12-Minute Chicken and Broccoli

June 27, 2014 by Ali

Last night, I taught a cooking class for the first time in years. And it was so much fun!!

I actually get asked to teach cooking classes pretty often, and cater, both of which I have decided I don’t enjoy all that much. But this one was for my church, as part of these cool “institutes” we do quarterly. And they are awesome. So I agreed to do it. :)

Basically, anyone in the community can volunteer to teach a class on something they love for these institutes — be that stand-up comedy, parenting, car maintenance, literature, running, personal finance, yoga, you name it. I had the chance to sit on a panel this week for an institute on the Enneagram, which made me ridiculously excited. But then last night, I took my turn as one of 4 people to teach part of an institute on “cooking”, which was equally exciting. Because we made a Mexican feast…in one hour. And then sat down around the table and chatted the night away. My favorite.

Actually, one of the interesting points of the night was trying to describe this blog to the group, and why I do what I do. I have always struggled a bit with my “elevator pitch” for the blog, because I have always blogged the way I cook, which is not niched down. I cook a little bit of everything. Mostly healthy, a few indulgences. Fresh, creative, family-friendly. But over the years, there has definitely been one common factor that seems pretty consistent with all of my recipes: quick and easy.

I know I say that all of the time on here. But the reality is that I do love to cook quick and easy recipes. I lead a very busy life, but I absolutely love to cook, so simple recipes are a complete win-win. It’s not a “hook”. It’s just how I live my life. And thus, how I authentically create recipes for this blog.

So when they asked what recipe was coming up next on the blog, they all nodded and smiled when I said I had a 12-minute broccoli chicken recipe. Yes, I timed it (because I’m a “3″ on the Enneagram and love efficiency). And yes, I totally loved it. :)

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Crunchy Asian Ramen Noodle Salad (a.k.a. Basically The Best Potluck Salad EVER)

June 25, 2014 by Ali

Alright, show of hands.

Who else grew up eating ramen noodle salads?!?

I don’t know about you, but this salad was a Very Big Deal in my house back in the day. My mom made it regularly and took it along to every potluck, picnic, and church function imaginable. And we always came home with an empty bowl. The whole world — or at least the Midwest — apparently loves a good ramen noodle salad.

Although when I texted her last week to ask for her recipe, she was the first to remind me that I did not come anywhere near this salad when I was younger. Me and salads (and veggies and basically anything except for egg drop soup) did not mix when I was a kid. But somehow I miraculously grew beyond my picky ways, and now enjoy a good ramen noodle salad as much as the rest of ‘em. (And hey, ramen’s even so retro that it’s back and oh-so-hip right now. Who would’ve guessed?)

Still, I thought the old recipe could use just a touch of updating. So I gave it a few healthier tweaks and added in some more fresh and colorful ingredients. And after taking it to a gathering with some friends last weekend, I’m happy to report that it was still a raging potluck success.

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Peppered Bacon Bloody Mary

June 24, 2014 by Ali

You say tomato, I say…

cheers.

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Samoa Cheesecake

June 23, 2014 by Ali

Samoa vs. Caramel DeLites.

Tagalongs vs. Peanut Butter Patties.

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Introducing CliqueMe + A $1500 Visa Gift Card and Disney Park Hopper Tickets GIVEAWAY!

June 22, 2014 by Ali

Hi friends!

I’m hereby interrupting your regularly scheduled programming to point out a sweet new feature here on Gimme Some Oven. I’ve been quietly testing it out here on the blog these past few weeks, but hundreds of you have already caught on and have been using it regularly. This feature is called CliqueMe, and it’s basically like Instagram within a blog. And I’m loving it.

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Ginger Beer Mojito

June 21, 2014 by Ali

Before I moved into my loft, I owned a cute little bungalow for four years. It was located in a cute little neighborhood, had a cute little front porch, a cute back deck, a cute (and tiny) little kitchen, and a not-so-cute garden.

By about this time each summer in mid-June, it had usually turned into a jungle. I was NOT a good gardener.

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Grilled Sweet Potato Fries

June 20, 2014 by Ali

Things That I Do Not Dunk: Basketballs.

I dated basketball players in high school and college. ;) And stood on the sidelines and rocked it out on dance team and cheered them on. But I was never coordinated enough to shoot a free throw to save my life. Me and any sport that includes balls flying through the air do not mix.

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Easy Italian Chicken Skillet

June 18, 2014 by Ali

Whenever I used to go grocery shopping with my mom as a kid, I always wanted to spend my extra allowance money on candy. Candy, candy, candy.

In college, it was ice cream, ice cream, ice cream.

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