Every week we’ll be introducing you to a charter member of the Gourmet Live Socialvores, a handpicked group of food enthusiasts selected to join us on our culinary adventures. Get to know this week’s featured Socialvore (and get a sneak peek inside their fridge), then check out the full list of charter members.
|Name: Julie Van Rosendaal
Name of blog: Dinner With Julie
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Year blog founded: 2008
What was the inspiration for the name of your blog?
What is your all-time favorite recipe from your blog?
Impossible to choose! I’d say no-knead bread, but that’s not my idea – it did change my life, though. Or Chocolava Cookies – they’re low in fat, but incredibly rich, dense and chewy. Wait – I know! Homemade Raincoast Crisps. They’re twice baked crackers – baked first as a loaf, then frozen and thinly sliced. I was so hooked on Raincoast Crisps that I was determined to develop my own recipe for them. My favorite variety is rosemary-raisin-pecan, but you could substitute all kinds of ingredients. Now the recipe is all over the place, making a great many people very happy!
What is the first meal you ever cooked?
Meal? I can’t remember – I’ve been cooking for so long. I won a big chili cook-off when I was 13 – one for adults, not just kids! When we were little my sisters and I each had a day of the week when we had to plan and prepare dinner for the rest of the family. It was a great exercise and I think the fact that I loved cooking from before the time I could read didn’t hurt! My mom likes to tell the story of when I was 3 and asked when I could cook by myself. “When you can read a recipe yourself, you can cook yourself,” she said. I toddled off and came back awhile later to ask what a “tbsp” was – I learned to read by reading cookbooks. I’ve been cooking ever since.
If you had to blog about one ingredient every day for a year, what food it be?
Beans. There’s so much you can do with them. It amazes me how little people know about what to do with legumes like lentils, chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans and navy beans. And also how easily intimidated even good cooks are about the idea of pre-soaking them. My prediction: beans are the new whole grains!
I will never eat:
Hamburger Helper. Or black licorice. Yuck. I don’t even like it when other people eat it.
What is your favorite restaurant and what do you order there?
I don’t really have a favorite restaurant – I have several, and many more I still need to try! Rouge in Calgary recently made the list of 100 best restaurants in the world, and deserved that honor. It’s a fabulous restaurant in the former home of A.E. Cross, built in 1891. I’m also a fan of L’Epicerie, a wonderful French deli (where I always get a Croque Monsieur), Capo, Aida’s, Thompsons, Bonterra, Sugo, and Brava Bistro in Calgary. When I go to Brava, I always order the Lobster Poutine!
What other blogs, food or otherwise, do you read regularly?
I can easily get sucked into blog-hopping for hours. I love Seven Spoons, Remedial Eating, 101 Cookbooks, Smitten Kitchen, The Wednesday Chef, Orangette, Canelle et Vanille, Hogwash, David Lebovitz, Gluten-Free Girl, Sweet Amandine, Food 52 … I’m sure I’m forgetting some! They just keep getting more and more beautiful.
When you’re not blogging about food or cooking, what other activities do you do?
There are other activities?
Is there a food you used to hate, but now love?
Cilantro. It grew on me. And avocados. As a kid, the texture freaked me out a bit, and now I’m making up for lost time.
If you were trapped on a desert island with only five ingredients, what would you pick?
Presuming I have a full kitchen on said island? Flour, yeast, cold-pressed canola oil, chickpeas, kale? Hmmm … this is tougher than it sounds! How long am I trapped there? Can I just have a case of Lyle’s golden syrup, butter, good bread and a case of ice cream, and John Cusack? That would count as ingredients for something…
What is your current food fix?
I’m seriously hooked on no-knead bread again. Every few months I have to cut myself off of it completely. There’s nothing better than buttered crusty bread topped with a poached egg, or toast spread with chokecherry jelly or drizzled with Lyle’s Golden Syrup. I also secretly love Cheezies (the old-fashioned kind – or are they only in Canada?) with red wine. Classy.