04 December 2011

Food Bloggers Unplugged ... the persona behind the blog


Dom of Belleau Kitchen is one of the first bloggers that I began following when I first started The Spice Garden … we’ve connected on-line and via email off and on over the past couple years … enough that I have begun considering him to be a more than an mere acquaintance … a friend, a cohort, and a funny and fun addition to my on-line life!
What a guy … he recently gave me the ultimate foodie compliment in telling his blogging world that he’d love to dine at my humble little dining room table … heart a flutter and blushes … thanks dearie! Jump a plane and come visit anytime … just give me time to hit the market for the goods … and bring a good couple bottles of wine to sip with dinner!

Anyway, atop this seriously wonderful compliment came a request to tell a bit about me and The Spice Garden … a blogger’s challenge to let the shade up on just who I am and where my foodie sensibilities lie. The idea behind Food Bloggers Unplugged is to answer a series of questions and then pass the challenge to five other bloggers that have piqued your curiosity … there are certainly many that I’ve discovered. Perhaps that’s the hardest part of this Unplugged challenge … choosing the five with which I’m most intrigued. Anyway … here goes, Dom!

1. What or who inspired you to start a blog?

Two years ago, my daughter, Sara sent me an email telling me that I must start a food blog … “ for realz”, as she punctuated the statement. I had written a Note about soup on my Facebook page and when she read it, she knew I’d love the format of a food blog. She also knew that I needed a creative outlet to channel my energies as I made the transition from the work-a-day world to retirement. She is a wise child, what can I say?

2. Who is your foodie inspiration?

What a loaded question! My family and friends are foodie inspiration because I love to feed them … BUT my brothers, Rich and Jim are my foodie inspirations because they are both such amazing cooks! Jim has an abandon in the kitchen that is truly impassioned and Rich has the meticulous technique of a classically trained chef. They both can put on an incredible spread … and I will lovingly gobble away!

3. Your greasiest, batter-splattered cook/drink book is?

There are three that have had important places in my life as a developing cook, but the greasiest, most loved is a gifted softcover copy of Rosso & Lukins’ The Silver Palate Cookbook. My original copy was so dilapidated and stained that I recently had to replace it via an Alibris search and purchase … no kidding. This time I got the hardcover.

4. Tell us all about the best thing you have ever eaten in another country, - where was it and what was it?

My husband and I went to Barcelona during the summer of 2007 to attend the wedding of our ‘third daughter’, Maria Matamoros to her Ruben. One evening, Maria made us a small tapas offering … Morcilla ‘blood sausage’ floured and gently fried in olive oil and a bit of butter, several types of olives, a fresh crusty Rustica bread sliced and made into Pa amb tomàquet – toasts rubbed with garlic and tomatoes and drizzled with olive oil, a wedge of crumbly strong cheese, and a huge bottle of rich red wine. Basic food, but so very delicious and provided by Maria’s uncle. Olives picked and stuffed with bits of garlic or small bits of anchovy and put up in jars, blood sausage made from pigs he raised … dark, dark red with bits of rice in it, wine pressed from his own grapes … we were agog and so honored. She told us he was so excited to be able to share his bounty with us … the guests from the States! It was a win – win situation all around … and the best of the best!

5. Another foodblogger’s table that you’d love to eat at is?

Tough question, but I sooo love good bread that I wish I could be a guest at Don Hogeland’s home. I’d love to see his wood-fired oven, taste test some of his fare, and listen to some of his travel stories … there’s nothing better than good food and good conversation and I’m betting Don’s table provides both!

6. What is the one food gadget that you’d ask Santa for this year (money is no object)?

This where I begin to sound like Ralphie telling his mom and dad about the Red Ryder BB gun with the compass in the stock … no BB gun for me though … make it a professional grade KitchenAid 6 Qt. Bowl Lift Stand Mixer with all the bells and whistles… 575 watts of whirling power with 10 speed controls …. Wahoo!

7. Who taught you how to cook?

My mother taught me my way around the kitchen, but Julia Child and Martha Stewart taught me to cook.

8. I’m coming to you for dinner … what’s your signature dish?

I don’t know that I have a signature dish, but I make a mean pork tenderloin roast with roasted vegetables … that’s the ‘go to dish’ for company.

9. What is your guilty food pleasure?

… a honker plate of angel hair pasta with butter, herbs, and plenty of good Parmesan cheese … Heaven on the plate and Hell on the hips.

10. Reveal something about yourself that others would be surprised to learn.

I once ran for public office … the local school board … and won. I soon learned I am too radical to fit into the lines and squares of local governance. One term wonder …

And now to pass this little blogger’s questionnaire along … I am choosing folks whose blogs I have just recently discovered and who I think are really intriguing as well as a couple of folks who I have been reading for a while but am curious to know better … I actually think gathering these folks around the dinner table would make for an awesome dinner party ... with Dom at the head of the table, of course!

1. Meredith @ PrettyGoodFood
2. Rosemary @ Sprigs of Rosemary
3. Ruth @ Bread and Milk and Blackberries
4. Don @ Sortachef
5. Brenda @ Brenda’s Canadian Kitchen


  1. I have been a guest at Don Hogelands home along with a few other local Seattle area bloggers. We have gotten together for a few years now. We had woodfired pizza of course and his wife Kathy (The Salad Queen) were wonderful hosts!Nice to learn more about what sparks this blog!!

  2. What a fun post! I enjoyed reading and learning a little bit more about you!

  3. Thanks for passing this on, love to read about and get some "inside info" ;) on my favorite bloggers! :)

  4. It is always fun to learn more about fellow bloggers. I'm so glad you shared this with us. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  5. it's great to know a bit more about you! "a honker plate of angel hair pasta with butter, herbs, and plenty of good Parmesan cheese" sounds pretty healthy actually ;) I would happily eat that too!

  6. That was great! Really interesting!

  7. Thanks so much for the invite! I'll be passing along, but I must be one lousy time manger, 'cause I'm Christmas backed-up. Back to you soon! Thanks again. (I loved learning more about you!)


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