For our March Pasta Spotlight, we chatted with food blogger, Amanda Biddle of Striped Spatula. We asked her all about what it takes to become a food blogger, how she creates her own original recipes, and her favorite foods for this time of year. Read on for all of Amanda’s advice.
1. Where do you seek inspiration for creating a new recipe?
Most of my recipes are seasonally-inspired. I’m so lucky to live in an area with an abundance of local producers and farm markets. It’s fun to explore local resources and find inspiration in what ingredients are fresh and beautiful “now”. Oftentimes, I’ll walk into a market with one recipe idea in my mind, and leave making something totally different based on what I’ve found. Giving yourself the latitude to be creative and really explore what’s out there can result in some great recipe ideas!
I’m also a cookbook fiend. I regularly snuggle up on the sofa and read cookbooks like they’re novels. There’s so much inspiration to be found in their pages; cooking techniques, flavor pairings, food styling and presentation. I own more cookbooks than I can admit!
2. Do you have any advice for those who may be looking to create or grow their own food blog?
The biggest piece of advice I could give to any blogger is to be authentic. A blog is a unique opportunity to express yourself to the world. Your blog should reflect you. Have fun creating your own space on the Web, expressing your voice, and letting your readers get to know you. Food blogging is a competitive space and it can take time to grow an audience. It can even be frustrating at times! Stick with it. With authenticity, you’ll end up with content that is uniquely your own, and a base of engaged, loyal followers.
3. How did you get into food photography?
Before I started blogging, I had little photography experience. I often used my phone to snap casual photos of what I was cooking to show my friends. As I started blogging and really paying attention to the gorgeous food photography out there, I was inspired to learn more about the craft. Looking through my lens, I began to appreciate the beauty of food in ways that I took for granted before. Something as simple as onion peels can be so artistic when photographed!
4. Since we’re in the heart of winter, what are some healthy comfort foods you suggest during this time of year?
This is the perfect time of year to warm up with soups and stews. Barley and Lentil are two of my personal favorites, with a crusty loaf of artisan bread for dipping, of course! I also love to lighten up classic comfort dishes from time to time, like Bolognese. I make a version that substitutes mixed mushrooms for the traditional ground meats. The ragu is richly- flavored and satisfying over pappardelle, but feels quite a bit lighter than the original meat-based recipe.
5. What are some of your preferred ingredients to create a pasta meal?
I almost always find myself reaching for fresh herbs when I’m creating a pasta recipe. I love the flavor and element of freshness they bring to sauces. Also, I couldn’t live without a wedge of Parmigiano Reggiano. The best!
About Amanda Biddle:
Amanda Biddle is a NJ food writer and photographer who believes that there are few bad days that can’t be improved with a warm baguette and a wedge of brie. She shares her love of food and wine on her website, Striped Spatula, which celebrates the beauty of fresh ingredients in gourmet home cooking. Amanda’s recipes have been featured in a variety of food and lifestyle publications, including the websites for Woman’s Day Magazine, ELLE Decor, Country Living, Kitchn, and Allure Magazine’s “Access.” Find her on the Web at stripedspatula.com, or across social media, @stripedspatula.