On The Spot


Member’s Blog Name: 
Icy Violet’s

I am a grad student/pre-school kiddie wrangler. I got into baking a few years ago…

…and soon became obsessed. It’s my dream to one day feed an entire family (after I have one, of course) with what I make.

How long have you been a Daring Baker/Daring Cook and what’s your favorite thing about being in the group(s) so far?

I am brand new as of this month! I got hooked through another friend’s food blog. Her Daring Baker entries were always amazing, and I am looking for something to challenge me and help me up my baking chops.

3.What’s your favorite kitchen gadget? How about your favorite kitchen appliance?

I like simple things in the kitchen, so my favorite gadget (if it can be called that) is probably my old hand-cranked nut grinder. It was my grandma’s, but it works as well or better than anything electric I have found, as long as I keep it sharp. As for appliance, it’s hard to think of something more useful than a straight-up electric mixer, don’t you think?

Are you known for making a certain dish or dessert? If so, what is it?

My champagne cupcakes have been a big success.

Is there any recipe and/or technique that we haven’t covered yet that you’d really like to make/learn?

I am so new so I can’t think of any right now! As far as what I’d like to learn, well, all of it!

Do you have a favorite movie? Book? Genre of music? Actor? Actress?

I love the movie Bridget Jones’s Diary – book, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard – music, indie – actor, Robert Downey Jr. – actress, Tilda Swinton, I think

You’ve just won $5000.00!!! What would you spend it on?

food! and traveling. and kitchen gadgets! possibly all on vanilla beans?

What is the ultimate comfort food to you?

white bread with lots of butter and jam

Which season (Winter, Summer, Spring, Fall) is your favorite.. why?

fall – so much food! and the weather is so beautiful.

Other than cooking and/or baking.. what hobbies do you enjoy?

traveling – my husband and I have been to Thailand, Laos, China, South Korea, and Mexico. We try to get out of the country at least once a year. Otherwise I dabble in lots of arts – some painting, some piano, some voice, some guitar. I love theatre too.

How long have you been blogging? Do you like it? What’s your favorite post you’ve written?

I started food blogging in January, but I’ve had a personal blog for years. I like it a lot, especially when I get nice comments. My favorite post was probably for my St. Patrick’s Day Pistachio Cupcakes, where I lamented childrens’ propensity to love whatever their parents hate, and my fears that my future children will adore the high fructose corn syrup despite my best efforts.

What’s your favorite cookbook for desserts/baking? What’s your favorite cookbook for savory/cooking?

There are a lot I use! I am a huge fan of I Love Macarons for baking, and I like the classic Taste of Home for Savory Cooking. But I really get all over the place, I am always getting cook books out of the library.

Is there one food that you seriously dislike/hate? If so, which is it and why?

I don’t think there is. Seafood makes me nervous, but I am trying to learn to love it.

What’s your favorite flower and/or plant?

I love flowers! My favorite must be columbines. As for plants in general, I love cacti and succulents. My husband and I are slowly building a collection.

Do you have a favorite local restaurant? If so, why is it your favorite and what kind of food is served there?

I love the local Mexican grocery store, Rancho Markets. Their food is authentic Mexican, and it is just amazing, and very filling.

Who taught you how to cook and/or bake?

I learned a lot from my mother, but she had to go to work when I was young. So I am mostly self-taught.

What’s your favorite holiday and why?

Christmas, I have to say. And for all the obvious reasons too. Pretty lights, togetherness, presents. I love all holidays, though. An excuse to create a seasonal menu!

Reading any good books lately? Which ones?!

Loved In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan. I am also reading In Praise of Doubt by Berger and Zijderveld. Highly recommend both.

You’ve had a rough week. How do you relax after a rough week?

Baking. Or taking a long bath.

Where is your favorite vacation (holiday) destination?

Southern Utah. I love the red desert.

What is your favorite cooking/food related magazine? Why?

Vegetarian Times – lots of easy, delicious recipes to choose from. And new ones every month!

Do you have a food addiction?

Yes. Absolutely. I think about food WAY too much!

What did you eat for dinner last night? Did you prepare it or someone else?

It was a Memorial Day feast, and I prepared it! There were ribs with barbecue sauce, a pea, radish, and cheese curd salad, a red and green coleslaw, big hunks of watermelon, white rolls, and a big chocolate cake to finish it off. I don’t always eat that sumptuously though. My usual dinner is some veggies and some brown rice.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Probably those little store bought grandma’s cookies. The little circus animals that are pink and white. I loves what I shouldn’t.

What kind of colors do you like? Pastels? Earth tones? Brights? Neons? Etc.

Jewel tones, deep, strong colors. I love to wear contrasting colors together.

If you had the choice of a free kitchen, bathroom, living room or bedroom makeover – which would you choose and why?

Kitchen, most definitely. Lots of counter space and a huge fridge!

The Martha – Angel of Domestication or Minion of Evil? Why?

Urg hard to choose! Have to be somewhere in between. I don’t particularly approve of her lifestyle, or the one she peddles, but I have to admit she does it really, really well.

Do you watch any competitive cooking shows? Like Top Chef or Hell’s Kitchen? If so, which is your favorite and why?

I love Chopped! But it’s never on anymore. I loved it because it was fast and easy to watch, and I loved seeing how the chefs would combine their novel ingredients. There were some really creative dishes made!

What’s your favorite “sweet” spice? How about your favorite “savory” spice?

I think cardamom just booted cinnamon as far as my favorite sweet spice goes. It’s great on bananas! Oo or lavender! I can’t decide. My favorite savory spice? I like just about all of them, but I guess I’ll go with paprika. It makes anything better.

If you could eat in any celebrity chef’s restaurant which restaurant would it be, and which chef owns it?

Anthony Bourdain! In ANY of his restaurants! Or in his home….

What’s your favorite herb to cook or bake with? Do you prefer fresh or dried?

I’d better put lavender here. I love the stuff, it gives everything such a novel, sweet taste. I prefer it fresh because it’s stronger, but dried looks nice and pretty. It is also good left in a jar with some sugar, lavender sugar!

Is there one recipe on your blog that you would like to share with us? If so, leave the link here.

These are my champagne cupcakes, and they are wonderful

Do you have a time saving kitchen tip you’d like to share with us?

Wash as you go! It’s something I’m still learning.

You can visit Anna on her blog Icy Violet

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