For our next installment of Food Blogger Spotlight, I’d like to welcome Elana Amsterdam of Elana’s Pantry. Elana’s blog is all about gluten free eating that is both simple and satisfying. After giving up her big-city New York life for Colorado, she discovered that she and one of her children were diagnosed with celiac – which meant a big change for her and her family. Just like any other busy mom, she didn’t want to prepare double dinners every night, which meant she had to find a way of making her gluten free recipes tasty to everyone.
This is where you, the reader, benefits: Elana’s blog is a compendium of many of her fabulous recipes. She’s also just recently written a new book, The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook (only $10 on Amazon!). I can’t recommend her gluten free recipes enough – I think you’ll love them as much as I do!
Please welcome Elana!
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.
My favorite 3 ingredients are almond flour, agave nectar and grapeseed oil. These 3 ingredients form the crux of many of the dessert recipes on my blog and in my recently published book, The Gluten Free Almond Flour Cookbook.
The above would be my answer for a “baking” day in the colder weather. My cooking is very seasonally oriented, so I would say that for the warm weather my favorite ingredients are kale (which actually grows in my garden all year round), parsley (which grows wildly during summer) and salad mix (which grows like weeds in my summer garden, and grows a bit more slowly in my cold frame during the cold weather). I love making my family salad or some type of kale dish every day so that they get their quota of green goodness. And I love cooking with parsley; it’s delicious in so many dishes and packed with fabulous nutrients.
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?
Well, to be quite honest, I would take my own cookbook since I still cook the recipes from it almost every single day. However, I think that is a very biased answer so I would have to say alternatively, I would take my dog eared, well worn copy of The Joy of Cooking. That book is my cooking bible and I use it as a reference when I am making a new dish and also as inspiration if I need an idea of what to make for lunch or dinner for my family.
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?
I don’t really have any priorities, I love to read magazines and newspapers and sometimes I’ll find an interesting dish that looks appealing – then my determination sets in and I will be on a mission to make it with as few ingredients as possible (to simplify, which is one of my main goals in life); and I’ll also venture to replace ingredients that I don’t think are very nutritious with healthier ones. I like to make quick and easy delicious food that is full of good nutrients. And I love cooking for my husband and children. My main priority around cooking and new recipes is that they eat and enjoy what I make them!
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?
My blog is a vehicle for people to receive information about food, politics and the politics of food. Food is the main theme of the blog. Politics is a very soft sell. My politics might come through in a mention of the chickens I am raising in our tiny yard, or perhaps my review of a book or movie such as Food, Inc.. I seem to have a somewhat endless stream of ideas and enjoy sharing them with others, hoping that I am helping people have a better day in one way or another.
Thanks so much for stopping in, Elana.