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My hope is to inspire you to be fearless in the kitchen, to try new things, to take the time to make things the homemade way and most importantly, to have fun doing it!

reader love
Reader Love

Good grief, it has been waaay too long since the last Reader Love post!  I have been meaning to do one for so long but other things kept coming up.  Now I have so many pictures you all have tagged and sent in, I may have to split it up into two installments because it’s just too much!  (Want your photos to be included next time?  If you share them on Instagram and your photos are public, tag @annieseats or use #annieseats.  Otherwise, feel free to send them to annieseats at gmail dot com.  Thanks!)

This pic from reader Jen gives me aaaallll kinds of warm fuzzies.  She and her friends hosted a cooking club where everyone contributed different comfort foods from my blog.  What?!  This is so awesome.  In case you can’t fully read the menu, it included caramelized onion tart, BLT panzanella, poblano jack beer bread, twice baked potato casserole, baked chicken parmesan meatballs, creamy lemon crumb bars, and pistachio cupcakes.  Guys, invite me next time, okay?

Reader Laura sent me this super cute pic from her daughter’s first birthday party. The theme was “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and she made the lemon layer cake using the fluffy cloud frosting technique.  So adorable!

Also totally loving this pic of scriberson‘s little sous chef helping her finish up the chocolate covered strawberry layer cake. He’s got skills!

The jalapeño cheddar biscuits with salsa, avocado and eggs have been popular lately. Here they are as made by IGers (clockwise from left) lipsticknlollies, melissareidbrooker and fheitman (who added jalapeño smoked bacon!)

The thai veggie burgers with peanut sauce have also been all the rage (for good reason, I might add!) Here they are made by IGers (clockwise from top left) twohungrycyclists, jeneisenstein, fheitman, and lipsticknlollies.

My girl Tara (smellslikehomeblog) made my cheesy broccoli quinoa casserole.  I wish I could have been there to enjoy it with her, but that’s okay because I’ll be seeing her and cooking with her tonight!!!  WOOO!!!!

This beautiful loaf of the best white bread was made by angiesix and now I’m just wondering why I’m not baking some right this very moment!

Chelseawagenaar was also in the bread baking mood and baked up a gorgeous loaf of sourdough. I make it every couple of weeks and I love it to pieces!

I love these lemon raspberry cupcakes made by IGer 21fornever.  How pretty are these?!

And man, cupcakes abound in this edition! (Clockwise from top left) Strawberry cupcakes by morgandecatur, chubby hubby cupcakes by gracy025, lemon raspberry cupcakes and samoa cupcakes by superstar5622, chocolate peanut butter cupcakes by katieeberhart, and triple chocolate cupcakes by allisondanaecook. Beautiful!

More cupcakes! Homemade funfetti cupcakes by patience_amanda, red velvet cupcakes by leiladishes, cookies and cream cupcakes by megankateswan, and raspberry cheesecake cupcakes by kristinaantonietta.

And more cupcakes! Banana split cupcakes by b3llacupcak3s and veronicaancona, lemon blueberry by victoriamay89, cookie dough cupcakes by shiyomes, and more triple chocolate by ashleywaugh.

This lemon layer cake made by anniescookinglab is totally gorg.  Way to go, girl!

Sarassweetslima made spinoccoli pizza, one of my all time faves.  Have you made spinoccoli yet?  If not, you’re missing out!

Wendyleighg made the carrot cake whoopie pies and they look great!  I’ve made these several times lately myself.  Always a hit!

I never cooked a single thing in my dorm, but reader Elise proves it can be done and done well. She made the black bean, corn and avocado salad for some healthy dorm eats.  Color me impressed.

Mraelupo was totally on the ball with lunch for the week prepped in advance.  She made the roasted veggie quinoa bowls with peanut sauce.  Nice work!

Mad props to megankateswan for this red velvet wedding cake she made and decorated with succulents.  How beautiful is this?!

Speaking of crazy talent, reader Jocelyn is an incredible designer and made an illustrated version of the French and Italian macaron methods.  It is totally amazing!  This above is just a portion of it – see the entire thing here in all its glory. I am in awe.

And finally, I have to share an excerpt from a very touching email from reader Cara (who made the lovely pumpkin spice pancakes above). This is shared with her permission. She writes:

Your blog in,many ways, has been life changing. Not only have I gone from the girl “who would cook when hell froze over”, I actually enjoy trying new recipes and have started to gain the confidence to tweak a recipe (gone is the panic attack when I’m missing an ingredient). Coming from an Italian family full of cooks, I was always intimated and lazy when it came to cooking. I always felt A. Why cook when all these fabulous women are always cooking such delicious food and B. My cooking couldn’t hold a candle to theirs. So what did I do? I discovered your blog via a friend on Facebook and scoured your site, intrigued by your beautiful pictures and your heart-warming stories. What I love about your site, Annie, is your relate-ability, your take charge attitude, and your fearlessness. In your kitchen and in your life you find a way and that is something that comes across in your blog, and to me has been so inspiring. … Your blog has helped pull me out of some my darker times and helped me develop a skill set I am proud of (along with a much better attitude towards “failures” i.e. learn a lesson and apply it to the future but don’t let it scare you). From making Greek yogurt weekly to making browned butter sauce for that fabulous pumpkin pasta dish, I have conquered some major anxiety in the kitchen (and life). So thank you, thank you, thank you for doing what you do! You have truly inspired me to become a better version of myself and I am so grateful. ”  

Words can hardly express what it means when I receive emails like this.  Knowing I am able to help someone else by making the kitchen a more approachable and fun place to be is truly the BEST thing about blogging.  So thank YOU Cara, and all my awesome readers, for being here, trying new things, and having fun with me in the kitchen!

Stay tuned for another Reader Love coming soon.  I still have lots more photos saved but want to make sure they all get fair play, so if you have tagged or sent a photo that wasn’t included here, you’ll probably be seeing it in a future post.  Thanks for sharing your photos – I adore them!!

  • Beth

    Wow, it must be such an amazing feeling to know that you have impacted people’s lives like this!
    Also, can I just mention that every picture here made me want to drool – I guess that’s a pretty good testament to the brilliance of your recipes!
    Beth
    swallowsandskylines.blogspot.com

  • Annie @ Annie’s Cooking Lab

    Thanks so much for including me in your reader love wrap-up! That lemon layer cake was killer. I made it almost a month ago and we’re still talking about it- pretty sure that cake will be happening in my kitchen a few more times this summer!

  • Patti

    Is it weird that I want to appear in reader love some day? ;)

  • Melissa Brooker

    Thanks so much for including me Annie! I was so excited to see my picture there! I adore your blog! Tara’s picture reminded me that i SO need to make the cheesy broccoli quinoa casserole again soon!

    Have fun cooking with and enjoying Tara’s company!

  • Mallori

    I love this feature. I always look forward to seeing what everyone is cooking and inspires me even more!

  • Mallori

    I love this feature on your blog as much as your recipes themselves. Unfortunately my own pictures always look hideous lol but Its great seeing what everyone is cooking and inspires little old me to try recipes I have been bookmarking.

  • Steph

    Omgosh, I’m so excited you posted the pic of my lemon raspberry cupcakes! They were so delicious! So thankful for your blog! :)

  • Paula Braman-Duarte

    What a lovely homage to your legion of devoted followers. And, Cara’s words, well, there’s a lesson there for all of us. Nicely done, Annie.

  • Diana

    I feel so special to have made it twice!! Thanks for being such an inspiration in the kitchen!

  • Emily Kathryn Henry

    How absolutely lovely and inspiring!!

  • Emily @ Life on Food

    Look at all of the pictures. So nice!

  • LM

    So fun scrolling down and seeing my sweet girl on the page! Thanks for including. And I love that cooking club idea. Very fun stuff!

  • Lauren Ochoa

    It’s great to see I’m in good company with my devotion to your blog Annie. On a slightly unrelated note, do you find it offensive or amusing when people make comments like, “wow, those cupcakes look awesome! I’m going to make them, only with a box mix yellow cake instead of your recipe b/c I’ve never met a box mix cake that wasn’t amazing and I’m sure my version will taste just as good as your version! (I’m paraphrasing here but I often read comments that make me cringe and I wonder if they bother you at all?)

  • annieseats

    Oh Lauren, how well you know me. I don’t really find it offensive but more like slightly annoying when people say they’re going to substitute X (more processed, less tasty but supposedly quicker) alternative, mainly because they are just missing the whole point of what I try to do here. But I think most people who do that are probably those who came for a specific recipe and probably aren’t longtime readers who grasp the general intent of this site. To each their own, but I sure love readers on the same wavelength as me :)

  • SK

    Awwww look at all these wonderful pictures…. I bet you feel proud and you should be. One of these days when I am not being lazy I will email you some of my pictures too ;-) BTW I tried to strawberry chocolate cake, it was a total disaster (all my fault since I tried substituting too many things and was just having a cooking bad luck day) but even though the cake looked terrible (since my chocolate ganache seized and my strawberry butter cream was more like strawberry milk shake ;-)) the cake tasted AMAZING! Best of all I made it for my 5 year old’s birthday who really didn’t care how it looked but just loved the cake itself….that is a SCORE, right? Thank you for being an inspiration!

  • Victoria

    How exciting to be featured in this post! I’ve been a dedicated follower for years and always turn to your blog first when I need a specific recipe or just wanted some inspiration. To all my fellow readers, I highly recommend those Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes I made. As with any of Annie’s recipes, yummy! :)