salad Sandwich, and Mom’s Holiday Cheese Dip.

Their recipe box is packed with so many wonderful recipes, and that includes drinks. Strawberry basil spritz? Check. Sangria? Check. Watermelon Limeade? Check. Toasted marshmallow milkshake? Oh yeah.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Meet Adrianna and Caroline of A Cozy Kitchen.Clockwise from top left: Strawberry Balsamic Basil Spritzer, Stand’s Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake, White Kiwi-Apple Sangria, and Watermelon Limeade.

Caroline says that she loves using cooking as a creative outlet, in the same way that painters or musicians use their art. “Except of course,” she adds, “I get to eat my results, and that’s really awesome.” For Adrianna, being able to “marry a few ingredients together and create a unique, shared experience with people you love” is what she enjoys most about cooking. I would like to go on record and say that, in my book, the collection of recipes below easily qualifies as high art, and that if they make these and share them with me, I will love them forever and ever.

And ever.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Meet Adrianna and Caroline of A Cozy Kitchen.Clockwise from top left: Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake, Coconut Chocolate Pudding, Dulce de Leche Ice Cream Sandwiches, Salted Caramel Chocolate Mousse, and Vanilla Ricotta Doughnuts.

I’m going to stop right here because I need to go fan myself with something big. Like maybe a vat of that mousse.

In the meantime, I’ll let Adrianna and Caroline take over for a moment while I recover. You’re on, ladies!

Q: Any favorite chefs or food celebrities? Who inspires you?
Adrianna: My dad is a great cook who’s like this mad scientist in the kitchen; he’s always experimenting with things like his own puff pastry and French bread. I think his yearning to learn new techniques and skills in the kitchen is pretty inspiring.
Caroline: Well, my mom is the best cook I know, and a lot of my favorite memories from childhood revolve around the amazing food that used to come out of her kitchen. As for celebrities, my absolute favorites are Giada De Laurentiis and Ina Garten. Both use very simple ingredients and techniques to produce sophisticated and extraordinary meals. They make good food accessible to anyone, which is exactly how it should be.

Q: What is your go-to dish or meal?
Adrianna: My go-to meal is pasta that’s cooked like risotto. I learned the technique from Mark Bittman a while back and it’s super quick and easy. I can make it in 20 minutes tops and throw any random things that I have in my fridge in the dish. It’s awesome!
Caroline: Pasta with homemade tomato sauce. I could probably eat this once a day and never get tired of it. I’m a McGyver of tomato sauce; give me a can of tomatoes and a few pantry ingredients and I can always come up with some tasty.

Q: Do you have a memorable kitchen disaster?
Adrianna: Making soufflés. I tried to make a coffee almond soufflé last year and failed miserably. Souffles have the ability to put me in tears, but I keep telling myself I’m going to master them one of these days.
Caroline: It isn’t actually my flop, but the most memorable one is when my fiancée tried to make mac and cheese and forgot to cook the pasta first. It’s still one of my favorite stories to tell. As for me, I’ve forgotten to check something in the oven and burned it black, or gotten halfway through a recipe before realizing that I skipped a step or am missing an ingredient, but there are almost too many incidents to pinpoint just one.

Q: Is there anything else that gives you trouble in the kitchen?
Adrianna: Making custards can be quite tricky. I feel like I have it down now, but there were a few times where I made milky scrambled eggs. Yuck!
Caroline: I’m probably the only vegetarian that can’t cook tofu. In fact, I have meat-eating friends who cook tofu better than I can. Not sure what my issue with it is, but nowadays I’ve given up trying and just avoid cooking it.

Q: Okay, enough of kitchen troubles. Let’s end on a high note! Give us one of your favorite kitchen tips that you wish you’d always known.
Adrianna: I wish I always knew the secret to searing scallops or a piece of fish. The cardinal rule: never use frozen scallops or fish. If you do, make sure they’re super dry. That ensures you’ll get that beautiful, caramelized crust.
Caroline: I wish someone had told me that recipes are meant to be a general guidelines, not set-in-stone rules. It isn’t important that you sauté the garlic for precisely 60 seconds, and a recipe isn’t lost if it calls for a 15 oz. can and you only have a 14.5 oz. one. Once you become familiar with ingredients and with your own taste, it’s easy to improvise and adjust recipes as you cook.


Thank you both for taking the time to answer our questions!

If you’re looking for inspiration or just need a reason to stare at all kinds of scrumptious food, head to A Cozy Kitchen to see all the incredible recipes that Adrianna and Caroline have posted. From breakfast fare to vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes, appetizers, and decadent desserts, there’s sure to be something there for everyone. The photography is simply gorgeous too, so you might want to keep a fan handy. I’m still using mine.



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Rebecca on 7.16.2010

Fried Green Tomatoes with Jalapeno Cheese Grits? Hot dog! I need some of that! How nice to learn a little more about you ladies. Your food looks so very gorgeous and delicious.

And thank you, Erika, for your usual beautiful collages and wonderful write up!

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A Cozy Kitchen on 7.13.2010

Thank you everyone for all of your lovely words. All of them made my freakin’ day! :)

Becky on 7.13.2010

Alright! I love A Cozy Kitchen, one of my favorites to follow. Thanks for the Q&A, it’s great hearing from these lovely ladies! : )

hayhay on 7.13.2010

Congrats on being featured! your recipes are amazing, and I really love your blog!
I cannot wait to make the vanilla ricotta donuts, yum!

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whatlifedishesout on 7.13.2010

Corndogs! My fave veggie corndogs by Morningstar got discontinued, but there’s now no reason I can’t just do it myself! And maybe I’ll do some converting into Gluten Free organic turkey corndogs for my kiddos, too! Oh, the possibilities! :-)

Cookin' Canuck on 7.13.2010

It’s great to learn more about you, Adrianna and Caroline. That lemon olive oil pound cake has caught my eye.

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rozminkd on 7.13.2010

Food looks great! I don’t buy the no frozen fish though. And especially scallops, almost all “fresh” you buy are really thawed previously frozen…In restaurants they use frozen too, and they get the crust. It’s the drying it that matters.

Vicky@coffeeandmilkies on 7.13.2010

I am drooling at the picture of the marshallow milkshake! Added to my recipe box!

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Ree | The Pioneer Woman on 7.13.2010

Yes, very lovely ladies and an incredibly delicious recipe box. I’m so excited to see them all together, too…total gorgeousness!

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sweepea on 7.12.2010

i enjoyed the slant on this interview–it can be intimidating from afar to see such an accomplished recipe box, especially when it is from two talented people! thanks for sharing your triumphs, and learning moments. and thanks, Erika!

the country cook @ Delightful Country Cookin' on 7.12.2010

They make the best cream cheese pie crust!!!

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smokinchestnut on 7.12.2010

I’ve been waiting to read about these two! Love it (and their recipes).

Amy from She Wears Many Hats (missamy) on 7.12.2010

Truly beautiful! I’ve managed to miss some of those recipes, so I’m happy to see them all in one place here. YUUUUM!

Adrianna from A Cozy Kitchen on 7.12.2010

Heather! That’s so awesome. We graduated in ’07!

Heather on 7.12.2010

Nice to meet fellow NCSA alumni! (I’m D&P, Class of ’91.)

Foodiebia on 7.12.2010

Wow this homemade corndog concept is blowing my mind.

Wenderly on 7.12.2010

Such lovely ladies, divine recipes AND a beautiful blog. I’d say that’s quite a combination! Congratulations to you both!
I couldn’t agree more about now knowing that I don’t have to follow a recipe like it’s black & white! The gray is the fun creative part! Can’t wait to see what else is in store!

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A Cozy Kitchen on 7.12.2010

Erika, Thank you so much doing such a lovely write-up. And as always, your collages are so dang pretty!

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soufflebombay on 7.12.2010

That Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake Photo hets me every time!!
Wonderful stuff ladies!

Lorieg on 7.12.2010

Beautiful photos of the dishes. Makes me want to try them all. Let’s see – what shall I make for dinner….

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3bakingsheets on 7.12.2010

Great feature this week. A Cozy Kitchen has become one of the blogs I visit when I need a little mental and visual getaway. The food, the relaxed feel of the pics…even the title alone is so comforting.

I’m fanning myself with a fax cover sheet to simulate palm fronds.

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Natalie | Perry's Plate on 7.12.2010

Nice to meet you ladies! With all the talk of Nutella, I’m tempted to slap some on some pancake for breakfast. You’re women after my own heart :)

Heather (Heather's Dish) on 7.12.2010

i really like the thought that recipes are basically guidelines…there are some things that are set in stone, but most of the time we have the freedom to make of it what we want! how cool is that?!

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sweetebakes on 7.12.2010

I have an eggplant in my fridge thats going to love the rigatoni recipe :)

Jessica @ How Sweet on 7.12.2010

I always wondered why my frozen scallops (that’s all I can really find around here) or fish never gets a nice crust! I try to dry them as much as I can, but I guess I gotta try buying fresh. That’s a great tip!