On today’s edition of My Favorite Foodies Series we meet Suzanne of Strands of My Life. She’s an accomplished award winning writer, cookbook author, food blogger and photographer — and a mighty talented one too! Suzanne’s beautiful blog is where she share a wide selection of healthy recipes that are sure to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. But I’ll allow Suzanne to tell you all about her blog and a bit about her cookbook too. Please help me give her a warm welcome.
1. Can you tell us a little bit about your blog, what can people expect to find there?
My blog has been a journey towards finding what has been at the bottom of my digestive issues all my life. It started with fast dinner recipes and weekend baking with no food restrictions and then near the end of last year, I decided to get serious about my research into what could be wrong. I started off by going sugar-free and that sorted out my low blood sugar issues but little else. I then ate Paleo for three months and that actually made me a little worse and I felt low in energy all the time. So I added back in some easily digested grains like rice and quinoa and immediately felt much better but my digestive issues remained. Then, almost by accident, I came across the words fructose malabsorption on the internet and I recognised myself in the symptoms straight away. I ended up being tested for it and bingo – that was my issue. I have now been on a low FODMAP diet for several months and things have improved out of sight.
2. Is there a special significance to your blogs title?
When I started my blog it was because I wanted a place to showcase my main interests in life – cooking, writing and reading, movies, interior design and travel, which are the Strands of My Life. I quickly discovered I had spread myself too thin and that people were mainly interested in my recipes so I cut out the other topics and concentrated on cooking.
3. Why do you like to cook, bake and spend time in your kitchen? Have you always liked spending time in the kitchen?
I grew up on a farm and spent a lot of time beside my mother and grandmother learning to cook. Saturday was my grandmother’s baking day and I loved to help out and lick the bowls afterwards. Spending time in the kitchen, especially baking, takes me back to those simpler days. I also like to know exactly what I am eating and so buy as few processed foods as possible. If I don’t know where an ingredient came from, then I don’t buy the product.
4. What is your most memorable or most special kitchen moment, be it a happy or a disastrous memory?
As mentioned above, I loved being in the kitchen when my grandmother cooked with the big black coal range burning, warming the whole kitchen. Those are probably some of my happiest memories. But each Saturday afternoon I bake and that is always a happy moment – the sense of discovery and creation and uncertainty about the result. It’s magical.
5. What food is your food vice? You know, one you sneak in a little extra of when no one is looking.
Definitely sweet food – I love slices with layers of chocolate, caramel and marshmallow.
Creamy Lemon Slice – grain, sugar, nut & dairy-free
6. When you want to treat yourself or loved ones what do you prepare or splurge on?
For my husband, it is a plate of seafood – scallops, prawns, lobster, mussels etc. served with a fresh loaf of crusty bread. For me it is the slice described above.
7. What is your favorite ingredient, the one you couldn’t live without, the one you use most often? And is this ingredient the one that inspires you the most or is there another?
Even though I love sweet treats, coriander comes to mind as one of my favourite flavours and I add it to heaps of dishes whether they need it or not.
8. Who is your favorite foodie? (Be it a professional, enthusiast or novice)
Well, you of course, Nancy. Otherwise, I have a bit of a crush on Donna Hay at the moment for her simplicity though I do worry about her reliance of pre-prepared products.
9. A couple of months ago you released your first cook book titled “Afternoon Tea”, can you tell us a little bit about it?
I wrote this cookbook while I was on the Paleo diet as part of my exploration of my digestive problems. Therefore, the recipes are all grain, dairy and refined sugar-free as well as nut-free because I don’t deal with nuts that well. I believe everyone needs a little sweetness in their lives despite rigid dietary needs and this book represents a solution to this dilemma. It has 70 baked treats including tarts, slices, muffins and cakes.
10. What is your favorite recipe from your cookbook?
The chocolate caramel slice is probably my favourite recipe though the custard fruit tarts would come a close second.
Seafood Risotto – minimal preparation, cooked in 30 minutes
Anything else you would like to say or share with us, tips or advice for fellow bloggers?
There are a lot of different eating regimes out there that profess to be the answer to all your dietary and digestive problems but the one thing I have learned is that we are all individuals and we are the only ones who can truly decide what is right for us.
Smoked Salmon Tartlettes
Suzanne is an award winning author, below are some of her books. Click the images to read book description and purchase a copy.
All images are the sole property of Suzanne Perazzini and Strands of My Life. (Graphic design by Spicie Foodie.) Please do not use images, nor graphics, without prior written consent. Thank you