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

Creamy Chicken & Broccoli Stuffed Baked Potatoes, and Getting Back to Basics

I feel a bit like a woman on fire lately, and in good way. I’ve found myself looking around my home in the various rooms that contain those extra things that we don’t use and don’t need; at the various walls that hold too many paintings that don’t speak to us anymore; and into various built-into-the-wall shelves that have been comfortably housing now-obsolete CD’s, VHS tapes and even DVD’s that we no longer have any use for, and am wanting to take it all away and streamline everything. I’ve reached that point, and whenever that happens to me, there’s no going back ....more

Grilled Lemon Chicken Flatbread Wraps, and That Golden-Hued Evening Sky

Have you ever found yourself a little transfixed by that late day/early evening glowing skyline as it stretches across the horizon and envelopes everything below it, and to the sides of it, in a soft splash of gold? I certainly have, quite frequently; and it’s probably one of my favorite things in the world. It can be spectacular! ...more

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Broiled Cheddar, Like Warm Little Spoonfuls Of Bliss On The Tongue

I adore the winter months, and only wish that here in Southern California we had more of an opportunity to feel the crispness, the coldness, the briskness, and the icy-chill in a black, star-studded evening sky. But alas, we don’t. For now, all I have are my memories of the frigid winters of my childhood and teen years in Michigan where I took immense comfort in being bundled up, all snuggly, in coat, hat, and scarf, and I like to keep those close to my heart where they stay warm and alive ....more

Zesty Chicken & Rice Soup, and Finding Pleasure and Gratitude at the Bottom of an Empty Bowl

Have you ever noticed the amazing things you can find at the bottom of a simple, unassuming little bowl of soup? If you’ve ever sat down to a gloriously steaming, fragrant, brothy, and soothing bowl of liquid-y elixir when you’re hungry and hoping to be comforted and made cozy, and then taken pleasure in every little sip off the spoon as it slowly goes down ever-so easily and warms from within, then you most likely know what I speak of. In those precious, golden moments when I’ve luxuriated in and savored a bowl of delectable soup in the quiet silence of my home in the middle of the day, when there’s no one else there but me, I find myself needing to just sit back for a few moments afterwards, in happy silence, there at my table, so that I can enjoy the experience of my heart being utterly filled with gratitude for what is in front of me, and reflect on the simple pleasure that I just had the opportunity to experience ....more

Chocolate & Butterscotch Chip Oatmeal Cookies, for When Finding Joy in the Small Stuff is a Good Start

Sometimes in life, there isn’t much opportunity for replenishment of the soul, as important as that can truly be. And I always know when it’s time for me to begin to draw into myself some nourishment from the external world as well as from the spiritual one, because the things that I typically so easily find to be shimmery and glowing, seem like they’re beginning to lack a bit of luster and shine. And I begin to feel, quite frankly, like I’m beginning to lack a bit of luster and shine ....more

Bourbon-Glazed Salmon, and The Sweet & Spirited Exterior that Holds Within a Tender Interior

There’s very little for me that is more inspiring than being in the presence of a human being who whole-heartedly loves life, and chooses to see the brighter side of things in this often-tumultuous experience we call “existence”. The kindness, the joy, the love, and the gratitude that such a person exudes is utterly contagious, and tends to bring out the best in those that have the pleasure and the privilege of being in their presence. And I thank God for these beautiful people, and admire them very much! ...more

Hearty Split Pea & Smoky Bacon Soup, for When Something of Substance is Craved

The older I get, the more my soul craves and searches for those things of a deeper, more substantive nature that fill me to the brim with life. Those surface spaces and places that satisfied my youthful cravings well enough, those “top layers” of life where emotions and feelings came and went and changed on a whim without much understanding and wisdom to back them up, are not the places where any long-lasting foundation can be forged, nor any life-long dwelling built. But in my youth, they served me perfectly for where I was ....more

Crispy-Baked Chicken Wings, Tandoori-Style, and Balancing The Heat with Something Cooling

If you’ve ever taken a nice, big bite out of something good ‘n spicy, and then found yourself quickly reaching for something (anything!) to temper some of that heat, then you’ve experienced first-hand how important this nifty little concept of “balance” is. I have to admit that now, as an adult, I’m a bit of a heat seeker, a lover of things on the spicy side; but that being said, it doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate something to balance out the flames, so to speak, as my mouth begins to tingle and my eyes start to mildly well up. And just as a tantalizing plateful of delicious, crispy hot wings benefits immensely from the companionship of a cool and creamy dip to plunge those amazingly delicious-yet-spicy wings into, so too can the “heat” found in life benefit from the cooling effects of patience, humility, and kind disposition ....more

Cheesy Grilled Chicken Parmesan Soup, and Filling an Empty Bowl with Something that Sustains

In the cold depths of a grey winter, when the snow seems to endlessly fall and the icy chill surrounds mercilessly both day and night, the soul longs for warmth and comfort in the way of hearty and cozy sustenance, and little provides that better than a hot, hearty bowl of home-cooked soup. When one pulls an empty bowl out of a cupboard, and knows exactly with what hot, rich, tangy, cheesy and savory liquid one is about to fill that bowl with, there is a brilliant moment of immense anticipation of the divine goodness that is to come as steps are taken towards the large pot that sits beckoning on the stove, waiting to be gleefully dipped into. Lid is lifted, steam unfurls, and ladle is plunged into the depths of a piping-hot and delectable velvety-ness, then lifted out full of good content—hearty, life-sustaining content—and excitedly poured into that empty bowl that eagerly awaits to proudly hold and keep such important treasure ....more

Roasted Chicken & Winter Veggie Pot Pie Casserole, All Tucked In Under a Cozy Layer of Love

When I think about a rich, creamy, savory, and piping-hot chicken pot pie with a delectably buttery, drop-biscuit crust that gently lays over the top nestling everything beneath it lovingly in, I get a very cozy and fuzzy feeling inside. It makes me think of childhood, when I would hide under a fluffy pile of pillows, or roll myself into a large, soft and thick blanket that would make me completely disappear, and give me that comforting feeling of warmth, safety, and protection; that feeling of being “underneath” something that was heavy and warm, and soothing to my soul. And though I’m no longer a little girl that relishes building forts under the dining room table that I can get lost under and escape the world in, I still carry with me the desire to tuck myself away under a cozy-protective layer; only these days, I prefer that soft layer to be one of love, mercy, and kindness ....more