Lindsey from Café Johnsonia is here today for a great interview and she’s sharing some of her favorite recipes! Be sure to check out her site and all her great looking and tasting recipes!
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
I am a freelance writer, food photographer and stylist. I grew up in the Mountain West and moved to the New York City suburbs when I was 20. I ended up meeting my husband and staying. I was there for just over 7 years. It really changed me in many good ways. I had been a pre-med student in college. I wanted to study neuroscience and dedicate my life to helping people suffering from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. But things changed. I got married and started having babies. I was frustrated being a stay-at-home mom and that’s when I rediscovered my love of photography. I really learned to cook and bake better while my babies were napping. Food was always an interest to me, but it wasn’t until I was in a different environment with so many new-to-me ingredients and cuisines that I really developed my mad skills in the kitchen. I never thought I would enjoy taking pictures of food! Ha!
I was actually a pre-med student in college. I had plans of going into neuroscience. But things took a different route. I’m really happy where I am. I took a few photography classes from a great portrait photographer and fell in love with being in a dark room. I haven’t been in one since! Ha! I worked in a camera shop and developed pictures on a big machine. By that time, digital was taking over and I fell in love with digital photography. I love food and photography. My work keeps me pretty busy, but I really enjoy traveling when I can, gardening, reading, and I am a complete addict when it comes to British television.”
Can you tell me a little bit about your blog?
I started Cafe Johnsonia in 2006. As I said, I was a frustrated stay-at-home mom. We lived in a tiny 2 bedroom apartment and we have one car. My husband was in grad school and working full-time. We didn’t even have the internet at home for the first few years of marriage. One day my best friend confided in me that she had a blog. I read for a few months and decided to start my own. I would post recipes occasionally, and then at her suggestion, I started a dedicated food blog. I got a new camera for Mother’s Day 2006 – my first DSLR. I was hooked. My other blog fell by the wayside and I started putting more time and energy into my food blog. I changed the name from Just Recipes (too similar to Simply Recipes) to Cafe Johnsonia and renamed my other blog.
Blogging has changed so much over the past 8 years. And I have to. I didn’t start my blog thinking that it could ever turn into a full-time (or even part-time) job. I just wanted to post recipes that I loved and the things I made for my family. I’ve quit and come back to blogging several times. I guess you could say I’m addicted to it. :)
On Cafe Johnsonia I now post mainly gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan recipes. I eat a very different way than I did when I first started blogging. If you were to go back through my archives (and see the scary pictures!) you would see how my blog and I have evolved over the years. I’ve had some health setbacks and it forced me to look at food and nutrition a different way. I’m enjoying learning about new foods and how to incorporate them into my diet, and of course, I like blogging about it too.
What do you like most about blogging? What do you NOT like about blogging?
The BEST thing about blogging is the friends I’ve made. Hands down. I have become disconnected with friends in real life over the years as we’ve gotten busy and moved, etc. But blog friends are always there at the same URL and on Facebook. It’s been incredibly fun to connect with new people all over the world this way.
The worst thing about blogging is the times when I start to feel bad about myself and what I’m doing because I’m comparing myself to everyone else. And the funny thing is, I bet those blogs and those bloggers do the same thing!
What would be one tip you would give to someone who was thinking about starting a blog?
Have a good plan, stick to it, and be consistent. I’m not good at any of those things, but I’m trying. Also, be yourself. Be genuine. People do respond to you when you’re being sincere and when you’re doing what you really love. For me it’s stopped being about numbers and page views, and more about putting good content out there that is useful and helps make the world a better place. And I really believe good recipes make the world a better place. :)
What are some of your favorite recipes you’ve created?
Cacao Nib Pavlova with Balsamic Strawberries and Cream (pavlova is one of my very favorite desserts)
Where do you get ideas for your new recipes?
I get ideas everywhere. This is usually how it happens though – I think of what’s in season and then I think about what pairs well with it. I LOVE salad, so there are a lot of salad recipes on my blog. But other times it might be a crazy recipe I create because I have leftover produce or something else that needs to be used up. (Sometimes those turn out less than ideal.) I am not good at planning ahead. I’m more of a spur-of-the-moment cook. I also read cookbooks and magazines like novels.
Where do you see you and your blog 5 years from now?
I hope I’m still loving it. I’d love to have a cookbook or two under my belt and be doing a lot more photography and styling. That’s my real love. I love the writing part too, but not as much as the other two.
Speed round….first thing that pops into your head!
Favorite cookbook (other than your own if you have one):
The Joy of Cooking
Curry – any kind
Chocolate or vanilla:
Ketchup or mustard:
Coffee or tea:
Favorite seasoning or herb:
(Photos have been posted with permission. All photos are property of Cafe Johnsonia)