Natalie Gruendl | tasteslovely.com-01

Well, hello there! I’m Natalie, the writer, photographer and recipe developer behind this blog. Thanks for visiting! I love to cook and develop simple and healthy recipes for delicious everyday meals, and am so glad I can share them here with you.

I’m a happily married California girl loving the life I share with my husband Shawn and our dogs, living in the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area.

Every recipe I post here has been made by me several times to make sure all the kinks are worked out. I post photo’s and step-by-step recipes to make it easy for you to duplicate and make at home. I also post nutritional info with all of my recipes to make sure it will work within your diet.

I started this blog in August 2013 as a way to document and remember all of my favorite recipes, and to improve on my photography skills. So far it has been a fun adventure, and I’m loving every minute of it.

If you’re new here, you can visually view all of my recipes, as well as visually browse recipes by subcategories. I post new recipes every Tuesday and Thursday, so come back often to see what I’m cooking up next. Head over to Table Scraps for all my non-food related posts. To receive updates you can subscribe via email and have all my new posts sent straight to your inbox so you never miss a post, like my Facebook page to have my new recipe posts show up in your feed, and you can subscribe to my RSS feed to add me to your reader.

I hope you find my recipes delicious, my photography pretty, and my blog inviting. Don’t be a stranger and feel free to leave me a comment or drop me an email! I respond to every comment and email I receive because they’re all important to me. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter. Can’t wait to chat with you!

Want to know even more about me? Here’s a little Q&A so you get to know me a little better.

What’s your favorite food?

All the food! But if I really had to narrow it down, my favorite food might be Mexican food. But then I think it might be steak and potatoes. Oooh, and I love love love pizza. And roasted vegetables. And extra toasty bagels with cream cheese. And BLT’s on sourdough bread. Wait, clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl. Let’s just stick with all the food. Except olives. I do not like olives. Or extremely spicy food.

How did you meet your husband?

Shawn and I met in high school way back in 2003 when I was a junior and he was a sophomore. I usually call him Grun (our last name is Gruendl, rhymes with bundle). We started dating in May 2003, and spent a few years dating long distance while we attended different colleges. He’s always been my one and only, and the day we finally lived in the same city again was one of my favorite days. We got engaged in June 2011, and got married in September 2012.

Wedding Day

He’s my best thing, and I tell him every day. Along with telling him to stop leaving his socks on the floor because it is driving me nuts!

Where did you go to college?

Oh my, have I gone to a lot of different schools. My freshman year I went to Azusa Pacific University in Los Angeles, but missed home and wasn’t too thrilled about the high tuition prices. So I moved home and thought, maybe I would be a hair dresser? I love doing hair. So my sophomore year of college I went to cosmetology school full time, and I went to the local junior college full time because I still wanted to get my degree. I consider 2005-2006 my “dark years” since I basically had no life.

I decided I didn’t want to be a beautician, but still got my hair license in 2006. Then I thought maybe I would be a math teacher? I love math. And having summers off would be great. So I transferred to SF State while waitressing/bartending at the local pub here in Danville. I graduated and got my BA in Liberal Studies, emphasis in Mathematics in 2008. I stayed at SF State to get my teaching credential in Middle School Math while student teaching in Berkeley, graduating in 2009.

So in 5 years I went to 3 different colleges, got my cosmetology license, my BA, and my teaching credential. In-sane. And guess what? I didn’t end up being a teacher. It was nearly impossible to get hired when I graduated in 2009 with the huge CA school budget crisis. Don’t worry, it all worked out! I got a great job, that funnily enough didn’t require any of the degrees I almost killed myself trying to get. Ha! But, I still renew my hair license and credential every year, because you never know :-)

And not to be out done, Shawn went to 3 different colleges too, and graduated in 3.5 years with his BA in Business Economics from UC Santa Barbara in 2009, 2 quarters early. Show off, *wink*. Actually, he graduated early because we missed each other way too much and he wanted to come home to me. Stud.

What’s your current job?

I have been working at a local online company since 2008 that sells switch plates, switches and personalized gifts. I do customer service (you know when you call an online company to place an order or ask a question? I’m the girl who answers the phone), am in charge of all the inventory and purchasing, and do copywriting. I’ve learned a ton about programming websites and HTML code, which has proven very helpful in running the back end of my blog.

The best part? My mom is the manager there, and my sister is in charge of packing! The 3 of us share an office, and get to work together every day. It is seriously too much fun. Barely feels like work. Don’t you just love when everything works out better than you could have planned?

I also work with my husband Shawn on our videography and photography business. We love working together.

Who are Nicole & Ken?

Nicole is my beautiful sister.

Nicole and I

She’s my main hang, official closet raider, nail polish borrower, and curling iron breaker. We can often be found watching anything and everything on Bravo TV together over a glass of wine.

Nicole and Ken are also high school sweethearts, dating since August 2004. They got engaged in July 2011 (6 weeks after Shawn and I got engaged), and they closed on their house in Danville 7 days before Shawn and I closed on our house in Danville in April 2012. They got married October 2013. We kind of like doing things together. Like river rafting.

River Rafting

Shawn and Ken are best buds and love to go shooting at the gun range together, golf for what feels like hours,and bring me and Nicole our glasses of wine while we’re watching Real Housewives.

Tell us about your dogs

We currently have 3 dogs. Yes, 3. We’re crazy like that. Lou is a Havanese mix and loves to sit on your wherever you go. Max is a Dachshund mix and loves destroy toys. Jake is a Border Collie and loves to play fetch with a tennis ball. They’re a cute little bunch. And major bed hogs at night.

Lou, Max & Jake | tasteslovely.com

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