Dec 20, 2012

Liebster Award

I was pretty stoked the other day when I heard that Kathy from Food Wine Thyme nominated me for the Liebster award.  I had recently tried a recipe from her blog (mushroom gravy over quinoa) and it was a HUGE success.  In fact all of her recipes look fantastic and healthy, gotta love that.  Especially considering the fact that eating dessert everyday has now become my hobby.

The Liebster award from what I can gather is more of a nomination from a fellow blogger than an actual award where you go to a fancy dinner and get dressed up and say thank you to your Kitchen Aid and spatula for all their hard work and dedication.   This nomination has more of a chain letter effect.  A fellow blogger nominates you, then you must nominate 11 other people, and so on and so on.  Round and round we go.  Weeee.

Even if I don't get to walk the red carpet, the award is still a great opportunity to connect with other food bloggers.  We are literally working from all corners of the earth, all with the same focus (to share awesome food inspiration) and with this nomination, we are able to share our favorite blogs with our readers, and hopefully that will inspire you too.

So here's how it works:

  1. Write 11 random facts about yourself.
  2. Answer the 11 interview questions you’ve been given by the person who nominated you.
  3. Create 11 new questions.
  4. Nominate 11 bloggers and mention them in your post.
  5. Go and tell the person who nominated you, along with the people you’ve nominated about your post.
11 Random facts about myself:
  1. I always have peanut M&M's in the armrest of my car.  Always.  I have an insatiable sweet tooth and must have sugar at arm's length.  M&M's are the only chocolate that won't melt in the car.  Especially in Dubai where the temperature is set to broil 8 months out of the year.
  2. I hate washing dishes and will not buy a dish or glass if it says 'not dish washer safe' who has time for that?!
  3. I would rather butcher a fish (and I'm a vegetarian, mind you) than bake with imitation vanilla flavoring.   
  4. I am married to a man who says cream cheese frosting is too sweet.  It just kills me.
  5. If you follow my blog you my know that Martha Stewart is my hero.  I love her and have been a fan for years.  I love her products, her over-all brand identity, her ego, everything.  BUT, I am terrified to meet her in person (not like she invited me over or anything).  I know the moment I see her I will be like 'ohmygod MARTHA I LOVE YOU' and start gushing about how she is the reason I went into design, and how I have tested all her recipes, buy her books, etc.  I would probably say (stutter) this in a matter of seconds and completely embarrass myself.  She would walk away thinking 'god what a weirdo.'  I don't want that to be my Martha-Moment.
  6. If Hilary Clinton were to run for president in 2016 I would probably drop whatever I was doing and work for her campaign. 
  7. Rachel Maddow can talk for hours about anything, even something random like the evolution of the rubber band and I would listen.  She makes everything easy which in turn makes you feel smart because you actually get what she's saying.  Before becoming a Rachel groupie, fiscal cliffs were mumbo-jumbo to me.
  8. Besides being a food blogger I'm also a contributing editor for Mother Baby & Child Magazine.  Butter and Babies, that's my life.
  9. My dream job is to work as a recipe tester.  All I want to do is bake.  All. Day. Long.  Food Network, Hershey, Martha, please feel free to contact me anytime.
  10. I would be a horrible cooking show host.  I've secretly tried to do this in my kitchen when I'm baking.  By myself.  Oh God that is embarrassing.  I can't talk and whisk at the same time.
  11. I've saved the best for last.  You know that white squiggly-thing inside an egg when you crack it open?  I always always always remove it.  Whether I'm baking or making scrambled eggs.  When I was younger my babysitter told me it's rooster sperm (sorry I had to say it, there is no polite way).  I'm wise enough now to know it's not THAT.  In actuality it's the umbilical cord, which is just as gross to me.  Plus I do know (because I've asked) pastry chef's remove it as well, especially when preparing custard.  So there.
Questions addressed to me from Food Wine Thyme:

What is your favorite dish and why?
My Dad's homemade spaghetti sauce. The first bite always takes me back to my childhood watching him stir and stir and stir in the kitchen. 
Why did you start your blog?
It gave me a reason to bake everyday, to share insight (and laughs) and learn more about a passion that has become part of who I am. 
What would be your dream vacation?
I've been very lucky in my life to visit to some of the most beautiful places in the world.  And currently I'm living in a top tourist destination!  So a dream vacation for me would be to take my son to Washington D.C. to tour the White House (I have tried to teach him to say Obama, but it's more like Omama and spend a few days at the Smithsonian.
What would you do with $250,000?
My husband would give the shirt off his back to anyone.  In fact he did so a few weeks back when my son had an 'accident' and we didn't have any extra clothes packed in the car.  I didn't think it would be possible to fall more in love with him than I already am (awww) but at that moment he won over my heart again.  I know more than anything he'd like to have a nice watch but would never spend the money on himself.  So if I had the extra cash I would buy him one.  Okay let's be realistic, not going to spend the entire $250,000 on a watch, I'm not loony.
What scares you the most?
Those weird bugs that live in flour.  Where do they come from?!?!  Please someone tell me you know what I'm talking about.  I've only seen them twice in my life but ugh they are horrible and disgusting.  If you read my blog you know I'm crazy about sifting flour.  This is another good reason to get into the habit.  I bought some locally packaged flour (not sure of the origin though) a few months back and the bag was full of them.  Had I not sifed the flour I might not have seen them.
What is your ideal job?
Recipe tester for Martha Stewart Magazine.  In New York.  And I have to take the subway and/or walk to work.  Now that is ideal.
What does your perfect day look like?
Cloudy with a chance of thunderstorms.  Hah!  Sorry I am not a the-sun-is-shinning-let's-go-sing-in-the-park kind of girl.  But that is mostly because living in Dubai we've got sunshine 365 days out of the year.  Clouds add texture and crunch, if you want to compare them to food.
Pasta or Potatoes?
Gnocchi!  Pasta & Potatoes!  The best of both worlds.
When it comes to spicy food how much heat can you handle?
I tried to 'heat-it-up' in India once.  You know, when in Rome.  Yeh, I was sick the rest of the trip so my heat tolerance is minimal. 
Favorite dish at a restaurant?

I will eat Pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) any chance I get.  I love the mini-facial from the steam off the bowl.  It's a guaranteed tummy-pleaser.
Favorite spice/seasoning to use?
I put ground cumin and coriander in everything (well not when baking obviously!) they are so versatile and work beautifully together, especially in veggie and egg dishes.
Questions for my nominees:
  1. What is your favorite childhood food-related memory?
  2. If you could only eat one dessert for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  3. What is one dish/dessert you're too intimidated to try and make yourself at home?
  4. If you only had space for one extra kitchen appliance (besides the oven/range/fridge) what would it be and why? 
  5. What's the most memorable feedback you've received from one of your readers with regards to your blog?
  6. If you could attend a private one-on-one class with any chef/food personality in the world, who would it be, and what would you want them to teach you?
  7. If you were offered to write a cookbook, what style of food/technique would be your topic?
  8. Favorite street food?
  9. What is a tip you can offer that you didn't know about until you started writing your blog?
  10. Do you feel the cupcake had it's 15 minutes of fame?  What do you think the new trend in desserts will be?
  11. Last minute guest are coming over for dinner.  What can you prepare in a snap? 

My nominees (drum roll please...........)

Cookie Madness
Culinary Concoctions by Peabody
Stacey Snacks
My Custard Pie
Brownies for Dinner
One Lovely Life
Skinny Mom
Confessions of an Overworked Mom
I live in a Frying Pan
Erin's Food Files
Sugar Plum

Have a wonderful holiday everyone!  Looking forward to another butter-filled year in 2013!
Lots of love, Gina


  1. I loved reading your answers. :) Fantastic. :) it's so nice that you and hubby have such a great relationship, thats how me and my hubby are. And yes, I know the bugs you are talking about. I have always wondered where they come from? I also wonder where the bugs that end up in rice come from. haha :)

  2. Isn't that strange?! Ugly little creatures!!! Merry Christmas to you and your family xxx