Jen Schall’s blog, My Kitchen Addiction, is our new addiction here at Love & Homemade Recipes. From her decadent recipes like Cinnamon Brown Butter Frosting, to her fun and playful “voice,” Jen’s blog shows her love and passion for cooking.
Recently, I interviewed Jen about her cooking addiction…
LHR: What inspires you to cook and write your blog?
The people that I love – my friends and family – are my biggest inspiration. I enjoy cooking and baking, but what makes it all worth it is having the opportunity to share my passion with others. Nothing makes me happier than to know that something I made has brightened someone’s day – whether it’s a batch of decorated sugar cookies for a friend or a reader whose family enjoyed one of my pasta recipes. For me, it’s all about the connection to others.
LHR: What’s the hardest party about blogging? The easiest?
I blog because I love it. I try really hard not to get caught up in the statistics and other “business-like” aspects of blogging. I have a business/analytical background, though, so it can be really difficult for me to let all of that go and not worry about turning my blog into a business.
Believe it or not, the easiest thing for me is the content. I write about what I am cooking and baking in my home, and I really do love to cook and bake! Once and a while I struggle for inspiration, but for the most part, the recipes just flow naturally.
LHR: What’s the one cookbook you can’t be without?
That’s a tough question…I have quite a few cookbooks that get used on a regular basis. If I had to choose just one, though, I think it would have to be the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking Cookbook. It is my go-to source for all things baking – yeast breads, quick breads, cakes, and cookies. And, I have convinced myself that they are all “healthy” since they are whole grain!
LHR: What’s your biggest cooking disaster/triumph?
My biggest cooking disaster occurred years ago, long before I knew that I would one day learn to love cooking and baking. I was in 7th grade Home Economics and we we re divided up into teams to make fettuccini alfredo… Somehow, my partner and I, whose only responsibility was to cook the fettuccini noodles, managed to burn the noodles. We got distracted and stopped paying attention, and they boiled for so long that the water dried up and the noodles were scorched and stuck to the bottom of the pan. Needless to say, a lot of my old friends are now amazed when the find out that I do quite a bit of cooking!
When it comes to triumphs in the kitchen, I think I have had quite a few… Every time I conquer a new recipe or a technique, it feels like a triumph to me. Since I’m a self-taught home cook, I’m always thrilled and excited when things turn out well. A few of the bigger triumphs that come to mind are homemade puff pastry, cannoli, and royal icing.
LHR: What’s your favorite seasonal recipe?
I love just about anything made with pumpkin. Although I’m a big fan of sweet breads, cupcakes, and cakes, I think my favorite pumpkin recipe has to be a savory one. I love these homemade Pumpkin Ricotta Ravioli inspired by my favorite Italian restaurant in Boston. They are wonderful tossed with a bit of brown butter and sage!
LHR: What are some of your favorite food blogs?
I am always discovering and falling in love with new blogs, but a few of my current favorites are Bake at 350, Sugarcrafter, Three Many Cooks, Evil Shenanigans, Thinkin’ Outside the Cookie, I Am Baker, and How To: Simplify.
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