Welcome to the newest series on my blog; an interview series with some of my favorite food bloggers. Today we have Lindsay from Pinch of Yum:
Introduce yourself – tell us a bit about you and your blog.
My blog is called Pinch of Yum and it’s all about food and recipes. I post mostly healthy, mainstream, easy recipes that are accessible for any level of cook. My husband and I have also started teaching about the process of food blogging so every so often I share food photography tips or we talk about how we’re earning our income from the food blog.
Where does your passion for cooking come from?
I grew up in a family that loved food, but cooking became a more significant part of my life when I was in college and lived with a few foodie roommates, and then even more so when Bjork and I got married. I’ve always enjoyed food but it was during those young adult years that I really started to try more things in the kitchen and get excited about not just the eating but the cooking as well.
Where do you get your recipe inspiration from?
My typical process for recipe development is often something like this:
1. See an idea that gets me excited – cookbook, friend’s lunch, or something on the menu at a restaurant.
2. Research the techniques if necessary, like googling “best cut of meat for carnitas” or “how to get puffy muffins”
3. Make the dish on my own, drawing from my research, personal taste, and experience, and writing down my own notes as I go to make my own recipe.
Any ingredients you can’t stand? Which one can’t you live without?
There isn’t much that I can’t stand, but I do have a bit of an aversion to meat from time to time. It’s less about taste and more about how the animals are raised and food safety issues involved in the preparation.
Ingredients I can’t live without would be garlic, cilantro, and butter.
Are there any cooking techniques, dishes or styles that particularly intimidate you and you have yet to try?
Like I said, meat is not really my thing. So trying to make a perfect steak would not be something I’d be very good at. I was always really intimidated by poached eggs, too, until last month I discovered a really simple way to do it! It’s on my blog on the Poached Egg and Avocado Toast recipe. That’s one of the best things about having a blog is kind of being forced to continue learning all the time.
Share your worst cooking nightmare. Any epic recipe failures?
Once I pulled a glass pan of toffee out of the oven and set it on the stove… which I didn’t realize I had left on, and it was RED HOT. The glass exploded everywhere in the kitchen. I was finding shards in the nooks and crannies of the kitchen for months.
What’s the most adventurous dish you’ve ever eaten?
Street food in the Philippines! My favorite was bibingka – a spongey coconut rice cake cooked over a coconut shell fire so it had this incredibly smoky flavor.
If I’m only going to make one dish from your blog, which one should it be?
Chopped Thai Salad with Sesame Garlic Dressing. It’s a new one that I did this summer and I’m loving it!
How did your cooking change when you were volunteering and living in the Philippines for a year?
I wanted to make all American food, which was sort of weird but I guess it was just easier for me to cook things that were familiar. If we had only been there for three months, I think I would have tried harder to make Filipino dishes, but being there for a year (and being completely exhausted and sometimes homesick) made me crave foods that were comforting and familiar. I think the biggest change was having access to all that fresh tropical fruit. I would buy these papayas from the fruit stand on our street that were bigger than my head. I made some of the best smoothies of my life that year!
What was the availability of ingredients like in the Philippines, were you able to cook all of your favorite dishes?
It was really hard to find fresh ingredients, and everything was extremely expensive. For example, fresh fruits and vegetables at the grocery store would be wilting within one day of bringing them home. We relied heavily on whole grains (lots of brown rice, quinoa, bulgur, whole wheat pasta, etc.) and cooked vegetables. Both the vegetables (especially those grown in soil) and the water had the potential to make us sick if eaten raw, so we had to be pretty careful. Salads were a rare treat! 🙂 I definitely feel like I have a completely new appreciation for the fresh, accessible, safe, and clean foods that we have here in the US. Not all of it is healthy or high quality, of course, but we have so much available to us that’s really, really good, and I’m so thankful for that every single day when I take my organic, fresh, crispy baby spinach out of my refrigerator to make a green smoothie in blender. I hope I always remember how lucky I am to be able to do that.
Bio: Lindsay is the mastermind behind Pinch of Yum. Elementary school teacher turned full time food blogger, Lindsay and her husband Bjork live in Minnesota and work on the blog together. Lindsay shares the creative and healthy recipes while Bjork helps on the technical side, publishing monthly income and traffic posts and developing a food blogging course.