What’s your favorite recipe on your blog?
I listed a few on my “About” page. Check it out!

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?
This is such a tough call! In my opinion, an exceptional meal is about more than the food. The service, style and dining companions are what make the overall experience worthy of ranking of among my best-ever meals. Of course, I can’t pick just one. One of my top picks is dinner at Aureole in Las Vegas, which I have been to on two occasions. If you are in Las Vegas and looking for one meal to absolutely splurge on, this is it. A multi-story tower of wine in front of the restaurant is utterly impressive (waiters fly up on cables to fetch your selection!) The menu is pre-fix, with many seasonal selections (and if you can’t decide on one dessert, the waiter will bring you both! I know from experience.) Speaking of the servers, they make you feel like you’re spending a million bucks, but don’t worry, this place is actually a bit less pricey than some of its counterparts.

My other choice(s) would be the two meals I’ve had with Outstanding in the Field. Outstanding is the ultimate farm-to-table experience, because you actually get to dine at the farm where all the produce in your dinner was grown. It doesn’t get any fresher! Each stop on the OITF tour features a farm paired with a local chef and other local purveyors of alcohol, meat, and dairy. Together, the team puts together a multi-course meal highlighting the seasonal produce, influenced by the locale. Tables are set up on the farmgrounds, allowing you to enjoy the sunset and twinkling stars. But one of my favorite things about OITF is the adventurous aspect.  One must make a reservation months in an advance, without any knowledge of the menu. Because everyone is seated together at a long community table, you never know exactly who you’ll be sitting with, but you can bet it’s someone just like you, who appreciates great food and the farm-to-table movement. If you have the opportunity to attend and Outstanding in the Field dinner near your home or in your travels, I wouldn’t miss it.

Where is your favorite place to travel for food?
Another tough question! When my husband I are deciding where to go on vacation, local cuisine is a top consideration. I’m going to give you my two favorite spots so far, and they happen to be located on nearly opposite spots on the globe: Greece, and Portland, OR.

In the summer of 2010 we traveled to Greece, spending 2 nights in Athens, 5 in Santorini and 4 in Mykonos. Food was a huge highlight of our trip. We enjoyed the fresh, simple preparations of vegetables and seafood, at times sitting feet from where the fish was caught. Fish that fresh needs nothing more than a little olive oil, salt, pepper and a grill. And it’s truly one of the best things I’ve ever had. Having experienced the true Mediterranean diet at its heart, I do believe that it is one of the best ways to eat. Though I indulged in bread and wine daily, I found that eating a diet abundant in lean proteins, good fats, and healthy dairy, and without the chemicals and preservatives found in much of the American diet, made me feel truly spectacular.

As for Portland, OR, I adore it for its funky vibe and “green” culture. Eclectic dining options abound, and I was excited to try them all. Not one to discriminate against any kind of food, I was just as excited to try Prasad, a highly appraised vegan cafe, as I was to hit up VooDoo Donuts at 2am (yup, this popular spot is open 24 hours!) And let’s not forget the food trucks. Where I live, the closest thing to a food truck is a greasy hot dog stand, but in Portland, food trucks sell fresh cuisine in every ethnicity imaginable and they are entirely part of the culture. If you’re visiting Portland, be sure to visit Tasty n Sons for brunch, where you can sit at the bar in front of the open kitchen, watching them whip up specialties such as the chocolate potato donut and Moroccan Chicken Hash. For dinner, don’t miss the Peruvian cuisine at Andina, where you can choose from tons of traditional and inspired tapas as well as main courses. Best to show up hungry, and save room for dessert, where the house specialty includes goat cheese ice cream!

Is this a gluten free blog?
No, so…

Why do you have so many gluten free recipes?
I like all kinds of food. I like being able to cook for all my friends and family, regardless of what they may or may not be able to eat. I first became aware of the gluten-free diet several years ago, when I met one of my now best friends, who has celiac disease. We share a love of cooking, so we’d often cook gluten-free meals together. As I became more interested in cleaner, more wholesome cooking, I turned to gluten-free grains like chickpea flour and sorghum flour, and nut flours such as almond and coconut flour. I like cooking and baking with these products because they offer more nutrition than wheat flour.  Nowadays, if I can easily make a recipe gluten-free, I most certainly will. I want everyone to feel welcome to my blog and my food. I also want to show the non-gluten-free community that there’s no need to fret if a gluten-free guest is coming to dinner; preparing a delicious meal that everyone can enjoy is a lot easier than you may think.

Why do you specify ingredients in weights, not just volumes?
Measuring ingredients by weight is a lot more accurate than volumes, and it’s typically the way it’s done in European recipes. Think about it: how much flour could you pack into a 1-cup measure? It would vary based on how tightly you packed it. But if you were to use the standard weight for 1 cup of flour, 120 grams, you’re always going to be using the same amount. Measuring by weight also enables me to calculate more accurate nutritional information.

Why and how do you calculate nutritional information?
I started calculating nutritional information for my recipes back when I was a dedicated calorie counter. I don’t currently count calories, but I like to have a rough idea of what I’m eating and make sure it’s well-balanced in terms of calories, carbs, fat and protein. I presume that a lot of my loyal visitors enjoy the fact that I give nutritional information, so that’s another reason I do it. I use sparkrecipes.com to do the calculations.

Where can I buy x, y, z?
Check out my shopping page!

What do you typically eat in a day?
This is something I’ve been asked on many occasions, and I’ve been hesitant to devote entire posts to it because I don’t want to become a “here’s what I ate today blog.” Nothing against those, I just feel that mine would be rather repetitive and boring, and that pictures taken on my phone either in my car or at my desk wouldn’t be that interesting or appetizing. Additionally, there’s usually a good few weeks between the time I eat something until I blog the recipe, and I feel bad sharing a picture of a meal without a recipe so you can make it as well.

That being said, a lot of people want to know how to maintain after a weight loss. Do I constantly feel like I’m on a diet? Well, a little bit, yes. I don’t count calories, and I allow myself to splurge a couple times on the weekends, but during the week I’m very aware of my choices and portions. Breakfasts are often scrambled eggs with chicken sausage, oatmeal with pumpkin and protein powder, protein pancakes, or pumpkin protein breakfast cake. (Can you tell I like my protein? For me, this is the only way to start my day; carbs without protein just won’t cut it.) I have a mid-morning snack of Greek yogurt (fat free, with fruit) or chia pudding. Lunch is either leftovers, a big salad with tuna, chicken or salmon, or a low-carb wrap filled with veggies, avocado, and protein.  I always have a snack on my way to the gym after work, and it’s always some kind of protein bar. I love Zone Bars, Simply Bars, and my homemade protein bars. On weightlifting days, I make a protein shake as soon as I get home. Then I start working on dinner. No need to give specific examples there! You see it all the time on the blog.

Where do you come up with your recipes?

My recipes are inspired by things I eat in restaurants, read about in books or on other blogs, or simply by my cravings. Unless otherwise noted, my recipes are considered original.

Got another question? Feel free to get in touch!