Expert Interview Series: Jolene S of Everyday Foodie About Cooking, Blogging, and Entertaining

Jolene is a creative food blogger, who is passionate about making magic happen in the kitchen. We recently sat down with Jolene to hear about her favorite cuisines and learn how she likes to satisfy her foodie cravings. Tell...

Foodie

Jolene is a creative food blogger, who is passionate about making magic happen in the kitchen. We recently sat down with Jolene to hear about her favorite cuisines and learn how she likes to satisfy her foodie cravings.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Why did you decide to start Everyday Foodie?

Back in 2009, food blogging was not a big thing. I had recently heard of blogs, and I started searching for food-related blogs since I love to cook (and eat). I came across a couple and figured, "I could do this!" I bought a domain name and have been a part of the food blogging community ever since.

It is a creative outlet for me, and it allows me to pair a passion for cooking with a passion for writing and sharing ideas. My husband is also a total foodie, so he and I often work together to come up with fun dinner party themes or weekends of themed cooking.

Since you live in Saskatchewan, could you tell us what Canadian influences appear in the meals and dishes that you cook?

Saskatchewan has a huge Ukrainian population, and both my husband and I are part Ukrainian, so this definitely comes out in our cooking. We love to make homemade perogies, cabbage rolls, borscht, etc. Everyone in Saskatchewan loves a plate of perogies. We've even done perogies with an Indian twist and a Korean twist, just to switch it up. We invented the borscht perogy, which is stuffed with a mashed potato/beet mixture, dill, and goat cheese; it's amazing.

Another Canadian influence is poutine; we are obsessed with poutine and have made numerous kinds, including Montreal smoked meat poutine, lamb poutine, and roast chicken poutine. Saskatchewan has good deer and moose hunting, so the hunters in the family often gift us with wild meat that we then use in cooking. We've also got incredible farmland in Saskatchewan, and we make good use of the array of local vegetables and grains that we can find in our province.

If someone said to you, "Don't you have to be an outstanding chef to be a foodie?" how would you respond?

I would agree! I know foodies who don't cook at all but absolutely love to eat, and they really appreciate well-made food with quality ingredients. I love both aspects of being a foodie: the cooking and the eating.

Some of my favorite foodie experiences are when I'm traveling. My husband and I always research any place before we visit to ensure that we're hitting all the local hot spots and eating foods that the locals would eat. Food is a major part of our travel, and yet we never cook while on vacation.

Do you have any "foodie" recipes that are easy to make?

Thai Yum Yum Bowl

(Serves 2)

1 T olive oil

1 Thai red chili, minced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1.5 tsp ginger, minced

1/2 stick lemon grass, minced

2 green onions, chopped

1.5 cups (approx) ground pork

1 T Thai yellow curry paste

1 T soy sauce

1 tsp mirin

juice of 1 lime

1 T (packed) cilantro (or more to taste)

170 g bean sprouts (about half a bag)

1 carrot, shredded

Jasmine or sticky rice, cooked according to directions on package

Garnish with cilantro and crushed peanuts

Heat the oil over medium heat. Add the chili, garlic, ginger, and onions. Cook 1-2 minutes, just to soften. Add pork and cook until no longer pink. Add the curry paste, soy sauce, and mirin, and stir to coat. Add juice of 1 lime and the cilantro.

Put cooked rice in bowls. Top with meat mixture. Top that with raw bean sprouts, shredded carrot, and garnishes (cilantro and crushed peanuts). Enjoy!

What's the most unusual dish that you have ever prepared?

We once made a sushi pizza. The crust was just seasoned sticky rice, fried on both sides. We topped it with a wasabi mayo, sashimi, seaweed, pickled ginger, and sesame seeds. You can check it out here.

Since your blog boasts several ideas for cooking for guests, could you tell us why you love to entertain people for a meal or other occasion?

I've always loved to make people happy, and there is no better way to make people happy than to feed them. If we come across or create recipes that we really enjoy, we want to share those with others. We both really like the process of planning what we'll eat, in what order, how we'll serve it, etc. It allows us to be creative, and then we get to see the payoff when our friends or family are really happy. Also, it's always more fun to socialize over great food.

What are some of your must-have items, tools, or utensils that you use in your kitchen?

I must have sharp knives, good quality cutting boards, and a very powerful blender. Good frying pans and baking pans are also necessary.

If someone were to give you a gift for your kitchen and money was no object, what would you want the most?

I am in need of a new stand mixer, as mine is not working properly these days!

Need a new stand mixer or blender? Check out Cilantro's selection today!