For anyone new to my site, Burning Down The Kitchen is a weekly series I began to start trying out recipes I've bookmarked over the past year. I do another series called Lunatic Loves These Links where I pick what I love on the web. I found myself bookmarking a ton of recipes from other bloggers but not making them. So I decided to fix that by doing this series. I pick a recipe each week that I've bookmarked, I make that recipe and then I do a fun interview with the blogger who's recipe it is. For me it's just a nice way to not only make a fellow blogger's recipe but to allow readers to get to know them better. It has quickly become one of my fave things to do. I look forward to each week. I hope you do as well.
BURNING DOWN THE KITCHEN WITH KATIE FROM EPICUREAN MOM:
This week we're getting to know Katie. She is the lovely lady behind Epicurean Mom. I've been a fan of Katie's for some time and have bookmarked multiple recipes of hers. Her blog is absolutely beautiful, so light and tranquil. Her food is always stunning and the photos just pop right off the screen. She takes really lovely photos that showcase her food to perfection. Katie is sweet and supportive as a fellow blogger as well. I am happy to count her amongst my friends. What you notice right away is how fresh her food is. She really takes that extra effort to use quality ingredients in her food and it shines through her work. Some of my faves from her site are her Homemade Cherry Granola, Pomegranate Poached Pear and Apple Salad with a Pomegranate Reduction, Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Foccacia, Eggplant Paremesan, Acai Bowl, Berry Cheesecake Bars and her Dark Cherry Sherbet. I chose to make her Chocolate Truffles. I've never made them before and have always wanted to try. I think they would make such nice gifts for people on birthdays or Christmas. So thanks to Katie for teaching me to make my own chocolates. That's really going to end well. *giggles as she pops 3 more in her mouth*
Rapidfire Q & A with Katie of Epicurean Mom:
1. What inspired you to start blogging?
I've always had a passion for food. A few friends had family/food blogs and incorporated food and family together. I started one as well, but noticed traffic coming from all over the world and was uncomfortable with my girls being all over the Internet. Thus, Epicurean Mom was born!
2. What do you absolutely love about blogging?
I love the supportive community! I've met so many wonderful friends and connections. Plus I love building my mommy brain that seems to get stagnate with kiddy songs all day, everyday 😉
3. Is there a downside to it?
No downside. I enjoy each and everyday I blog!
4. How do you balance being a busy mom and a blogger?
Yes, good question! Naps and bedtime! That's when I get most of my blogging time done.
5. Your food is so fresh, do you have any advice for others looking to use fresh, organic food?
Real food is best. I understand being a busy mommy can be hard but real food can be easy. For example, canned foods. It's so easy to throw a few cupfuls of canned beans into a chili or stew after you get home from a long day. Although if you let dried beans seep in a bowl of water while you are at work they will be fresh and plumped by the time you get home. So incredibly easy to use them in soups or salads! No need to use canned foods that are not as enriched with vitamins!
6. What's growing in your garden right now?
Unfortunately, our home was burned in a California Wildfire 3 years ago, almost to date. We had an incredible garden that has even featured in the Wall Street Journal. Right now, since we are renting we do not have a garden. In our old garden we had, cabbage, lettuce, cilantro, tomatoes, celery, strawberries, artichokes. asparagus, onions, avocados, etc..
7. You are stunningly beautiful, is it mostly diet or is exercise a big part of your regime too?
Oh my! You are so so sweet! I try to incorporate both into my life. We usually eat salads for dinner about 4 days a week, and I try to exercise at least 4 days as well. As most of us know, being a busy mommy, workouts or home cooked foods have to take the back burner but we try to live a healthy lifestyle.
8. You also take stunningly beautiful photographs, what camera are you using?
That's very sweet...Thanks Kim! I use a canon T1i. It's not as much about the camera but more about the lenses. I usually photograph my food with my Macro 100mm lens. I learned a lot just from trial and error; also from other helpful and amazing food bloggers!
9. On the same note, do you have any advice for taking food photos? I am always in awe of your light and styling.
Gosh, Thank you! Natural lighting!! I do most of my photography by a bright window covered with a light diffuser. I also use a white foam board to fill in the unwanted shadows. Shooting in the manual mode really helps your exposure options. I can brighten my pictures my upping the exposure being in manual.
10. Take us through a typical day in the life of Katie, food blogger, Mom and Wife. Do you have a routine you follow every day?
Usually hubby and I get up fed the girls, get them dressed and get Ky (5) to school while hubby goes to work. Lo (2) and I go to the gym, come home, nap time and I start cooking and shooting, then pick Ky up from school. These very hectic days are only on days I blog. Unfortunately being a busy mommy I don't have everyday to shoot and blog.
11. Do you ever cheat and just scarf a twinkies like there's no tomorrow?
I don't. I can't name the last time I actually ate fast food. Even with some of the sweet treats I make, I usually do not eat them. I'm more of a savory gal. I would prefer a grilled artichoke over sweets any day.
12. Is there a fave food you could eat every day and never grow tired of it?
13. Fruits or veggies to snack on?
Sugar snap peas, carrots, apples and grapes!
14. Whipping cream or mascarpone for parfaits?
Definitely homemade whipping cream!
15. Coke or Pepsi? * I will feel so much better if you tell me you drink it but I am thinking you don't, lol*
Ha ha, yes, no I don't. I used to (10 years ago) drink sugar-free pepsi. I found out how horrible soda and sugar-free sodas were and never looked back. Don't miss them! I'm now obsessed with sparkling water. Can't get enough!
16. Milk or dark chocolate?
Oh gosh, both but I would probably side with the less healthy milk chocolate!
17. Butter, shortening or margarine for baking?
I usually try to use coconut oil when able, but between the choices definitely butter.
18. Apron or no apron?
Apron! Can't tell you how many clothes I've ruined 🙁
19. If you were on Iron Chef who would you challenge? What would you hope the secret ingredient is?
Oh gosh, that's a hard one...None of them ha ha! They are all such incredible chefs, I don't like losing 😉 A secret ingredient?? I would say avocado.
20. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Is blogging still a big part of the picture?
In 5 years I see myself pretty much right where I am now! Being a full-time mommy to my 2 girls, and still blogging away!
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom
- 5 strips of orange peel 1 inch wide, pith removed
- 8 ounces semi sweet chocolate finely chopped
- ¼ cup confectioners' sugar
- ¼ cup sifted cocoa powder
- ½ cup finely chopped pistachios coconut, powdered sugar, cocoa powder or whatever else you would like to roll them in
- Whisk cream and cardamom together in a saucepan. Add your orange peel and bring it just to a boil. Now remove it from the heat and let it stand for about 15 minutes.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment.
- Set a pan aside to use while freezing the mixture.
- Return the cream to the heat and bring to a boil.
- Place your chocolate in a heat proof bowl. Now pour the cream mixture through a sieve over top of the chocolate. Discard what is left in the sieve. Mix chocolate and cream until it is smooth.
- Pour the mixture into an unlined baking pan and smooth it out. Pop that pan into your freezer and let it stand in there for about 15 to 20 minutes. You want the chocolate workable.
- Remove from freezer and be prepared to work quickly. If needed you can always pop it back in the freezer and do 2 or 3 at a time.
- Using a tablespoon scrape out the chocolate and form into a 1 inch ball. They don't need to be perfect. If you over work them they will melt.
- Transfer the balls into the fridge for about 10 minutes.
- Place the coatings you want to use in separate bowls.
- Take the chocolate out of the fridge and roll the balls in your coatings.
- Serve with a big old chocolately smile!
These are dangerously good. You will pass out when you try them. And hopefully I will be standing next to you so I can gobble them all up before you come to. You are totally going to yell at me. I will respond like this, "Aw, now don't be mad, I'm doing this for you. You don't want to eat them all. They'll go right to your hips. Since I already have hips I did you this solid and ate them all for you just to save you the embarrassment of not fitting into your clothes tomorrow. You're welcome!" All while wiping chocolate and pistachios off my face and quite likely wiping off my hands on your curtains. Again, you're welcome!
I would like to thank Katie so much for allowing me this honour of interviewing her. She is such a lovely person and a joy to get to know better. I'd also like to take a personal moment to thank you Katie for being so sweet and supportive during the time where my daughter was having health issues. You were amazingly kind and I am ever grateful.
If you are not already reading Katie's blog, Epicurean Mom, I'd love you to head over and check out all her delightful dishes. You will love every single thing she makes. You will also be blown away by her gorgeous photos. You can also follow Katie on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.
I cannot stress enough they are all equally good. Okay total lie, you know me and pistachios. It takes the lead for me, then the coconut, then the cocoa, then the powdered sugar. I liked them so much this is what happened during the photo shoot. See if you notice anything.
Also remember there is a giveaway to win a wonderful I Love Lucy Cookie Jar going on still. Stop by my No Bake Strawberry Cheesecake and a Giveaway post to enter. Remember to leave SEPARATE comments for each bonus entry or they will count as one if they're bundled in one comment. I use Random.org so it calculates the numbers according to comment numbers. Makes it easier for me to draw.
Toodles and smoochies! xx