An Interview With I Just Love My Apron, My Favorite Foodies Series

>> Sunday, March 6, 2011

My Favorite Foodies, Spicie Foodie, I Just Love My Apron
It's time for another interview with My Favorite Foodies. This Sunday I am interviewing the lovely Tanantha from the delectable blog, I Just Love My Apron. Tanantha is a fellow expat, she live in the US but is from Thailand. Well her background is quite interesting and she will tell you more about it below. I Just Love My Apron, is one of those food blogs that keeps you interested and wanting to comeback for more, over and over again. Tanantha's recipes are a mix of classic and modern cuisine with her unique twists, just mouthwatering. I love all of her recipes, there is so much to choose from but right now her Asian Tomato Soup is my favorite. Now I'll let Tanantha tell you more about her and her delicious blog.

I Just Love My Apron
1. Can you tell us a little bit about your blog?
I started my food blog to document my culinary journey. I thought about what I liked to do for my primary hobby, and also what would make me happy in the long run. Therefore, I ended up with a food blog. I’m bringing my heritage to western cuisine and expressing it through my food. I just love my apron was a joke I made when people asked me why I like to cook. I would answer, “I just love my apron!”

2. I think we can all figure out the meaning of your blogs name:) So can you tell us how many aprons you own and do you love them all?
It’s a pretty common question I’ve received after people hear my blog name. I have four aprons. Yes, I love them all but I only use one regularly. I will probably use it until it’s no good, then change it. I have one I use at home, one I use at events, and two extra.

3. Why do you love to cook/bake or spend time in your kitchen? And have you always liked being in the kitchen?
Good question and it can be a long answer. I like to cook/bake because it’s soothing to me especially when I have a bad day. I don’t have to think about anything but cooking. It’s like a meditation – just food and you. Yes, I like to spend time in the kitchen. It’s my territory and comfort space. The funny part is I didn’t like being in the kitchen when I was a kid. My mom is a great cook and she often asked me to help with prep work, which I disliked. I got very excited if she asked me to execute the cooking. Well, that didn’t happen often!

4. Some of us know you immigrated to the US from Thailand, and that you also have Vietnamese heritage. Do you incorporate all of the 3 into your cooking or do you favor one over the others?
Yes, I do. My parents raised me with Vietnamese culture. I often time don’t know if what I absorb is Thai or Vietnamese. It’s all mixed into one pot. With living here, I do incorporate all the 3 into my cooking with a little bit of this and of that. I like to cook anything Asian with a twist – just to differentiate myself.

5. Living so far from home are there foods that you desperately miss from Thailand, or things that you just can't get in the US?
I would say street food in general. There are so many foods I’ve missed! Some I can find here but the taste is Americanized.

6. If you had to pick just one from each, what would be your favorite Thai, Vietnamese and American dishes?
For Thai, I would pick Chicken Basil with fried egg (Kra Pao Gai Kai Dao). This is an easy-way-out dish. It’s a Thai thing that when you don’t know what to order, you tend to order this one.

Vietnamese: definitely authentic ban’ guan on crispy thin cracker.

American: hmm…let’s define what dishes are American first, shall we? . This is hard since it’s hard to define American food. If I have to pick, I would say onion rings – very crispy!. I hope it’s American dish.

7. What is your most memorable or most special kitchen moment, be it a happy or a disastrous memory?
I actually have both happy and disastrous memorable moments. I will go with the happy memory. The special kitchen moment is when I accomplished my first cup cakes. I’m a baking newbie. To see the physically finished baked goods was astonishing; Did-I-just-make-that feeling. I kept some on the dining table and walked by to look at it like 10 times that day.

8. What is the most difficult thing you have ever cooked or baked? Have you or would you do it again?
Croissants. It was a disaster when I first tried making them from scratch. I would do it again for sure. After the second attempt, they came out alright but needed improvement on the look.

9. On those occasions when you want to treat your family, friends and yourself to a special dish/dinner or dessert, what fabulous food do you prepare?
Hmm…this is tough. It depends on my mood and motivation I have at that time. I know for sure that I would cook my mom’s food for my family to impress them. I like 3-course meals – appetizer, entrĂ©e, and dessert. For my husband, I could use the Valentine’s Day dinner as the occasion. I prepared my mom’s tomato soup, seared ahi tuna with an Asian twist, and definitely dessert in which I made brownie raspberry mousse.

10. 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?
Garlic. I put garlic in almost everything except dessert. I probably would if it’s allowed.

11. What food is your food vice? You know, one you sneak in a little extra of when no one is looking.
Pork belly. I sneak in a little of that every time I have the chance!

12. When you go out to eat what do you go for?
I like variety because I get bored easily. I change places every time I go out but I usually prefer Asian cuisine.

13. Do you like to listen to music while you cook? What do you listen to? Do you sing and dance along?
No, I don’t. I like it quiet and peaceful. I know it sounds weird but I like it that way. Remember, just me and the food (hahaha).

14. Who is your favorite foodie (be it a professional Chef, enthusiast, novice, friend or family)? Have they, do they or how do they inspired you and your cooking?
My mom. She inspires me and my cooking by having no recipe. You put in what you have and taste it on the go.

This might sound corny but I admire Rachael Ray. The reason is that she didn’t go to a culinary school and doesn’t call herself a chef. However, she made it her way up to be where she is now. It’s inspiring.

David Choy – this guy is an honest and awesome dude.

15. How does your family and friends feel about you being a food blogger?
They were surprised at first, especially my mom. I didn’t know how to cook when I was with her. They didn’t know I was good at cooking. Later on, they admired my food and effort I put in.

16. How do you organize your recipes before publishing them on your blog? Do they get written down on paper or do you type them up as you share with us?
For new recipes, I write down on paper and type it up on the blog. Before, I didn’t write it down and used my memory. Bad idea. You think you can remember but you just can’t - especially when you’re getting old!

17. What do you like the most and dislike the most about being a food blogger?
What I like most about blogging is to see other awesome recipes from people who have the same passion and interest. These things inspire me to cook and bake and get better.
What I dislike the most is, to be honest and up front, commenting. As you can see some have talked about it. It’s like a game. When you overcome this game, you will enjoy blogging more.

18. What about hobbies (besides cooking and eating) or what do you like to do to relax and enjoy your free time?
I have quite a few. I would say reading, outdoor activities with Bella, and sleeping in.

19. What is your goal or what do you hope to accomplish with your blog?
At this point, I don’t really know what I want from the blog. I only know I’m happy to see people like what I do and will keep doing what I’m doing as long as I’m happy.

I also would like my blog to be a source for cooking inspiration.

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Chef Dennis March 6, 2011 at 10:09 AM  

Hi Nancy and Tanantha
what a wonderful Interview, I love learning more about our online friends, it makes are connection more special and I feel blessed to have met both of you!

Spicie Foodie March 6, 2011 at 10:31 AM  

Hi Dennis, Thank you and I'm also glad to have met you.

Tanantha, I love your honesty and sincere answers. Also the fact that your Mom inspires you is so great! Thanks for doing this, I really enjoyed it :)

whatsfordinneracrossstatelines March 6, 2011 at 12:12 PM  

Great interview Tanantha. Love knowing all those things about you, we have a lot in common. I giggle at your comment answer, the way I look at it is, I just like checking in on my friends, I just do the best I can with it. Hope you both have a great weekend!

Liv Wan March 6, 2011 at 1:31 PM  

Such cool post. Now I feel I know Tanantha better than before....:)

She's Cookin' March 6, 2011 at 1:42 PM  

Tanantha, I love your honesty and how down to earth you are, and am inspired by the beautiful food you create! We share many of the same feelings about blogging and it's wonderful that your mother is your inspiration - I'm sure it brings her great joy. Thanks Nancy for another great foodie interview!

Paaka Shaale March 6, 2011 at 4:14 PM  

That was one great interview!!! Very honest and forthcoming :)

Sandra March 6, 2011 at 11:47 PM  

One more great interview..Wonderful photography and pretty food in general! Will go and check Tabatha's blog!
Nicely done!

penny aka jeroxie March 7, 2011 at 12:44 AM  

Thanks for introducing another great blogger! Love her site and her recipes

Magic of Spice March 7, 2011 at 12:31 PM  

Hi guys :) What fun answers Tanantha...I love that you placed your cupcakes out to keep looking at them over and over again. Well you already know I adore you, but it was fun to hear some new thing too. Hope your elbow it getting better.
Nancy, again I am so enjoying this series.
Hugs to you both!

Tanantha @ I Just Love My Apron March 7, 2011 at 2:24 PM  

Thanks Nancy for the opportunity to be on your favorite foodie series! Thanks everyone for the support.

Claudia March 7, 2011 at 2:53 PM  

I loved being introduced to Tamantha. I will check out the blog. I so appreciate the honest, from-the-heart answers and would love to know more about Thai and Vietnamese cuisine.

sweetlife March 7, 2011 at 6:05 PM  

great interview, I love that her mom is her source of inspiration and garlic in everything, yes! I love it!!

Pacheco Patty March 7, 2011 at 11:14 PM  

Hi Tanantha and Nancy,
I'm enjoying your interview series Nancy and Tanantha, it was great getting to know you better, maybe we'll meet in the near future. Tanantha, don't worry about commenting, it takes a lot of time and you can stay in touch on Facebook or check in once in awhile, people are busy;-)

LeQuan March 8, 2011 at 3:09 PM  

Hi Nancy,

What a great idea to interview your favorite bloggers. Allows you, your readers, and their readers to really get to know the lovely person behind the blogs we all love to follow. Thank you for interviewing one of my favorites. Now I don't have to freakishly stalk her bloggie too much and asking her strange questions ;-). No more strange questions, but definitely more stalking because like you said, she keeps you coming back for more.


Great answers! I loved learning more about you and your background. I totally understand the part about being mixed up and not know if what you're learning is Thai or Vietnamese. My parents raised me with Chinese and Vietnamese culture so sometimes I have to ask them if what I'm cooking is Chinese or Vitnamese. Throw in Teochew in there too and I'm a big bag of mess. Haha. I've been known to use all 4 different languages in one sentence and not even noticing what I did till my husband pointed it out. He's like, "what the heck are you speaking?". Lol. Thanks for sharing, dear!

Spicie Foodie March 8, 2011 at 8:09 PM  

@Gina,Liv, Priscilla, Paaka, Sandra, Penny, Alisha, Thank you and so glad you love Tanantha's blog as much as I do.

@Tanantha, It was my pleasure and it was great getting to know more about you :) Hugs!

@Claudia, Go on stop by!
@Sweetlife, me too!
@Patty, Thank you and I you are so right, we all do the best we can :)

@LeQuan,Thank you and I'm glad that my initial goal with these interviews is exactly what I wanted it to be. Thanks for stopping by.

Tiffany March 9, 2011 at 12:19 PM  

Great interview and BEAUTIFUL fod!

Stella March 9, 2011 at 7:10 PM  

Awe, I love Tanantha, Nancy;) She's such a sweet and talented blogger. And I like the way her food can go from being so Euro and sleek to being hearty & Asian. Plus, I like anyone who says their Mom is their inspiration. Maybe that's why her food is so pretty;-)
Great interview, Nancy...

Jessie March 10, 2011 at 6:15 AM  

Dear Spicy Foodie, thanks for interviewing one of my favorite bloggers! It's so nice to find out more about you, Tanantha! I'm impressed that you have 4 aprons - I have one, and it has never left its box ... :P I also LOVE garlic! Have you ever heard of garlic ice cream? I've only ever had it in California, but it was good! :)

fromBAtoParis March 10, 2011 at 3:23 PM  

Oh Nancy..It's a great idea of yours! This helps us discover blogs we might not have seen before (my case here)
Thanks a lot...More inspiration!

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