@FreshTartSteph – Hi Joel! Thanks for inviting me!
Q – #1 So @FreshTartSteph, where did you grow up, what HS did you attend and did you get schooling or training after that?
A: Grew up in SW Minnesota (Lakefield!) & Grand Forks, ND. Graduated Red River High School, go Roughriders.
UW-Madison for college, I’ll just say Go Bucky instead of the usual off-color cheer. Pure class, Badger fans, ha.
Q – #2 So what kinds of classes did you take?
A: I was an early political science major, didn’t wear enough patchouli for that crowd, changed to communication arts.
Best class was Our Hazardous Environment (summer, sci credits), about tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes. Fascinating.
Maybe I should have been a meteorologist?
Q – #3 You should follow @ChikageWindler. :) So what steps took you from that to what you do now with food?
A: Always loved the kitchen & cooking, always. I was a very picky eater as a child, but loved what I loved.
Cooking and learning to cook gave me control over my food. Plus I was fascinated by the process of transformation.
Still am! Also, I come from a family of great cooks. Mom, stepmom, grandmothers, aunts. All good. I’m lucky.
And I’m grateful they let me mess around, nurtured a taste for real food. I ate plenty of crap as a teen/young adult…
But the seeds of enjoying real food were planted. I hope I’m doing the same for my kids. Who love to eat crap!
Q – #4 Besides your own blog, you also post for the @mnmomag. What would you say is your focus or theme regarding food?
A: Home cooking with real, fresh ingredients. I endeavor to keep it simple, accessible. I try to provide a lot of…
…substitution ideas, ways to ditch the recipe and innovate. Because in the end, that’s how people will make their…
…own food – if they get the hang of it and don’t have to use recipes all the time. Then it gets fun, fast & easy.
It’s an uphill battle though – cooking at home is a dying tradition. People would rather watch food prepared on TV.
Q – #5 Do you use any prepackaged foods in your cooking? Do you ever do reviews or local restaurants?
A: Sure I do – pasta, yogurt, milk…all packaged! Hard to get around packaged foods entirely. My kids love cereal…
…tater tots, crackers, chips, all of it! My husband is a candy freak. I prefer to just make things myself because…
…I’m picky, and because I can. Ha! I work from home, so I can make myself whatever I want.
Also, I don’t eat gluten, & very limited grains, so it’s easier to make myself something fresh.
Q – #6 Now the FAVS question: Favorite – restaurant, store for food, store for cooking tools, tech gadget and Fall activity.
A: I’m genetically programmed to not be able to choose just one, hopefully that’s OK…
@FreshTartSteph Top 2-5 is okay.
Restaurants: Lucia’s, Corner Table, La Belle Vie, Alma, many others, tough question for a food lover!
Store: Whole Foods, Byerly’s, local co-ops. I buy cooking gadgets online. Tech gadget: iPhone, what a device, yeah.
Fall activity – this yr it’s been exploring great off-leash dog parks w my pup (Louis). Lk Rebecca, Bryant Lk…
…but also biking, yoga, walking around the lakes, taking drives w my husband. This is my time of yr, I perk right up!
Q – #7 How do you feel photography helps you share your skills and messages about food to people?
A: Well, as I’m quickly learning, the photos are everything. People who will never make one of my recipes …
…love to look at the pics, so I quadruple my reach. Sometimes they even read the articles ;) The photos make it real.
Q – #8 Very true! To end today, what cooking advice or mantra would you like to share with everyone?
A: I’ll go out on a limb and say cook your own food :) You’ll be healthier & thinner & eat better. And you’ll never…
…be alone, because everyone loves a good cook! Thanks for the Twitterview, Joel, great fun! #jectv
@JoelECarlson – Thanks @FreshTartSteph for sharing your thoughts and passions today! Enjoy the weekend and keep up the good work!
@FreshTartSteph – You too, Joel. Thank you so much!