Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Blogger to Blogger

This week I had the chance to exchange some of my burning questions with none other than the TV STAR Lindsey at Cafe Johnsonia. She makes the B-E-S-T food and totally shares all her recipes (unlike lazy ole me). And want to know something embarrassing about me? In my mind I've been pronouncing her blog's name as Cafe John-son-ista. Like, rhymes with, barista? DORKY ME! On with the questions:

Lindsey asked: What is your favorite part about living in Colorado? Take me through a virtual tour if I came to visit for a day.

Katie answered: Are you coming soon? To visit me?!?!?! There are so many awesome things about living in Colorado that a single day just isn't enough to take it all in. If you came to visit me for a single Colorado summer day here is what we'd do.

First things first, we'd eat breakfast at Lucile's. Soft sugary beignets, huge mugs of thick hot chocolate and a plate of Egg's Jennifer (veggie eggs Benedict) would start the day of right. Not into eggs? Their steel-cut oatmeal will literally BLOW your mind.

Then, we'd spend a few hours strolling the outdoor farmers market a few blocks away. Fresh, organic produce sold by earth-lovin hippies, live music, cute families and dogs everywhere typify this experience.

After getting our fill of peaches or strawberries at the peak of their freshness we'd take off and take a little hike up Chautauqua park.

We'd watch the awesome Colorado climbers scale the face of the flatirons. On our hike we'd pull out our pre-packaged box lunches from my FAVORITE sandwich spot, Dish. No one goes hungry when the visit me!

For our evening activities we'll head back to Pearl Street. We'll laugh at the funny street performers. We'll check out some awesome locally owned shops. We'll have fantastic dinner at the Kitchen or Frasca (if we can get reservations) or even Jax...the restaurant from which the most recent Top Chef hails.

After filling our bellies with some fantastic grub we'll walk down to Boulder theater to go to an awesome concert, or we can go up to campus to watch a Shakespeare play or to the hill to rock out at the Fox Theater. Then we'd sit out in the warm summer night air and stare up at the stars that are so clear and close you'll be amazed.

Lindsey asked: Did getting your degree in Engineering change how you saw the world? If so, how? (Everyday life kind of things.)

Katie answered: Yes, it actually did. For a while every time I saw something around me I'd draw a free body diagram of it. In case you've never seen one, a free body diagram is a way to show what forces are acting on a gravity, friction, ect. I distinctly remember mentally drawing one of myself while I was water skiing over still glassy water. Then I realized I was being SOOOO dorky and I needed to balance that out so that I wasn't constantly ruining memorable moments of my life with too much analysis.

I try not to let it creep into my daily life as much anymore.

Lindsey asked: What are your top 10 must-must haves? (Think that last page in Domino mag.)

Katie answered:

1. My paper cutter 2. Watching Anne of Green Gables when I'm sick 3. Listening to talks on Ted 4. My microplane zester 5. Dior mascara 6. hot tamales 7. The music of the beautiful Billie Holiday 8. Petro Carbo lip salve 9. Joes Jeans, Muse cut 10. My little wrist bumper for my mouse

And turning the tables....

Katie asked: There MUST be something you can't make...something you're nervous to try...something you've tried in the past that hasn't turned out. Are you brave enough to share your kitchen nemesis? (mine is fudge...I just can't get it right)

Lindsey answered: Oh, there are many, many things I can't make. And even more failures. Want to hear the one I'm the most embarrassed about? Rice. RICE. I can't make it to save my life. My mom bought me a rice cooker last summer. Finally we can eat rice that isn't soupy or undercooked.

My nemesis is saltwater taffy. I made it four times in a row and it NEVER worked. I gave up on that.

I think the failures have helped me more than anything as I have learned (and am still learning) how to cook and bake. We joke at home that I am playing America's Test Kitchen. I even take things over to family for them to review. It's fun. I don't mind the failures too much.

Katie asked: If you could wake up tomorrow morning anywhere in the world, where would you want it to be?

Lindsey answered: That depends--did I get to sleep through the night? Just kidding.

I would love to wake up in Karmoy, Norway. It's a small island in the North Sea. My great-grandfather grew up on that island and some of my relatives still live there. One runs a chicken farm and his lovely house sits on the coast. I was lucky enough to visit there with my grandfather before he died. I'd go back there in a heartbeat and stay for the summer. The people are genuine. The landscape is gorgeous. The food...oh, the food is so good. And I'd take a dip in the North Sea with the jellyfish. You'd be surprised how warm the water is in August and how many jellyfish there are.

Katie asked: Anyone who has been blogging for a while has some learned a little something about what makes a "good" blog. Are there any concrete things you've changed about your blogging over the years that has made it better? Something someone else could do to help their blog be better?

Lindsey answered: I hope my blog has gotten better over the years. :)

Blogging has changed over the last few years. I started back in February of 2006. It was just becoming all the rage. I didn't realize what blogging even was. I was haphazard and all over the place. It took some time to center on the theme of food blogging. Most of the blogs I read were personal blogs about my friends' kids. There weren't as many lifestyle and food blogs around like there are now. (Or maybe I just didn't know about them.)

My husband bought me a digital SLR for Mother's Day in 2006. I had to sit down and read my manual and learn how to use it properly. That took the most effort and the most time. Pictures are what made people other than my best friend interested in my blog. When I started posting recipes there were no pictures. I started taking pictures. Then I started doing how-to posts. People liked the how-to posts. I don't do them as often anymore because they are really time consuming; though I still love those posts the very best.

I get asked a lot about how to make a blog better. I'm not sure I'm the authority on this, but I'll tell you what makes me want to read one blog vs. another.

*Pictures--they don't have to be magazine quality, I just like something to look at

*Consistency--doesn't have to be daily, just frequently
*Writing--it could be funny, sweet, or sad, but it should be well composed
*Originality--I get bored of blogs that just copy other blogs all the time

*Personality--share a little bit about your life so your readers can get to know you (I could probably do this more)
*Connect with other bloggers--learn from them, link to them, comment, etc.
*Don't post for other people--stay true to yourself. Be genuine and people will be able to see it. This is the single most important thing.


Cafe Johnsonia said...

This was so much fun! I'm really going to come visit you in Colorado now.

allimarie said...

I want to come visit too! I've never been to Colorado. After reading that and seeing the pics, you make me want to MOVE there!! :-)

Greeneyes said...

Man, I feel Johnsonia on the rice. I biff it every time. RiDICulous.

Thanks for the fun interview! Moving day is looming, and your pics make me homesick for CO already.

The Bentley Family and Aussiemuminthekitchen said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog and for your comments. I don't get many visitors so it is always a thrill when someone takes the time. I'm going to have to try the additions you suggested to my meatloaf next time I make it.

Raven said...

I am adding the information from this to my Colorado file!

Thanks for your e-mail on the subject as well, I am going through your suggestions and researching this morning; I think I am putting together a great list!

(we are so going to that breakfast place Saturday morning!)