Describe your culinary style.
I strive to cook with as many local, seasonal, fresh ingredients as possible. Though fresh ingredients may sound somewhat of a “duh”, determining what I can purchase from local producers dramatically shapes my cooking. Sure, I still use olive oil and chocolate and splurge on the occasional pomegranate or avocado, but I ask myself a question when preparing nearly every meal: how many of these ingredients were produced locally?
What is the main source of inspiration for your recipes?
My primary sources of recipe inspiration tend to be whatever foods are in season. I buy most of my food at my local farmers market, so my grocery bags really are filled with vastly different ingredients throughout the year. I like to celebrate ingredients when they are readily available at that market or from my garden: what can I make with peaches and raspberries? My cherry tomatoes are going nuts, how can I use them all up? From there, I dig through cookbooks, a recipe box of family favorites, and dozens of food blogs and recipe sites, or sometimes dream up what I’m actually going to cook with my local fare.
If you could have one food while stranded on a desert island, what would it be?
I tried to come up with some sensible vegetable that I could cook in a variety of ways, but I really just think I have to go with pasta here. Not only is it a great base for, say, seafood?, but I’ve never tired of large batches that make several days worth of leftovers. Plus, during bouts of hysterical panic in my island shack of palm fronds, at least I’ll have carbolicious comfort food to make me feel better.
For someone new to your blog, which recipe do you recommend they try first?
One of my favorite projects was Breakfast Cups: A Love Story. If you’re looking for way to make a quick, easy transition away from a packaged product, Breakfast Cups are your friends. Another one of my favorites (and dead simple) is Pan Fried Okra. If you think the only way to eat okra is deep-fried at a BBQ restaurant, I beg you to try this instead. You’ll be glad you did. For dinner, if you’re looking for a simple entree that tastes decadent and complex, I’m loving my Goat Cheese Mac with Rosemary. Show it off next time you have friends over. And for dessert? My favorite take on pumpkin pie: Mini Pumpkin Cream Pies.
What is your ultimate guilty food pleasure?
If I could survive exclusively on chips and dip, in virtually any combination, I would. Creamy dips, cheesy dips, guacamole, salsa… I literally can’t keep them in the house. I’d never want to eat anything else!
Yummly, to me, celebrates that which makes food most enjoyable: the ability to share it! There is no one way to make any given dish, and the variety that Yummly cultivates from its contributors is a testament to the many different ways food can be delicious. Sharing recipes with cooks, bakers, and fellow foodies is a great way to learn, to improve, and to come across new recipes with the potential to become favorites.