Names: Holley & Raj
Blog name: The Primal Desire
Where are you living now? In the beautiful Okanagan in BC.
Why did you start your blog?
We wanted to affect peoples’ lives in a positive way through real, healthy, delicious, fun food. We are both passionate about our creativity in the kitchen and wanted to be able to share that with the rest of the world. Part of that came from wanting to be able to show people who ask “so what can you actually eat on the paleo diet?” that we actually eat gourmet – we are not deprived with this healthy lifestyle.
How did you decide on your blog name?
Raj: “This actually came about as result of a selfie I had sent to Holley eating BBQ’d chicken thighs marinated in an amazing concoction (you can read the full story here. and served with spicy smoked salmon mashed yams. The look on my face was deadly-serious: Do NOT F* with this man’s food. It was primal. At the same time I was texting with Holley I was reading The Alchemist and hit a line about enthusiasm and purpose, and there it was: desire. Conveniently ‘primal’ is a term closely associated with ‘paleo’.”
What do you blog about?
Alongside our delicious recipes, we write about family, farmers markets, local/real/slow food, stuff in our lives and life in general. Our recipes are our focus, but we think we’re pretty entertaining (Raj laughs at all of his own jokes – even when he doesn’t get them), and we hope that our readers enjoy our personalities.
What post on your blog most encapsulates you?
Raj: I don’t know if ‘encapsulates’ is the word, but I feel the post that I most exposed myself was writing about where I am in life right now. I think that it has a pretty powerful message for everyone (bring Kleenex). Oh, and the recipe is killer too. Pecan Crusted Rack of Lamb.
Holley: I am an enigma and cannot be encapsulated. I put a little of myself in all my posts, this is a hard question. But this post for Cherry Basil Iced Tea covers my love lost for summer months. I know, crazy, I don’t love summer, but I can explain!
Which post do you wish received more love and why?
Holley: Peach Chili chicken Wings. I was really proud of the pictures. It is simple. So simple. And it is friggin’ delicious.
Raj: All of them, obviously, haha. Let’s say Bacon Wrapped Onion Rings. No! Chipotle Strawberry Chicken Wings. Wait, my omelettes? No!! Bacon Banana Scrambled Eggs! Final answer. Also a simple fast recipe that is not only interesting, but is a surprisingly good combination.
Which post’s success surprised you and why?
Raj: Paleo Hummus made with cauliflower and almond butter. It’s amazing, and surprising that you can get that flavor from those ingredients, but I am super unimpressed with the photos I took.
Holley: I agree absolutely. It’s our highest traffic driver each day. Although it’s delicious, who knew so many people want a paleo hummus recipe. Definitely didn’t expect this recipe to be the one bringing people to the site.
What else should we know about you that may or not be in your “About Me” page?
Holley: I dislike lemon drinks, lemonade, and lemon water… not my thing. Raj has a mortal fear of stone fruit skin that is fuzzy. That’s right; this fine male specimen (who is single by the way) can be brought to his knees, or sent whimpering into another room by menacing apricots or vicious peach fuzz.
Raj: Thanks Holley… for peeling my peaches. Our styles in the kitchen are polar opposite: Holley is an ‘efficient catastrophe’ – stuff is everywhere (she keeps dropping cherries as I write this. I just keep hearing them thump on the kitchen floor…) but things are created at an alarming rate; whereas I’m more calculated and make very little mess as I go. Also, Holley has an incredible knowledge about alcohol and the liquor business.
What makes your blog unique?
Raj: I would say the team that is Holley and myself. (I am really curious as to how many cherries are currently on the floor underneath Holley’s chair right now. She’s making them rain over there…)
Holley: Us. We do. We are a niche blog being focused on paleo recipes, but our individual personalities make us unique. And we have unique flavor profiles: Raj is more focused on salty savory dishes, whereas I do more baking, desserts, and preserves. (Every time I think of something other than my task at hand pitting cherries to dehydrate, I drop one. Someone keeps asking me questions…)
Raj: Our flavor combinations are unique as well. I will (and have) put almost anything into an omelette in a successful way. Our playfulness and reckless abandon in the kitchen can really end up anywhere.
What’s your biggest challenge as a blogger?
Holley: I find my biggest challenge is time, still working full time, and sometimes a little more, recipe development, photos and a write take up most of my free time.
Raj: I can’t keep up with my ideas. There are so many things that I want to do but I just can’t keep up with them.”
Share a couple of your favourite food blogs to read. Why do you like them?
Nom Nom Paleo. Her recipes are seriously the bomb, she too was a pharmacist, their branding is awesome, and there are almost no ads on her site. My hero!
She Eats. One of our very own FBC members, Kristy is one of the most entertaining writers of all times and she shares similar values and appreciation for real food. And liquor. ‘Nuff said.
Thug Kitchen. Having met them at FBC 2014, we both fell in love with Michelle and Matt. Holley had been following them for about a year before that. We both appreciate the in-your-face comic blunt style they use to encourage people to eat real food.
Friday is Cake Night. Raj had connected with Angie before the conference and all three of us share a twisted sense of humor. Although our eating styles are very different, we appreciate each other’s tastes and abilities. Plus we started our blogs at around the same time and like to compare notes often.
Favourite food - care to share a recipe or a restaurant destination?
Holley: I hate that question. I like all kinds of food.
Raj: She’s giving me a blank look. I have the same difficulties in answering this question. I could come up with a top 5… but as soon as I start listing them it will actually become a top 50. So buckle in: salmon sashimi in Vancouver, Thai everything, my omelettes, Mom and Dad’s curried lamb, cheese, duck, pub food…. This is like telling people which one of your kids is your favourite. I love them all. Ethnic stuff. Seafood. Homemade comfort foods. A&W poutine….
What are you working on next for your blog?
Raj: As I mentioned, we have tons of ideas which we have a hard time keeping up with. My current wishlist includes an Intro to Paleo course, e-recipe books, some changes to the site design, more articles, an incredible paleo dessert recipe that I’ve been thinking about for about a year, etc, etc, etc.
Holley: More of the same. More preserving, canning, paleo-izing old recipes… yeah.
What part of the FBC site do you find most useful?
Holley: I like the social parts. Twitter parties and things like that. And the how-to features like the taxes for bloggers post.
Raj: I haven’t spent much time on the site itself, but the Facebook group has been invaluable in becoming a food blogger.
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