So I was nominated for a blogger award by S. at Just About Vegan— (thank you!) and so I carefully put the award graphic up on my blog. Then I promptly forgot about the post I had to write, because I had to do things like pack a suitcase and move. I’m just that way, sometimes.
The Liebster Award is a good way to recognize smaller scale blogs (less than 200 followers) or to help newer ones get going. Also, it’s a cool way to highlight other folk’s writing, and to get to know some of you fellow food bloggers. There’s also questions to answer, which helps your readers get to know you better.
From S., the rules are:
Answer the questions the blogger who nominated gave you.
Then, think of 10 new ones to ask your nominees.
Nominate 8 other blogs, tell them you have and include a link to their blog in your award post.
Don’t nominate a blog who nominated you (no tag backs!)
They need to have under 200 followers.
Ok! Now, on to my questions:
Describe your fantasy meal.
Wow, this is a hard one! So many to choose from… but I’m going to go with vegetarian pho, with plenty of fresh veggies, zucchini noodles, fried tofu and fresh cilantro and hot peppers eaten while in Oahu. And for dessert, vegan cheesecake from Bartertown. (Ok, maybe my fantasy meal is a little dull…)
As a actual fantasy, I would love to find gluten-free pierogies in Poland.
What’s your go-to easy weeknight dinner?
I have several backups, after years of being both a vegetarian and a student. I have three: rice, beans, veggies, all stir-fried; raw tofu with tamari sauce and chopped green onions; a veggie burger.
How did you learn to cook?
By experimenting! My folks weren’t big cooks, and so most of what I’ve done has been self-taught. I figured out the basics, like steaming vegetables and making rice, when I first move out on my own. In the past few years, I’ve been taking cooking classes, reading my own cookbooks, and most importantly, cooking with family and friends. Whether it’s gluten-free bread, vegan raw cookies, or just making a really good spaghetti sauce, cooking with others is the best way to learn. (And I take a ton of notes.)
How do you go about developing a recipe for your blog?
First, I need the idea. Sometimes I get inspired; sometimes I want to re-create or convert a meal I’ve had before. I keep a notebook full of ideas, of recipes I want to try, new recipe ideas and dishes I want to convert to veggie/gluten-free. Once I have one I really like, I flip through my own cookbooks, and look at other food blogs, to see who else has done it. As I’ve been blogging more and more, it’s been easier to build on things I’ve already done.
Have you ever had a kitchen disaster? What did you learn from it, if anything?
Pierogies! I learned I need to read a recipe very, very carefully, and really plan out what I’m doing beforehand.
What have you found to be the most surprising thing about being a vegetarian or vegan?
How easy it can be to find food overseas. While traveling, I thought it would be really hard to navigate menus and cultures— but I’ve found, that with a bit of patience and determination, that all cultures have some good vegetarian dishes.
What about the most challenging?
Dealing with people who dislike vegetarians/vegans. I’ve never, ever lectured anyone about eating meat, and I’m really taken aback when someone else feels the need to comment on my eating habits. I’m sorry a vegan made you feel sad at a party a few years ago, but geez. Get over it!
How do you tend to navigate situations in which you’re the only vegetarian or vegan?
With a sense of humor! Usually, I try to plan things in advance, and bring my own dish to pass. For example, there was a BBQ I attended a few weeks ago, and since I knew the hostess, I asked her if I could discretely bring in my own food. (It was Thai takeout— and I had a number of meat-eaters enviously eyeing my spring rolls!)
What’s your favorite thing to do on a Saturday afternoon?
Oh wow. Just one thing? Three things: cook up the veggies I’ve just bought from the farmer’s market; get some serious writing done; or, explore a new city.
What is one one thing your readers would be surprised to learn about you?
I smoked for 13 years.
And here’s my eight lovely nominees! I did try and choose ones that focused on gluten-free cooking or traveling as well.
Aaaand here’s my questions for my nominees:
How long have you been vegetarian/vegan?
How did you decide to be vegan/vegetarian?
Is there a recipe you tried once, and will never try again?
Famous vegetarian you would like to meet?
If you could travel anywhere in the world to try the cuisine there, where would you go?
What’s your favorite dish at your favorite vegan/vegetarian restaurant?
What would be your ideal vegan/vegetarian dessert?
Do you have a favorite vegetable?
What’s your comfort food?
What the one item in your kitchen that you could not do without?