This Pulled Pork Pizza has a Hawaiian flair. The topping is Kalua Pulled Pork made in a slow cooker. Super easy to make and very versatile.
Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to Dionne of Try Anything Once. Dionne is one of my blogging besties, and it goes well beyond blogging. She is a friend anyone would be lucky to have. I had a rough month last month, Dionne and two of my other besties got together to send me some flowers to cheer me up. I was so floored they would take the time to do that. I shouldn’t be surprised though, that’s just Dionne’s way. She’s a total sweetheart and really cares about the people in her life. I love this girl so very much.
Not only is Dionne an amazing friend, she’s a fabulous cook. I adore her blog, she keeps things real and I dig that about her. She also gets her munchkins involved in the kitchen. I think that is so important. Not only is she making recipes, and teaching them valuable skills, but she’s creating memories for a lifetime. Dionne’s kids are so lucky to have her. She’s an amazing mom and I’m proud to count her amongst my friends. She inspires me to be better every day with her positive, uplifting attitude. Without further ado…
Meet Dionne of Try Anything Once. You’re going to love this gal, and her cooking!
1. How did you get started blogging?
A friend of mine had started a food blog with her own recipes, reviews and things that she wanted to try. I had honestly never ever seen a food blog before and I was a big fan of the idea. I started mine because I was going to have this neat food journal to share! Can you imagine the look on my face when I found out that food blogging was anything but new? I can laugh now but I was pretty bummed. I stuck with it because I had really wanted to start this food journal. I started to post about burned chicken and gas fires on our outdoor grill. I got a kick out of going back and reading what we had tried. I’m really glad that I’ve stuck with it for the past 3 years. I’ve gotten a lot of emails from people who are very new to cooking and baking. I’m happy to help them learn. The blog has connected me with some very priceless friendships so it has been worth every minute.
2. What would you say your blog’s point of view is?
This blog is about our culinary experiences (and related topics) and our willingness to try anything once, no matter how odd or “yucky” something seems. Like tripe. Tripe is yucky. I tried it so I crossed that one off my list. I love seeing the kids get excited over trying something new. Our most recent adventure: raw oysters, fresh and 3 different varieties. Both kids loved them.
3. Do you have a favourite post on the site, if so why is it your favourite?
Pineapple Blood Orange Chicken is my fave because I tried something for the first time and it turned out fabulous. I’ve always hated sweet and sour dishes from Asian themed restaurants, but the night that I made that dish something “clicked” in the culinary part of my brain. I’m pretty sure we ate two nights worth of dinner in one sitting. Not proud of that part but the dish came together so perfectly. It’s definitely a post that represents the blog and what it’s all about.
4. How much time do you spend blogging per day?
I average about 6-8 hours per day, sometimes way more. I usually end up working around the family schedule which gets pretty hectic.
5. Run us through a typical day for you.
Day to day it changes. One day I end up driving up north while Tay is in school but the next day I could actually spend the whole day working. The next day I may end up working on another job but the day after that I can bake and take photos as much as I want. I crave a consistent schedule but my life is not compatible with that. I can definitely say that my days are not boring. I tend to stay up super late so some days are spent catching some sleep.
6. How involved is your family in the blog?
Extremely, whether they like it or not. In fact, one year ago Tay begged me to give up a side job I had with a horrible company and spend more time blogging. My other half offered his support with that wish as well. Even from the beginning, they have been involved with cooking, baking, testing recipes, styling photos with me and even doing the dishes for me. They get to voice ideas for flavor pairings and ways to use ingredients. Some days I have to fight my way into the kitchen because my other half is so inspired to cook as a result from what we do. We all love shopping at kitchen gadget stores and cookware stores too. It really is a family activity.
7. What motivates you to get in the kitchen and work your magic?
Sometimes I get this inspiration from a food that I’ve never tried and a recipe that I dream up. Other times I watch tv and get these really wild ideas stemming from a technique or ingredient that I see. I do get requests for recipes and if I’m not “feelin’ it” at the moment or lack inspiration I just put on my headphones, some really energetic reggae music and get busy.
8. Do you ever have days where you hate cooking? What would you order in if you had one of those days?
I rarely don’t want to cook. I love it. My “cheat days” are usually a result from lack of time. When I have way too much to do (or should I say, too much on my plate?) my other half will sometimes cook dinner. He makes a big batch of something that will last a couple days to help me out. Some days I’ll pick up a pizza or if I really need to get out of the house we will just go out to dinner.
9. What would you say is the greatest thing you’ve learned from blogging?
Do I really have to pick just one thing?! Ok. In many ways I am learning balance. Recipes, flavors, seasoning, time, priorities…all require balance. I am learning more about that every single day. Usually it’s the hard way.
10. If you could give advice to new bloggers what three things would you tell them?
First of all, I would give it to them in a bulleted list because that’s just the way that I am.
- This is a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t try to post too much, just find a pace that works for you.
- Life balance or burn out, it’s totally up to you. I love blogging and most things that go along with it, but when I neglect that balance I end up feeling the burn-out coming on. Then it’s time for a break.
- Put a time management system in place and constantly adapt it. This will help you with rule number 3. I like lists so that is my system. Find what works for you.
- It’s not all about you. Take time to get to know other bloggers, try recipes that intrigue you and share some posts! Don’t forget about the community of bloggers out there or you’ll miss out on the best part of blogging.
- Remember why you started blogging in the first place.
11. If you had to choose between baking and cooking which wins out?
That’s a tough one but I would say baking. Breads, cakes and muffins play a big part in this decision. I like the magic that happens when goodies go into the oven…
12. If you had to choose between your slow cooker and grill which wins out?
I’m a loyal fan of the slow cooker. I don’t mind lighting things on fire but I could do without the mishaps. Besides, the slow cooker is more “efficient”.
13. If you had to choose between sweet and savoury which wins out?
Oh that’s a no brainer for me. Sweets all the way. Cinnamon rolls to be specific. To me, those are the ultimate pie hole pleaser.
14. Hot drink or cold drink at the end of the day?
Hmmm, I could go either way with that one. A nice hot coffee or tea is just as good as iced in my opinion. As I write this letter to you, it’s 11:17 pm and I am sipping on hot coffee and it’s 36 degrees Fahrenheit but when it gets warmer in the spring and summer, I tend to throw my coffee on ice for an end of the day treat.
15. Pasta or pizza when you want comfort food?
I love pizza but I would say pasta. Mom’s lasagna is the winner on this one.
16. When you go out to eat what’s your favourite restaurant and your favourite dish?
Oh my, that is a very good question. For burgers, my favorite is a local spot called Burgermaster and I love their double bacon burger. I also love iPanema. They have different kinds of grilled meats on these long skewers and bring you fresh slices of the meat that you want. They also have the best polenta. Oh, and the pho place by our house has thee BEST flavored broth.
17. If you got stranded on an island what 1 kitchen tool would you hope washed up on shore?
A machete so I could bust open the coconuts! If that isn’t “technically” a kitchen tool then I would want a meat cleaver. I could break off pieces of shell to scoop out the tender meat and prep fish for roasting on the fire. I’d boil sea water in half of a coconut shell that I busted open and cover it with another, leaving room for the condensation to drip down and into a third shell for drinking water. I guess I have this all planned out don’t I? Haha!
18. What are your 3 favourite kitchen toys and why?
My dutch oven, my kitchen scale and my vegetable scrubbing brush because they were all presents and they are things that can’t really be substituted in my opinion.
19. Do you have a foodie bucket list? What kind of things are on it?
I do. I want to have lunch in Italy, dinner in Greece and breakfast in Germany. No specific foods, just things that people would traditionally have for those meals. No touristy places, just local spots. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Local coffee, beer and wine pairings would be a bonus. Yes, even for breakfast! I’d be on vacation so it’s totally fine if I were to have wine or beer for breakfast.
20. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Is blogging still a big part of the picture?
Five years from now I totally expect that the blog will take a slightly different shape with more videos and recipes to teach beginners how to get in the kitchen and create good food for people that want to start taking control of what they eat. This blog will grow and will have job openings for people that need work. I want this blog to continue funding No More Hungry Nights in the same way that our company does so I am really excited for everything to grow!
Dare Portion of Burning Down The Kitchen:
For each interview I invite my peeps to do food related dares. It’s all in good fun. I asked Dionne to take a photo of her cookbook collection for us, all the better if she was in the photo. This is what Dionne sent.
Can you spot Dionne amidst the sea of cookbooks? I love this photo so very much. It’s too adorable for words.
I have to say I love Dionne’s answer to the island question. I had a good giggle over how well thought out her plan is. If I was ever stranded with someone I’d want it to be Dionne.
For each interview I always take the opportunity to make some recipes from featured blogger. I chose to make Dionne’s Kahlua Pork, which then turned into a pulled pork adventure of epic proportions. I made the Kalua Pulled Pork in the slow cooker. Then we had Kalua Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Pineapple Sauce, then I made Kalua Pulled Pork Mac n Cheese, and finally this Kalua Pulled Pork Pizza. I also made Dionne’s Pani Popo for fun, as well as her Sweet Hawaiian Rolls. I got a tad carried away and Dionne’s blog inspired a week-long cooking adventure. Today I’m sharing the recipe for the Kalua Pulled Pork Pizza. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
Places to stalk Cravings of a Lunatic!
Other Recipes of Dionne’s You Will Love:
- Beer Dip
- Root Beer Chicken Wings
- Chicken & Cauliflower Dinner with Peanut Sauce made with Peanut Butter Cups
- Chocolate Pecan Blondies
- Walnut Brownies with Browned Butter
Places you can Stalk Dionne:
Thanks so much to Dionne for allowing me the pleasure of interviewing her for today’s post. I know I loved getting to know here better and I bet you did too.
Make sure you stop by Try Anything Once to follow Dionne. You’re going to love spending time with her.
Some other things coming up:
- Pacski for Sunday Supper
- My 3 Year Blogging Birthday Solo Celebration on March 2
- My 3 Year Blogging Birthday Group Celebration on March 12
One short day until March my friends. Soon Spring will arrive and we’ll all be so much happier. I cannot wait for warmer weather so I can get outside and rock my grill!
Toodles and smoochies! xx