Real Recipes for Real Life

Welcome! I’m Elizabeth Oliver, personal chef,  culinary school grad, former Spanish teacher, single mom of two awesome girls, obsessive dog owner, lover of sushi, red wine, full-fat dairy, and off-the-beaten-path travel. Here I share years of real life kitchen experience with my fun, favorite, fuss-free recipes that are sure to elevate your kitchen skills…and maybe give you a chuckle along the way. After all, cooking should be enjoyable!  

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Latest Recipes

Greek Orzo Pasta Salad

This orzo pasta salad is one of my favorites, and can be enjoyed as a main dish or alongside grilled salmon, steak, or chicken. It’s loaded with healthy ingredients and can be made ahead of time, just be sure to read my note about adding the spinach last.  Each ingredient plays a role in this recipe – chickpeas for density (and protein!), cucumber adds crunch, briny olives and feta for delicious salty bites, and pepperoncini adds heat. The combination is a delight and this Greek orzo pasta salad is delicious for lunch and a welcome dish as part of

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four cookies stacked on a white plate

Chewy and Chocolatey Oatmeal Cookies

This is the cookie to make when you can’t decide what kind of cookie to make. It has it all, and by that I mean two types of sugar and flour, rolled oats, white and dark chocolate chips, and dried cranberries and raisins. The dough comes together in one bowl and  I’ve snuck a few healthy ingredients into this chewy oatmeal cookie and no one will even realize it. I swap a half cup of all-purpose flour with fiber-rich whole wheat flour. The nutty flavor of the whole wheat complements the heart-healthy chewy rolled oats, another good-for-you ingredient. And

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Penne Alla Vodka

Raw cashews are the secret healthy ingredient in this penne alla vodka recipe. Soaked in hot water, drained, and blended with pasta cooking liquid along with a homemade rich tomato sauce make for a creamy sauce without the heavy cream. 

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