Just the facts. From the experts.

We’ve been getting our fix of adventurous fare at Lauren Grier’s foodie paradise: Climbing Grier Mountain. On her blog, you’ll find creative meals like mini sloppy joe nann pizzas and scrumptious goodies like peanut butter Nutella pie with crispy bacon & crushed golden grahams alongside endearing adventures.

We always enjoy Lauren’s ingenious take on some of our favorite dishes. Can you say tater-tots? And, we were delighted to have a chance to catch up with this self-proclaimed foodie, recipe developer, action-adventure seeker, photography lover and world traveler.

What inspired you to become a blogger?

Lauren: I have a curious heart and a hungry belly. I didn't know how to cook until a couple of years ago. I was still learning how to brown meat and trying to pronounce ai-o-li, so I figured, hey – if I can teach myself how to cook, maybe I can help everybody else do the same! After a year of doing one food post a week and realizing I had a true passion for cooking, I started blogging about food on a larger scale!

Favorite food to eat and favorite food to eat and make:

Lauren: My favorite food to eat is Mexican.  I could live off of chips and salsa, guacamole, and chicken tacos!

(Click the image to get Lauren's recipe for Mexican Pulled Pork Tacos.)

My favorite food to make is chili. I adore one-pot meals and chili creates this nostalgic feeling because my mother made it all the time growing up.

One piece of advice you would give to beginning bloggers:

Lauren: Two things.
1) Have conviction. If you don’t believe in what you are doing, no one else will.
2) Be your biggest cheerleader. This was a hard one for me to grasp, because I felt like a used car salesman at first, always trying to promote myself and the blog. It’s seventh-grade-puberty-awkward, but eventually it makes sense.

What is the hobby you don’t get to do nearly enough?

Lauren: Photography! Even though I photograph food, there's something about capturing the human spirit that makes me happy. Plus, being surrounded by beautiful scenery in Colorado, I should be taking pictures every weekend!

Favorite kitchen gadget:

Lauren: Hmmm….I have two, to be exact.
1. The first one is more of a mental tool that I think is important: Curiosity. Curiosity is a powerful tool that many people forget to tap into sometimes. I try to ask myself, “Why? What if? Do you think…? Let’s see if that will go in there!” As a food blogger, it’s as important of a tool as a sharp kitchen knife.
2. The second tool is my 11-inch All-Clad skillet. It’s the Cadillac of skillets, as far as I’m concerned. You can do anything and everything under the sun in it (well, you can’t make out in its back seat, but hey, use your imagination).

What’s your biggest food splurge?

Lauren: Dessert! I definitely enjoy savory foods (hence why I love chips and salsa!), but if I am dining at a restaurant that is known for a particular dessert dish, I am all over it.

Biggest food flop:

Lauren: Anything that deals with baking! I am the worst baker and I tell my readers that I have a black yeast thumb. But, I am making a goal for 2014 to develop my baking skills.

The quote you live by:

Lauren: My favorite quote is from a fellow you might have heard of: Einstein. You know, the guy with the crazy white hair who sticks his tongue out a lot? Anyways, I love this quote: “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” I constantly have to remind myself to not judge others nor myself by success, but by our value. I think it’s important to ask ourselves, “What am I leaving behind? Am I leaving the world in better shape than I found it?” It’s a good soul-searching quote.

Favorite recipe you’ve posted:

Lauren: People definitely went bonkers over my sweet potato tots with sriracha aioli. It was nice to know that people were on Team Tot. #tots4life


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