So I’m starting something new. And it’s unashamedly for people who are partial to a food blog or ten – that would definitely be me then. I thought I’d ask some prominent food bloggers to answer a few questions about why they do it, what’s most popular and amongst other things, any kitchen disasters. First up it’s Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes fame.
What’s your name? Jacqueline
Where do you come from? Scotland
How old are you? EEK! 43
What’s your educational background? Did you leave school at 16 or finish with a PhD? I did a diploma in Graphic Design in Edinburgh, then moved to Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee, where I did an honours degree in Printed Textiles.
What’s your blog called? Tinned Tomatoes
When was your blog born? April 2007
Sum your blog up in one sentence: Family friendly vegetarian and vegan recipes.
Why did you start your blog, where did you think it would lead? In May 2007 I went on a Web 2.0 course at Abertay University. Social media was just taking baby steps back then and one of the things we covered was blogs. I thought “I could do that!”.
I had a long think about what my blog could be about and as a vegetarian who liked cooking, a recipe blog seemed like the best idea. I hoped it would broaden my repertoire, which at the time consisted of recipes that mostly included a tin of tomatoes, hence the name. It certainly did and I can now boast nearly 500 recipes on my blog.
Name 3 blogs you like: Oh, so hard to narrow it down. It would be easier to give you my top 20. OK, if I have to choose I will go for 3 blogs that I love that do great veggie dishes.
Amuse your Bouche http://www.amuse-your-bouche.com/
Food to Glow http://kelliesfoodtoglow.com/
Green Gourmet Giraffe http://gggiraffe.blogspot.co.uk/
What’s your most popular blog post? My most popular post is my first post on the 5:2 Diet, which explains what it is all about. The 5:2 Diet really took off after the documentary Eat, Fast and Live Longer, presented by Dr Michael Mosley. It’s had a staggering 188,425 views so far.
How often do you check your blog stats, truthfully?! Haha, every day. I’m stat obsessed!
What’s your biggest kitchen disaster? I was sent out a bread maker to try. The first loaf I made was from a cookbook. It came out like a brick. The second smelled great, but at the end of cooking, I just had a pan of hot flour, as I’d forgotten to put the dough hook in. The third turned out much better, but I’ve since given the breadmaker away to a young mum who will put it to much better use. I decided I prefer to make bread by hand. So much more satisfying!
Oh and once I made soup in my mother-in-law’s kitchen. I blended it in her food processor for a smooth finish, but I didn’t know she had a guard on her blade, so we had melted plastic lumps in our soup.
What’s your advice to fledgling food bloggers? Blog regularly. Start each post with an appetising photo. Only take photos in daylight and be a friendly blogger, by visiting lots of other blogs and linking to other blogs.
Is there anything you’d have done differently? I’d have thought more carefully about the name of my blog. I don’t really like it, but it has become too well known to change. It worked for my fledgling blog, but now I do a lot of baking and the name doesn’t tie in well.
Blogging high? When I hit number 1 in the UK rankings.
Blogging low? When life gets too hectic and it’s a struggle to blog because I have so little time and I’m so tired.
Who inspires you? Other bloggers, cookery programmes, magazines, produce at a market or just chatting about food with a friend.
Do you have a day job? Yes I work in a children’s library, which is great fun and I write for Baby Centre http://www.baby.co.uk/author/jmeldrum/ and Great British Chefs http://www.greatbritishchefs.com/community/bloggers/jacqueline-meldrum, I also run the Dundee branch of the Clandestine Cake Club and not forgetting the most important job, I’m also a mum.
What keeps you awake at night? Haha, this won’t go down well, but it has to be my husband snoring!
Where do you see yourself in 10 years time? I would like to be concentrating on my food writing full time, with a cookbook or two under my belt.
What would be your 3 desert island items? My three foodie items would be my vitamix, a microplane grater and silicone spatulas.
What advice would you give to your schoolgirl/boy self? Stop worrying about the little things!
Thanks to Jacqueline for being so honest. Next week a different blogger!
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Hi Holly, I’ve just discovered your new feature and it’s brilliant – what a great idea. I so know where you are coming from about devouring food blogs – I’m addicted to reading them and have spent countless hours doing so! Love that you started with Jacqueline – Tinned Tomatoes is an excellent blog :-)
Thanks Nic! I just love them. It’s an addiction. x
It certainly is! I’m actually just about to start making your toffee apple meringue tart to take to a party tonight, can’t wait to try it x
Enjoy! Perfect time of year for it. x
Thanks! I’m sure it will be devoured, it looks and sounds lovely! x
What a great series. I look forward to more. it’s always good to hear more about the bloggers we know and love but good to hear about some new ones too. Jac has been one of my early influencers and it’s great to see her blogging career progress. So true about the blog name, wish I’d though about mine a bit more too.
Choc – would you like to be involved? If so please contact me on the contact form on my blog and I’ll send you the Q & A. x
Hi Holly, I really like your new feature on Bloggers. I looking forward to reading more in the future.
Thanks Julie! x
This is a lovely idea for a series and I love Jac’s answers. Nice to read we all have similarly challenging issues…blog names, blog lows, kitchen disasters! But then there are some lovely high’s, too! Will enjoy exploring the other blogs Jac has mentioned, aside from Food to Glow, which I also happily endorse as a great read!
Ren, I’m so pleased you like it! I am penning you an email this very day to ask you to take part! x
Ooh how exciting :-)))) Thank you!
What a GREAT idea and what a lovely post about Jac too! FABULOUS!
Thanks Karen! x
What a lovely post, Holly. I am such an admirer of Jac, too. It’s such a great way to get to know bloggers we all admire – can’t wait to read your future interviews!
I am a bit obsessed with getting to know new bloggers! So really pleased you like this Charlotte. xx
I really do – such a great idea Holly! x
Thanks for featuring me Holly and for the kind words Kellie and Becca :)
Thanks for answering my questions so honestly! x
or even GBBO (fat fingers kind of morning)
Hello Holly. I was chuffed to see Jac’s mention of my blog, food to glow, as I am a longtime admirer of her work (from even before I started my blog). She is such a friendly blogger and I have had the pleasure of meeting her in person – just as lovely. And it is nice to visit your own blog. Loved you on GGBO! Wonder what you thought of Tuesday’s choux pastry challenge – better them than me, I thought. Poor Glenn :(
I feel sorry for the GBBO lot – their challenges are far harder than my year. I don’t think I’d have got very far if I’d been on this series! Poor Glenn and his new puff pastry technique. At least he tried something new… brave! x
Great new series! I can’t wait to see who else you interview. I love Jac’s blog and I’m so flattered that she mentioned my blog as one of her favourites :)
Tinned Tomatoes is great! If you fancy being included get in touch via my contact form. Xx
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