We are overjoyed to be shining the spotlight on Miriam Pascal, who shares her tales of an Overtime Cook through recipes and photos on her blog, OvertimeCook.com. Miriam is a helpful Twitter friend and generally someone that just wants to share her knowledge with everyone else and we appreciate that. Let's welcome Miriam and find out a little more about her and her blog.
Tell us about your blog and how you got started:
Believe it or not, I started my blog because I had spare time, and wanted to do something productive with it. (I can't remember what spare time feels like anymore!) I had been baking and cooking a lot at that point, and was constantly giving out recipes. I decided to create a blog where I could direct people to for my recipes. My nature is that I really like to be prepared, so I did a lot of prep work before getting started. First, I had a professional photographer that I work with teach me about food photography. We spent a long time on all of the basics, and I really feel that it helped the success of my blog. Next, I spent forever picking out a name. I had a really hard time choosing, but I do feel that Overtime Cook describes my current situation quite perfectly.
What is your earliest cooking memory?
Believe it or not, it was a baking flop! I was really young, and trying to bake a basic vanilla cake. I don't even remember what went wrong with it, but I have very vivid memories of everyone assuring me that something was wrong with the oven, not the cake I had made. Looking back, I'm pretty sure I used a plastic drinking cup to measure a cup, and a plastic spoon for a teaspoon, so it's not hard to figure out what wrong. I've definitely learned my lesson: even now as a very experienced baker, I always measure my ingredients very precisely.
What is your favorite kitchen implement / utensil / gadget?
My kitchen aid stand mixer has a special place in my heart, probably because I use it so often! Also, I can't imagine life without my 8 inch chef knife. It makes really quick work out of chopping 20 onions. (Sadly, it doesn't do anything about the tears.;)
What's your favorite kosher dish to cook?
My favorite thing to make is cookies. Cookie recipe ideas constantly pop into my head, and I have to try them out! I have about 20 cookie recipes on my blog, and I'm constantly adding to those.
Who is your cooking inspiration?
I get inspiration from all over the place! I own a ton of cookbooks, (and I'm constantly getting more!). I read lots of cooking magazines, and more food websites and blogs than you can imagine. You never know what might inspire the next great recipe! Also, both of my parents are excellent cooks, so I definitely grew up in an environment that inspired cooking and baking.
Please share a favorite cooking tip or trick with our readers:
My father always taught us that using the right tool makes the job infinitely easier. I have a couple of simple (inexpensive) tools that I use which seriously simplify my kitchen work. My favorite is the cookie scoop. I have a medium and a small scoop, and using them ensures that all my cookies are exactly the same size, plus it saves a ton of time making them. (And for someone who makes cookies at least once a week, that's really important!)
Which recipes are you sharing with us today?
Here are the links, the recipe and pictures are on there: