Tell us all about your blog
Notes From the Cookie Jar has been online since 2006, focusing on parenting, family, and life on the West Coast of Canada. I started writing it on a whim when I had heard about blogging and decided to give the medium a try. Since I love to cook, it seemed natural to blog about food so Chasing Tomatoes began some time later. Writing has been a love of mine for years, ever since I was a little girl hiding my writing under math books that I should have been paying attention to.
What inspired you to begin writing about food?
I’ve always joked that I am somewhat of an accidental food blogger. My step daughter lives in Calgary, and some time after I started Notes From the Cookie Jar she asked if I would write her a cookbook. I decided to start Chasing Tomatoes instead, so that whenever I visited the recipes would be online and easy for me to access. Suddenly I noticed that readers really enjoyed the recipes, so I kept going. Before I knew it, I was talking to Jamie Oliver about Food Revolution, had started Food Revolution Fridays, and everything seemed to snowball from there.
Describe your favorite food memory
When I was a child my family lived in a small rural town in central British Columbia. We didn’t have a lot of access to stores or fast food, so my mom cooked and baked many things from scratch. I remember stepping off the school bus in the snow and literally being able to smell the baking from the end of the driveway. We’d bound up the stairs to what felt like a mountain of delicious home baked goods-brownies, cookies, and dozens of homemade buns. Warm, home made bread slathered with butter always was the best after school snack.
Cook or bake? Which one? Either, both, and why?
I think I learned how to bake first, which is interesting considering that it’s a more difficult skill than cooking. Perhaps it’s the Easy Bake Oven that I had as a kid! I do enjoy both equally, so it would be hard to pick. Cooking allows you more leeway to experiment, and I love trying out new cuisines. Baking is a lot of fun because I enjoy making (and eating!) decadent desserts.
What's the best thing you've ever eaten? Where did you eat it?
Nineteen years ago this August, John and I went on our honeymoon to Cairns, Australia. One of the places we stayed at was nestled in the middle of the rainforest, where we slept in cabins and dined in an open air restaurant complete with tropical plants and a waterfall. Our favorite dish was a spicy stir fry with sweet, fat shrimp, vegetables, and plantains. On the side we had warm chili cheese bread. I think we ate that dish every night we were at the resort, we loved it so much.
Share a favorite recipe
This Thai Noodle dish is a huge favorite in our house. It’s just bursting with flavor and everyone can top their own with whatever veggies they like. I love it in the summer because it requires very little cooking, can be topped with seasonal vegetables, and is also very filling.