Hope you guys are having a wonderful holiday being around family and friends! I'm so jealous for those of you who's getting 2 weeks off of work because of this year's funky calendar! Yes, I'm at work this week up 'til New Year's Eve because I'm saving up vacation days for 2015! Can you guess where I'll be off to in February?? Heheee... Now, who's ready for a brand new year?! Got an idea of what you'll be doing on NYE or who you'll be spending the last minutes of 2014 with?!
Before we jump into 2015, I want to feature one more food blogger in the Meet My Inspiration series. This is a blogger who has inspired me to focus on the bigger picture of food, and explore new tastes and flavors. Born in a Hungarian/Czech/Burmese/Indian family who also grew up and spent her childhood with her Italian cousins in Miami, Chrissy of The Hungary Buddha truly has been been eating the world since Day 1. Now living in Chicago, Chrissy continues her food adventure in the Windy City as well as her addiction to world-traveling!
I can talk about her all day so why don't I just let you get to know her through the Q&A, eh?
Wait, wait, wait... but before I really do let you go, I want you to make sure you stop by THIS LIST on her site. It's an recipe index by country! Whhhhhaaattt! I don't know another person who is as ambitious about food as Chrissy is. If you look at that amazing list, you'd understand exactly why I just love the passion inside this girl!
Now, here's the behind the scenes chat with Chrissy of The HungaryBuddha!
1. What inspired you to start a food blog?
I love to travel and one of the best parts of traveling is eating! This blog started because I had just come back from Ireland, where the food is amazing (despite what you've heard) and I was eating boring cottage cheese at my desk. At that moment I realized that just because I was at home didn't mean that I couldn't enjoy the tastes of the world. Plus, I was getting really tired of eating eggs for dinner three nights a week. The rest is history!
2. I know that you came from a very diverse family. Can you give us a teaser for those who hasn't been to your about page?
My blog monikor is a nod to both my parents. My mom is Hungarian and my dad...can you guess? Anyway, my mom was whipping up fusion cuisine before it was cool.
3. What was the first post/recipe that you published on The Hungary Buddha? (try not to peek!)
I know this off the top of my head since I just hit two years and looked back for a rewind! My first dish was a meatloaf and roasted brussel sprouts. Looking at it now, I had no idea what I was doing!
4. Your blog truly eats the world! I mean, come on! Recipes by country? That is just AMAZING. Can you tell us how you pick what to cook that week?
I literally bought a big map, started in Chicago, and drew one big red line around the world. It has it's drawbacks (8 months of Asian food may have been one of them...). but it was the best way for me to embrace regions rather than specific countries.
5. And what's your favorite cooking style?
I started my kitchen exploits as a baker, and that's where my heart lies. It's very hard for me to not only post pictures of cakes and cookies! Translating that into real food, I love roasted anything, and baking allows for a "stick it in the oven and let it do it's thing" sort of meal.
6. Exactly how many places have you travelled to? Any places on the queue to pay a visit soon?
I'm lucky to say SO many. I have two tried and true travel buddies and at the drop of a hat, we're off somewhere. Let's just say I had to get more pages added to my last passport. My favorite trip of them all was biking through the Bavarian Alps in Germany, ending at Oktoberfest. The most trying was this past May hiking the Annapurna Sanctuary in Nepal with food poisoning. Up next is Iceland this spring, hopefully tacking on some biking through Dutch tulip fields. I'm already excited!
7. Being brought up in a multi-cultural family, what was your favorite thing to eat growing up? Any traditional Hungarian dish that you loved particularly?
My childhood favorites actually play to both my parents' tastes. My favorite Hungarian dish is veal paprikash, hands down and my other "dad" favorite is this coconut chicken curry soup. They're both so easy and I surely don't make either of them enough, but maybe that's because mom makes it best!
8. Chicago. Big town, good food. What do you like most about this city from a food perspective?
To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of many of the Chicago favorites: the Chicago dog, deep dish, Italian beef...but what I DO love about the Chicago food scene is that it's evolved to so much more than those staples. New restaurants pop up all the time and each has something new and exciting to offer, whether it's classics cooked to perfection or crazy experiments in molecular gastronomy. Also, compared to other cities that I've visited, and surely other big cities, good food is affordable, whether it be restaurants or raw ingredients. Finally, we have our little ethnic niches that can sort of force you out of your comfort zone if you are up for it.
9. What's the most challenging thing about food blogging?
I live alone and cook only for myself. The challenge for me is not having people to eat all that I want to cook! I had originally set out to make one breakfast, two entrees and a dessert every week, but I'm finding that I just don't go through food that fast, depending on the amount of leftovers that a dish yields. The other challenge for me is food styling. I'm proud to say I've come a long way since that meatloaf, but I still have a lot to learn about it.
10. We'll end with some food blogging love. Any blogs or bloggers who you admire yourself?
It's funny because I never read a food blog until I had one of my own, but now my bloglovin' feed is full! Every blog has its own unique style and voice and I love combing through them all. However, the blogs that are my go-tos are Smitten Kitchen, Brown Eyed Baker, Global Table Adventure, Ambitious Kitchen and Edible Perspective.
(Photo Credit: The Hungary Buddha – Machaca con Huevos)