Name: Nicholetta & Kara
Blog name: Pepper and Paint
Where were you born? Halifax, Nova Scotia
Where are you living now? Halifax, Nova Scotia
Why did you start your blog?
After being out of the public relations field for a number of years, I was really craving a creative outlet. I missed writing content with substance and I thought this forum would be the perfect way to combine my other two loves, cooking and photography. It's been an incredible journey and it fills a void in my life that would otherwise remain barren.
How did you decide on your blog name?
I share the blog with my friend who's an artist. She writes all the creative, art-inspired content and I focus exclusively on food. Pepper and Paint really speaks to our love of food and art. It seemed like the perfect representation of our two passions.
What do you blog about?
The content always includes a recipe of course and the underlying theme is food, but I mainly blog about my life. My family and friends. Things that inspire me or are meaningful in some way. It's a glorified journal of sorts. Things I don't want to forget or memories I really want to hold on to.
What post are you most proud of and why?
I wrote a post about my father which was incredibly emotional for me and it seemed to have resonated with a lot of people. I received so many private e-mails from various readers who shared their own personal stories of loss. The emotional struggle and personal journey that goes along with it is can be consuming on so many levels. Although writing about it was difficult, it was also very therapeutic.
Which post do you wish received more love and why?
I really love the post about a rustic strawberry tart using my mom’s pastry dough recipe. It sticks out for me because I had just returned from a magical weekend away with my husband and children visiting our friends at their gorgeous beach house and it’s a memory I always want to hold on to. This dough recipe is so easy and delicious. It’s perfect for entertaining or using up the last bit of sun-ripened summer fruit.
Which post’s success surprised you and why?
One of my most pinned photos and the post that seems to get a load of love, is the pan-seared scallops with maple brandy. It just seems to be one of those recipes that people really enjoy for some reason. I think people can be intimidated by seafood as overcooking often yields a rubbery consistency but this recipe is quite simple and I think maybe that’s why people are drawn to it.
What is one (non-kitchen) gadget you can’t live without?
This is going to sound incredibly vain, but probably my hair dryer. Without it, I’d be a big ball of brunette frizz.
What is one kitchen gadget you can’t live without?
It's a toss up between my BlendTech blender and my food processor. If I had to pick one though, it would probably be my blender. Nothing can make soups or hummus quite as smooth and velvety. I also rely on it for my daily breakfast smoothie which is creamy and healthy and delicious. Can’t live without it.
Favorite food, care to share a recipe?
I’d have to say the chorizo, fennel and red lentil soup. It’s robust, hearty and incredibly hearty easy to prepare. I love every ingredient in this soup and the chorizo adds that subtle smoky flavor that I absolutely adore.
What else should we know about you that may or not be in your “About Me” page?
Although I've always had a keen love for cooking, I really developed a passion through teaching a volunteer cooking class at a local home for women and children. It really allowed me to find innovative ways of providing nourishing meals for women that have struggled and haven't always had healthy alternatives available to them. It's really allowed my creativity to blossom and grow and it also keeps me grounded and focused. I’ve learned so much as a result of my experiences there.
What makes your blog unique?
Probably the marriage of food and art in this meaningful little package. More than that, I would say the writing is just as important that the actual recipes. I love the expressive forum that allows me to document really important life events while still staying true to my authentic love for cooking and food styling and photography. This blog has become the grandest journal of my life.
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