Welcome, friends!

Hello, my friends! I’ve been struggling on what to write about for my first blog post so I’ve decided to just pick up my laptop, start writing and see what comes to me!

 

First and foremost, let me say, “Welcome!” I am happy to have you here! As many of you know, I am a full time Realtor but I aminsanely passionate about furniture, antiques and decorating. I have to admit that one too many times I have been showing a house to a client and have become totally distracted by a gorgeous mid-century buffet in immaculate condition tucked away on the 3rd floor of an old house. Thankfully, my clients think it’s hilarious and are so accustomed to it that they actually send me links to Facebook flea market posts with great finds they think I would love or pass off their own pieces to me that they know I will refurbish and give new life!

My husband, Nate (we’re married 4 whole weeks, by the way! woohoo!), jokes that we are eventually going to have to open up a storefront, even though we live on property that includes a two car garage and a FIVE car garage (yes, that’s seven total, folks)! I’m filling them up fast! Nate finds me–much too often– apprehensively asking, “honey, are you free tomorrow night?” and he just automatically responds with, “what are we picking up now?” Thankfully, he loves me and knows that my furniture obsession makes me oh-so-happy, so he tolerates it!

To give you a little background on the name of my blog: Our nephew called me Coco when he was little because let’s face it–Dakota is a little difficult for a toddler to say! So now, it has become my family nickname. And over the years, I have received an abundance of comments on how “cozy” I decorate my home…hence, the name– Cozy Up with Coco!

My hope is that my blog will be a place where you want to cuddle up in your favorite chair with a hot cup of coffee and get some inspiration for how to make your home cozy! Let’s all share ideas for making our homes as cozy as possible! I am so excited for you to join me on this journey!

xoxo,

Dakota

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Years ago, my good friend, Betsy, would make these FABULOUS chocolate chip cookies and bring them to work. I couldn’t get through the work day without eating 2 or 3 cookies. It never failed! They weren’t like any other chocolate chip cookies I had ever tasted. They were buttery and salty, and just so delicious!

I relentlessly begged her for the recipe, but she would never cave! Finally, I got her hooked on my grandma’s peanut butter fudge (my most brilliant plan yet!), and I convinced her to trade recipes. The rest is history! I have made these cookies for so many occasions–cookie exchanges, parties, and even as an addition to closing gifts for my clients! I have altered the recipe a bit since Betsy gave it to me, but it’s fantastic either way!

Betsy has been a huge supporter of my idea to start blogging. So when I began preparing my content, I knew I had to ask her permission to post the chocolate chip cookie recipe! If she said no, I would be so sad! But today, I worked up the courage to ask her. At first, she was hesitant, and then… she agreed! She knows we couldn’t be selfish with the things we find oh-so-cozy. We must share it with everyone we can! I was so happy she gave me her blessing that I knew I had to post it immediately!

Print Recipe
Betsy's Chocolate Chip Cookies
The world's BEST chocolate chip cookies!
Course Baking, Cookies
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 60 minutes
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Course Baking, Cookies
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 60 minutes
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl. Whisk to mix.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, combine Crisco, brown sugar and granulated sugar. I mix in a Kitchenaid but you can use a hand mixer if you so choose! Blend Crisco and sugars until light and creamy.
  4. Add eggs and vanilla extract. Blend until completely mixed.
  5. Add dry ingredients to mixing bowl and mix until dough is combined.
  6. Add the milk chocolate morsels and mix with a wooden spoon to combine.
  7. Use a tablespoon to help you size your cookie dough balls. Place on a non-greased cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. This recipe yields about 30 generous-sized cookies.
  8. After 10 minutes, the cookies may look like they are not completely done, but this is deceiving! Take the cookies out of the oven, as they are hot and will continue to cook until they cool down on a cooling rack.

These cookies have the perfect amount of sweetness and saltiness. You will love the way you can eat so many of them because they aren’t crazy sweet! I can’t promise that your waist line will thank you, but hell–it’s the holidays. Let’s eat as many cookies as we want!

I am so glad I am able to share such a wonderful recipe with you that was shared with me! It has made so many people around me happy, which makes me happy! I hope you take the time to make this recipe for someone you love.

xoxo,

Dakota

Make-Ahead Freezer Breakfast Bowls

Here in Pittsburgh, it was a typical November day…cold, rainy, and gray. I woke up needing something to warm me up. I just recently bought Jimmy Dean breakfast bowls–which I thought were yummy, but honestly, not enough food for the price I paid! So, for the past couple days, I have been thinking I should attempt to make my own! How hard can it be?

Like most people, I cannot stand wasting time. Therefore, I always try to buy in bulk, cook in bulk, and prep meals in advance. That way, when I get home at 8pm after a long day of appointments, I don’t have to spend 2 hours in the kitchen just to finally end up eating at 10pm–which by that point I’m barely awake to remember the meal! Same goes for breakfast. I don’t know anyone who feels like making an extensive breakfast spread in the morning, especially on a weekday! I figured these breakfast bowls frozen in bulk would be a great addition to our meal-prep agenda.

For my first attempt, I decided to start with very basic and easy-to-cook ingredients. You literally can’t screw this up: scrambled eggs, crumbled sausage, diced potatoes, sausage gravy and cheddar cheese. I had already ordered mini-size meal prep containers on Amazon but they hadn’t come in yet. Side note–I am obsessed with all things Amazon, and all things containers. However, even with my Prime shipping, my meal prep containers were obviously not going to arrive within the next 2 hours…so I used some shallow re-usable plastic containers that I already had! This recipe is so convenient and will save you so much time. I know you will love it!

Make-ahead Freezer Breakfast Bowls

Print Recipe
Make-Ahead Freezer Breakfast Bowls
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Servings
bowls
Ingredients
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Servings
bowls
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Scramble 6 eggs, adding a little water for fluffiness. Melt a small amount of butter in a large skillet and cook eggs in batches. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Be sure to just barely undercook your eggs because you are going to be reheating in the microwave and the eggs could dry out! Repeat until all eggs are cooked. Set aside and continue preparing other ingredients.
  2. Toss all of your breakfast sausage patties into a large bowl. Roughly mix and chop the sausage with a wooden spoon. Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage, and again, cook until just barely underdone. Strain grease, if necessary, and set cooked sausage aside.
  3. Heat 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add frozen potatoes so that you have an even layer in the bottom of the pan. Cook as directed according to the package. I cooked mine for about 10-12 minutes, tossing potatoes every few minutes. When potatoes are golden brown, remove from pan and set aside.
  4. Assemble your bowls. I like to start with the scrambled eggs as a base, then add in about two spoonfuls of sausage, and 2 spoonfuls of breakfast potatoes. Then, I drizzled about a 1-2 tablespoons of sausage gravy over the ingredients, and tossed to mix. Top with 2 tablespoons of shredded cheddar cheese. Wait to cover until ingredients have cooled. Then, attach lids to your containers and place in your freezer!
Recipe Notes

To serve your breakfast bowls after removing from the freezer, all you have to do is microwave for approximately 3 minutes!

Of course, I sampled one of the breakfast bowls this morning once they were done and it was AMAZING. And I am happy to say, I think it was even better than the store bought ones! I calculated what I paid for the ingredients and it ended up costing about $3 a bowl. But since I did this last minute, I didn’t use any coupons or sales for my ingredients. I know, I’m so ashamed! I think if I planned ahead and purchased my ingredients on sale or with coupons, I could make these for about $2-$2.50 per bowl! Cheaper than purchasing pre-made from the store (or buying fast food breakfast!), and the best part is: you know what is in your food!

I’d love to hear your ideas on how to change up this breakfast bowl the next time. I am thinking of trying egg whites, spinach, turkey sausage and low fat cheese for a healthier take! I hope this recipe helps you to prepare your meals in bulk so that you can spend more time actually enjoying your morning instead of oh-so-common hustle and bustle and rushing out the door! If you enjoy this recipe, please share with your friends and family. And as always, thank you for joining me in all the coziness that is Cozy Up with Coco! Stay cozy, my friends!

xoxo,

Dakota