I've decided that on the first Sunday of each month I am going to spotlight a food blogger that I admire. My first spotlight is shining on Michelle over at Big Black Dog. She may have only had her blog for a bit over a year but she's got food blogging down. The format is clean and easy to follow and not cluttered with a million different ads. The recipes are...well the recipes are all so wonderful I dont know where to begin.
I had a few questions that Michelle was kind enough to answer!
1. How long have you been cooking/baking?
I’ve been baking for at least 30 years now but cooking is rather new for me. I never really enjoyed cooking until we finished our 2 ½ year renovation project and my new kitchen was completely finished. I always say I’m a baker not a cook. Now that I am experimenting with cooking I really do look forward to it every day.
2. Why did you start a food blog? I started my food blog in February 2008, so it’s relatively young. I’m a Rottweiler owner and my blog, Big Black Dog, was actually supposed to be about my dogs. But I started posting a few recipes and well, my blog sort of took on a life of it’s own from there!
3. Do you have any tips for newcomers to food blogging?
One of the reasons people have a blog is to share something they love to do. But it’s difficult to get people to visit your blog so it’s up to you to do a bit of marketing and why not have some fun in the process.
And one of the best ways to market your blog is to enter some of the food blogging events that are available. Some are monthly events like Sugar High Friday, My Legume Love Affair, Bread Baking Day, Grow Your Own. And then there are weekly events like Presto Pasta Nights, Weekend Herb Blogging, Bookmarked Recipes. And then there’s some once a year events like Pi Day which is great fun. I belong to 2 weekly events Whisk Wednesdays, http://www.whiskblog.com/2008/01/join-me.html, and Tyler Florence Fridays, http://tylerflorencefridays.blogspot.com, and I thoroughly enjoy both of them. You can find many events listed on the blog, Is my Blog Burning http://ismyblogburning.com/food-blogging-events.
But then there are other aspects of dining that many times are over looked by food bloggers. Wine, cocktails and presentation are very important. I just started learning about wine and am fortunate to have a wonderful local wine store, Discount Wine Center, that is more then willing to coach me. I can even contact them via e-mail or twitter, quote my recipe and they will recommend a wine for my dinner that evening. And ten minutes later I’m at the store purchasing my wine. It’s so much fun.
Also I try to enter Tablescapes Thursday hosted by Susan of Between Naps on the Porch, http://betweennapsontheporch.blogspot.com. I’ve only been participating in Tablescapes Thursday for 2 months now but it is great fun and I’m learning quite a bit just visiting the other blogs and studying their entries for the week.
Mixology Monday. http://mixologymonday.com, is a monthly cocktail party and open to anyone that wants to mix up a new cocktail or two. I thoroughly enjoy reading the Mixology blogs and have learned so much about making syrups and other concoctions. I wish I had more time to devote to experimenting with beverages!
4. What's always in your fridge?
Some items that are always in stock are oranges, lemons, parsnips, radishes, green onions, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, Dijon mustard, anchovy paste, light cream/heavy cream, Kefir, sourdough starter and of course lots of butter. I usually keep at least 6-8 lbs of butter at any given time. And I always have 2-4 dozen eggs. Our cheese drawer is out of control and has been this way since I can remember. My husband and I both love cheese and our cheese selection over-floweth at our house.
5. Any funny (and/or embarrassing) cooking disasters you'd like to share?
Oh my, more then I could ever list here. I’ve made many mistakes and had some doozy disasters. Bread that never rose to just last week I had bagels that were rising to the point they were like 6” mini pizzas instead of bagels. Oh they were huge! Tasted great but they sure did not look like bagels.
Just last summer I was trying a new chocolate frosting out and I don’t know what happened but I had chocolate frosting everywhere. Frosting was up and down both my arms and there was even frosting on the dog’s head. I am a very neat cook. I measure everything out in prep bowls and line it all up. So for me to have a mess in my kitchen was highly unusual and very frustrating for me. There was so much frosting on just me that finally I put everything I could in the dishwasher, changed clothes and called it a day.
Be sure you check out her blog at Big Black Dog!