For this week’s Food Blogger Spotlight, we’ve got the lovely Susan Russo. Her blog, Food Blogga, has gained many devoted followers since its inception in 2007, and it’s Susan’s enticing recipes and fresh writing that draws readers in and invites them to stay for lunch.
Susan was raised in Rhode Island before moving to Southern California, though at her very core she’s a sorella italiana.* Many of her recipes are her own personal brand of Italian fusion, which just about sends me into fits of ecstasy whenever I visit her site. She is currently working on two cookbooks for Quirk books, and you can also find her on NPR’s Kitchen Window Online, where she is a regular contributor.
Let’s welcome Susan! Please say hello in the comments!
We all have staples that we couldn’t live without. What three ingredients do you *always* have in your kitchen and why? I’m not talking snacks like chips and hummus, but rather ingredients you use all the time in your cooking.
- Eggs – At least a couple of times a month when I’m checking out at the market, the cashier eyes my 4-5 dozen eggs and says, “Whoa! That’s a LOTTA eggs you’ve got there. Are you having some kind of omelet party?” Uh, no. Who has an omelet party, anyway? Eggs are simply perfect (especially if you eat mostly the whites). Can anyone say frittatas and heuvos rancheros?
- Lemons – They’re the most versatile fruit for cooking. Rarely does a day go by that I don’t use them. They’re a healthy, low cal flavor enhancer that adds complexity to salads, veggies, sauces, seafood and meats. And I haven’t even gotten to desserts.
- Olive Oil – It’s not just because I’m Italian. I mean, really, how does anyone survive without it? Just about every dish in every cuisine starts by sautéing garlic, onions, veggies or spices in oil, and olive oil is much healthier and more flavorful than most others. Plus, what would I dunk my Italian bread in?
Imagine you moved to the smallest apartment possible – a shoebox, really – and you only had room for a single cookbook. Of all your cookbooks, which one would you keep? Why do you love it so?
That’s easy. I’d keep Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours. I’m an improvisational cook, so I rarely use cookbooks for savory dishes. Baking, however, requires precision, and who better to rely on than Dorie? Also, the book was a gift from my mom and includes a lovely hand written note from her on the inside cover that makes me smile every time I open it. Yup, that book would definitely be making the trip.
When you’re looking for new recipes (or creating one of your own), what is your number one priority? What makes you pick one recipe over another?
Just one? Hmmm… that’s hard. Well, I’d have go with flavor pairings. I’m attracted to dishes with contrasting flavors such as sweet and salty or bitter and sweet.
Blogs have the potential to be so many things, from personal journals to outrageous adventure reports. What is the most important thing you put into your blog, and what is the most important thing you get out of it?
The most important thing I put into my blog is enthusiasm. I want my blog to speak to my readers and to touch them in some way. Whether it’s through humor, nostalgia or didacticism, I try to infuse each post with passion. The most important thing I get out of my blog is the chance to be creative and to challenge myself to become a better writer and communicator.
Thanks so much, Susan!
Here are some favorite posts from Susan’s Blog, Food Blogga:
- How to Make Limoncello
- Rigatoni with Walnut, Parsley, and Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
- A Sexy Autumn Breakfast: Ricotta Hotcakes with Warmed Spiced Apples and Maple Syrup
*Please don’t point and laugh at my flawed Italian.