Name: Stephanie Mitchell
Blog name: Dollop of Cream
Where were you born? Comox, Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Where are you living now? Edmonton, Alberta
Why did you start your blog?
I found that I kept sharing my favourite recipes and restaurants with friends – in conversation, by email, over the phone. I would spend ages copying out lists of ingredients and restaurant recommendations for certain cities . . . And then one day, sitting on the bus, it hit me. I could find a little corner of the Internet and make a home for all my favourite recipes and restaurants. I had been reading some great blogs for about a year at that point – Chocolate & Zucchini, Gluten-Free Girl, The Wednesday Chef, Orangette – so I had an idea how it might work. I also loved the thought of learning to take good photos of food and publishing my results.
How did you decide on your blog name?
I wanted something simple that spoke to the fact that I like to cook and bake old-fashioned things. Besides, I truly believe that everything is better with a dollop of cream.
What do you blog about?
Old-fashioned recipes. New-fangled recipes that actually work. Favourite places to eat in cities.
What post are you most proud of and why?
I had heard about quinces for a year or so, and I was so beguiled that I actually asked my green-grocer to call me as soon as the quinces came in. They forgot – which disappoints me to this day – but I did see them at the market anyway and bought as many as I could carry. As I set about poaching the hard woody fruit with a bit of vanilla and sugar, I was smitten. I soon had soft, pinky fruit that smelled of the sweetest medieval perfume. To this day, quinces are still my favourite fall fruit and I scour farmers’ markets for them. I believe – I hope – this post conveys just how wonderful quinces are and encourages readers to try them.
Which post do you wish received more love and why?
It’s the kind of recipe I’m always looking for because it has so much of what I aspire to in my cooking life: it reflects changing cultural traditions, it is super-tasty, and it includes potato chips for dinner. I mean, what’s not to love? It’s also quick and satisfying to make after work, and I hear from friends that even children will eat it.
Which post’s success surprised you and why?
Borscht is, by its very cabbage-y nature, a humble food. I shared this recipe because it was a favourite from childhood and it’s still a remarkably satisfying and tasty soup. It’s such a modest recipe that I didn’t expect many people would be interested and, indeed, only one person has ever commented on it. But when I look at the viewing stats for the site, thousands of people have read about it and – I hope – made it.
What is one (non-kitchen) gadget you can’t live without?
A sharp pencil with a good eraser on the end.
What is one kitchen gadget you can’t live without?
My mini-hachoir. That’s French for mini food processor. My friend Angela introduced me to her mini-hachoir years ago and I’ve never looked back. I use it for everything: nuts, roasted peppers, oats. It’s small and doesn’t make a fuss – I’ve been able to tuck it into all my small kitchens. Angela called hers by the French name (mind you, she is Acadian) and I do, too, to give it the respect it deserves.
Favourite food, care to share a recipe?
Creamy, hot cauliflower. Bubbling Gruyère cheese. A hint of nutmeg. Add a sausage, some roasted fennel and a glass of Gewürztraminer, and I’m in heaven.
What else should we know about you that may or not be in your “About Me” page?
My husband is Celiac, so every recipe on my site is gluten-free or has a gluten-free option. I don’t talk about this much because I believe the recipes stand alone, but it could be good to know.
What makes your blog unique?
You will never find a recipe that includes goat cheese on my blog. I hate goat cheese. My husband says this means I’m not a very good foodie.
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