It’s my pleasure to introduce you to Cassie Laemmli from Bake Your Day. I’ve been following her blog for some time now and I can’t read a new post over there without laughing. The most recent post included a line that told us to read a line using our Ricky Ricardo voice. And I did.
Cassie lives in Kansas City with her husband Paul and their cat Emma. I’ve never known a cat named Emma but I expect she keeps the household in line. Cats are like that.
When talking with Cassie you can just tell that she loves to be around people — even over the net. She’s a person who lives well and that includes fantastic food. Her blog is more than just a repository for her recipes – it’s a growing community of food lovers.
Lucky for me that she believes that food is nostalgic, it is comforting, it brings people together, and it builds community. Her meals and desserts are fairly simple to make, elegant to serve to guests and use accessible and affordable ingredients. It’s pretty obvious from the interactions on her blog how much she’s connected to her friends through food.
When I asked her how she came up with the name Bake Your Day, it turns out that she couldn’t decide and her husband came up with the name. Isn’t it great when your spouse or partner gets involved with something you love?
Like many of us, she learned to cook by watching her mother and then moved to trial and error. I think that’s the best way to learn how to cook. Mix a few ingredients and if they don’t work, that’s one thing you don’t have to cook again.
I asked Cassie a few questions to help us learn more about her and how she looks at her cooking, ingredients and her blog.
What’s the food that you really love but only learned to eat as an adult?
Without a doubt, it is sushi. I didn’t have my first bite of sushi until I was 22 and it was literally a ‘light bulb’ moment for me. From that point on, if there was something in my past that I “didn’t like” (aka – never really tried), I was sure to give it a shot. I have widely expanded my palate with this philosophy.
Do you find the work-blog-home tough to balance?
I am very organized so I plan meals on a weekly basis at the same time that I plan blog posts. I typically post two recipes a week and one “ramblings” post that gives me a chance to share my life with my readers. I do a lot of my cooking and baking on the weekends when natural light is plentiful and I usually try to stay 1-2 weeks ahead on my posts so that if I have a busy week, I’m not scrambling or stressed to get a recipe posted. I have a firm stance that my blog should never cause stress in my life and the minute that it starts causing stress, I know that something isn’t right somewhere.
(I can only dream that my posts would be ready one to two weeks ahead of time. Am I the only one who screams, “holy crap, do you realize it’s Friday??)
What recipe that you have developed are you most proud?
I’m honestly proud of every recipe that I develop. If I’m not proud of it, it doesn’t go on the blog until it gets better. I evolve more and more with each recipe and I become better each time that I hit ‘publish.’ I’m also most proud of the ones that inspire others. The recipes that someone takes and makes in their own kitchen and then comes back and tells me that their family loved them – those are the recipes that just make my day. This Black bean burger or Spicy Black Bean Burger is probably it. So many people have loved these. They are still one of my most popular.
If you could have dinner with 3 food related people, who would they be? (this is fantasy, they don’t need to be alive)
Food-related, I like this…
Julia Child. I want to live inside her brain.
Ina Garten. I love her cooking style and she is so classy.
Tyler Florence. My foodie-chef crush. Don’t tell my hubs.
If your spices were taken away and you were allowed only 3, which would you keep?
This is a fun question! I would definitely keep oregano. I use it very often in many recipes, over many styles of dishes. I would also keep thyme; it lightens up any dish and goes well with a lot of other flavors. Lastly, I would keep cayenne pepper. We add it to almost everything.
What’s your favorite go-to meal that’s quick, easy and delicious?
Creamy avocado pasta with roasted grape tomatoes. My husband and I both love this meal. It’s healthy, affordable and so quick to put together.
What advice would you give to a new person starting out as a food writer?
Be yourself and show your readers who you are. Don’t be afraid to tell stories, to be vulnerable and to put yourself out there to share who the person behind the food is. It’s your writing, be YOU. There is so much diversity in food writing so just take the time to find your voice, there is no hurry!
Are you a cook and clean up as you go person or a clean up after everything is done person?
I sort of clean as I go, as I have a chance. I don’t stress about it if I am making a highly involved meal that doesn’t allow me time to clean up during the cooking. But if I can, I love not having a kitchen full of dishes to take care of after a meal.
(okay, someone who has her future posts done one to two weeks ahead of time would probably be a clean as she goes sort of person.)
My focus is about food memories and how they last a lifetime. Sometimes a meal or even an aroma can trigger the best memories. Can you share a favorite recipe that originated in your childhood? It doesn’t have to be complicated and it doesn’t have to be brand new – something you’ve already posted is fine.
Oh goodness, where do I start? I believe that nothing in the world is more nostalgic than food.
My very first blog post was for homemade egg noodles, and the second was homemade chicken and noodles. (Don’t judge the photos. Like I said first and second posts here.) Both of these are the epitome of comfort food from my childhood. They remind me of my mom’s paternal grandmother, my paternal grandmother and of my mother. So many of my memories include being covered in flour and the house being covered in egg noodles drying, just waiting to be dumped into post of boiling chicken stock.
I just adore classic recipes that remind me of my family and growing up. My party mix (this post talks a lot about the subject of nostalgic food) and classic chili hold a special place in my heart. I shared French Cookies for the 2011 Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap because they are the cookie that summarizes my childhood. We made them every year growing up during the holidays and the recipe is huge so they are perfect for sharing.
Please visit Cassie’s blog at bakeyourday.net and tell her I sent you.