This week's guest for Inside the FOod BLOgger's Kitchen is Lis of La Mia Cucina. You may know Lis as one of the hosts of La Festa al Fresco and proud mama to Nigel and Chloe (pictured to the left) For our FOBLOKI interview, Lis and I left our pooches behind in order to enjoy a virtual al fresco dinner/interview.
IsItEDible: Lis, can you start off by telling us about your earliest cooking-related memory?
Lis: Helping my mom and dad roll meatballs for the family Italian restaurant when I was probably around 6 or 7. Mine always turned out looking more like lil footballs, and my dad would always say that he would keep those for himself because they were the best ones.
IsItEDible: Awww! I bet they WERE the best ones. How did your talent for making lil footballs evolve into starting a food blog?
Lis: I initially decided I was going to do it back in January of 2006, because I was addicted to reading so many of them.. but I didn't get the nerve up until March of 2006.
IsItEDible: And where did the name La Mia Cucina come from?
Lis: I want to get back in the food biz (as we all do) so I'd been dreaming of my own restaurant for a few years now. I wanted the name to describe the food I'd cook, but I didn't want it to be too complicated. So I decided on simply, "My Kitchen" but I put the Italian spin on it, so customers would know it was an Italian restaurant - therefore, La Mia Cucina.
IsItEDible: Tropo bello! Lis, one of the things I love about your blog is your willingness to share your culinary successes and your um... attempts that are not quite so successful. Tell us more about the process you use to create a blog entry.
Lis: When I find a new recipe I want to try, or when I try to recreate and idea I've had, I write it (type it actually - my handwriting is horrid) out and then bring my trusty notepad to the kitchen, along with my camera. Depending on how confident I am of the recipe/idea, I'll start snapping photos from mise en place all the way through the steps of the recipe ending with the final dish. If it ends up being a good recipe that I think others would like, I'll sleep on it and then usually write it up in the wee hours of the next morning as I get up at the crack of dawn every day. Ugh. So I usually post before 8 a.m. most times.
IsItEDible: Wow. That's early. What has been one of your favorite pre-8 a.m. blog posts?
Lis: My kitchen disasters are my most favorite to write - I have so much fun, at my own expense. I LOVE making fun of myself - and I truly do believe that I am the Queen of Dorks. So I guess my most favorite disaster was the "Far From Disaster Cake" also fondly known as "The Mothership"
IsItEDible: What has been one of the most difficult blog posts to write?
Lis: Okay well.. I wrote it in a comical way - it's how I deal with the bad stuff.. my mom and my auntie taught me that - if you can't laugh, you'll go insane. But the post about my mom's fall and her breaking her neck in two places was the most difficult to write. Like I said, I didn't want it to be a huge bummer and I needed to work through my fears. So laughter it was. Course as I was writing it, I was laughing AND crying.
IsItEDible: Lis, that is such a personal experience to share with the world. I truly hope that your mom has made a full recovery. Given that you already share so much about yourself on your blog, is there anything else your readers might not know about you?
Lis: I guess.. hmm.. jeez, I don't know - I think I've been pretty open regarding myself. I suppose they most might not know how psycho I am about my dogs, Nigel and Chloe. I've always been psycho regarding my pets all through my life - but with these 2, especially Nigel, I plan my life around them. Kinda pathetic, eh? I refuse to take over night trips without them. I won't stay away from my house (other than work - and I still go home at lunch to be with them) for more than a few hours and I pretty much am thinking about them the whole time I'm gone. Told ya, I'm completely crazy when it comes to my dogs. Hmm.. maybe you shouldn't publish this? *grin*
IsItEDible: Maybe. But it really doesn't sound that psycho to me. (Hmm. I wonder what Zoe and Rocco are doing right now...)
And now the QUICKFIRES...
IsItEDible: What foods warm your heart?
Lis: My family's marinara.
IsItEDible: What foods strike fear in it?
Lis: Head cheese.
IsItEDible: What turns you on in the kitchen?
Lis: Cooking in an organized manner.
IsItEDible: What turns you off?
Lis: Smoke billowing from my oven.
IsItEDible: In the kitchen, what sound or noise do you love?
Lis: The timer on my oven.
IsItEDible: In the kitchen, what sound or noise do you hate?
Lis: Motor slowing on the Kitchenaid
IsItEDible: What word or phrase is heard most often in your kitchen?
Lis: Chloe! MOVE!!!
IsItEDible: What's your favorite kitchen appliance/gadget?
Lis: Kitchenaid Mixer
IsItEDible: What recipe or dish are you known for?
Lis: Linguine & Clam Sauce and London Broil
IsItEDible: What recipe or dish would you like to attempt?
Lis: Beef Bourguignon
IsItEDible: Thanks so much for being this week's FOBLOKI guest. I guess we should let you get home to Nigel and Chloe and your next pre-8 a.m. blog post.