Today I have a treat for you.
If you are new to nwafoodie, you may not have been around last July when I posted my highly recommended list of the Top 10 Northwest Arkansas Food Blogs you should read. If you were around to read that post, surely you checked them out and became fervent followers.
Number one on that list was Our Everyday Dinners, the (almost) everyday posting site of Amy James, local Fayetteville recipe blogger. Her tag line is “Every night after I cook, I snap a photo, then I eat. Oh, and then I clean the kitchen and blog about dinner.”
All of that is true. What she fails to mention, humbly so, is that she is adorable. With the soul of a charming Southern gal, Amy oozes sweetness with pinch of spunk.
Since that posting last July, I have had opportunity to meet Amy and get to know her and dig deeper into what makes her tick.
Now it’s your turn to get to know her.
Amy, why and when did you start your blog?
I started blogging over a year ago as a way just to record recipes. A couple of girlfriends encouraged me to go public with it, because they wanted to look at it. And I'm so glad I did! I love doing it.
I am sure they are proud of you, too!
So I am wondering, do you really cook a homemade meal every day and blog about it?
Yep. My blog is real. I cook, snap a picture, then eat. No fancy lighting or anything. Just my kitchen.
I notice that many of your recipes seem to be your creation. Roughly what percent of your recipes are your creations versus someone else’s?
I rarely follow any recipe exactly. I add things, leave out ingredients we don't like, or change the cooking technique. I try to credit anyone who inspired the dish, though, because no recipe is completely my creation. I copy meals I've had a restaurants, recipes friends give to me, and things I find online or in cookbooks.
I am intrigued by your “healthy, sometimes gourmet, always practical” approach. Do you think it is possible to be all three in the same dish?
Of course! I've found that it's much easier to feel good about cooking at home when the end result is delicious and healthy. And as far as being practical goes, I rely on Walmart, Sam's Club, and occasionally Ozark Natural Foods (along with the Fayetteville Farmers' Market in the summer) for ingredients. I also have 3 little ones in the kitchen with me, so whatever I'm cooking has to be easy and fast!
What is your favorite meal that you posted? Your least favorite?
There is nothing better than summer tomatoes, and this recipe for Farmers' Market Tomato Bruschetta may be my favorite food!
On the other hand, these Creamy Crock Pot Chicken Tacos were not really that great...
But then I fooled around with the recipe a bit, and turned it into Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Rice Bowls, which were so good I've made them several times since.
If you could invite any 3 people to dinner (from any era) who would they be?
My kiddos. I have 3 of 'em. There is no one else I'd rather hang out with except my husband. Can we invite him, too?
Has the way you plan, shop, or prepare dinner changed since you started this blog?
Oh, yes. I've gotten a lot more creative with my meal plans because I know people are watching. That's a good thing for my family.
Do you have a favorite hidden-gem or secret-food-spot in Northwest Arkansas that you would be willing to share with us?
I have two. Geraldi's in downtown Fayetteville is our absolute favorite family restaurant. It's just simple Italian food in a casual atmosphere. The pizza is fantastic, but I always order spaghetti and garlic bread with extra marinara. Also, TJ Maxx is a great place to find little gourmet gems like truffle salt, gourmet spice mixes, or really nice olive oil at a discount. I do love a bargain!
I am a TJ Maxx girl, too! Sometimes you can find such crazy-amazing deals. You were also the one who turned me on to Geraldi’s. I think it should be named as one of the most “comfortably-romantic” restaurants in NWA.
What do you hope you provide your readers once they have visited your site?
The confidence that you can cook something healthy and delicious for your family any night of the week.
Well said. Thanks so much for sharing with us today, Amy!
Thank you, Lyndi!
Eat well, my friends. Eat well.