What are you most looking forward to about #FBC5?
What motivated you to blog about food and how has food blogging changed your life?
I honestly started my blog on a whim. One Sunday I just thought, “I know, I’m going to start a food blog” – and I just did it. About half an hour later my first blog post was live – a Rhubarb and Blueberry Crumble that I happened to be cooking at the time. I spent the next few days trying to tart it up a bit looks wise, and it’s grown from there. I am very impulsive but never stick at anything; this hobby has actually stuck… Food blogging has made me a much better cook: more careful, more discerning, more daring, more ambitious. It has given me more confidence in the kitchen and a direction in life.
Do you blog full time or, if not, what’s your day job? What does your family/partner think of your blog?
I am a full-time mum, with an almost 3 year old and a 9 month old. I did work in Digital Marketing for 10 years, in various content-related roles, which I loved but it never felt like it was going to be my ‘path’. My partner Adam thinks my blog is great. He has great faith in me, which is amazing. He is also a cook – actually much, much better than me. He should be the food blogger really but he’s not great at spelling and hates social media – and he’s way too busy with his job in property. I once applied for him to go on Masterchef (ages ago, when it first re-appeared), filling in the form in for him and everything. They rang me up to ask if he would audition but when I told him what I’d done he wouldn’t do it. Shame.
What are your future aspirations for the blog? From where do you get inspiration and who taught you to cook?
I want my blog to be known as a quality resource for wholesome, diverse, and delicious recipes for the busy food lover – I mainly target parents, as my food is geared towards families. I would like to earn a living from my blog – to build an audience and gain a following, so that I can offer value advertising to quality food businesses that I like and respect. I’m still on the building an audience part of the master plan! I guess the ultimate culmination would be to write a book which I know is ambitious but if you don’t dream… I get inspired by numerous cooks and bloggers. My mum taught me to cook, she made dinners from scratch most nights. Also being with Adam has made me a better cook too, as we’re both mad about food. Without that common interest I don’t think I would have even started the blog probably.
Which other food bloggers do you follow most closely? Tell us something you learned from reading blogs you probably wouldn’t know otherwise?
From the British bloggers: Chez Foti, Belleau Kitchen, Cake Hunter, Lavender and Lovage. US blogs I love are 101 Cookbooks (surprise!), First Mess (amazing – check it out if you don’t know it), and Smitten Kitchen. I have learned so much from other blogs. My interest in more wholesome, natural cooking has definitely been inspired in a big way by Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks.
What’s your favourite/least favourite food? What’s been your ultimate meal to date? And what would your last meal be?
Favourite food is probably well cooked pork belly, or a pile of fluffy American pancakes with lots of butter and maple syrup, streaky bacon, and some coffee. Either that or broccoli gribiche which I am currently obsessed with! Least favourite – I don’t dislike anything. I don’t go mad for marzipan – or pollock. Ultimate meal, probably back when we had an allotment and Adam picked loads of fresh veg one summer and made the most amazing risotto which he called Allotment Risotto – just picked, thinly sliced, raw courgettes, broad beans, peas – with homemade chicken stock and fresh herbs – just heavenly. Last meal would be barbecued langoustines with homemade mayo for starter, then a large, fatty, well seasoned, chargrilled rare steak with dauphinoise potatoes, then a chocolate tart for pudding. Then some nice cheese. All washed down with some nice white wine, then red wine, then coffee – in that order.
A lot, we are actually discussing some new shelving to accommodate them all. At a guess, 125-50?! I love quite a few famous cooks/writers – I can’t pick just one I’m afraid. Adam and I have always been massive Rick Stein fans. I love his travel/food programmes, they really capture the relationship between food and culture, I always desperately want to go there after watching a programme. For Muslim/Mediterranean food which I am very into I love Ottolenghi and Sam and Sam Clark of Moro. For natural baking I love new talent Amber Rose (look her up!) – she has truly inspired me. For healthy family food, I love Gwyneth Paltrow’s first book (yes!). And for quick, easy and indulgent food, the simply gorgeous Nigella. I was brought up with Delia, so I have to include her too. Her recipes always work.
What’s your signature dish? If you want us to feature your favourite recipe from your own blog, include the link here!
I don’t have a signature dish as such… but as I said before I am currently eating a lot of broccoli and new potatoe gribiche (roasted new pots and roasted broccoli, tossed in a dressing made with egg yolk, olive oil, red wine vinegar, dijon, chives, plus we add anchovies) then also chopped hard boiled eggs. It’s one I adapted from a Heidi Swanson recipe, and I defy anyone to come up with a tastier way of eating broccoli. My son loves this, and he’s not that great with veg. The picture’s not great, I must re-shoot it, in fact we are having it later (we eat it a lot) so I will try and remember to re-snap. It’s endlessly versatile (try adding some cold puy lentils or asparagus) and so healthy.
Do you have a favourite kitchen tool/appliance? What’s the hottest item on your shopping list? (can be current foodie favourite or a desired gadget/book etc)
My favourite tool has to be the ACTUAL well worn whisk that is behind the name. I will never throw it away! My most used things are probably my Le Creuset pans and our knives – think they are Henkel. I want a KItchen Aid but sadly, I fear I may die without ever owning one. Very sad. I have a list of cookbooks I want but I am trying to be strict with myself and not get them: Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem. Red Velvet Chocolate Heartache (a book about baking with vegetables), Gwyneth Paltrow’s new one… I could go on…
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