Name: Carole Nelson Brown
Blog name: The Yum Yum Factor
Where were you born? London Ontario
Where are you living now? I live in The Beaches, in Toronto
Why did you start your blog?
I started my blog so that I could participate in a lasagna challenge that my food blogger friend, Jen from Piccante Dolce, was going to host. A couple of months after that, the same friend and I asked a third woman to join us in a year long challenge to never repeat a recipe. We blogged about that at noreeats.blogspot.ca and although, it was horribly stressful, it got me hooked and I kept blogging when the year ended. I thought that even if just a handful of family and friends read it, it would be worth the effort.
How did you decide on your blog name?
An old friend, who is now a chef, once said that I had the “yum yum factor”which he compared to having perfect pitch but for the sense of taste.
What do you blog about?
Originally, it was all original recipes but over the years I have started to expand to writing about restaurants and different food centred subjects and, more recently, travel stuff but I will never stray too far from developing recipes.
What post are you most proud of and why?
I am pretty proud of this chili verde pastitsio because I think it is a really successful dish that merged two unlikely bedfellows in a very delicious way. It’s a very Mexican dish mashed up with very Greek dish and it really works.
Which post do you wish received more love and why?
I love these little cranberry glazed turkey meat loafs and was surprised that it didn’t get more love. Because we looooove turkey dinner but it’s not realistic to think our little family of three is going to make it more than a few times a year, this is how we inject Thanksgiving into a regular old weeknight.
Which post’s success surprised you and why?
These vietnamese chicken meatballs are, by far, THE most popular post of all time on my blog. I mean, they are really tasty but the photo is nothing special and they are so “everyday”in this house that I just don’t think of them as being all that special but other people clearly do.
What is one (non-kitchen) gadget you can’t live without?
I can’t live without my iphone. It is my favourite camera (sorry lovely Pentax with all the lovely lenses), my daytimer, my notebook, my cookbook library, my search engine, my love and my everything.
What is one kitchen gadget you can’t live without?
A great chef’s knife
Favourite food, care to share a recipe?
My favourite recipe, right now (it changes like the wind) is for Portuguese style garlic clams. We spent a couple of weeks in Portugal this summer and we ate this dish at least once a day. I am still obsessed.
What else should we know about you that may or not be in your “About Me”page?
My life is pretty much an open book and between all of my social media posting and the blog, there isn’t much left to tell. That said, I don’t think that most people know that I sang professionally for much of my life. I started out doing musical theatre as a kid and by the time I was in my early twenties in Montreal, I had a band and I was the lead singer/songwriter. I even ghost sang bad dance music for a producer in Germany in my twenties. After finally recording an album at the age of 30, I burned out and walked away, cold turkey. Except for one or two occasions, I have never sang in public for the last 20 years.
What makes your blog unique?
I hope that my stories are amusing and I think my style of fusing different ethnic ingredients and techniques gives my food a very urban, “Toronto”, multicultural feeling. I love taking pictures and have grown to really take great pride in the food photography aspect of it. Most of my traffic comes from Pinterest, Foodgawker and Tastespotting which tells me that the photos are a definite draw.
Follow The Yum Yum Factor on Social Media