Well hey there party people! Welcome to my little corner of the interwebs. I’m Annie and I run this here blogarino.
I know I’m supposed to show some very thoughtful portrait of myself smiling perfectly in the sunshine – but that just aint me. I decided to goof around and see if I could snap any moments that felt Annie-ish and I’d say these are close. 😀
I started this adventure in blogging about seven years ago when I fancied myself a bumbling but very passionate homecook. I was raised on yummy and comforting Midwestern home cooking and started off trying to replicate a lot of the recipes I adored eating growing up. Some of my favorites in that department are:
Dog Food Dip
Nana’s Italian Steak Pot Roast
Retro Mustard Bread
Coconut Shrimp with Curry Mayo
My Mom’s Potato & Gnocchi Soup
Chocolate Peanut Butter Butterscotch Bars
Family Spaghetti & Meatballs
My background with this hearty, fabulous food is what inspired the name of this blog. If you want to read the longer version about a Christmas in LA alone that really sealed the deal of my love of meatloaf, check it out here. Very dramatic. 😉
As time went on Dave (the hubby) and I got more adventurous in trying new techniques, attempting to recreate favorite restaurant meals at home, and eventually began developing our own recipes. These are the ones that made us go, “whoa.”
Goose Island Beer Beef Stroganoff
Grilled Swedish Meatball Inspired Meatloaf
10-Minute Naan Pizza with White Beans + Giardiniera
Quick Korean Ground Beef Bowl
Crispy Prosciutto, Pea + Mint Pasta Salad
Ropa Vieja Cuban Sandwich
Chicken Stir Fry with Olive + Rosemary Spiced Cashews
Dave is also an awesome griller / bbq-er / smoker man – how lucky am I? As I write this actually, we’re brining a turkey to make our first-ever smoked turkey, CANNOT wait to gobble that up. In the meantime, here are some of my favorite recipes that Dave has made on the smoker:
Smoked Take-Out Style Chinese Ribs
Smoked Italian Beef Featuring Neighborherds Beef
Smoked Ribs with Cherry BBQ Sauce
I get cooking inspo from everywhere but love digging into a good cookbook. Currently my favorite are Six Seasons: New Way with Vegetables by Joshua McFadden, The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science by J. Kenji López-Alt, and Vietnamese Food Any Day: Simple Recipes for True, Fresh Flavors by Andrea Nguyen.
We love cooking, eating and entertaining so much, we find an excuse to have a dinner party at least once a week. What’s better than time with friends, food and vino or a cold beer, amiright? Our pals and neighbors are just the best and we have a blast with them probably TOO often. 😀
While most of our time IS spent thinking about food, cooking food, eating food and talking about food – I promise there’s more to this meatloaf lady! So here are just a few other tidbits.
We live in Chicago and absolutely love it here. I think my love of Chicago (and clowns) may have started with a trip to the Bozo show when I was a kid. Most people complain about the snow and cold weather, but I dig it. Get me a hot toddy and I’m good to go!
We have three cats who are the best cats ever, of all time, forever times infinity. Mighty-Mite, Olive and Scooter (our beloved tripod) should probably be models, right?
We bought our first home just a few years ago and it’s just my most favorite place to be. It’s from 1914 and has so much character (also prob, totally haunted). We spend most of our time in our backyard grilling and hangin’ with pals – so we put a lot of effort into making it our own little zen zone. I wrote about our little backyard redo here if ya want to check it out!
I have quickly and happily become a garden nerd and adore tending to my flower + veggie gardens while chatting with the bumblebees and the butterflies. And should we talk about my love of BBC’s Gardeners World and that stud Monty Don? 🤣
A big part of my life revolves around all things SPOOKY. My first pet’s name was Halloween (a gold and black goldfish), I only read Stephen King (I have visited his house three times in Maine, but I promise I’m not like a total weirdo???), plan my Halloween costumes months in advance, stock my pantry in case of a zombie uprising, and have a creepy closet in the basement filled with ceramic clowns because I think it’s funny. No, really – it is.
I’ve been bitten by the travel bug and love exploring the history and culture of new-to-me places and eating up all the local cuisine. My favorite places so far are Rome, Mexico City, Puerto Rico and pretty much any place in Maine. Our next trip is to France + England with my mom for her birthday, we are going to have SO much fun.
I am also into all things space (as in outer-space). Some of my favorite TV shows and movies revolve around cute little aliens. I made the alien pancake below for X-Files 20th anniversary and X-Files & Skinner re-tweeted it and I LOST MY MIND. Proud moment! LOL.
And with that my friends I think I’ve covered off on the important stuff! 😉
I’ve had so much dang fun cooking and writing for this blog. I’ve learned a lot and feel like it’s challenged me in fun and unexpected ways. I love all the comments from y’all and am floored by the amount of real pals I’ve made just by talking about FOOD! It’s been an amazing ride so far, and I plan to keep on rockin’ so stay tuned for much more to come!