When did you first get in to cooking and do you remember the first recipe you tried?
I first got into cooking when I got married and realized that stir fry for two just wasn’t going to cut it. My husband was also a lamb and agreed not to bring meat into the house, so as a thank you I started baking and making goodies. The first major recipe I tried was a stuffed guava date bar – it was so utterly delicious and I felt like a real pro rolling out the dough and everything! I also figured that everyone needs their own hobby, and with a guinea pig on hand it would be a win-win situation. :)
What's your kitchen like and how do you keep organized when cooking?
My kitchen is awesome! My in-laws had it redone as a surprise before we moved in and it has lots of cupboard space. It’s open plan so I can be social when cooking and my husband can sit on the couch and read aloud to keep me company. My key rule is to always clean up as I’m cooking or baking, so that there isn’t a heaping mess by the end. There’s always a few minutes between stirring or simmering where a pot can be cleaned or spices packed away. Less mess = less stress.
What tips would you give to someone wanting to become a better cook?
Find a willing guinea pig to try out your food and make sure they are brutally honest! They don’t have to be a picky eater but simply someone who enjoys food and doesn't waste their time on average or bland dishes. Secondly, invest in your equipment – it will save you time and ultimately reduce stress.
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party and what would you cook for them?
I would invite Katee Sackhoff and Tricia Helfer over and make them a lentil loaf with mushroom gravy, mashed broccoli, roasted veggies and a ridiculous vegan tiramisu cake. They seem to be very passionate about animals and I would love to feed people who kick ass on and off screen!
Do you do any other crafts and what are your hobbies?
My cooking and blogging takes up most of my time, but we foster kittens as often as possible – I guess that’s a hobby since it’s something I enjoy immensely and hope to keep doing for years to come. We’re even scouting out for a bigger place so the kitties can get more room! ;) I have two sewing machines gathering dust, so once we get more space I hope to crack those out and make play costumes for my little siblings.
Which cooking blogs do you love to read?
Sjoe, I read a few dozen a day! I love to catch up on An Unrefined Vegan, Vegan Richa, Create N Plate, and Minimalist Baker, to name a few. Each one brings a new perspective and fresh ingredients to the table, not to mention beautiful photos to stare at!
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Try and subsidize your hobby as far as possible by growing your own food or making your own materials from odds and ends!