Discovering a brilliant new food blog is a real treat. It’s more than just entertainment- it’s a treasure trove of inspiration and knowledge to draw from and use in your own day to day life. I turn to food blogs every time I’m struggling when trying to put together the week’s meal plan, and when the cupboard are looking bare and I can’t for the life of me figure out how to turn two cans of tuna, some lentils and some box choi into an edible meal (turns out, you can’t.) A Dash of Ginger is one of the food blogs I’ve been most excited to add to my reading list over the past few months, and I find myself returning to Kirsty’s beautiful posts time and again. Her photography, her writing, her passion for cooking and sharing recipes- it’s infectious! I’m so excited to be introducing Kirsty and A Dash of Ginger to you here today, and just know you’re going to fall in love with them both. So, enough chitchat from me- let me hand the reins over to the lovely Kirsty!
1. What made you want to start writing A Dash of Ginger? And how did you come up with the name for your blog?
‘I love experimenting in the kitchen and always wanted to share what I’d been up to but I never felt like my phone snaps did it justice (seriously, it’s amazing how easy it is to make delicious food look horribly unappetising!). I’ve been reading food blogs for years but I started to study the photography a bit more in a bid to improve my own and as my photos got a bit better it felt like a natural step to start my own blog. In hindsight, my earliest photos aren’t nearly as good as I thought they were at the time but hey, we live and learn!
Also, I just really like an excuse to be in the kitchen and my family and friends were getting bored of me trying to initiate discussions on the merits of different types of cheeses ;)
I spent SO long thinking of a name for my blog! I wanted it to be fairly obvious that food is my main focus, but also to reflect my personality and leave a bit of wiggle room if I ever want to branch out a bit in terms of content. When ‘A Dash of Ginger’ finally came to me it felt like the perfect mix of those two things. Although, I’m not a natural redhead so if I ever decide to ditch the hair dye it may not make a whole lot of sense!’
2. What three words would you use to describe A Dash of Ginger?
‘Food with personality (I’m cringing a little – that’s a surprisingly tough question!)’
3. Tell us a little about your blogging experience! Has blogging brought about any major changes in your life? Is there a particular part of the experience of putting together your posts- the photography, writing, coming up with recipe ideas- that you love the most?
‘I’m not sure blogging has contributed to any major changes but it’s certainly given me a push towards experimenting more, not just in the kitchen but also with writing, styling and photography. I work in a fairly mathematical/analytical career so blogging is a great creative outlet and allows me to be a little more artistic. It’s also led to me coming across SO many other talented bloggers who are constantly inspiring me to grow and improve.
My favourite part of the process is constantly changing but at the moment I’m totally in love with the photography aspect. I get so much enjoyment from actually cooking/baking, but it’s in the styling and photography that dishes really come to life and it’s so satisfying to be able to share my recipes in that way.
Having said that, I’m also enjoying writing far more than I initially thought I would. When I began blogging the writing was almost a secondary consideration but as I’ve started to find my voice it’s become something I look forward to. It also highlights to me which recipes I’m really excited about; if I truly love a dish the words just flow and I get super enthusiastic (so much so that I sometimes have to rein it in!)’
4. Let’s talk successes and disasters! What’ve been some of the very best things you’ve ever made- your proudest moments in the kitchen, if you will! And, have you ever cooked up something for the blog that turned out to be not at all bloggable? (I know I have!)
‘Oh I’ve cooked up SO many disasters that never saw the light of day! One particular highlight (lowlight??) was when I tried to bake a very runny cake mixture in a loose based tin – it all dripped out and baked in a big puddle at the bottom of the oven! Needless to say, that did not make it to the blog!
As for successes, I quite like pretending I’m a fancy chef when we have guests round. I recently cooked venison with pancetta, fondant potatoes, pea puree and a red wine sauce for my parents and was pretty pleased that I managed to pull it all together! Blog-wise, I think it has to be the sweet potato gnocchi, simply because it’s such a labour of love (but totally worth the effort!)
5. Now, on to the ‘personal’ stuff! :) What might surprise people to learn about you? Any secret skills or unusual pastimes?
‘I used to swim competitively as a child (way back when I was much fitter than I am now!) and have completed a few triathlons. These days I’m more into running and completed my 2nd half marathon a couple of weeks ago (a very hilly 13.1 miles on the Isle of Skye!).
Career wise, I work as a trainee actuary – a job that 90% of people I meet have never heard of. It basically means that I work in pensions and still have to sit exams for another couple of years!’
6. Let’s do some culinary ‘this or thats’! Okay- sweet, or savoury? Crunchy biscuits, or soft cookies? Pepper, or salt? Tomato sauce, or mayonnaise (on chips, that is…)? As a weekend treat- pizza, or fish and chips? Crunchy or smooth peanut butter? Post-meal- cheeseboard, or something sweet?
‘Savoury, although I’m pretty fond of both ;)
Soft cookies (unless the crunchy option is ginger nuts)
Salt – a little pinch of it can totally transform a recipe.
Tomato sauce. You can tell I’m not an Edinburgh native or my answer would likely be ‘chippy sauce’ (although I’ve still not figured out exactly what that is!)
Pizza – even bad pizza still tastes pretty good!
Crunchy peanut butter all the way.
Something sweet. I do love a cheeseboard but after a meal all I can think about is sugar!’
7. You live in beautiful Edinburgh, right? :) (I’m so very jealous!) Tell us some of the very best things about your fine city!
‘I do indeed :) I’ve lived here for about two years now so there’s lots I’ve still to explore! My absolute favourite thing about Edinburgh is that you can simultaneously be within walking distance of the centre (and all the amazing shops, bars and restaurants it offers) and yet feel like you’re a million miles away from a city.
I absolutely adore Stockbridge, which feels like a little village of its own with cute independent shops and some great restaurants that make the most of fresh, local produce. Walking along the Water of Leith you can almost pretend you’re in the countryside and a wander along the coast to Cramond makes me think of seaside holidays (if you ignore the fact it’s usually about 10 degrees and raining!)’
8. And finally, it’s our old favourite Desert Island Discs! If you were stranded on a desert island, what would you bring along for the ride? You can bring two albums/CDs, two books, two films, ingredients to make a meal, and one luxury item!
‘Oh, this one is so hard – I’ll no doubt have changed my mind by the time this post goes live!
For CDs I’ll have to go for one by The National – it’ll have to be a compilation because my favourite tracks by them span just about every album! Then, for something a little more upbeat when I fancy a wee dance, Taylor Swift – 1989 (of course!).
To read, Not the End of the World by Christopher Brookmyre because he’s hilarious, and Atonement – Ian McEwan.
Ok, films: Moulin Rouge, for Ewan McGregor and the quirkiness and because I love any film that makes me cry (which is actually quite a lot of them!), and The House We Live In because I’m a weirdo who loves documentaries, and this is one of the most captivating I’ve ever seen!
I’d keep things simple for the meal and bring ingredients for a classic steak, chips and béarnaise sauce. And lastly, my luxury item would be a pretty notepad & pen. Then I could draw/write/make lists to my hearts content :)’
** How much did you love Kirsty’s answers? I found myself smiling the whole way through reading them! Do click through to A Dash of Ginger and have a read of Kirsty’s lovely posts, and don’t forget to follow along via Bloglovin‘ too! **
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