How would you describe your culinary style?
The two challenges I love to give myself with any food I come across are “Could I make this better at home?” and “Can I make a more awesome version of it?” I try to take foods and bring out the best in them, whether that means making a totally new recipe, finding its authentic origin or seeing if it can benefit from fewer or fresher ingredients.
What is the main source of inspiration for your recipes?
I get less inspiration from foods itself and a lot more from the people who cook it. I believe food is meant to be social, and food that excites me is the kind made by home cooks or neighborhood restaurants; food that people love to make and love to share. Most of the ingredients I used to hate but learned to like were because of excellent meals made by people who knew what to do with them. I can trace almost all of my favorite dishes to memories of specific meals with wonderful people.
If you could have one food while stranded on a desert island, what would it be?
Blueberry pancakes. Easily one of the best foods ever. They combine one of my favorite things ever (blueberries) with something I already know I can cook over a fire (pancakes). Maybe I’d try to grow my own coffee so I could have some excellent breakfast-for-dinners while I waited to be rescued.
For someone new to your blog, which recipe do you recommend they try first?
If you’re scared of cooking, I always recommend pizza as great way to get into it. It makes you learn to deal with making dough and some specific cooking techniques, but in the end you get to eat pizza– which is a great motivator for many things. You should try out my recipe for Barbecue Chicken Pizza, since it’s my favorite kind of pizza ever.
For something a little more challenging and unfamiliar, I want you to try out our Green Turkey Chili, which is made with salsa verde and is a great representation of the kind of flavor and creativity I try to put into the recipes at Foodie’s Arsenal. It’s surprising yet familiar, and definitely delicious.
What is your ultimate guilty food pleasure?
It doesn’t get much better than a cheesesteak. I grew up near Philadelphia, so “cheesesteak” to me means something very specific and special, and I have a hard time saying no to the real deal when I can find it.
Yummly is a great idea! It’s kind of what we want all recipe searches to be– easy to filter down to what we’ve got in our head and what we need to eat. It seems like the kind of site that will only get better the more recipes it has.