Have you had dinner with Julie?  If not, allow me to introduce you...  Julie van Rosendaal, who calls the neighbourhood of Ramsay in Calgary home, originally set up her blog - Dinner with Julie - as a "sort of reality cookbook" and you'll see she chronicles "real meals".  As she says,  "in most households, on an average Wednesday night the dinnertime decision-making process has more to do with using up what’s about to go slimy/wilty/smelly in the fridge, reheating something or other, or pulling an old standby into service. Even though I’m a food writer, with a husband, preschooler and inconsistent schedule, my mealtimes work much the same way."  It's good to know that even published authors are real people too!

Yes, published author - check out Grazing, One Smart Cookie, Starting Out and her latest, Spilling the Beans.

As well as an author, she is also the food and nutrition columnist on the Calgary Eyeopener on CBC Radio One, a contributor to the online cooking series, Good Bite, and co-host of a TV cooking show (It’s Just Food on Viva Network). Her decisions about what to eat for dinner are influenced by topics she might be researching, people she's working with or food she's experimenting with. Her blog addresses all the factors that govern what we eat – seasons, events, locales, participants, politics, kids, marketing.  Julie shares her kitchen adventures with her husband, Mike, and her young son, Willem (who's not been very well this week - sending lots of healing vibes your way W!)

Grilled cheese? Yes please!

Julie's blog started with 365 consecutive days of posting  in 2008 (first post, a version of Nigel Slater's Pumpkin and Red Lentil Soup from the Kitchen Diaries, last post, Bread Pudding Pancakes). In her first post she talks about how she took a while to get her blog up and running, putting it off so long that her original domain name (Julie Does Dinner) expired!  Finally she bought Blogging For Dummies (gotta love someone - else - who admits to buying the "For Dummies" books!) and just sat down to write. Over 4 years later, she's still going strong.

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Bread pudding pancakes. Oh yes.

If you start to delve into Julie's extensive recipe index, you'll see she's managed to not just keep up her initial challenge of posting every day for an entire year (you bloggers out there will know just how much work that is, to post a quality post every day!) but also build an amazing resource. For anyone who wonders "What shall I make for dinner?" I guarantee that you'll find something there to please most palates, that will work with what you have on hand and your budget (both time and money). It's an impressive body of work.

Julie's also one of the nicest bloggers out there - so do yourselves a favour and follow  - Dinner with Julie and Follow Julie on Twitter.

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Deborah Wihlidal

I just tried your sourdough bread using a homemade yeast starter, OMG! It turned out amazing on my first try, it’s the best bread I’ve had in a long time, my husband said it reminded him of the bread back home in Germany. A true winner! You make it very easy with your step by step instructions, that even a beginner bread maker could follow easily. Thank you, I can’t wait to try more of your great recipes.

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