For the new year, I decided that I'd start a new habit. It's not really a New Year's resolution but more of a long-term goal (well, and also because I just turned 30 and i think it's time to beat myself with a stick of trying to maintain a healthier lifestyle.) I've been telling myself that I need to work out more regularly for the past couple of years. And now that I live so darn close to Prospect Park, it'd be a real shame not to take advantage of it so I started running. And it's going okay so far! Living in New York is rewarding but it's also challenging (by that I mean a lot of hustle). When I go for a run, I try to put the daily things behind and focus on myself. I love New York. And I love Brooklyn. But that doesn't mean that I wouldn't like living or falling in love with another place.
Anyway, this week for Meet My Inspiration, I want to introduce you to a blogger who lives far, far away from New York City (or any city). She lives in a place where I really don't know much about but I think it's quite extraordinary. Say hello to Shinee (Shin-eh) and her blog Sweet and Savory by Shinee based out of North Dakota. Her blog first got my attention because of its uniqueness. It's not everyday that you'll come across a food blog that mainly focuses on finger/party/mini foods and Shinee has been doing a fine job whipping out these tasty little bites!
What also captured my attention was the fact that Shinee is actually from Mongolia and had moved to N.D. 8 years ago. Do you know anyone from Mongolia? Her background intrigued me and I wanted to find out more about her and her passion. I think her recipes are diverse, and her love for sweet things is sprinkled everywhere on her blog. And gosh, just look at this recipe index. Impressive, eh? Her work is totally professional and she's pretty much the jack of all trades!
Guys, I don't want to spoil the fun so why don't I shut up and let you listen to what she had to say?!
OOHHH but before I say goodbye, I just want to mention or remind you again that the Meet My Inspiration blog series will be winding down... so read this one while it's hot off the press, and I'll fill you guys in more later!
Have a great weekend, and see ya next week!
1. What inspired you to start a food blog that focuses on party food and drink? (I think it's simply brilliant!)
Thank you, Kayiu. Originally, my blog wasn’t really focused on party food. However, last May as I got more serious about blogging, I decided to narrow down my focus on finger food, bite-size desserts, cakes and cocktails, in short party food. I love mini food. They’re much more fun to make and enjoy!
2. What was the first post/recipe that you published on Sweet and Savory by Shinee? (Try not to peek!)
Oh, I’ll always remember my first post. It was Martha Stewart’s candy stripe cookie sticks. They’re absolutely adorable!
3. If you have to pick 3 words to describe your blog, what would they be?
Fun, exquisite, diverse.
4. What's your regular cooking day routine like? Food shopping in the morning? Cooking and shooting dishes at a certain time before the sun goes down?
Since I’m a full-time blogger, every day of the week is different. If it’s recipe testing day, then I only focus on creating new recipes and testing it. When the recipes are perfected, I devote the morning to cooking, and in the afternoon I work on styling and shooting the dishes. And yes, I definitely try to complete the shooting during the daylight.
5. I have to be honest, I think your background is fascinating. What was it like growing up in Mongolia?
How is the food culture different in Mongolia compared to the United States? The food culture is quite different. In Mongolia, we mostly eat unprocessed food, prepared from scratch. Our Mongolian food is pretty simple, mainly consists of lots of dairy, meat (beef, mutton) and potato. Nothing similar to Mongolian BBQ that we see here in the U.S.
6. How's North Dakota been treating ya? Is that where you think you'll be living for a long time? Or is there somewhere else in the States you think you might be living in the near future?
Nope, I’m pretty much settled here for good. My husband is 3rd generation cattle rancher, and we have no plans to change that. I love it here in ND, despite the weather and all.
7. Looking at your large collection of recipes, which category do you enjoy making the most? Appetizer or dessert?
Desserts for sure. I’ve got serious sweet tooth, and my family enjoys them too.
8. I adore your photography! And I'm always interested to see what bloggers use in terms of camera and lenses. Can you tell us what you got in your photography toolbox?
Thank you. My photography’s come a long way since I started my blog. For the longest time, I’ve used my Canon 60D with 50mm f/1.8 II. But I recently invested in 100mm f/2.8L Macro, and it’s my go-to lens now.
9. What's the most challenging thing about being a food blogger?
Maintaining a healthy weight. Just kidding, but not really. Anyhow, in all seriousness though, a lot of things in my job is challenging, from food styling to photography, to social media marketing, to website maintenance. We, food bloggers, wear many different hats and learn many different skills to share our delicious recipes.
10. We'll end with some food blogging love. Any blogs or bloggers who you look up to?
Ah, there are so many talented bloggers out there. I’m an avid blog reader myself, and follow many bloggers. I can’t even count them on both of my hands. Just to name a few that I truly look up to… How Sweet It Is is a beautiful blog with creative and unique recipes, and I love Jessica’s writing. I also love Pinch of Yum for not only their healthy and delicious recipes, but also for their incredibly helpful food blogging resources. Another one of my favorites is Sally’s Baking Addiction, where Sally shares her best of the best recipes with gorgeous photos. Gimme Some Oven is also a lovely blog with stunning bright and clear photos. I honestly can go on and on, but I better stop here.
Photo Credit: Sweet and Savory by Shinee – Lemon French Macarons