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Name:   Rhonda Hogan

Blog name: Olive & Ruby

Blog URL: oliveandruby.com

Where were you born? Trinidad

Where are you living now? Mississauga, Ontario

Why did you start your blog?  Mid 2011, I found my paternal grandmother’s book of handwritten recipes, which was given to me after she died. It inspired me to start this blog as a way to share them with family and friends.  My maternal grandmother also passed onto me, her love for baking so I thought that it would be a good idea to capture those on the blog as well. However, as the blog evolves, it’s turning out to be more about me, and my experience with food.

How did you decide on your blog name?  Olive & Ruby are the names of my paternal and maternal grandmothers, and since they taught me how to cook, I decided to pay homage to them in the name.

What do you blog about?  I blog about food, recipes, product reviews, events that I’ve attended and life. A year and a half in, I’m now beginning to find what’s the ideal balance of topics for me.

What post are you most proud of and why?  I’m most proud of the post that I wrote right after attending my first food blogging conference – which happened to be FBC 2013. Prior to attending the conference I was really struggling with figuring out what kind of blogger that I want to be.

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At the opening night’s dinner I sat at the same table with Mairlyn Smith, David Leite, and Alison from the Cookbook store. In between the peals of laughter and pre-dinner hijinks, I learned that I shouldn’t be scared to really put myself out there, and be authentic when I blog. That has stayed with me since then and has definitely had an impact on how I approach blogging, and my future plans for Olive & Ruby.

Which post do you wish received more love and why?  My blog needs more love overall, but that’s partly my fault because I haven’t turned up the dial on promoting my blog as yet.  I did a post on Grilled Fish tacos with red cabbage coleslaw and I got zippo comments on it. Most fish tacos that I’ve had, has fried fish in it and I wanted to have a healthier option so I gave this a shot, and I was actually quite proud of it turned out.

RELATED:  Featured member blog: Life on Manitoulin

Which post’s success surprised you and why?  I wrote a post about the crisis of conscience that I had cooking a baby roast suckling pig.

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It seemed that everyone had an opinion and what started as a couple of comments on my blog moved over to Facebook, and I even got emails about it. I was kinda surprised about the fervour of people’s responses

What is one (non-kitchen) gadget you can’t live without?  I can’t live without my ipad. I’ve always got it and my charger with me. Between my magazines, books, sodoku and the Internet I can never be bored.

What is one kitchen gadget you can’t live without?  My Kitchen Aid Stand mixer because I bake every week and the mixer saves me time, and quite frankly my manicure (I’m all about my nails). Grandma Ruby would be appalled because she taught me how to knead dough by hand. She believes that you should be able to “feel” when the dough is done.  I guess that’s why her pastries and bread were never over kneaded and mine sometimes are. Hmmm!

Favourite food, care to share a recipe?  Hello my name is Rhonda and I am a carbaholic. I love bread of any kind – savoury, sweet and everything in between. I love breakfast breads in particular because I love to have fresh bread for breakfast on the weekends. This is my go-to scone recipe.

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What else should we know about you that may or not be in your “About Me” page?  I wish I could speak a second language fluently, if I ever won the lottery I plan to walk into the office “dripping with diamonds”, quit my day job and focus on self publishing my grandmother’s cookbook. Heck I may do that anyway J minus the diamonds.

What makes your blog unique?  I’m taking on food blogging on my own terms. I’m not interested in just being another blogger who slings product for a brand, I’m more interested in producing quality content. I put a lot of thought and research into my posts, so I may not post as often, but I’m trying to make them meaningful.

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One Comment

Marlene Cornelis
Reply

Hi Rhonda – so nice to see your blog featured here! I love the story of the influence your two grandmothers have had on your cooking.

I just read and commented on your post about the suckling pig. It was quite thought provoking and I’m glad to see you got a lot of feedback about it. I hope my comment contributes to the discussion!

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