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Beetsbluecheese's interview

Interview by Lydia Interview by Lydia

We interviewed beetsbluecheese!

Visit the blog: Beet and Blue Cheese . . . Simple recipes + ramblings.

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Hello beetsbluecheese, so tell us...

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

I come from a long line of women who show their love through food and it's probably not a coincidence that my real interest in cooking took place after my son was born. I don't consider myself a "foodie"; in my opinion that term rings of pretension and elitism; rather I'm a girl who enjoys making and eating good food.

I started beets and blue cheese in the Winter of 2011. At the time I was a former book and magazine designer turned stay-at-home mom, longing for a creative outlet. I had been told in the past that I should open a restaurant or start catering, which made me think "Hmmm... maybe I actually do have something interesting to say about food and some recipes to share." Turns out I did.

I consider myself to be the queen of from scratch cooking. I'm willing to use a little store-bought stock here or boxed chocolate cake mix there, but you better believe that if I do, the remainder of the ingredients are totally homemade. (I've actually been told that people dream about the dark chocolate buttercream I make!) I wholeheartedly believe that the act of cooking; the time, thought and care that you put into creating something delicious for someone is the ultimate act of love. And as luck would have it my family happens to agree!

My plan for this blog is to post weekly about the kind of food I enjoy thinking about, preparing and eating. Food that's simple, delicious and looks much more involved than it actually is.

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

I try to keep up with whats going on in the food blog world through your standard social media sites, but Twitter is without a doubt my favorite (@beetsbluecheese)! I love how it allows you to connect with people far removed from your ordinary social circle, interesting people doing interesting things. I've actually been afforded some fantastic opportunities that all began with a simple tweet.

I'm also a member of several online food groups such as Punk Domestics, Cooking Light Bloggers, Chicory, Gourmandize (of course), TasteSpotting, Photograzing and Foodgawker. Promoting my blog is almost as much work as developing, testing and writing about the recipes!

What are your culinary influences?

I grew up with a mother who was “crunchy and all natural” way before it was the thing to do. She frequented the local farm for fresh goats milk, would only buy whole wheat bread, plain yogurt and all natural peanut butter. And don’t even get me started on our summer of carob! My mother was the queen of healthy and homemade, for better or worse. She refused to buy junk food, but didn't want to deny me the joys of childhood gluttony so she would make homemade devil dogs, whoopie pies and popcorn balls. My friends loved it. I on the other hand longed for nothing more than Wonder Bread, Skippy Peanut Butter and Lucky Charms. Seriously, if it was full of high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils and red dye no. 2 then it was for me!

So isn’t it ironic that I turned out to be the type of wife and mother who makes everything from scratch. Who has a running tab at Whole Foods and would sooner serve my kids sawdust than Skippy. (Yes, my mother is enjoying a nice chuckle over this.) Luckily, my family thinks it’s wonderful that I can make donuts, candy and various other treats that rival the mass-produced variety. But I’m sure my Lucky Charms Day will come...

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

I wouldn't. Actually a friend recently tried to get me to audition for one of her companies cooking contest shows and I refused. I'm not the type that needs spot lights and public adoration, I prefer a simple "thank you for this delicious meal." In fact I'm fond of quoting Julia Child: “The measure of achievement is not winning awards. It’s doing something that you appreciate, something you believe is worthwhile.” Of course I'm thrilled to have recently won the Alessi Cookie Contest on Gourmandize!

What is your earliest food memory?

My earliest food memory is sitting in my highchair eating scrambled eggs the morning of my first airplane trip. I was about two and a half.

Do you have a secret ingredient, a product you use a lot that is unexpected or that helps you save time?

Hmmm. Well like I said Im not opposed to boxed chocolate cake mix, however if I use it I always add half a bag of mini chocolate chips to the batter and make my own buttercream frosting. Those two simple changes take the ordinary and make it extraordinary.

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

I love most any kind of food, but there is one variety that I'm forcing myself to give up trying to make from scratch: A perfectly crusty on the outside, light and wonderful on the inside loaf of bread.

No matter how many times I attempt to bake a nice crusty loaf of bread the results turn out disappointing. I truly and with all my heart long to successfully make an eye-rollingly delicious, crusty loaf of bread. A simple seeded boule or a rustic baguette, bread so amazing it could easily serve as the meal, rather than just the accompaniment to it. I’ve even joked that I either need a bread baking class or an intervention. After my last bread baking fiasco I swore that I was done. I vowed to myself that I wouldn't make anymore attempts until I finally took a baking class. But the thing is, I have a sickness. An obsession. An undeniable need to fulfill my bread baking desires. I just can’t stop myself from attempting another “this might be the one” recipe. Sigh… But the odds are in my favor, right? Sooner or later I’m bound to find success, of this I am certain!

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

I'm not entirely sure where I'd like to see beets and blue cheese in five years. It would be wonderful if it started generating a little revenue, perhaps was read by the right person who was happy to offer me a full-time food writing gig or an off the wall recipe testing venture— I'm totally open to whatever opportunities the universe decides to send my way.

Thank you beetsbluecheese for answering our questions and see you soon!
Published by Lydia - 05/16/2014

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