Guys, there're 9 days 'til Christmas! And 16 days 'til 2015! What's everyone doing this holiday season? Any family tradition? Well, mine is to go to the movies with Mr. Saucy Spatula (omg, did I just say that? Scratch that. Let's not be weird and call him by his real name, Adam :)) on Christmas Day if we're spending it without the fam. I might possibly end up cooking up something delicious but I don't feel like planning it out since my brain is still kinda fried from Thanksgiving!
So this week for Meet My Inspiration, I want you ALL to meet this cool chick. Her name is Mabel and she runs the blog Miss HangryPants. See that featured photo? Yea, she's pretty much the queen of macaroons. Birthday cake macaroons, Matcha macaroons, Boston cream pie macaroons, etc. Don't you just want them all?? She definitely has a thing for baked goods! I also adore her Bulgogi Nachos - PURE GENIUS!
I was drawn to her blog because her photos are just gorgeous. I love her approach to food styling which, to me, is totally natural and candid - great lighting can really make the food pop! As I looked closer and found out that she had spent most of her childhood in Hong Kong, I immediately jumped in line to be her blogger friend! Her recipes for Hong Kong style hot dog buns and Hong Kong style egg tarts made me drool like a 2-year-old.
If you're looking for someone to follow on Instagram, be one of her 918 followers!
Here's the behind the scenes chat with Mabel of Miss HangryPants!
1. What inspired you to start a food blog?
I started reading food blogs after I graduated college. I think mostly to put aside filling out job applications and to stay in bed reading for as long as I could (clearly an adult). I was so amazed by the pictures though, and I still am! I really only started 2 years after college, when I was in a master's program and my diet literally consisted of hot Cheetos and carrot sticks. I met my boyfriend there, and he was appalled about my eating habits and also because I was orange from all the beta-karotene (true story). So we started cooking and that is how the blogging began.
2. What was the first post/recipe that you published on Miss Hangrypants? (Try not to peek!)
Oh, I definitely know this one. My first post and recipe was bulgogi kimchi fried rice. I don't make this often, because I can't find good kimchi in Richmond. My mum packs me frozen individual servings of bulgogi and all kinds of Korean dishes to keep in my freezer, so I don't resort to eating Hot Cheetos. She is the bomb!
3. If you have to pick 5 words to describe your blog, what would they be?Macarons, whine-y (haha :/), cheeky, sugary and a whole lot of silly
4. What's your cooking day routine like? Food shopping in the morning? Cooking and shooting dishes at a certain time before the sun goes down?
Sometimes I will plan a recipe for days and then suddenly change my mind and make something completely different. It really depends on my mood and what ingredients I have on hand. I usually cook on the weekends, because I stay in school to study until the wee hours of the morning. Usually, I will never feel like cooking when I come back home. There are times though, when I've started baking at 2am and slept with cake crumbs all over my bed. I'm always "procrasti-baking" and blowing off studying, but no worries, I'm doing well in school ;). I just have this tendency/urge to do something else other than studying, and baking is my stress outlet.
And yes, shooting dishes and baked goodies always happens in the morning or late afternoon, when the light isn't too harsh. I keep my roommates and friends very well fed :)
5. Being raised in a Chinese & Korean household, what are some of your favorite things to eat growing up? Any dishes your mom is just a master of?
My mum is probably the best cook ever. No bias! She's even the best cook on my Chinese side of the family, because she's very versatile. My favorite things to eat would have to be kimbap and hot rice cakes (ddukbokkgee). My summers would be spent in Korea and after Korean lessons, I would eat this at the food stalls. My mum is a kimbap making machine. I've had all kinds of variations like kimchi and perilla leaves or spicy fried anchovies with cucumbers. She can whip out 20 rolls in the morning and have everyone's lunches ready and packed. Needless to say, I always had the best bento box at school.
6. What was your experience like living in the vibrant Hong Kong? Anything you just couldn't eat enough of (egg tarts? french toast? char siu? street food?)
I love Hong Kong! It's so bustling with energy, so much good food that's cheap, so many colors and so much diversity. If I feel like eating anything from any culture, I'll be sure to find it just around the corner. You have the knitty gritty but-oh-so delicious street food or dai pai dongs to world-class fine dining. Whenever I visit, I must have bubble egg waffles, curry fish balls and rice noodles with an assortment of meats/meatballs. I used to do a lot of after school activities like orchestra, tutoring, piano lessons, like any good Asian and I was given pocket money to buy food. Hnngggghh, I miss it so much!
7. You're on the BlogHer Network (bravo!) What's your experience like with them? Care to spill some tips to fellow food bloggers?
Honestly, I have no idea how I got accepted to the network. I applied sometime earlier last year and was rejected, which I expected because I hadn't had my blog up for long. I didn't think about it until I got an email saying that I was accepted! Before blogher, I was using foodieblogroll, which was decent. I don't really make much or at all, even if I moved to Blogher. Let's say, I can maybe buy an expensive Starbucks drink PER month. Haha. I mostly gain audience from submitting blogposts to tastespotting, foodgawker and tasteologie. I'm a huge fan of instagram (find me there!) and I was recently accepted to the Blogher social media influence program, so I'll see how that goes.
8. I love to geek out on photography stuff. Your pics are always gorgeous and I love that the styling is just simple and natural. What kind of camera and lenses do you use?
Why thank you! Let's say food photography really didn't come naturally to me. I used a simple point and shoot first, and shot in the dark. I did have a canon rebel dslr, but I never liked it because of how big and bulky it was. So all my pictures on my blog are taken by an interchangeable lens micro 3/4 camera (Sony nex 6) with a 30mm f/3.5 macro lens. I always shoot when the sun is out or I just wait until the next day (although I avoid this, because food tends to look blah the next day, or I've eaten it all already :P). I still have so so so much to learn and so much kitchen props I want to buy (guilty buying addiction)
9. What would you eat as a treat to lighten up a rough day?
Lately, I've been eating a lot of froyo. Just that tangy and refreshing taste to clear my boggy mind. Otherwise, it's the frosty from Wendy's at the hospital after I've hit a brick wall with studying. The best vanilla malt soft serve (with fries). Being lactose intolerant doesn't stop me!
10. We'll end with some food blogging love. Any blogs or bloggers who you admire yourself?
Top with cinnamon - Izy is a teen with incredible powers. My name is Yeh - Molly's writing is so cute and her photos are amazing I am a Food Blog - I've followed Stephanie since her momofukufor2 days. Always comes up with stuff I want to eat. Hungry Rabbit - I have never seen such beautiful cakes and desserts in my life. Period. Tiny Urban Kitchen - Once I have enough money (maybe 20 years from now when I have no teeth), I will have to visit all the restaurants Jen has visited Eat the love - Great recipes and amazing photography
(Photo Credit: Miss HangryPants – Chocolate Macarons with Chestnut Cream)