For this week’s Meet The Blogger, I’m happy to introduce Laura, the author behind How To Cook Good Food. Based in Surrey, Laura is a very seasonal cook, and she enjoys growing her own fruit and vegetables, as we do.
Hello and welcome, please introduce yourself and tell us a little about the kind of content you share.
Hello, I’m Laura. My blog has a tag line, recipes for food lovers. It is for fellow food fans and cooks who appreciate good food. I write recipes using the influence of the growing season. I also like to create recipes that are influenced by different food cultures and I love to use spices and fresh herbs. I also attend the occasional chef masterclass or food event/show and I review these along with food related products. I will only mention these products if I genuinely think my readers will want to hear about them and they are of good quality.
Is there a story behind your blog’s name?
The blog’s name came from an idea by my husband of combining “How to Cook” by Delia and “Good Food” magazine by the BBC.
Tell us the story of your most spectacular kitchen failure!
I once had some friends over to dinner and forgot I had brownies baking in the oven. I blame the wine! When I spotted them, completely burned I decided to knock up another batch whilst the guests were sitting happily drinking lots more wine in the sitting room. The next batch turned out perfectly and we were able to eat them warm. I never admitted this was because I burnt the first batch.
Which food or ingredients could you not live without?
I could not live without sea salt, garlic or chillies.
Which food writers / chefs do you find most inspirational and in the same spirit, are there any particular cookery books you cherish above the rest of the shelf?
My favourite cook books are by female chefs. One in particular is “The Cook’s Companion” by Stephanie Alexander. It is a huge tome which I bought years ago when I lived near Books for Cooks and I refer to it regularly more for personal use than for the blog.
If I were coming for dinner, what would you cook for me?
As I know you are a huge fan of Japanese food, as am I, I would cook you a Japanese feast. Gyoza, tempura, sushi, okonomiyaki and some teryaki and yakitori meats with pickled vegetables.
What is the hardest aspect of blogging for you?
The hardest aspect of blogging is the time it takes to put a post together. Even when I keep them short and sweet, there is still the lengthy process of editing photos and naming them. Then there is the time spent promoting the posts on social media and checking comments. Not to mention the shopping for ingredients and composing half decent photographs, a skill I am always trying to improve on. Also, the proof reading takes quite a bit of concentration.
What inspires you to keep blogging regularly?
For me it is about CPD (Continual professional development). As a cookery tutor, I am always striving to learn and improve my skills both as a cook and as a teacher. I find that blogging helps me keep up to date with trends, developing my cookery skills and techniques as well as learning from others by attending cookery masterclasses and reading a huge amount of food blogs plus the odd cook book.
I aim to blog a recipe once a week but on a good week I can stretch to two as long as one of them is short on words and pictures. I do struggle to fit in the reviews I must say and have been pretty poor with hosting blog challenges. These are things I will try to rectify next year.
In reality, there is always something I could be doing more of for my blog but life, 3 kids and a ridiculous amount of after school activities not to mention cooking every day for the family tends to get in the way. And my teaching work too!
What are you absolutely loving cooking, eating, doing right now?
There are two types of influence that I have when cooking and eating. One is seasonal and the other is cultural.
Seasonally, I am loving pumpkin, butternut squash, apples, pears, chard and kale.
My seasonal cooking includes loads of soups and bakes. I have been making pumpkin soup and bread, roasted butternut squash enjoyed with gran Luchito chilli honey, Kale in my superfood salad or stir fried with garlic & chilli and crumbles aplenty with the fruits.
Culturally, I am obsessed by both Japanese and Korean food. I have a cupboard full of ingredients that I come back to using regularly. I bought a mammoth selection of seaweeds, vinegars, noodles and sauces and I have a new found love of tofu and an ongoing love of anything chilli’ed and pickled.
I have been making lots of Japanese pancakes (okonomiyaki) and miso noodle soups but also some Bibimbap and Korean fried chicken. I find Japanese food subtle and light whereas Korean food satisfies my chilli habit.
What’s the single most popular post on your blog?
Roasted Mediterranean vegetables – This never ceases to amaze me. Every day it is top of the most viewed pages. The weird thing is, it has absolutely no comments on it!
Can we give a little extra love and attention to a post you love but didn’t catch the attention of your readers in the way you hoped?
My tagliatelle with flower sprouts & chorizo. This is such a tasty dish, and if you haven’t tried flower sprouts you really should, They are so much better than regular sprouts and are a perfect partner for chorizo. The post also happens to have one of my better photos from the early days of blogging. There is still one shocker on there which I keep meaning to replace but I won’t draw your attention to it!
Spread the love
Blog URL – http://www.howtocookgoodfood.co.uk
Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/Howtocookgoodfood
Twitter handle – https://twitter.com/laura_howtocook
Pinterest profile – http://www.pinterest.com/laura_howtocook/
Instagram handle – http://instagram.com/laura_howtocook
Enjoyed this interview? Read the rest of the series, here.