Cheers to cyber friendships and Twit-pals!  2011 marked the year of becoming great friends with intangible people all across the country (and perhaps world!).  Although my blog sometimes falls by the wayside and lacks some visual interest (forgive me, but I’m not very good at html or formatting. oh well!) I’ve been more than affirmed and encouraged by some wonderful ladies with some serious blog caliber.  (thankyouthankyouthankyou!)

It all started when I joined the Vintage Recipe Swap with Christianna from Burwell General Store and my bona fide friend Lindsay from Rosemarried.  From there, I was introduced to dozens of amazing bloggers and straight-up awesome people that I would fly across the country to have a meal and a glass or 3 of wine with.  Oh how glorious it will be one day when we get to enjoy each other’s company.

A couple of my favorite blogger ladies have revealed themselves a bit on their blogs recently and have invited their wannabe dinner guests to do the same.  So, I guess it’s my turn to spill the beans about me, and invite my favorites to gather around the virtual dinner table and do the same.

What or who inspired you to start your blog?
This blog actually started as an outlet for the lessons I was learning in life after my dear friend Anthony died in a mountain climbing accident on Mt. Hood just over two years ago.  Losing him was unexpected, but in the grief, sadness, tears, and pain, it was like there was this rapid growth in my heart and my faith that needed to be harvested and written down.  Grief is a lost art but I was determined to walk through it and do it well and share it with others.  Slowly but surely (still not really sure how), I started posting recipes and The Unexpected Harvest turned into a food blog.

Who is your foodie inspiration?
Truth be told, Mrs. Rosemarried herself, Lindsay Strannigan.  It might seem cliche since we’re practically besties in real life, but this woman is amazing.  She has a full time job, a full time husband, is on the board of her local farmers market, contributes to several different blogs, volunteers her time to do local PR and wedding planning, keeps up with our boys; the Portland Trail Blazers, AND has time to come up with and make delicious seasonal recipes.  She’s the queen of balancing everything in her life and producing really good products.

Your greasiest most batter splattered cook book is?
Cookbook?  Who uses those archaic brick-like things anymore?  Food blogs FTW!  Juuuuust kidding.  Ironically, my “greasiest, most batter-splattered” cook book is Farmers John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt on Vegetables. He runs a CSA in Illinois and his cookbook is chock-full of seasonal recipes with every vegetable you can imagine.  Not much grease or batter in his recipes.  The second most dog-eared cookbook I have is the Cook’s Illustrated New Best Recipe.

The best thing you have ever eaten in another country, where was it and what was it?
It’s truly nothing fancy.  When I was in Germany in 2010, I hopped on a train and took a solo day trip up to the town of Trier.  This historic town is nestled into the Mosel wine region of western Germany and has a glorious fruit stand in the center square of town.  I bought a couple pieces of fruit while I was there, but the best by far was a simple peach.  It was August and this peach was perfectly ripe, juicy, and tasted exactly like a peachie-o gummy candy.  I’ve never tasted anything so perfect in my life.

Another Food Blogger’s table you would like to eat at?
So many!  For food alone, I would pick Coco from Roost.  Her recipes are mostly grain, dairy, and sugar free but so creative, DELICIOUS, and beautifully photographed.  For conversation and food, just you wait…

What one kitchen gadget would you like Santa to bring you? (if money were no object)
I want a set of Le Crueset dishes: dutch over, skillet, morter and pestle, you name it.  I want it all.

Who taught you how to cook?
My love of cooking started with my old roommate, Amy Boles.  She’s brilliant in the kitchen.  When I lived with her, she would always come up with something amazing to make for dinner and we would always host dinner parties.  She taught me that I actually could cook.  Then I just started following recipes and food blogs and teaching myself.

I’m coming to you for dinner, what is your signature dish?
Id’ say that my signature isn’t actually a dish, it’s a bottle–of Oregon Pinot Noir!

What is your guilty food pleasure?
Truth be told, the only thing I need for dessert is a spoonful of nut butter topped with dark chocolate chips.  That’s the most decedent and satisfying end of any meal. And lately, chocolate almond milk.

Reveal something about yourself that others would be surprised to learn?
I ate my fair share of Lil’ Debbie snack cakes growing up.  Not saying I was a chubby kid, because I wasn’t.  I’m just saying that times have changed and I would never dream of eating one of those now or letting my future kids eat them.

My ideal dinner party (please ladies, let’s all rendezvous in real life soon!):

Toni Dash of the Boulder Locavore: Toni is the cocktail queen.  I met her through the vintage recipe swap and have the biggest blog crush on her.  She’s so classy, creative, NICE, and always makes me drool over her cocktail creations.  The party would get started way before the meal if this woman was shaking up some drinks.

Jacqueline Raposo of The Dusty Baker: Another recipe swapper.  My crush on Jacqueline started when she commented on my about me section and said she wanted to jump through the computer and give me a hug.  She’s another gluten free gal who has mastered the art of baking just 6 cookies, as to not go overboard and eat all the cookie dough.  She’ll be the dessert queen at our dinner party.

Sabrina Modelle of The Tomato Tart: Oh Sabrina.  Where do I start?  Although not entirely vegan, she whips up meat-free recipes that would make me forget that I wasn’t even eating meat.  She’s the queen of the SF Bay area and we were thiiiiiis close to meeting up for a cocktail when I was down there in October, but to our dismays, I didn’t plan the trip very well and we missed each other.  Someday, Sabrina!

Christianna Reinhardt of Burwell General Store: Safe to say, I owe many of my cyber-friendship to CM.  She started the recipe swap which essentially gave birth to all these connections.  She’s our small-town girl turned LA foodie queen and is always on some new adventure.  I’m hoping to take her wine tasting in Oregon one of these days.

And last but certainly not least: Lindsay Strannigan of Rosemarried: Although we’re not cyber-friends, but real-life friends, I don’t ever want to be at a dinner party without Linds.  She’ll never buy a piece of produce from Mexico or Chile, or a chicken breast from Iowa.  I just love this lady to pieces.  We can eat eggs in a nest and drink bubbles while watching a Blazers game, or take 4 hours to eat a 5 course meal with some of our closest friends.


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5 comments on “A Wannabe Food Blogger’s Unplugged Edition

  1. Burwell General Store on said:

    Wow! What a great post! I’m so glad to know you, and honored to be at “the table” with you. I love your food moment, it took me right to the spot!

    I’m glad to know you, and can’t wait to impose myself to ask for a Pacific Northwest wine tour!

  2. NubianOR on said:

    Great post. Looking forward to cleaning your kitchen for food. ;~)

    Even though I am not a food blogger, I would like to copy this format for a blog post. Would that be okay?

  3. Jacqueline - The Dusty Baker on said:

    I LOVE this! I read it a few days ago on my phone so couldn’t comment but have been DREAMING of a peach since then! And I STILL want to pull you through my computer to hug you! I’m going to have romantic thoughts of my favorite food bloggers all at one table until it happens!!

  4. Tamara Belgard on said:

    Awesome post, nice to get a glimpse at your inspiration and how you came to be. Thanks for sharing the inside scoop!! Might have to do something like this, but more wine-related for my own blog. You can be my inspiration!!

  5. Loved this post, Mar! So well written and so happy to see you thriving in the food blogging world. And it’s always fun for me to learn of new food blogs :)

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