Jacqueline Meldrum from Tinned Tomatoes is Attending #FBC15

Celebrating the Alumni, meet Jacqueline from Tinned Tomatoes (@tinnedtoms) returning with Stuart from Cakeyboi to attend #FBC15 for her 3rd time! Let’s find out a little more about Jacqueline and her blog:

Jacqueline Meldrum

What are you looking forward to learning and enjoying at FBC this year?
I’m looking forward to so many of the labs it’s hard to choose. Last year the labs were the highlight for me.

What did you particularly enjoy at last year’s conference?
A really useful one from Urvashi Roe on planning your blog posts during the coming year, the food photographty with Donal Skehan was helpful, what a charmer and some nice food styling tips from Sharon Hearne-Smith.

I enjoyed meeting Ottolenghi and listening to him talk about his family and food. Talking of food, it flowed all weekend and I was pleased it was a bit better for veggies last year. The Middle Eastern food from Terra Rossa was so delicious and the never-ending cocktails from Patron kept everyone relaxed and happy.

Who would you like to see this year?
I hope to see Moose Maple Butter there again and that there will be plenty veggie food and drink this year.

Is blogging your full time job? If not, what is your day job?
I probably blog more than full-time hours now, although some of my writing is freelance. I write for Readers Digest, BabyCentre UK and Great British Chefs.

All these writing opportunities were opened up to me because of my blog.That’s why your blog is so important, It’s your online CV. It’s a portfolio to show prospective clients. I also do a lot of recipe development.

Tinned Tomatoes Header

Tell us a bit about what you get up to when you’re not working on your blog.
I still work a few days a week in a Children’s Library. I just love working with kids and think it’s important to work outside the home and be around other people. Working from home can be very insular. I may have another job, but I consider myself a pro blogger.

How do you think brands could work better with bloggers? How would you describe your relationship with bloggers and industry folk?
Good relationships with brands is important. You must to be professional at all times and nurture the relationships. You also have to learn to say no and ask for a fair pay for the work you do.

How would you describe your relationship with bloggers and industry folk?im-going-to
Other bloggers are equally important to success. The community and support is amazing. Working together you learn more and improve your skills. It’s the best part about blogging really.

What first motivated you to blog and how has blogging changed your life?
I started blogging back in early 2007. I’d just done a web 2.0 course and one of the things we covered was blogging. I thought I could do that! I started my blog to inspire myself to try new recipes, recipes that didn’t always include a tin of tomatoes (hence the name).

Where do you plan to take your blog in the future?
I couldn’t give up blogging now, it’s in my blood. I want to carry on building up my portfolio and developing recipes. I hope it will bring me more freelance work.

At some point I’d like a blog upgrade, but I have to have a good think about the direction I want to go in first and think carefully about the name.

Personally, I’m thinking about going on a refresher breadmaking course at Bread in Fife. I’ve not made anything but pizza dough for such a long time, so it’s time to be inspired.

Oreo Caramel CheesecakeWhat’s your signature dish?
I have so many favourite recipes, it’s hard to choose. I love my Mexican Sweet Potato and Puy Lentil Mole and I’d follow that with a slice of my Deep Oreo and Caramel Cheesecake.

Which other bloggers do you follow most closely?

My favourite veggie blogs are Food to Glow, The Veg Space & Veggie Desserts. They all blog really exciting recipes with beautiful photography. They inspire and motivate me.

Do you stay in touch with any bloggers and industry folk you have met at previous Food Blogger Connects?
I’ve worked closely with a lot of bloggers who were at the last two FBCs. We have gained greater focus working together and now command much higher fees.

How do you shop for food?
Small independent fruit and veg shops have been killed off in Dundee. We have over 20 supermarkets, which is crazy. I’d love to have more options. I’m starting to use a box scheme, but still need to buy storecupboard ingredients from the supermarkets.

Mexican Sweet Potato MoleWhat blogging trends are you enjoying at the minute?
I tend to blog my own friendly style. I keep it simple. I am probably more influenced by trends in photography. With blogging it’s more about keeping up with social media and all the changes in algorithms.

Have supper clubs now had their day or is this just the start of bigger things to come?
Supper clubs aren’t really big in Scotland, so I haven’t really considered them at all.

How far have you travelled for the perfect meal?
I do like to try new restaurants when I visit new cities, but I don’t particularly travel for them, they are just an added bonus. Family life really doesn’t allow time for long trips to eat.

If you had to eat one country’s traditional dish for a year, what would it be?
If I had to eat one type of food for a year it would have to be Middle Eastern. Such great use of vegetables, legumes, herbs and spices.

 

Does the proliferation of food programmes on TV aid or hinder your quest to develop and sustain a food blog?
I don’t think food programmes hinder food blogging at all, in fact the opposite. They have inspired a nation to be interested in food again and that’s great for food bloggers. And of course they are fun to watch.

Falafel, Beetroot and Goats Cheese WrapHow many cookbooks do you own? What attributes make a good cookbook for you?
I have way too many cookbooks. I do try to share them out and take some to my baking club to share out every month. I just keeping my favourites.
I enjoy the simplicity of the Leon books and love Ottolenghi. Apart from those my favourite books in the last year have been the Oh She Glows cookbook, New Feast and Plenty More.

Do you have a favourite kitchen tool or appliance?
My favourite kitchen tools are my Optimum 9200 Next Generation power blender which I use every day, my microplane graters and my garlic plate. I recently got a spiralier, a smaller round one. I’m looking forward to using that, I just have to figure out where I put it first.

How is your lifestyle shaped by food?
I think lifestyle is totally shaped by food. I’m constantly thinking up ideas for what my next dish will be.

How is your lifestyle shaped by blogging?
I spend a lot of time chatting to my blogging friends online, discussing food and brainstorming. It’s rather wonderful that my job is something I can share with my family and friends.

Indeed it is, Jacqueline – What a lovely note to finish on and we very much look forward to seeing you at #FBC15!

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