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.
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:
Sometimes I wish our culture would adopt the custom of taking siestas.
You know, those naps that the Spanish so famously take each afternoon after lunch? They sound kind of brilliant to me. Because afternoons are without a doubt the time that I seem to move a littttle bitttt morrre slowwwwly. Mornings? I’m super energized and motivated. Evenings? All of my creative juices start flowing. But afternoons? Let’s just say “meh”. Energy and creativity are not quite there, and half of the time I find myself staring longingly out the window wanting to go on a long walk, or jealously at the couch where my dog is snoozing the mid-day away. Naps sound just lovely.
I have been searching for my trademark chocolate chip cookie recipe for years.
My dad had his favorite recipe, which he made dozens upon dozens of times for our family when we were growing up. His mom, my grandma, had her favorite recipe, which she actually called “chip chocolates” and always served to her grandkids frozen and hard as rocks (so good!). But I always thought it would be fun to have a recipe that was all my own.
Call me a nerd, but I’ve started a spreadsheet amongst my friends. (Well, I should point out that it’s one of many shared spreadsheets that we have. We dig anything to do with organization and presentations.) The most recent one? What We Eat (and Don’t Eat).
I don’t know about you all, but I feel like I can hardly keep track of everyone’s dietary restrictions, food allergies, and general food preferences as of late. I have friends who are vegan, friends who are vegetarian, friends who are pescetarian, one friend who is a chicken-a-tarian, and many friends who adore a good steak. I have friends who are gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, shellfish-free, and a host of other food allergies or intolerances. I have friends who just flat-out don’t like certain foods (most of which I love) like mushrooms or shrimp, and one friend who will not come within 10 feet of a dish with onions.
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.
I’m not quite sure how it happened. But somewhere along the lines of the last 2 years of self-employment, after years of a late-to-bed-late-to-rise musician schedule, I have now officially become a morning show person.
Still working on the morningperson thing. My body seems bent on the whole nightowl thing. But the blogging world and Twittersphere are up early, so about a year ago I turned on a morning show for the first time in about a decade to help wake me up. And now I basically can’t go a morning without tuning in to at least say a quick hello to Josh, Lara, Robin, George and the gang.