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It’s time for my favorite female foodie bloggers Round Two! Today I would love to introduce you to Alicia of Weekly Greens. Alicia and I first met on Twitter as we prepared to attend Eat, Write, Retreat last May. When we finally met in DC at the conference we realized how many similarities we had. We both were born and raised in the Midwest, each have two boys about the same age and both have a love and passion for passing on our love of food to our children. I truly enjoyed meeting and spending time with Alicia and continue to enjoy her blog with each post. I think that you’ll love her too!
With that please meet Alicia!
Tell me a little bit about your blog and what you write about.
Weekly Greens is a collection of recipes using fresh, healthy foods geared towards busy home cooks. I try to keep the themes seasonal and encourage my readers to use foods at their peak (and avoid them when out of season!). I weave in stories from my own life as a busy working mom of two young boys and wife of one big boy. My hope is that through my recipes and stories, I can demystify home cooking and help my readers gain confidence in the kitchen.
Why did you start blogging?
I developed a very straightforward method of meal planning and grocery shopping – plan and shop once per week, eat fresh meals every weeknight. Though I was juggling two kids and a demanding job, this system worked well for me. I had friends ask if they could just use my shopping list. It occurred to me that if I shared my plan, the recipes and the list, I’d be taking a lot of the guesswork out of weeknight cooking and that I might actually be able to help people who want to cook get over that hurdle. I wrote my first post in October 2010 and have been at it ever since!
What is your earliest memory in the kitchen?
When I was growing up, my mother was frequently in the kitchen. A skilled cook and baker, she not only made meals each weeknight that we shared together as a family, she baked as a hobby. We almost always had a batch of homemade cookies in the house. During holidays, she would bake dozens upon dozens of cookies and make candies of all kinds to give away. My first memories in the kitchen are probably related to those marathon holiday baking sessions. Some years, she’d literally make one different kind of cookie per day from Thanksgiving until Christmas. It was madness!
Who or what influences you in the kitchen today?
My comfort and ease in the kitchen came from my mother. But these days, I am heavily influenced by my family and what they like to eat. My husband might laugh out loud at that because he thinks I don’t make enough of the things he loves – turkey tacos with prepared seasoning packets and pasta with Ragu sauce. I try to make dishes we’ll all enjoy while at the same time expanding the palates of my young boys. I think it’s important to expose them to a variety of flavors and textures while they’re young. I don’t expect that they’ll eat everything, but I do want them to at least take a taste. Often, they are happily surprised by foods they thought they didn’t like.
What is your favorite ingredient
Lately, I’m a fool for Greek yogurt. I eat it plain, or top it with berries and a few nuts for breakfast. It makes creamy soups without the heaviness of cream. It also makes beautiful, protein-rich smoothies. My kids love a morning smoothie and they don’t need to know that it’s good for them, too. I also use Greek yogurt to top dishes that might typically include sour cream, like chili or baked potatoes. The creaminess is perfect and there is also an extra tang I just love.
Who is your favorite “famous/celebrity” chef and why?
I have to admit that I don’t pay much attention to what celebrity chefs are doing! I don’t watch food TV and so I’m not up to date on who’s who. I will say that I am much more inspired by home cooks, perhaps because I can identify with them a bit more.
Which of your recipes is your favorite?
I spend a lot of time making foods that one would typically enjoy for dinner. However, I love to play around and create my own recipes when time allows. A lot of the time, these recipes are snacks, breakfast or treats. Last summer, I went crazy making homemade ice pops. I really liked this watermelon variety. They were fun to make with the kids, quite tasty and they froze into this beautiful two-toned pop. I didn’t even mean to do that! This is the kind of recipe that is all fun and makes people happy.
What was your least successful recipe attempt?
I am not very good at working with dough. It makes me panic! I can follow a recipe to the letter and still manage to mess it up if making and working with dough is involved.
Which kitchen tool couldn’t you live without?
I use the microplane just about every day. I use a lot of citrus zest and it’s also terrific for just a touch of grated cheese to top a dish.
Last meal. What would yours be?
Spinach lasagna with garlic bread, a huge green salad and a big glass of spicy, bold red wine
My favorite recipes from Alicia: