Name: Denise Bustard
Blog Name: Sweet Peas & Saffron
Where were you born? Smithers, BC
Where are you living now? Calgary, AB
Why did you start your blog?
I started my blog because I was in desperate need of a creative outlet. I was (and still am) doing my PhD and about half-way through, I realized I had lost all of my hobbies to studying. At first my blog was about trying different recipes, learning how to cook, and really challenging myself in the kitchen, and it eventually evolved into creating my own recipes.
How did you decide on your blog name?
I had some notion that I would be cooking food that I grew in my garden, so I thought Sweet Peas & Saffron was cute, but it turns out gardening in Calgary is a huge challenge! I can grow zucchini and that’s about it. And sweet peas!
What do you blog about?
I share recipes I’ve created for my family, and a fun little story to go along with it. I’m focusing more on fast, healthy dinner recipes, so there’s a lot of one pot, slow cooker, 30-minute meals happening these days.
What post on your blog most encapsulates you?
Honey Lime Glazed Thai Chicken Wings This is one of my earlier posts, and one of my favourites because it totally 100% encapsulates my goofy sense of humor. Plus, I love Thai flavours!
Which post do you wish received more love and why?
That’s such a tough one! I feel like I can never predict which posts will be popular, but I did think my guacamole pizza would be more popular than it has been. It’s pretty much my two favourite things on this planet all in one!
Which post’s success surprised you and why?
This Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken Stew recipe took off last year and hasn’t slowed down since. I was surprised because I thought it was a good recipe and I was happy with my photos, but people are just nuts for this stew. It also made me realize that aren’t looking for crazy over-the-top recipes, just good, simple food.
What’s your biggest challenge as a blogger?
TIME!!!!! I am writing up my thesis right now and have an (almost) 2-year old toddler. I hope someday things will slow down, but for now, life is crazy, and I’m loving every minute of it.
Share a couple of your favourite food blogs to read. Why do you like them?
The Recipe Rebel: Ashley is one of my best blogging buddies, but aside from that, she is always coming up with some seriously fun and creative recipes!
Foodie Crush: I don’t think Heidi has ever posted a recipe I didn’t want to reach through the screen and devour! I like that her food is so practical. Real food that real people want to eat.
Favourite food - care to share a recipe or a restaurant destination?
You know, we don’t actually eat out much (probably has something to do with having a toddler!) One of my favourite things to cook is a big pot of soup, and this Thai Curry Sweet Potato & Lentil Soup is one of my all-time favourites!
What are you working on next for your blog?
I have a fun series I’ve been doing for the slow cooker. I provide one base recipe, and then three ways to serve it. Last month I made Honey-Lime Chicken, and then ate it on pizza, a sandwhich and in a salad. Since the slow cooker tends to make huge batches of food, this way you have dinner planned for three nights, and you won’t get bored of leftovers!
What makes your blog unique?
There are so many food blogs these days, and it’s easy to compare yourself with them all. These days, I’m not comparing myself with other blogs. I am focusing on cooking delicious food that makes everyone’s lives (including my own) easier, whether it’s a 30-minute dinner, or a make-ahead breakfast recipe.
What part of the FBC site do you find most useful?
There are so many amazing resources on the FBC site! I recently created a media kit, and found the FBC media kit guide extremely helpful.
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