I've been reading Andrea's Recipes for only a couple of months, but I find so much of interest on it that I'm already a fan. She's a mom of young ones, too, so I love to read those little hints about what life's like for her. She was recently part of kind of a backward meme; it's an "interview," and if you read the meme on someone else's blog you can request that they "interview" you. So I asked her. And here's what she wanted to know:
1. You've been blogging for several years now. Have you ever had trouble finding your muse and what do you do to keep things fresh on your blog?
The time I had the most trouble finding the impetus to write was when I was pregnant and terribly nauseated basically all the time. Then I had a baby, so I felt like I never cooked. But now that he eats what we eat, it's kind of brand new. I'm cooking a lot more now, but it's kind of mundane stuff. I feel challenged to not fall into a rut, to try to maintain some of my standards about how we eat.
2. How did you get started writing the Dinner Diary for Women's Day?
I worked there as a copy editor for almost 5 years, and during that time I always gravitated toward the food department. My experience in the kitchen (which is not extensive, but is more than a lot of my Manhattan-living coworkers) helped me to mentally walk through the recipes, which I think made me better at that aspect of my job. So I've been doing a little freelance for them since I left to stay home with my son. The editor of the web site has been reading my personal blog all along, so she approached me with the idea of a daily dinner blog. It's still a little daunting. I feel like I have to edit what I make for dinner even more now. For example, I'd like to make a big pot of chicken soup with some leftover chicken tonight, but it's not really chicken soup weather. Do I do it anyway? I think I might, but there's more to the angst now than just serving my family hot soup on a hot day.
3. I think everyone has an emergency meal, that meal that you can whip on a busy weeknight knowing that you'll almost always have all the ingredients on hand. What's yours?
Pasta with broccoli florets from the freezer (always Cascadian Farms; they're the right size and cook up just mushy enough for August to eat), good olive oil and grated Parmesan or locatelli.
4. Describe your favorite comfort food.
Toast, but always with some kind of topping and some kind of cheese. So any variation on an open-faced grilled cheese; for example, today it was sauteed beet greens and Cheddar (because that's what I had on hand). Or, of course, ice cream. I'll only eat one serving at a time, but I'll keep a whole pint to myself and finish it in exactly four days.
5. Name three of your favorite restaurants.
This is so pathetic, but things change when you have a kid, if you let them.
Nick's Pizza in Forest Hills: charred, thin crust, fresh mozzarella, gruff familiarity that makes every regular feel special.
Market Cafe near Port Authority: looks like a diner, but the food's a couple notches up. Cucumber slices in the water carafe they leave at your table, small dishes like one fat seared scallop on mashed potatoes, terrific (really) chocolate cake.
I might have to stop there. No other places are quite so obvious to me as favorites. Oh, maybe Eddie's Ice Cream Shoppe. Maybe.
So if you'd like me to send you some interview questions, send me an e-mail with your name and blog url.