Gimme Some Oven


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Currently |

Mi familia Tica! (Clockwise from me — Angel, Jose Angel, Elena, Rebeca and Monica)

Missing my Costa Rican host family already like crazy. I just got back last week from (finally) making it to Alajuela to see them again, after having spent the last 10 years apart. And my goodness, words can’t even come close to saying how much I love them. We spent an entire week together catching up — all in Spanish, of course, which was a crash course for my brain — and had the absolute best time together. Oh my goodness, the joy and kindness and love in their home is just amazing, and I came and left with so many happy tears in my eyes. Love, love, love them. And I’m so honored to call them my family. And I absolutely can’t wait to go back and see them again soon. :)

Wearing my new caramel Sseko loafers everywhere now that it’s cool out. Super cute, and super comfy.

Starting up a “scotch club” with two good friends of mine, which I’m pretty excited about. We’re all bigger and bigger fans of scotch, but geez, it’s expensive. So instead of buying our own, we’re going to invest in a single bottle each month and split the cost between the three of us, then split the actual scotch into some cute glass bottles with homemade labels that we’re making. If anyone has recommendations that we should try (I like my scotch nice and peaty), holla!!

Preparing for lots of fun travels to the East Coast this fall. I have some fun blogging trips scheduled to NYC (actually twice!) and Pittsburgh, then I also just booked tickets for some just-for-fun vacations to DC and North Carolina. After a summer mostly spent at home, I’m looking forward to some new adventures!

Counting down until the fall premieres of all of my favorite shows. Most importantly, The Good Wife returns on October 4. So curious to see what the show will be like post-Kalinda. (By the way, I still can’t believe this.)

Busting out the slow cooker for the season this week, and getting pretty excited about some new recipes that I’ll be sharing with you on the blog soon. I’m also feeling like 2015 may be the year to finally buy a pressure cooker. Any fans out there? (I still harbor very real fears that I might blow my whole loft building up if I get one…)

Reading Modern Romance, after about 2.1 million people (even my mom) recommended it to me. My verdict two chapters in? AMEN.

Awaiting the openings of — not one, but — two new ramen restaurants this fall in Kansas City!! I’m always bragging about the amazing local food in this city, but I have been mega annoyed that the ramen trend somehow skipped over us this past decade. Thankfully some good lookin’ noodle bowls are slated to arrive soon, and by the looks of the photos both restaurants are posting, life is going to get much more delicious.

Freezing soups like it’s goin’ out of style. I may not be a big fan of cold weather, but I do love me some soup. And I love having it waiting in the freezer in single-sized portions for easy lunches.

Spending about as much time as possible with this guy lately. And I’m pretty dang happy about it. :) :) :)

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31 comments on “Currently”

  1. I am missing YOU. So glad to read this update on your life! 

  2. Ali, the link to the loafers is broken. They’re on my wishlist so I’ll come back and use your link if/when I decide to get them. :) Will you be visiting Pittsburgh for DeLallo? You should check out Eden in Shadyside if you have the opportunity… I think you’d like what they’re doing. I’ve never been there despite living close by but I am planning to go this week!

    • Oops, thanks for noticing! I just went in and replaced it. I think you will LOVE those loafers! I’ve worn them every day this week. ;)

      And yep, I’ll be with DeLallo in Pittsburgh! Not sure what our itinerary looks like, but I’m noting Eden in Shadyside in my list of places to visit. Just peeked at the menu and it looks AMAZING. You all have so much great food there!

  3. I love my pressure cooker. I have an electric one and there are no worries of it exploding. The older stove top ones scared me too. Please buy one and post is some yummy recipes. Love your website and recipes. 

  4. Hi!
    I just started following your page (and loving it by the way!) and to see this post about Costa Rica is a coincidence and exiting! I’m costarican :)
    Happy to hear you love it here!

    • Hey Mariana! Oh man, wish that our paths could have crossed while I was there! I absolutely adore your country. Definitely cannot wait another 10 years before returning. ;) Thanks for tuning into the blog here, and pura vida!

  5. Cuuuute fella! So happy for you. :) 

  6. So glad you had such a good time in Costa Rica with your host family.  Costa Rica is a wonderful country.  I haven’t seen much of it, but what I have seen I’ve liked.

    I still have memories of my mother’s ancient pressure cooker, with the jointed collar.  I actually used it for a while when I was doing a lot of canning.  But for me, they’re kind of like earthquakes – when you’re not around them you realize how scary they are.  I have personally not found any reason to acquire another pressure cooker.  But I think that if you follow the directions that come with it, you should be fine if you get one.  :-)

    • That’s awesome that you’ve been to Costa Rica! I agree — such a wonderful country, made especially so by the wonderful people there. I love how much they make it feel like home. :)

      And oh man, THOSE are the pressure cookers that scare me. I’ve heard that the modern ones are much safer, and they sound like little miracle-workers in terms of efficiency, so I might give it a try. I’ll be sure and blog about it if I do!

  7. HI Ali,
    you said you froze a lot of soups recently. I am curious which ones you made. I always freeze chicken noodle soup and chili, but I would like to throw something else in the mix and I’m not always sure what freezes the best. Any direction you could give will be appreciated.
    Thank you! Lisa

    • Absolutely! I love freezing my 5-Ingredient White Chicken Chili, my 7-Ingredient Tuscan White Bean Soup, Vegetable Beef Soup, just about any chili, Italian Orzo and Spinach Soup, and Ham and Cabbage Soup…just to name a few. Basically, anything non-creamy. Here’s my soup recipes page if you’re interested in more!

  8. Have you been to Ramen Bowls in Lawrence? Not KC I know but not bad!! 

    • Oooh, YES!!! I actually drive to Lawrence a few times a year just to go there. (Well, and also to have fun in Lawrence, but I’ll admit ramen is often my first priotity.) ;) Do you have any recs? I love the Green Goddess bowl.

  9. What are the names of the ramen restaurants opening? I’m from Kansas City, and am always looking for some more ramen places!

    • One is called Colombus Park Ramen, and I don’t know if the other has a name, but it will be at 39th and Broadway ( Also, that’s awesome you’re in KC! :)

  10. HI!!!! Loved catching up on what’s been going on with you! And I am super jelly you are starting a scotch club. Need to make a visit back to KC for that. Also, you should definitely add Denver to your travel list. Just sayin’. 

    • Hiiiii, friend! :) Fingers crossed that I get to see you sometime soon! And heck yeah, I’m long overdue for a trip to Denver. Actually, I might be visiting Colorado sometime this winter, so I’ll be sure to holler if it happens!

  11. So I finally started The Good Wife. You were right, I am hooked! Thanks friend! I loved reading your update, now we really need to catch up! Text soon:) xo

  12. I always turn to America’s Test Kitchen for kitchen product recommendations. They test the cheap stuff and the expensive stuff and are really honest about what they think is best. I trust them because every single recipe of their’s I have ever made has been amazing. I figure they know what they are doing. They won’t recommend a pressure cooker that will shoot itself through your roof. (I would be afraid of that too hehe). 

    • Ha, yes, I’d definitely love to keep my roof intact. ;) And that’s a great idea to check out their recs. I’m a longtime ATK fan — their recipes have long been some of my favs!

  13. My electric pressure cooker is one of my best kitchen friends, although I didn’t use it for the first two years I had it because of the blowing-up-the-house fears. (My sister actually did have one of those experiences with the old stovetop kind, and she is lucky to be alive. Shudder.) Things I love to pressure cook: dried beans, no soaking necessary; mashed potatoes in 15 minutes; ribs to be finished off in the oven. Do it. 

  14. Oh my goodness, I love this blog!  I’m so glad I found you.  The stuff we like to keep in standard rotation in the scotch clock (it’s literally a Glenfiddich cabinet that’s a grandfather clock) include laphroaig cask strength, and sometimes their quarter cask, triplewood or 18, as well as the lagavulin 16.  Oban is a west highland style and so has a bit of a smokey flavor but not as in-your-face as the peat of your Islay whiskys.  It is not Scottish, but I also recommend the Connemara peated single malt.  A great Irish uisce beatha for the peat fan.  Hope that helps to start, would love to chat more about it ☺

  15. Ali, I’m a recent subscriber, and seldom leave blog comments, but I have to tell you that for years I avoided pressure cookers. 1), we’re a small family, just the 2 of us and 2) they’re scary as hell. But last spring, some friends on Chowhound convinced me that yes, they’re good for small families even without leftovers and the new ones aren’t scary at all. 

    I chose an electric model, the Instant Pot DUO-60 and while it hasn’t changed my life, it’s certainly made it easier. Like the evening we made ribs for 2 at the last minute. Literally. Total time, including a run to the market to buy the ribs, was 1 hr 15 minutes. Not too shabby! 

    I’ve since banished all but my little 2-qt slow cooker and got rid of my fuzzy logic rice cooker, keeping only my small 8-cup ‘stupid’ one that makes perfect rice in 25 minutes. I use my Instant Pot a LOT! Don’t be afraid, take the plunge, stovetop or electric, you won’t regret it. Then, post some blog entries so I can snag some of your pressure cooker recipes. Ulterior motive? Not me!

  16. Like your recipes, but no one in their right mind would pay $109. plus duty/taxes for those Afar shoes!!

  17. You look so happy in your last photo!!!!! :) Can’t wait to see you again in a few weeks! 

  18. New to your blog and I’m loving all your posts and recipes.  As a food blogger myself, I have been drooling over your photography.  It’s on my list of things to learn!  Also, YES to the pressure cooker.  I didn’t know I wanted one (or needed one) until my grandfather bought me one last Christmas.  His is from the 30’s (it was his father’s) and he still uses it everyday.  But holy joseph, my pressure cooker has made the best wings I have ever had.  And it makes some pretty easy chicken stock too! :)

  19. I’ve pinned some recipes on Pinterest but found you when I googled shopping at aldis so now I’m exploring your blog! What ramen places are coming to Kansas City?? I love ramen and am looking for new places to try!