It’s time for our hot-off-the-press exclusive interviews with top Food Bloggers from around the world. The series, Delicious Insights, shares top tips, recommendations and advice on home cooking and entertaining.
This month we welcome Camilla from Fab Food 4 All. A wife and a mum to two children who started her food blog when she became fed up with recipes that either didn’t work or that once made her family didn’t like. Here she shares the recipes that she’s adapted or been given over the years. It’s a wonderful resource for the home cook so please be prepared to find inspiration from this super talented blogger!
What was your inspiration to start a food blog?
My inspiration to start a blog was a combination of never having fulfilled my dreams of being a writer plus the seed being sown by my husband and an article I read in Good Housekeeping about blog entrepreneurs. I’d also got fed up with recipes that either didn’t work or that my family didn’t like so I thought it would be good to try and take the guess work out of recipe choosing; if my family don’t like a dish then it doesn’t go on the blog (allowing for differing tastes, I go with the majority)!
Where do most of your recipes come from?
I started out by blogging all my family’s old recipes (my mum’s Danish so that’s a big influence) but then started adapting recipes and am now enjoying experimenting with ingredients and techniques. So I’d say a mixture of all three really!
Do you plan a weekly menu? If so, what inspires your menu?
I am not the world’s best meal planner and 3 days ahead is all I tend to plan but then I do go shopping at least twice a week as I don’t live that far away from the shops so it works just fine! I can leave the house with a few ideas in mind but if there’s a special offer on some strawberries or a beautiful piece of lamb then my plans change on the spot. I am always looking for a bargain and you’ll often find me in the ethnic aisle of my local supermarket as that’s where the best bargains are to be found on staples such as rice, red lentils and tinned chickpeas etc.
I’m not one for slaving over a hot stove for hours and that’s why you’ll find a lot of quick and easy recipes on my blog. Everyone is tired at the end of the day so maximum taste with minimal effort is something I strive for! I love cooking with seasonal produce and particularly enjoy British rhubarb and strawberries.
Do you have a favourite recipe?
One of my favourite recipes is one I re-created from a childhood memory of what to me was food heaven at the time. My mother made copious amounts of Strawberry Choux Buns once for her mother’s tea party and I remember thinking “she won’t miss another one will she” as they were the most sublime thing I’d ever tasted. I was so pleased with the outcome as they were just as I’d remembered and my family loved them too!
What do you love so much about working with food?
I think I love the culmination of art, science and nutrition. Of course not all dishes require all three but I love creating in the kitchen and knowing the science behind the cooking processes like making a roux or bread making. Nothing in cooking is guaranteed especially when creating new dishes so when something goes well it gives you a real sense of achievement. Also like Mary Berry I find baking very therapeutic, kneading dough is a joy and you can’t help but smile when a beautiful cake or loaf comes out of the oven. But most of all I love the reaction of my family when they enjoy something I’ve made and I know that they’re being fed with fresh nutritious ingredients (and the odd treat)! This feeling is then amplified when I get lovely feedback from readers who have enjoyed my recipes too.
What is your favourite kitchen tool and why?
Believe it or not it’s my garlic crusher because it’s the most frequently used gadget in my kitchen and when mine broke last year I was lost without it until I could find a replacement! We love garlic in our house whether it’s in a savoury dish, a salad dressing, garlic bread or drizzled on a pizza.
What advice would you give to people stuck in a cooking rut?
Even if you feel in a cooking rut you can still eat healthily. Salads are easy to prepare like my Quick Nicoise Style Salad and omelettes are really quick to make and can be a great way of using up odds and ends from your fridge. Having a bank of simple pasta based recipes is a good idea for days when you lack inspiration and your store cupboard can be your best friend. My Chilli, Bacon & Chickpea Pasta is a dish I always have the ingredients for and I know I can fall back on it on a day when I just don’t want to think about what we’re having for dinner!
Googling a list of ingredients is another way of finding inspiration as sometimes you have the ingredients for a dish you would never have thought to make!
What’s the quickest, easiest and healthiest snack you can recommend to our readers?
Well the latest craze in our house is making popcorn out of chilli flavoured cold pressed rapeseed oil and you barely need to add any salt to it. Unlike shop bought savoury popcorn with its powdery coating the home-made stuff is far nicer and far healthier as there are no additives or high salt levels. It’s also a really good source of roughage, protein, iron and phosphorous.
What’s next on your cooking to do list?
There are so many things I want to cook that I’ve never made before but one of them is another dish from my childhood which my mother made based on a Swiss Roll, I won’t say anymore or it will spoil the surprise!
A huge thank you to Camilla from Fab Food 4 All for taking the time to share her love of cooking. Would you like to be featured in one of our interviews? If so, please head on over to Facebook and or send us a Tweet @Brabantialife, we can’t wait to hear from you!