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 week we are pleased to welcome the wonderful Michelle Ordever, from The Purple Pumpkin Blog. Focusing on recipes, crafts, photography and more, the blog is only just over two years old and has already been shortlisted for a BiB Brilliance in Blogging Lifestyle Award 2013.
Do you remember the first recipe you attempted?
I’ve been cooking for as long as I can remember, and it’s quite likely that the first ever receipe I attempted was a cake of some sorts. I also remember using a cookery course that I collected to prepare a Chinese dinner for my family for my dad’s birthday!
Where did your love for food come from?
I grew up living in pubs/restaurants, as well as with a cultural mix of Greek-Cypriot and Lithuanian, so food was part of everyday life from a young age. I have always loved cooking and especially love the joy it brings when I serve up delicious meals for friends and family.
What would be your must-know cooking tip?
Taste everything! How do you know if something is not seasoned well, needs a dash more of this or a sprinkle more of that?
Which of your own recipes is your favourite?
My favourite recipe is for my, well, actually it is my grandmother’s recipe – she’s no longer with us and I’m so glad that I can replicate some of her Cypriot family favourites. People may know it as pastitchio – but growing up we never called it that, in fact, I didn’t even know it was called pastitchio until quite recently, it was always macaroni pie or macaronia when at my grandparents house on a Sunday afternoon!
What cooking ingredient could you not live without?
It’ll be two – garlic and onions. Forms the basis of so many things that I cook at home.
What do you think will be the next trend in cooking?
I am hoping that the trend will lean more towards locally sourced, seasonal products. Whilst it is amazing that we can buy fabulous and exotic ingredients all year round, there is something heart warming about knowing that you are supporting your local producer.
How do you plan your weekly menu?
I actually have a sheet that I designed to plan our weekly meals – I often pop in the family staples like spag bol or chicken and then try and throw in a new recipe every once in a while. We do this so we can shop efficiently and hopefully waste less food.
Which kitchen tool or appliance do you rely on most and why?
My oven – without that I wouldn’t be able to cook a thing! Unless of course I started a fire in the back garden!!
What advice would you give to someone interested in cooking and creating their own recipes?
Look everywhere you can for inspiration – cookery books, magazines, blogs, websites. Start by tweaking those recipes which will lead you on to creating your own. Write things down as you make up a recipe! I am actually terrible at doing that as I tend to add a bit of this and a bit of that when cooking, so when it comes to me blogging about it, I have to try and work out if I used a teaspoon of something or whatever. And finally, don’t be afraid to experiment, it’s the only way we learn, try out different herbs, different ingredients and have fun creating your own dishes.
Who is your greatest cooking influence?
It definitely has to be my family – my grandmothers, my parents – I learned most of what I know from them. It’s nice to have that family connection when it comes to my cooking, as it evokes memories of times gone by.
And now for some fun Quick Fire Questions:
Sweet or savoury? Sweet.
Tomato…fruit or vegetable? Vegetable.
Warm winter dinners or fresh summer BBQs? Fresh Summer BBQs.
What 3 ingredients you would take on a desert island? Olive oil, onion & garlic.
A huge thank you to Michelle for sharing her top foodie tips. 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!