I'm totally goin' rogue here. I'm showing up unannounced and uninvited, an absolute party crasher. I'm not even using the official Unplugged logo. Instead you get a chicken. I know, revolutionary.
This is for all of you that ever got picked last in gym class…or something like that.
What or who inspired you to start your blog?
In 2009 I was laid off from my job, and had a lot of free time on my hands. I spent a lot of time perusing food blogs and dreaming about Anthony Bourdain. I think I back-read Molly's entire blog in a week. I was also cooking up a storm since I was home all day, so it just made sense.
I love Anthony Bourdain. I mean, I love him. But I'd say my biggest foodie inspiration is my mom. And my dad. Even though I grew up in a tiny rural town, my parents always found ways to use interesting ingredients and make creative dishes. In my tiny school, I was probably the only 2nd grader bringing whole pomegranates, smoked salmon dip, artichokes, and leftover cordon bleu in my sack lunch.
The original Fannie Farmer. Its the best for the ol' fashioned basics like muffins, quick breads, and chocolate chip cookies. I also reference my old Gourmet mags on a regular basis, and Evan's my iPad pretty much lives in the kitchen.
I’m coming to you for dinner, what is your signature dish?
What is your guilty food pleasure?
Reveal something about yourself that others would be surprised to learn?
The best thing you have ever eaten in another country, where was it and what was it?
That's a tough one, because I've had some pretty amazing food in Mexico, and the fruit in Tahiti was out of this world. But, I'd have to say that the very best was a liege waffle from a little kiosk at the train station in Antwerp, Belgium. I proceeded to eat about a hundred more liege waffles when we got to Brugge, many of them freshly made, some covered in chocolate or strawberries and whipped cream…but none of them added up to that plain pre-made train-station waffle.
Another Food Blogger’s table you would like to eat at?
Sara from Sprouted Kitchen. That girl makes whole foods and veggies look better than I could ever dream.
What one kitchen gadget would you like Santa to bring you?
Does 'a bigger kitchen' count? No? Then maybe really good pots and pans…maybe copper ones (mostly because I love how they look).
Pulled pork. I'm obsessed with slow roasted pork, shredded and served all saucy with a side of roasted veggies, stuffed into a tortilla carnitas style, or doused in BBQ sauce and piled high on a bun. I don't know if I'd call it my signature dish, but I make a mean pork butt, and it's great for a crowd. And if you're coming for dinner, we might as well make it a party. I throw one hot taco party. Carnitas with fresh taco fixings, a pot of black beans, and some pico. And of course, some ice-cold Pacifico.
Cheese. The grocery store by my house has a little basket of priced-by-the-pound odds and ends from their fancy cheese section, and I buy at least two every time I go there. Which is almost every day. It's kind of past 'guilty-pleasure' territory, and on the way to being a problem. I also love a good spoonful of peanut butter, almond or cashew butter, or nutella (or, if I'm really lucky, all of those on a spoon together!)
I love rockabilly music, Quentin Tarantino, and really good hoppy beer. Screw wine and Love Actually. Give me a Hop Lava from Double Mountain Brewery, paired with a Grindhouse flick or some CCR tunes (don't judge) and I'm yours.
This is the part where I 'tag' five other food bloggers who I'd love to dine with. This was a hard one, because I admire so many other food bloggers out there. Honestly, this list changes daily. So tonight, my ideal dinner party would include:
Joy from Joy the Baker: Joy seems like a real down-to-earth kinda gal, someone that's super hip and fun to be around, and isn't afraid to call it like it is, or use a little butter now and then.
Nicole from La Buena Vida: I love Nicole's photos and style, and her fresh approach to food. She also seems like a genuinely awesome, creative person.
Vanessa from V.K.Rees Photography: Vanessa always makes super good-for-you amazing looking food, and I love her photography. And, she includes a picture of her cat in every post, so obviously we'd get along.
David Lebovitz from Sweet Life in Paris: Do I even need a reason? David is amazing. And hopefully he would host this ideal dinner party (in Paris).
Sarah from 20 Something Cupcakes: Sarah is another quarter-life blogger, who loves throwing dinner parties, making cocktails, and cooking delicious food. If David doesn't host, we can move the party to Sarah's in sunny Florida.
If this group got together, we'd have a pretty bitchin' time. I wouldn't even make you listen to CCR. Well, I'd turn it down low, at least.