The Cozy Apron

I'm a Los Angeles-based personal chef and recipe developer, food blogger and family gal. Come on over to The Cozy Apron, where I share my passion for food, people and life through my culinary creations and my writing

Sweet Cornbread Cake, and Taking Sweet Bites of Inspiration from a Golden Moment

The soft, warm, pale-yellow glow that envelopes all of us growing and sprouting creatures is something that I simply can’t help but to draw copious amounts of pleasure and inspiration from. Just this afternoon, this late afternoon with its breeze, its scents of blooms, its buzzing little beings, its green grass swaying, I took a cup of warm, lemony-blueberry green tea as one companion, and my little dog Lola as another, and off I went into the back yard to daydream for a just a smidgen of a spell. And as I sat there on the little brick ledge just below the heavy-with-fruit, drooping branches of our precious apple tree, our fruit-bearing girl, slowly and leisurely sipping my fragrant tea, I felt an overwhelming moment of connection to my longings and my desires ....more

Honey Mustard Chicken Chopped Salad, Anything But Dainty

As the weather slowly begins to warm up and the days are filled with more bright and happy sunlight, my cravings begin to gravitate towards the colorful, crisp, and fresh. And often, it’s a lovely salad that fits that bill, scrumptiously. I’ve always been a real sucker for a good salad; I mean, I truly love them all, including even the slightly dainty, micro-green-y, leafy ones with just a sprig of this over here, and a sprig of that over there ....more

White Chicken Chili, and How Staying Present Can Potentially Create a More Peaceful Now

We so often live in either our memories of the past, or in fantasies about the future, without even realizing it. But when we cook, when we prepare a dish such as this delicious, from-scratch White Chicken Chili with white beans, tender chicken, fresh, ripe avocados and vibrant green limes, being present in the process is a necessity—the food requires it. No matter how I slice it, the freeways of southern California are no joyride; and pretty much each and every time I attempt to merge onto one, I’m reminded of that ....more

Pan Seared Salmon, for When the Simplest Things Just Make You Happy

For as long as I can remember now, I’ve been closing out my days and ushering in my evenings with a warm bath. Ah…the simple pleasures. For me, a freshly scrubbed, clean bath tub, some gently-running warmish-hot water, and a few squeezes of an aromatic body wash or bubble bath to foam and make things all sudsy makes me a very happy girl ....more

Lemon Chicken Salad, and Savoring Those Things of a More Delicate Nature

I’ll admit that I’ve always been a real softy. I’m the type of gal that easily cries when others cry; that gets swept up into someone’s story while they’re telling it; that feels things really deeply; that just wants to smother everyone whom she cares about with love; and who’s heart gets broken at the thought of someone feeling ashamed, hurt, or bullied. I’m a bit of a delicate soul, and I say it proudly these days, because I wouldn’t want to be any other way ....more

Smoked Sausage and Red Rice Skillet, and Giving One Another the Freedom to Just Be

If there’s anything that I’ve learned about human relationships so far, it’s that each of us desperately needs the freedom to be who we are, in whatever part of the journey that we find ourselves in, in any given moment. In being a wife, I’ve learned that in order for my husband to be able to realize who he is, and to continue to evolve and to grow, he needs my support and understanding, my encouragement, when he has the desire to ask his own deep questions about who he is, and his own place in the world; he needs the freedom to grown out of his old shell, and into a roomier one that’ll better suit him wherever he finds himself next. And one of the greatest lessons I’ve learned through the amazing opportunity I’ve had of being a mother, is that no matter how much I’d like to provide all of the information and the protection that’s needed in order for my son to avoid making painful mistakes in his life, it’s not really my place to eliminate all possibility of that; that he, too, needs the freedom to grow in his own understanding (with guidance, of course), and to experience what his Creator has in store for him, and to slowly mature into his own adult life ....more

Zesty Chicken Fajitas Pizza, and the Brilliant Things That Come out of the Refiner’s Oven

We recently found a wonderful little pizza place in a nearby community that we absolutely love frequenting when the craving hits us. Their prices are amazing, and their service is great. But the really fun part is watching as our pizzas, heaping with all of our favorite toppings, get slid into the large stone oven that blazes away, and then come out only minutes later completely gooey, caramelized, bubbling and steaming fresh ....more

Pasta Primavera Lasagna, and Nourishing Your Soul with All That Is Good and True

To gaze upon the vast array of magnificent colors and shapes that our whole foods contain is to gaze upon our Creator’s art work. The vibrant green of a crisp spring zucchini; the bright pop of yellow and the curved “neck” of a squash; the emerald boldness and perfectly round and firm shape of petite peas; and the the savory-yet-sweet tanginess of tomatoes that so perfectly make up an exquisite and nourishing sauce. Healthy foods have the benefit of beauty and flavor on their side ....more

Grilled Lemon Chicken Greek Nachos, and the Zesty Flavors of All of Life’s Layers

Vibrant, beautiful, refreshing spring; it’s our Creator’s amazing gift of an opportunity to begin afresh, and to add another potentially wonderful layer of experience to our ever-evolving lives. There is a vast array of all sorts of life sprouting up all around us, an abundance of living happening right before our eyes. If we open up our hearts and our souls, we may just get beautifully pulled right into that realm’s extraordinary and powerful vortex, get spun around in its glorious light just a little ....more

Skillet Dijon Chicken Penne, a Little Party in a Pan

When I was a kid on summer vacation during those hot, humid days in Michigan, my friends and I would love to jump into the lake all at the same time, gripping each others hands tightly and squealing with delight as we made our leap. We’d go through our countdown, and either do a running jump off of a long dock, or stand in a row on the edge and push our little feet off as hard as we could, to go as far as we could, and scream with joy as we hit the water with a big “sploosh!” like boulders. Ah…childhood ....more