Blogger Spotlight: Boxes and Jars

Carolyn Selheim-Miller shares practical recipes and entertaining advice on her blog, Boxes and Jars
Carolyn Selheim-Miller prepares the delicious creations for her blog, Boxes and Jars, at her home in Denver.

Carolyn Selheim-Miller prepares the delicious creations for her blog, Boxes and Jars, at her home in Denver.

This week, we’re proud to feature Carolyn Selheim-Miller of Boxes and Jars in the Blogger Spotlight. For those new to the column, every Friday, we highlight a member of The Daily Meal’s Culinary Content Network, a limited group of bloggers who write about food and drink.

We look to this group of talented food writers for inspiration and participation in The Daily Meal, whether for restaurant recommendations or new recipes to try out for dinner. Our editorial team covers All Things Food and Drink, and we tap the CCN to keep up to speed on what is happening around the country and the world — from fine dining to home cooking.

In addition to blogging and creating Boxes and Jars Blog, Selheim-Miller is dedicated to providing women with practical recipes and lifestyle advice. She is a native of New Jersey who migrated to Denver with her husband, and continues to share food, drink, and simple entertaining advice for her dedicated readers.

The Daily Meal: What is the mission of your blog?
Carolyn Selheim-Miller: Boxes and Jars features practical recipes, cocktails, and a variety of lifestyle topics. I love inspiring my readers to cook for themselves, have parties to share it with their friends, and (most importantly) try new things!          

How did you get started with your blog?
Starting a food and lifestyle blog was something that had been in the back of my mind for a few years. A little less than a year ago, I finally took the plunge, and I’ve been loving it ever since! I’ve learned so much about the ins and outs of all this in the last year and have really enjoyed the community around food blogging.

What are some foods you can’t live without?
Pizza, Chinese, and Mexican food make my world go ‘round.

What are some foods you can’t stand?
Mushrooms. This can be really difficult because I like to make a lot of vegetarian dishes and they’re a really common meat substitute. I’ve kept trying them again over the last few years, but with no luck!

What is your proudest blog post?
It’s hard to pick one, but I think the Edamame Shrimp Dumplings are my favorite. They’re a meal I still make on a regular basis and never stop loving!

What is your biggest blog blunder?
When I first got started, I posted a (delicious) recipe for a Sweet Potato and Chorizo Galette. A few hours after posting, my cousin texted me saying it looked delicious, but I had completely left the sweet potatoes out of the recipe. Oops!

What is your most memorable comment from a reader?
Once in a while I’ll get comments from readers who are coming back after they’ve made a recipe, saying how much they enjoyed it. These are definitely my favorite. It’s so flattering for people to take the time to tell me something looks good, but to have them actually go try it out themselves is why I do this.

What’s on your cooking playlist?
This changes regularly, but lately it’s been Leon Bridges’ album Coming Home. It relaxes me so much and helps me focus on what I’m doing at the same time.

What are some food blogs you love?
I’m a longtime fan of Joy the Baker — I’ve been reading her blog longer than any other. I also love How Sweet It Is and more recently discovered Broma Bakery and The View From Great Island. I also constantly use The Kitchn and Food52 to reference the basics!

Favorite food apps?
I mostly use Pinterest and Notes for when inspiration strikes, and Zomato and for when I’m looking for a new place to eat!

What is the best thing about blogging?
I love how blogging pushes me to be more creative with the dishes and cocktails I create.

Worst thing about blogging?
There are so many other great food blogs out there, and that can make it really challenging to do something original. Even if I think I’ve got a great “new” idea, I type it into Pinterest or Google and see it’s been done many times already. At the same time, though, many of those same blogs are what give me my “a-ha” moments!

What recipe are you currently obsessed with?
My husband and I are obsessed with the Roasted Cauliflower appetizer at Etch in Nashville. We have been working on our own variation of that and eat it on a regular basis, in big servings as a meal!

What would even your most loyal followers be surprised to learn about you?
I’m an almost-completely self-taught home cook. I worked in the restaurant industry for eight years, but always as a server. Being around food and drink for that long had a huge impact on my tastes and interests, but I had to teach myself almost all of the execution!

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Five of your all-time favorite posts?