I’m starting a new blog segment called “Just Grilled”. The purpose of this series is to introduce to you to some blogger folks out there that I’ve run across who have inspired me, are incredibly interesting, informational and so entertaining that I can’t pass up the chance to introduce them to you ..in a fun Q& A sort of way. Hopefully you’ll make some new friends along the way.
I’d like to introduce you to Eclectic Cook, or “Karen in Wichita” as I call her. Karen’s blog is one of the first blog sites I found when I started blogging in May. I can’t remember how I found her, I think just poking around on different blogs to see what other bloggers were doing, what their blogs looked like, what they were putting on their sidebars. I really liked the look of the Eclectic Cook blog, really enjoyed her writing and then, I saw she was from “Wichita, Kansas”. You see, I grew up in Hutchinson about 40 miles to the northwest. That cinched it, I subscribed. Interestingly enough, she’s a Greek/Irish Canadian that has somehow landed in the Land of Oz. I love Karen’s blog, great recipes, she’s a talented photographer and she always seems to make me chuckle or LOL with her writing style. I can tell she’s got a great sense of humor because she doesn’t get mad at me when I make fun of Kansas.
So Karen, if you would step to the microphone please:
Name: Karen Moore
City: Wichita, Kansas
Blog url: www.eclecticcook.com
How long have you been blogging: I’ve had this food blog up and running since May of this year. Just a wee bit after you.
Six words to describe the food you like to cook: Fresh, foreign, fun, playful, kid approved.
Six words to describe you: Kinda quirky, over curious, cheeky monkey.
Proudest moment in the kitchen: When I learned/perfected how to flip stuff in a frying pan. Talk about a party trick. And it makes my kids think I’m the coolest mom ever when I flip their over-easy eggs!
Most embarrassing moment in the kitchen: I have none. I am the perfect cook and nothing ever goes wrong. I also lie impulsively.
Let’s see, the most embarrassing event I can recall occurred when I was newly married and had invited the husband’s family over for dinner. I was looking to seriously impress them with my honed and refined culinary skills. I had made the mistake of telling everyone how I had worked ever so hard to make some wonderful pies for dessert from scratch (for the first time, which I didn’t mention). Unfortunately the pies refused to set up no matter how loudly I yelled at them, and I ended up having to serve them scooped into bowls.
Rules of conduct in your kitchen: If you enter my line of sight, be prepared to be called upon to chop, dice, mix or fetch. Cooking is a team sport in my kitchen.
Favorite ingredient: I know it’s not a single ingredient, but I’d have to say herbs and spices. I have to resist the urge to use too many in one dish. I have 50 or 60 different ones going at any one time, and I make use of pretty much all of them. Some people collect shoes, I collect spices.
Most overrated ingredient: Tofu the wonder protein. It’s not my best friend.
Favorite local ingredient: Sweet corn in season. Oh me oh my. It doesn’t get any better , grilled on the BBQ, with a couple of choices of flavored butters. I miss summer already…
Weirdest thing you ever eaten: Shark. Texture of a pork chop, not at all fishy.
Favorite kitchen gadget: My microplane zester. If you don’t have one, get one. Sell something, have a bake sale, use your tooth fairy money, but get yourself to the store and procure this fantastic device for yourself.
Everybody loves it when I cook: Potstickers. They are such a pain in the hind quarters to prepare, but when I make them and the dipping sauce that goes with them, there are zero, zip, zilch leftovers.
Favorite all-time restaurant: Arthur Bryant’s original location in Kansas City. My first introduction to real KC BBQ. There are no words to describe this experience. It was transformational.
Favorite Cookbook: Currently, the Flavor Bible by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. It has been invaluable as and inspiration for messing around with new recipes and tweaking old ones.
What music do you like to cook by: I listen to NPR. I’m such a geek. I LOVE the Car Talk guys.
If I owned my own restaurant, I would name it: I have no idea, I ‘ll ask my daughter. She said “Mama’s Kitchen”. We’ll go with that.
What famous person would I love to invite over to lunch (living or deceased): Anthony Bourdain. But I would be way too scared to cook for him, so I’d probably order takeout…
If I were President who would I appoint as my Chef: Jacques Pepin! He is ” Le bomb”.
In my opinion my best blog post was: A simple but delicious recipe that went straight from my head, to my kitchen, to my blog on the first try, Hot and Sweet Glazed Pork Chops http://www.eclecticcook.com/hot-and-sweet-glazed-pork-chops/. But the post that means the most to me personally, the one that made me cry while writing it: Mom, Memories and Souvlaki http://www.eclecticcook.com/mom-memories-and-souvlaki/.
Thanks to Karen for being my first raked over the coals, grilled blogger! And readership, please don’t hesitate to take a look at www.eclecticcook.com , you’ll be glad you did.