How long have you been blogging?
- The blog officially started in October of 2009.
Who is your host and what blogging platform do you use?
- I use SquareSpace for both my host and platform. They are an all-in-one service provider. It’s much more straightforward than Wordpress [IMO] and their customer service and tutorials are top notch.
How long have you been a photographer?
- I picked up my first “real” camera in the fall of 2009 and haven’t put it down since! I would say it took a good year and a half of constant practice to feel somewhat comfortable behind the lens. It still seems weird to call myself a photographer. I have so much more to learn!
Is blogging your full time job?
- coming soon
Where did you learn to cook?
- In the kitchen! I’ve always had a love for the food, the process of cooking, and trial + error.
What is your food philosophy?
- I create + cook to enjoy what I’m eating. clean, simple, healthy.
How do I start my own blog?
- Google searching can answer this much better than I can. It's a complex question to answer, but there are plenty of bloggers + professional sites that have done just that.
- Be sure to check Gena’s top ten tips list. Choosing Raw - Top Ten Tips for New Bloggers
- Here are a few quick tips from me: 1 - Blog for yourself or you won’t enjoy it. 2 - Owning a fancy camera does not automatically equal amazing food photos. If you can’t afford a dSLR, don't worry. You can create great photos with your point and shoot! 3 - Start off with a free account with Blogger, Wordpress, or the basic account with SquareSpace. See if you like it first before investing too much money. The next steps would be purchasing a domain and going self-hosted. I highly recommend checking out SquareSpace which is the all-in-one host and blogging platform. 4 - If you decide to get more serious you may want to consider hiring a professional to help design the layout and/or header for your blog. However, this is definitely not necessary. 5 - Simple is best. If you don’t have money to dish out for a designer and don’t know too much about web/blog design, just keep things simple. 6 - Don't worry if you feel a little uncomfortable/nervous at first. It takes a long time to find your voice + personal style. It took me about a year and a half to really find my groove. My blog is constantly evolving! 7 - Don't be afraid to try something new. Readers enjoy seeing new types of content. 8 - Google is your best friend. I am constantly googling grammar issues, blog questions, photography questions, ingredient information, etc.
Do you and your husband eat meat?
- I haven’t consumed meat or fish in 2 years. It started from losing my appetite for chicken and continued with other meats. I slowed my consumption to about 2-3 servings of [organic/grass-fed] meat per week for 1.5 years and then cut meat out altogether. I don’t know if I’ll always be a vegetarian, but it’s currently the right fit. I feel best on a vegetarian diet and don’t crave meat. Chris eats meat about 0-2x per week, but not at home [by his choice]. We are very much on the same wavelength when it comes to food.
What kind of camera and lens do you use?
- Canon Rebel XTi - Canon 50mm f/1.4 - Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 - Canon 70-200 f/4 L [Chris bought both the Tamron and the Canon zoom lens about 4 years back, when he first purchased the camera. We also have a Sigma wide angle lens. I just upgraded from the 50mm 1.8 to the 1.4 and love the difference in quality.]
Do you edit your photos?
- I shoot in RAW format and edit my photos using Lightroom 3 and sometimes in Photoshop CS4.
Which dSLR camera do you recommend?
- Coming soon.
Which lenses do you recommend buying?
- I could go on for pages + pages trying to answer this question. I once heard this compared to golf clubs. How can you tell someone else which club to use? It all depends on the user and what you're trying to accomplish. There are so many factors that play into it. The best thing to do is ask yourself a few questions. 1 - What do you want to use the lens for? ie: food, landscapes, portraits, etc. 2 - Are you shooting indoors or outdoors? 3 - What type of light will you be working with? 4 - Do you want to have the ability to zoom in and out with the lens? Or is a fixed [you have to move your feet to zoom in and out] lens okay?
- Before figuring out what type of lens you want to buy, you need to learn about the different types of lenses. I suggest researching everything you can about lenses. Digital SLR cameras are both an investment in time + money.
- I recommend searching topics like, "picking the right camera lens," "lenses for food photography," "camera lens basics," etc.
Which point n’ shoot camera do you recommend?
- I’m asked this question a lot, and unfortunately, I don’t have much advice on the topic. I always recommend checking Amazon for user reviews. Also Google topics like “top point and shoot cameras 2012,” or “best bang for your buck point and shoot,” or “user friendly point and shoot cameras,” etc. If I had to buy a point and shoot right now, I would go with one from the Canon Powershot line.
*For more photography information + tutorials please visit my photography page.
How can I sub wheat flour in for the gluten free flours you use?
- It’s difficult to provide this information since I cannot test out my recipes using wheat flour. Gluten free and wheat flours work very differently from one another, so I hesitate in trying to guess how to sub in wheat or white flour.
Can you give vegan substitutions for every recipe?
- Many of my recipes are gluten free + vegan but not all. A lot of times,my recipes can easily be made vegan by not including cheese or subbing maple syrup for honey. When I know of a vegan substitute I will always give you that information. If I don’t provide you with a vegan variationplease let me know if you have found one yourself!
Why do you eat a gluten free diet?
- In the winter of 2011, I conducted a food elimination diet after discussing symptoms with my doctor. This was after 10 years of severe bloating issues almost every single day. I took out soy, dairy, and gluten [and a few other things like caffeine + sugar], then reintroduced them one at a time. I had no reaction to dairy and seem to be fine eating fermented + sprouted soy products, but gluten was definitely the culprit. After eliminating it completely [except for beer, which doesn't both my stomach at all, most likely due to the fermentation process], my symptoms have been releived by about 95%. I attribute the rest of the 5% to be fairly normal, especially with the amount of vegetables and fiber I consume. If the day comes when beer bothers my stomach I will definitely cut it out. *Please consult your doctor before changing your diet in any way.
- I have been negatively tested for Celiac. Both my family doctor and gastroenterologist are aware, and in favor of my gluten free diet.
- I don't treat eating gluten free as a food restricting weight-loss diet. I am gluten free for health reasons, only.
- Yes, I miss real bread!
What are your thoughts on controversial foods like soy, dairy, agave nectar, coconut oil, etc.?
- coming soon
How can I figure out if I have a food intolerance or allergy?
- Consult with your doctor to talk about the best course of action. There are a handful of tests and elimination type diets that can help you determine if you have a food intolerance, allergy, etc.
Are rolled oats, and other oat products, gluten free?
- Oats are naturally gluten fre, but are typically grown in close proximity to wheat fields. This can cause the oat fields to be contaminated with low levels of gluten. Oats can also be contaminated in the packaging process depending on if wheat products are produced and packaged in the same facility. If you are gluten free and want to buy oats, remember to always look for the Gluten Free Certification. If you want to make oat flour make sure the rolled oats, steel cut oats, or oat groats you’re using are also certified gluten free.
What are your favorite gluten free brands?
- Bob’s Red Mill [GF oats, steel cut oats, GF flours], Pamela’s Baking Mixes [cake mix], Love Grown Foods [granola], Lundberg [rice + brown rice pasta], Larabar + Raw Revolution [snack bars], Tinkyada [pasta - just don’t overcook!], Ancient Harvest [pasta], Erewhorn + Nature’s Path [cereal], Ener-G [sweet rice flour], Mary’s Gone Crackers [crackers]
Can you cite the nutritional information for every recipe?
- Sometimes I provide the nutritional information, but most of the time I do not. I don’t keep a count of my fat/calories/protein/fiber/etc. intake. However, there are plenty of resources online to help you do this. The one I use is caloriecount.com.
What are your top five most used kitchen items?
- food processor, blender, zester, fine mesh strainer, wooden spoons
Which food processor do you recommend?
- This is my number one kitchen tool. The tool that should be splurged on! The tool I use the most. I personally have an 11c Cuisinart food processor. While a bit of an investment, it’s definitely worth saving, until you can buy a heavy duty food processor like this. The mini food processors can be convenient for a few things but are not too powerful. I use my food processor multiple times each week. My 2 favorite uses for it are to make nut butters and veggie burgers. I definitely recommend a 9-14c Cuisinart food processor. Check Amazon for deals and reviews. Also, I’ve seen great deals at Kohl’s!
Which blender do you recommend?
- I have a VitaMix which is about 4 years old. It belonged to my 93yr old grandfather and was given to me when he passed away. My grandpa was a bit of a health nut and it doesn’t surprise me one bit that he bought a VM when he was 92! I cherish it! While they are a huge investment, there is nothing like it [although I have heard great things about BlendTec as well]. Costco now carries VitaMix which is probably the best deal you will find.
- There are blenders out there under $100 that blend really well, even when adding things like spinach to smoothies. They might not pulverize quite like the Vita Mix, but they’ll save you a little cash. The Magic Bullet and Cuisinart Immersion Blender are also extremely useful tools.
I’m visiting Denver, Boulder and/or Fort Collins in a few months. What restaurants do you recommend?
- Fort Collins - Tasty Harmony, El Monte, Crown Pub, The Walrus Ice Cream, La Luz, Tokyo Joes, Spoons, Snooze, Le Creperie, Ardor Café, The Bean Cycle, Pizza Casbah, The Chocolate Café, Lucille’s, The Mayor of Old Town, Crankenstein - Favorite breweries: O’Dell, New Belgium, Ft. Collins Brewery, Equinox
- Denver - Vine Street, Watercourse, City O’ City, Root Down, Wash Perk Café, KAOS Pizza, Sushi Den, Lucille’s, Gaia Bistro, also check restaurants in “The Highlands” and in “Larimer Square”
- Boulder - I’m not as familiar with Boulder restaurants, but here are a few: Mountain Sun + Southern Sun [same owners as Vine Street in Denver], Salt, The Mediterranean, The Kitchen, Flagstaff House Restaurant,
What things do you recommend seeing + doing in Colorado?
- Fort Collins - Horsetooth Resevoir, tubing down the Poudre River in the summer, white water rafting down the Poudre, hiking, bouldering, rock climbing, cylcling, touring downtown, going on a bike tour of the breweries, driving to Estes Park, Fort Collins Farmers Market, live music at Hodies, The Aggie, and Avogadro's Number
- Denver - downtown water park and amusement park, Denver Art Museum, walk the 16th Street Mall, good eats on South Pearl Street, take a few laps around Wash Park, good eats at Larimer Square, visit REI flagship store, The Highlands area, go to a Colorado Rockies game, Cherry Creek Shopping Center, Cherry Creek Farmers Market
- Boulder - amazing hiking, climbing, bouldering all around the area, shop, eat, and explore the Pearl Street Mall, check out the breweries, grab a cup of tea at the Dushanabe Teahouse, Boulder Falls, Boulder Farmers Market [amazing!]
- Colorado Springs - Garden of the Gods
- surroudning areas to check out - Estes Park and Trail Ridge Road, Rocky Mountain National Park, Louiseville [awesome food town!], Georgetown, any of the ski towns + resorts, Red Rocks Ampitheatre for concerts, Red Rocks for bouldering, the Continental Divide
- Drink a lot of water while you're here. The altitude + dryness can be intense!