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Jolene's interview

Interview by Gitanjali Interview by Gitanjali

We interviewed Jolene!

Visit the blog: Everyday Foodie.

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"My earliest food memory is of my mom's chocolate chip cookies. I remember walking up the path to our house and smelling the aroma of fresh baked cookies."

Hello Jolene, so tell us...

When did you begin your blog, and what inspired you to start it?

I have always been passionate about food, and I began reading food blogs as soon as I knew what a "blog" was. After about a year or two of reading these blogs, I decided to start one myself. I had always loved to cook, and I was hosting some pretty elaborate dinner parties, so I thought it would be fun to share the pictures and a recap. It was a creative outlet for me, and I have loved it ever since!

Are you involved in the blogging community - how do you attract new readers?

Since I've been blogging now for quite a few years, I feel that I got to know the people in the food blogging community quite well. There weren't many people blogging about food when I started, so I made friends quickly. I went to a food blogging conference a few years ago in San Francisco, and got to meet some online friends in person - that was fun! I stay involved in the blogging community by reading other peoples' blogs, commenting, following friends on Facebook and Instagram, and being a member of different blogging communities.

Who are your culinary influences? And where do you find inspiration on what to cook every day?

I have so many influences! My biggest influence has been my mom, as when I was a kid she taught me so much about cooking, and she always aimed to impress her guests. My other big influence is my partner Christopher, as we always cook together, and come up with ideas for dishes together. We both love different ethnic cuisines, and we try to combine these into new creations. We are also influenced by our travel. After visiting New Orleans, we began to experiment with putting a southern twist on basic recipes. We watch the Food Network a lot, and this also inspires us. The wheels are always turning!

If you could be a contestant or guest on any cooking show what show would you choose?

I would love to be a judge on Chopped! We watch this show a lot at home - it's one of our favorites! I would rather be a guest or judge on a cooking show than a contestant.

What is your earliest food memory?

My earliest food memory is of my mom's chocolate chip cookies. I remember walking up the path to our house and smelling the aroma of fresh baked cookies. I also remember sitting on the counter as a toddler, and helping her make them. These are still the best chocolate chip cookies I've had to this day, and the one recipe that I still haven't shared on my blog.

Do you have a secret ingredient or a product that you use often when you're entertaining?

It's not a secret - it's bacon! Everyone loves bacon! I also use a lot of cheese, because cheese makes everything better. Other than that, I usually switch it up with each party or meal that I prepare for other people.

Is there any dish, ingredient or type of food you refuse to cook? Or anything that you refuse to eat?

I don't think I'd ever cook organs, such as liver, etc., but there is not much that I won't try at least once. I am not a big fan of blue cheese, but my partner loves it, so we always have it in the house. I would cook with it, but just wouldn't put any in my dish.

Do you have any advice for being the best 'hostess with the mostess'?

My advice is to ask your guests which foods they can't or don't eat, to be well planned, and prepare as many of the dishes as you can the day before. I always make soup the day before a dinner party, as it's always better the next day, and it saves time the day of. I think mise en place is very important - you should have things chopped and prepped and everything ready to go, so that your guests don't have to watch you scrambling around in the kitchen, when you should be visiting with them. Also, keep the wine flowing!

What are your goals for your blog? Where would you like to see it in the next year? Five years?

My goals for my blog are to keep it creative and interesting, and to always push my culinary boundaries and try new things. As long as I continue to have fun, I think the readers will continue to read. I don't blog for monetary gain, or to get a book deal, or anything like that - I blog for a creative hobby. I love it!

Thank you Jolene for answering our questions and see you soon!
Published by Gitanjali - 03/21/2014

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