Blogger Spotlight: Recipes I Live By

This week, we're proud to feature Paul Binns of Recipes I Live By 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 at and creating Recipes I Live By, Paul published Paul and The Porch Gnome, a children's book plucked from his childhood adventures and imagination.

The story, like his writing and recipes on his blog, shares strong ties to family and a rich interest in maintaining family traditions. Binns is currently working on a cookbook.

The Daily Meal: What is the mission of your blog?
Paul Binns: The mission of my site is to share food, family, traditions, and my own travel experiences.      

How did you get started with your blog?
I have been cooking since I was a child. My mother, grandmother, etc. always had us in the kitchen learning the family recipes and traditions.

What are some foods you can't live without?
I can't live without pasta or pizza.

What are some foods you can't stand?
I can't stand Brussels sprouts or cauliflower.

 What is your proudest blog post?
My first post that gained the attention of The Daily Meal because it shot my visitor counts way up.

What is your biggest blog blunder?
Spelling. I have always been horrible at spelling. [Laughs.]

What is your most memorable comment from a reader?
This one person, cannot remember who or when, but he or she posted how wonderful they thought my blog was. They felt it was simple, easy to navigate, and shared a great perspective on cooking, travel, etc. from a young man's point of view.

What's on your cooking playlist?
I usually have Italian or even Irish music playing on my Pandora. My mother, grandmother, uncle, etc., always have music playing in the kitchen.

What are some food blogs you love?
I love most of my Culinary Content Network friends' blogs. I also really enjoy checking out the Food Network posts from celebrity chefs — I am kind of in love with Giada [De Laurentiis].

What are some food apps you like?

What is the best thing about blogging?
I spend at least once a week just sitting down, relaxing with a cup of coffee, and posting and writing about my experiences, cooking, etc.

What is the worst thing about blogging?
Sometimes I just do not have the time with work and other commitments.

What recipe are you currently obsessed with?
I always make fresh pasta. Always.  At least once a week.  So simple, quick, easy. I have gotten it down to where it only takes me about 15 minutes to make enough pasta for at least four to five people.

What would even your most loyal followers be surprised to learn about you?
I would never cook in a restaurant. [I] prefer cooking for a small, intimate group of people and not [being] rushed to cook for hundreds.

Five of your all-time favorite posts? 

Anything else you would like to share with our readers?

I honestly would love someday to have my own little Italian deli selling fresh made pastas, breads, pastries, wine, etc. Small, intimate, and well done. I would also love to be a food critic or travel personality for a major magazine or network.