I absolutely love food blogging. But I have to confess, there’s one thing about my pre-recipe-developing days that I really miss sometimes about cooking – not measuring stuff.
Before I started sharing recipes with you, I was totally “that cook” who prided herself on rarely pulling out a measuring cup or spoon. Sure, I usually had to do so for baking. But for cooking? I loved tossing in a “glug” of this here, a “pinch” of that there, a “handful” of that here, and a “sprinkle” of that there….you know, “eyeing it”. It’s definitely my favorite way to cook. And arguably, it’s the way that people have cooked for most of history and still continue to cook today in most countries around the world.
But hey, there’s also something to be said for a good, specific, predictable, tried-and-true recipe. So today I thought I’d share one that began as a dump-everything-in-a-crock-pot-and-see-what-happens, and actually turned out so good that I went back afterwards to measure everything in order to share it with you. It’s basically a seriously delicious and easy Mexican shredded chicken recipe made with two of my favorite ingredients — salsa verde and beer.
Ok, I had to look up the “my friends” part of that on Google translate. Clearly my German is not quite on par with my Spanish. But hey, on the day that this post goes live, I will have already spent a week in Austria and Germany during my European adventure. So hopefully my vocab will have at least improved a little by then. One thing’s for sure, though — I know that I will have already consumed lots of potatoes by then!
Oh man, if there’s anything I remember about traveling through Germany in high school, it was the potatoes and sausage. So many potatoes and sausage! I’m not too big on the latter, but I have to hand it to the Germans with how they serve their potatoes, especially in potato salad. I remember lots of potatoes garnished with parsley, usually tossed in a light vinegar dressing, sometimes onions, and always blessedly mayo-free. (Yes, I’m probably the one food blogger who could do without mayo in life.)
So when my sister was in town about a month ago and we were needing for a side to go with our dinner, we decided to make a German-style potato salad in honor of our upcoming trip. We tossed ours with lots of bacon, and also sauted the onions in the leftover bacon grease for extra bacon-y flavor. And per custom, dressed the whole thing in a light apple cider vinegar dressing. Super easy, and super good.
Hey friends! Ali, here. I’m really excited to introduce you to one of the coolest 15-year-olds I know, who collaborated with me as the baker/writer/photographer behind today’s post. Her name is Maya, and we have gone to church together for years. But I only recently found out that — in addition to being a delightful, smart, kind, and super-talented teenager – she is also a major foodie and talented cook who dreams of being a chef. So I had her come over a few weeks ago, and we spent the day cooking and baking and learning about photography and food blogging and chatting about life. And along the way, we also happened to bake this seriously stellar blueberry cake. So here to tell you about it today, please welcome guest-blogger…Maya!
Hey all, I’m Maya! I had the amazing opportunity to shadow Ali for a day and cook with her. I love to cook. It all started back in preschool when the teachers asked the famous question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”. While all the boys had their hearts set on being professional athletes and the girls were playing veterinarian and teacher, I proudly announced I would like to be a “cooker.” My love for mixing flavors and sharing good food with people was kindled at a young age. I would be found perched up on a stool with an oversized apron and a paper chef hat, mixing up salads or flipping grilled cheese. As the years went on my cook book collection grew and so did my knowledge of cooking.
Since becoming a food blogger, my cell number has basically morphed into the cooking hotline for my friends.
Probably at least once a day, I get a text from someone asking whether a ____ can be cooked in the crock pot, or how to tell if _____ is ripe, or what side would go well with _____ entree, or a photo asking whether _____ is a cucumber or a zucchini. Or most often, asking to taste-test whatever I posted on Instagram that day. ;)
In different seasons of life, I have had different answers. I remember that in my old job — when I was around people and music all day long — I loved coming home to a quiet house and reading a book in glorious silence for awhile. Nowadays when I close my computer and call it a day with blogging, I generally beeline for the door to soak up some sunshine and take my pup for a walk around the block. Or meet up with friends for happy hour. Or watch an episode of The Millionaire Matchmaker, my guilty-pleasure show that was just released (all seven seasons!) on Hulu.
Today I’m bringing back another golden oldie from the Gimme Some Oven archives that is one of my absolute favorite dessert recipes to make in the summer. I had initially entitled it “Flameless Pineapple Foster” when I first posted the recipe back in 2010. But after receiving many puzzled looks and “pineapple what-was-that-again?” inquiries when I served it to friends this weekend, I decided to rename it with a better description of what this delicious dessert actually is: