Pampered Chef 12-Piece Knife Block Set Giveaway

April 21, 2014 by Ali

Happy Monday, friends! I hope that you all had a beautiful Easter weekend filled with lots of hope and goodness. And hopefully some carrot cake and a few Cadbury eggs. ;)

Instead of a recipe this Monday, I’m happy to announce that we have an extra-special giveaway launching on the site today for — you guessed it — a Pampered Chef Bamboo Knife Block Set!

Now, I definitely used to be the poster child for cooking good food with bad knives, having survived my twenties (including a few years blogging) with the $30 knife set I bought in college. Never let anyone tell you it can’t be done. But man oh man, cooking is sure a lot more fun and much more efficient with a set of really good, well-made knives on hand. Especially a gorgeous 12-piece set like this. Well worth the investment if you spend considerable time in the kitchen, in this food blogger’s sharp-knife-loving opinion.

So if you would love to add a set like this to your kitchen, read on for more details about this set and take a minute to enter the giveaway for a chance to win!

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The Friday Five

April 18, 2014 by Ali

You know those days when you wake up and your heart just feels full?

Yep, right here.

Full. And inspired. And humbled. And thankful. Especially in light of your amazing response to this post this week. Especially thanks to one of those impromptu weeks filled with good friends, good books, good music, and — yes — some seriously good food. And especially knowing that Easter is just almost here, where we get to do some mega celebrating and giving thanks for all things full of hope. I’m ready for it.

Wishing you all a great and meaningful weekend. And without further ado, here’s the Friday Five!

 

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Peanut Butter Banana Cookies

April 17, 2014 by Ali

So, I did a juice cleanse earlier this week. And now I’m craving cookies. Cookies, cookies, cookies.

That’s how it’s supposed to work, right?

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Asparagus-Spinach Pesto Pasta with Blackened Shrimp

April 15, 2014 by Ali

I probably should have poured a nice stiff drink recipe for you all on this loveliest of lovely tax days. Especially for my fellow small business owners who just gave half of their revenue back to the government. Good grief, I won’t even go there.

Instead though, I thought I’d offer my idea of a more comforting alternative.

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Vegan Gluten-Free Carrot Cake

April 14, 2014 by Ali

This past Friday night was meant for celebrating.

The weather was sit-out-on-the-deck-in-the-cool-evening-breeze perfection. Friends gathered from all around the city with chips and salsa and salads and popcorn and laughter and stories to share. The fire pit was aflame. The candles were lit on this (gluten free and vegan) carrot cake.

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The Friday Five

April 11, 2014 by Ali

TGIF, friends.

Hope that you all have had a lovely week, and that a relaxing weekend lies ahead. I’m looking forward to some friend’s-birthday-celebrating, farmers-marketing, coffee-(friends)-dating, cake-baking, church-enjoying, and sleeping-inning here in my little corner of the world this weekend. OH, and the thing I’m perhaps most excited about — choir-directing.

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Rainbow Sangria

April 10, 2014 by Ali

Ever since my friends and I met for a tapas happy hour at our neighborhood Spanish restaurant a few weeks ago, I’ve had sangria on my mind. Mmmmsangria. Everything about that drink makes me happy — the fresh fruit, the sweetness paired with dry wine, and of course the colors. If you’ve read this blog before, you know that I have a thing for color. ;)

So of course, when I found myself in the fruit section at the market this week trying to decide what kind of sangria to make for our weekly neighbor night, I immediately thought of sangria. But then I was immediately paralyzed by indecision, based 100% on color palates. Should I make a red sangria with lots of strawberries and pomegranates? Or a yellow sangria with pineapple and lemons and apples? Or a cool-toned sangria, with kiwi and blueberries and blackberries and such? Or…

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3-Ingredient Coconut Oil Biscuits

April 8, 2014 by Ali

So, my mom just bought her first jar of coconut oil this month, and I have had a blast (a little too enthusiastically) explaining the hundreds of ways that you can use it. I mean, just yesterday we had a very deep conversation about oil pulling as I was walking through the produce section at Costco. No one gave me weird looks at all…

But amongst the thousands of recipes out there using coconut oil, I think I have discovered a new favorite. It began with a craving for biscuits, and a bag of self-rising flour that I needed to use up, and an old 3-ingredient recipe that used to call for shortening. Nowadays, anytime I see shortening, it’s like the recipe is just begging me to try substituting in some coconut oil to see if it works. And when I saw milk, I decided to sub in some coconut milk. And my oh my, it worked.

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