I was recently nominated for the Sisterhood of the World Blogger Award by Marita, the blogger of My Dinner.co.uk. Her blog is wonderful; she writes about German and Lebanese recipes, and takes beautiful photos. My favourite recipes that she’s posted are the pita bread, hummus, and pomegranate molasses glazed salmon, and those are just the few that I’ve tried. You really should check out her work!
I chose to accept the award, which means that I had to answer a series of questions from Marita. Here are the questions with my answers:
1. Where does your blog name come from?
My blog name was the idea of a friend. Once I told her that I would be displaying the recipes that I make at home for myself and my family, ‘Jen’s Homegrown Eats’ seemed to stick.
2. Why did you start blogging?
I was finishing culinary school early last year, and had just finished an internship at a magazine test kitchen. I wanted an outlet to practice what I was taught, from how to write a recipe to how to test and make sure it can be made accurately at anyone’s home.
3. What spice do you use the most often in your recipes?
I use a large variety of spices in my home cooking which is a result of my enjoyment of various ethnic cuisines like Thai, Indian, or Moroccan. Part of this comes from my initial experiences of them in restaurants when I was very young and wanting to recreate those dishes at home. It led me to experimenting and learning about different flavours very early. Spices like cumin, coriander, and cinnamon should be staples in everyone’s pantry as they are used in so many cuisines!
Having said that, the recipes on my blog aren’t very spice-centric at all, with my most widely used spice being cayenne pepper. I love cayenne because it adds complexity to a dish, even though I’m not necessarily always aiming for ‘spicy’. I tend to start my savoury recipes off with aromatics like garlic, onion, and ginger, and build from there with either herbs or spices.
4. What German dish intrigues you?
I’ve had the luxury of eating my German grandmother’s cooking all my life. My favourite German meal that she sometimes makes is roast duck, red cabbage, and kartoffelkloesse (potato dumplings). The potato dumplings are spiced with finely diced onion and nutmeg and are delicious smothered in gravy. If I had to choose a last meal, this very well might be it!
5. How much time do you spend a week on your blog?
My goal has been to develop one recipe, photograph it, and post once per week. I don’t always meet this, but when I do I might spend 3 to 5 hours with the whole process, depending on how complicated the recipe is. Often the recipe might just be something that happened to turn out really well at dinner. I make it a habit to keep a notebook in the kitchen so that anytime I’m making something up out of my head, I can write it down step-by-step.
6. Which recipe on your blog do you think is the most successful and why?
My favourite recipe on my blog is the Easy Pork Bolognese pasta, because it’s delicious, easy, and uses common household ingredients. I minimize the chopping by putting all vegetables in the food processor and keep the sauce to one pot, so I feel I’ve achieved my goals with this recipe.
7. Do you prefer baking or cooking?
I gravitate more towards cooking because I crave savoury foods more often than sweet. I love baking too, but find you really have to put the research in if you’re creating a baked recipe from scratch.
8. What is your favourite food?
The humble potato! To me, it’s the perfect food because it’s so versatile and can be prepared in so many different ways. Often, I’ll eat potatoes simply mashed or boiled, but scalloped are amazing, and oven roasted are a new favourite because they have the crispy exterior.
9. What is your favourite cocktail?
I don’t drink cocktails, so I don’t really have a favourite.
10. Who is your blog crush?
I really enjoy Kevin Lynch’s blog, Closet Cooking. I started following his blog years ago, right around the time that I realized blogging was a thing. His recipes are always very creative, while the food is styled and photographed perfectly. It’s one of the few blogs I’ve seen where the work actually translated into cookbooks and a career for the blogger.
I had never heard of the Sisterhood of World Blogger’s Award before now, and it’s wonderful to be recognized. The rules are simple: all you have to do is thank the person who nominates you, link back to their blog, and pass on the torch by nominating some female blogger’s you admire with corresponding questions. Here are the bloggers I would like to nominate for the award:
1. Janine – cookingwithcraic
2. Fae – Fae’s Twist & Tango
3. Molly – Quiche-A-Week
4. Connie – Foodessen
And here are the questions:
1. What is your earliest cooking memory?
2. What drove you start blogging?
3. What do you consider to be your best dish or the food that family or friends consistently ask you to make?
4. Who do you admire most as a cook? This can be anyone from someone you know to a culinary celebrity.
5. What is your favourite meal of the day and why?
6. What is your most memorable restaurant experience and why?
7. What would you have for your final meal?
8. What cuisine would you like to learn more about?
9. Who, living or dead, would you most like to meet, and why?
10. What advice do you have for new bloggers?