Clara and I have been emailing back and forth since February and so far she’s already given me great tips and leads for graphic help. She’s the one that finally got me to add a “contact me” note under my “about me” section. Not realizing that there are folks/readers out there who might not want to leave a comment but instead email a question or thought privately. How clever- wink, wink!
We thought it might be nice to do an introductory interview for our blog readers. You can read my answers over here.
Let me officially introduce Clara (also goes by CB).
1. Tell me a little about yourself.
My name is Clara. I live in Orange County, CA. Please don't say The OC. That bugs the crap out of me! It's just OC. Got it? :P I'm an independence baby. Born on the 4th July. I've been married to my wonderful husband for 2.5 years. We don't have any kids unless you count Andorra, our very spoiled (by her father) Great Pyrenees.
2. What food do you NOT eat?
I am a self proclaimed banana hater. And consider myself a carrot dislike-er. I don't mind raw carrots but cooked carrots are nasty. Both are a texture thing for me. I don't do mushy.
3. What is your comfort food?
Sweet: cheesecake or creme brulee or cupcakes. Salty: pizza or kettle chips
4. What is your go-to cookbook?
I adore cookbooks. There's nothing like having something tangible to open and read but if I'm being honest. If I'm looking for a recipe, I usually end up at my computer first. Food Blog Search is one of my favorite sources for recipes.
5. What is your favorite spice? Least favorite?
I love the warmth and smell of cinnamon. I'm not a big fan of nutmeg. It's not very forgiving. Use too much and it ruins the whole dish for me.
6. Name 10 things in your frig RIGHT NOW.
(1) 80 cal string cheese (60 cals doesn't even taste like it was made from milk!)
(2) strawberry jam
(3) pedigree chicken and rice dog food
(4) 5 lemons
(5) whole wheat tortillas
(6) 5 dozen eggs
(7) 1/2 used bottle of ketchup
(8) extra firm tofu
(9) 1 carton organic fat free milk
(10) bacon ranch dressing
7. Why did you start a food blog?
At first it was just a place to keep recipes that I found via the internet or food blogs but as I started getting more and more into blogging, it has turned into much more than a placeholder. More than even a hobby. Now it’s my creative outlet.
8. How did you come up with your blog name?
I'm a word nerd. And my favorite category on Wheel of Fortune is "before and after" where you take 1 phrase and use the last word of that phrase as the first one in the 2nd phrase. In my case: I heart food + food for thought. See! I told you. Me=Nerd.
9. What is your favorite can’t-live-without-it kitchen gadget?
Definitely my empire red Kitchen Aid Mixer. (Thanks MIL!) It’s my pride and kitchen joy. I named her Ginger Spice. Sometimes when I walk by her in the kitchen I can't help but reach for a hug.
10. What are your short term goals for your blog? Long term?
My short term goals are to continue blogging and building relationships with my readers through my stories, recipes and photos. I am also focusing on improving my food photography too. (DSLR for Dummies anyone?) While I love the cooking+baking part of blogging, the writing is what I enjoy the most! So my long term goal is to someday take that leap from hobby to author. Who wouldn’t want to make money from something they love right? I want to wake up every morning and say “I LOVE my job!”
11. When and why did you start cooking?
Don't ask me why. Blame it on the domesticity bug but I wasn't interested in learning to cook or bake until after I got married. All the sudden something clicked. I wanted to learn to cook for my new husband. Two and a half years later, my blog is my proof to my MIL that her son isn't eating blue box mac & cheese or ramen anymore. HA!
12. What is one dish you would love to learn to cook?
Coq Co Vin. The word just screams foodie sophistication to me. And I hear all the cool cooks are doing it. :P
13. How do you see yourself in the future? Still blogging?
Definitely. I don't mind the small blog operation I've already got going but I wouldn't mind expanding to a blog empire like Pioneer Woman either. Hey! You gotta dream big or go home right?
14. What is one food you hated as a kid but love now?
Broccoli. I use to hide it under my rice so my mom wouldn't see it but now it's my veggie of choice for any dish.
15. How have you gotten the word out about your blog?
I believe that joining a baking or cooking group is a great platform to meet people and exchanging blog links. I've met some amazing people from Daring Bakers and Tuesdays with Dorie. Also don't underestimate the power of just commenting on blogs you read already. I know that when someone leaves me a comment on my blog, I am more likely to go to their blog and leave one too. I am also a proponent of social networking sites like Twitter (or Facebook). But I recommend you don't use twitter just to pimp out your blog. At least for me, I'm apt to follow someone that is a real person rather than a twittering advertisement for their blog.
16. Does your husband like to cook? If so, does he have a special dish?
I think he would cook more if I would let him in my kitchen. I tell him that the only reason he should be in my kitchen is to wash the dishes. HA HA! Although when we were dating, he used to make a mean spaghetti. You can see the sauce recipe (here) from his mom.
17. When you go out to dinner what would be your favorite type of cuisine?
I love Asian foods especially Vietnamese but I never say no to Italian either. While my Hubs loves Mexican food.
18. If you could go anywhere to study the foods of that country, where would you go?
Vietnam. It would serve dual purpose for me. I would love to learn how to cook authentic Vietnamese food+desserts and become fluent in the language too. I think my parents always regretted not teaching me when I was younger. I can understand if you speak slowly but I have no reading or writing skills. Unfortunately taking classes in college doesn't really allow you to pick up the language unless you are immersed in it. But I wouldn't turn down a free trip to Italy or Paris either. ;)
19. What's one of the favorite meals you grew up eating?
First thing that came to mind... McDonalds. No joke! I know it's not a prepared meal. But when I was little, my Daddy would pick me and my little brother up from school every Friday and take us to McDonalds. It was like Daddy Day. Maybe that's why I have such fond memories of McDonalds. I don't go there for the food (ok maybe I have a little Big Mac guilty pleasure). It's for the memories. But if we're talking about a meal my mom cooked for me. It would definitely be her eggrolls. I could eat them every day, any day, all day. Amen.
20. What is one food item you make that is most requested from your family and friends?
No doubt. Cupcakes.