Valentine’s Day

4-Ingredient Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken

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.

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German Potato Salad

Guten tag, meine freune!

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!

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Blueberry Cake

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.

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Fresh Peach Margarita

I had every intention of turning these peaches into a fresh white sangria.

But then chips and salsa snacking happened during happy hour. (What’s new?)

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10-Minute Spinach Lasagna

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. ;)

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Marinara Sauce

How do you “unwind” at the end of a long 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.

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Easy Rum-Soaked Grilled Pineapple

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:

Easy. Rum-Soaked. Grilled Pineapple.

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Annual Reader Survey + $100 Amazon GIVEAWAY

Hey everyone! I have some exciting news!

Well, two pieces of exciting news.

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Bacon Breakfast Tacos

I made you some breakfast tacos, y’all!

Actually, this recipe was inspired by my recent trip to Austin — a.k.a. The Land Of Breakfast Tacos — to kick off my partnership with Old El Paso as part of their Freshest Bloggers program. I will tell you about that in a minute.

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5-Ingredient Pesto Chicken Soup

Whoa. I just realized that 2 weeks from today, I will be in Italy! Italia!!!

(Oh yeah, and today I also just realized when reading my flight confirmation email that I fly out next Tuesday instead of Wednesday, the date I’d had in my mind for months. Tiny detail. ;))

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