Food Bloggers Unplugged

19 Jan

Well, who´da thunk it?! The lovely Betsy from Bits & Breadcrumbs passed this fabulous award on to me. In true Blogging style I have to answer a few questions and pass the baton on. Thanks Betsy, I´d be honoured!

1.   What, or who inspired you to start a blog?
It was two things.  First of all my lovely crafty friend Florence over at Florence and Freddie started blogging on WordPress and encouraged me to go for it.  Secondly, I had just finished writing City Slicka to Spanish Chica and wanted to try it out on a wider audience.  Still unpublished, but oh what fun to write.  And now I can say I have written a book, so I´m quite proud of that even though it needs a good edit.  Anyone know any editors….?

2.   Who is your foodie inspiration?
Lots of people, but I guess it started at home.  My beloved grandmother was the queen of cakes and taught me how to bake.  My mum was a 19 year old English girl who married an Italian and had to learn pretty damn quick.  My parents still laugh that the first meal she made him when he visited his future in laws was severely over cooked Spaghetti with tomato ketchup on it.  Fortunately she´s an amazing cook now and even ran her own catering company for many years.  Chef wise I love Rick Stein, Jamie Oliver, Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall and finally I am now inspired daily by my fellow food bloggers.

My beautiful grandmother aged 26

3.   Your greasiest, batter – splattered food/drink book is?
It´s not a book, it´s a folder filled with recipes torn out of magazines, scribbled notes, print outs of recipes. I love it, but maybe I should get myself a new folder (ideally wipe clean) as it´s falling apart.

4.   Tell us all about the best thing you have ever eaten in another country, where was it, what was it?
Oh, that´s hard, I´ve travelled a lot and eaten some amazing (and some revolting) meals. Freshly grilled fish on the beach in Bali, a papaya for breakfast in the Cook Islands, an amazing Seafood Feast in Watson´s Bay Australia, my auntie´s pasta in Calabria, an incredible Japanese meal at Nobu in Paris, fresh bread out of the village oven in Morocco….sorry, can´t make my mind up on that one.

Beautiful Bali

5.   Another food bloggers table you’d like to eat at is?
Can I go to a few please? How about something amazing and vegetarian with Natalie over at Cook Eat Live Vegetarian, of course, cocktails with Greg & Katherine at Rufus Food & Spirits Guide, a long night of pasta and cards with Chgo John From the Bartolini Kitchens, tea, scones and a walk round the Farmy with Celi from the Kitchens Garden, a visit to pick supper from Claire´s allotment over at Promenade Plantings and shopping at Mad Dog´s butcher followed by dinner.  Oh dear, I seem to have taken myself off round the world again!

6.   What is the one kitchen gadget you would ask Santa for this year (money no object of course)?
Well, Christmas is long gone but ready for December 2012  I´d like to ask for something quite simple….an immersion blender. I have a knack of breaking things and this is probably one of the gadgets I use most in my kitchen. I´ve been in Spain 6 years and I think this is blender number 7 or 8 and is held together with Big Man´s electrical tape.  Mind you, we now don´t have a handle on the fridge door and the oven doesn´t work well and I´ve always fancied a wine fridge….

7.   Who taught you how to cook?
I´d love to say my mum and grandmother, and I suppose they did teach me the basics, but I am very much self taught. As soon as I left home I was off and experimenting (my poor friends) but I had great fun and built up my confidence to a point that I even taught a cookery class for a while.

My mum teaching Big Man how to cook a suckling pig...

8.   I’m coming to you for dinner what’s your signature dish?
Oh, that´s tough too. I guess it would depend on what time of year you came as I´d try to use as much of our own produce from the vegetable garden, our own eggs, perhaps our own chickens. Ok, as we´re in Spain I´ll do a lovely seafood platter to start, a chicken paella cooked outdoors, you can digest, take a walk or a dip then we´ll have whatever fresh fruit is in season with honey and almond ice cream, little cups of coffee and some of my cantuccini biscuits.

9.   What is your guilty food pleasure?
Now that one is easy.  Walkers Cheese & Onion Crisps.  And no, if you buy me some, I won´t share!

10. Reveal something about yourself that others would be surprised to learn?
I´m a trained and practising Psychometric Profiler as well as a (sort of ex) Human Resources Consultant. I think I used to scare people off (especially potential suitors) as they thought I was analyzing their every word or gesture.  And I probably was a lot of the time!
Finally…tag 5 other food bloggers with these questions…like a hot baked potato…pass it on.
I think many of the people I have already mentioned have already been tagged, but I´d like to mention a few new (to me) discoveries, the lovely blogs over at Ang Sarap, IamSimplyTia, FrugalFeeding, PeasePudding and SimpleSpeedySnacks.  They should all feel free to join in or not….but I do enjoy reading their blogs and hopefully you will too.


69 Responses to “Food Bloggers Unplugged”

  1. Mad Dog January 19, 2012 at 15:55 #

    Congratulations! Thanks for the big shout and that’s a very nice looking piggy your mum’s got there 😉

    • Chica Andaluza January 19, 2012 at 16:02 #

      You´re welcome. And the piggy has become a bit of a thing every time my parents come over…great fun and very tasty!

  2. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide January 19, 2012 at 16:01 #

    You can come for cocktails anytime, but be forewarned we’d try to tempt you with food. We’d leave the pasta and the vegetarian to Natalie and John and the scones to Celi! This was fun to read. That fish in Bali sounds amazing as does your grandma.

    • Chica Andaluza January 19, 2012 at 16:03 #

      Ah, thank you and I´d definitely stay for food too! Glad you enjoyed the read and yes, my Grandma was pretty amazing (lucky me) 🙂

  3. Christina January 19, 2012 at 16:04 #

    I love the picture of Bali…definitely at the top of my list to travel to. I love the picture you shared of your grandmother. 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza January 19, 2012 at 19:25 #

      I loved Bali – such a wonderful place and such wonderful people! I love that photo of my grandmother too – so young!

  4. TBM January 19, 2012 at 16:10 #


  5. JamieAnne January 19, 2012 at 16:16 #

    Love the pictures!! Congrats on the very much deserved award!!

    I’ll join you on this foodie trip. 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza January 19, 2012 at 19:44 #

      Do come along for the trip – and thank you for your kind words JamieAnne!

  6. bitsandbreadcrumbs January 19, 2012 at 16:25 #

    Hi Tanya! You’re so welcome for the award, but really it’s a reward to me because it’s so nice to know more about you! How beautiful your grandmother was and that photo alone begs for the story behind it. The immersion blender I got for Christmas was a Cuisinart and I love it…plus it’s orange! 😉 And dinner at your house sound like it would be amazing…seafood, paella and enjoying the beauty of the place you live and the company of course. Thanks for sharing, this is a great post! ~Betsy

    • Chica Andaluza January 19, 2012 at 20:02 #

      You´re welcome Betsy, these are always such fun to do. I was very close to my grandmother and have her diaries (or which she kept many) and am tempted to do something with her stories. She was a Red Cross Nurse on the Ambulances at the start of WWII and then joined the WRNS (Women´s Royal Naval Service) where she met my grandfather who was in the Royal Navy. All very romantic! And as for your blender…and an orange one to boot…very envious!

  7. thecompletecookbook January 19, 2012 at 16:26 #

    What a great post Tanya – love that we can all learn so much about each other with these questions. I should have tagged a few people when I put my “Getting to know you” posts together – oh well, next time.
    🙂 Mandy

    • Chica Andaluza January 19, 2012 at 20:03 #

      Thanks Mandy – they´re fun and I´m sure there will be plenty more like this going round in the year ahead!

  8. deairby January 19, 2012 at 16:33 #

    Yes, go for the immersion blender. I have broken way too many stand up blenders!!! I so enjoy my IB!

    • Chica Andaluza January 19, 2012 at 20:03 #

      I am a disaster when it comes to breaking or exploding things! Well, more accurately, I am an expert in destruction 😉

  9. LaMonique January 19, 2012 at 16:52 #

    Congrats on your award, Tanya! It is well-deserved. I can’t get enough of your pictures in your regular posts, but today was an extra special treat. By the way, I do know an editor — me. 🙂 Send me an email so we can chat about your book!

    • Chica Andaluza January 19, 2012 at 20:04 #

      Ooh – how exciting. I will get in touch separately and I am so glad you enjoyed the photos. Not the best quality today but I think they captured what I was saying!

  10. ceciliag January 19, 2012 at 16:52 #

    Sorry it took me so long, but i had to zoom off and do some visiting of the new people you mentioned. KETTLES ON! Did you borrow my time machine? I seem to have lost it! c

    • Chica Andaluza January 19, 2012 at 20:05 #

      Yes, I have the time machine but won´t hang on to it for too long as I´m likely to break it 😉

  11. ChgoJohn January 19, 2012 at 17:03 #

    What a great post, Tanya! Loved your answers and the accompanying photographs. I bet quite a few WWII soldier boys really appreciated seeing your Grandmother’s beautiful, kind face looking upon them when they were in need. Her smile was probably just as effective as some of the painkillers. And that picture of the roast pig cooking methodology being passed from your Mum to your Big Man speaks volumes about both people. Wonderful photo, Tanya! Feel free to come — and don’t forget your parents & Big Man — whenever you like for as long as you like. Just give me a little advance notice so I can stock up on eggs, flour, and wine. We’re going to be making a ton of pasta and the wine makes the work so much more fun! 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza January 19, 2012 at 20:08 #

      Ah, what a lovely reply John! Glad you liked the photos – I have another one of my grandmother in her Royal Naval uniform (which she then went on to join and then met my grandfather..big love story). I love that photo of Big Man and my mum – I know it´s not great quality but it really captures the moment and now it´s become a bit of a tradition for them to do this together when my parents come over. I love it!

  12. The Spain Scoop - Scoopette January 19, 2012 at 18:08 #

    Thanks for the vegetarian blog suggestion!

    • Chica Andaluza January 19, 2012 at 20:08 #

      It´s a fantastic site – do check it out, I am sure Natalie will make you most welcome 🙂

  13. TheDorsetFinca January 19, 2012 at 20:01 #

    Congratulations on your award! Lovely to find out more about you too! xx

  14. kathryningrid January 19, 2012 at 22:58 #

    No question that you deserve this! Your approach to food is both delectable and–well–approachable, and everything you’ve shown me is certainly worthy of my hungry admiration! Well done, Chica!

    • Chica Andaluza January 19, 2012 at 23:17 #

      High praise indeed – thank you so much. Am looking forward to cooking lots of new recipes this year 🙂

  15. tedgriffith January 19, 2012 at 23:12 #

    Congratulations on the award! Every time I visit and see your wonderful recipes, I am inspired (and hungry). I had to go look up what a Psychometric Profiler is. Cool!!

    • Chica Andaluza January 19, 2012 at 23:19 #

      Aha – now you know what I sometimes do to pay the bills! Thanks for you kind words Ted, very much appreciated.

  16. IamSimplyTia January 20, 2012 at 01:23 #

    I’m blushing over here. Thank you so much for considering me. I appreciate every trip you make to my little corner and every comment you leave. I’m truly humbled. I enjoy all your posts because you are so talented at what you do and so very down to earth. Your warm and kind personality always shines through so coming to here is always a pleasure.
    Looking forward to many more wonderful posts from you!

    • Chica Andaluza January 20, 2012 at 10:07 #

      No blushing Tia – you have a wonderful blog too and deserve more readers and followers! Look forward to reading your answers 🙂

      • IamSimplyTia January 20, 2012 at 12:16 #

        One day, hopefully very soon, I’ll get around to doing a blog post and nominating other blogs. I’ve gotten a few of these mentions and nominations and have been very bad at writing up a post to keep the trend going. I’m a horrible girl. I must do it soon.

        Thanks again!

      • Chica Andaluza January 20, 2012 at 13:36 #

        Not horrible – but it takes time. And it´s entirely up to you if you respond to these or not. Just do what makes you happy 🙂

  17. gardenfreshtomatoes January 20, 2012 at 02:33 #

    Wonderful post!
    That pic of your Mum and the suckling pig is priceless…

    • Chica Andaluza January 20, 2012 at 10:09 #

      Thank you – I love that photo too even though it´s not great quality. They spent the meal deciding who had added the “special touch” to make it taste so good!

  18. Charles January 20, 2012 at 02:55 #

    Thanks for coming by my blog recently Chica – thought I’d come by to check you out and how fortuitous – I stop by right at the time when you’re sharing some information about yourself so I can get to know you a bit better – lovely to read about the woman behind the blog! 🙂 (Incidentally I always wanted to try and cook my own whole suckling pig :D)

    • Chica Andaluza January 20, 2012 at 10:29 #

      Glad you liked it Charles! And the suckling pig has become a bit of a tradition now…we enjoy preparing it 🙂

  19. Tandy January 20, 2012 at 06:53 #

    love knowing more about you! I dropped my Braun immersion blender sadly and have replaced it with a Morphy Richards one – I was in a rush! My Braun was going strong after 15 years 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza January 20, 2012 at 10:12 #

      That´s what I need – a drop proof (onto tough Spanish floor tiles) one!

  20. Kay aka Babygirl January 20, 2012 at 07:31 #

    I just loved your answers to these questions.. and your grandmother looks beautiful at 26. And cooking, to me, is a huge experiment so I’m sure your friends loved your food at first 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza January 20, 2012 at 10:13 #

      Thanks Kay – the photo of my grandmother is lovely isn´t it! And my friends were good to me – mostly it was simple things at first but I got more adventurous over time with not too many “chuck the meal in the bin” situations!

  21. Florence January 20, 2012 at 13:01 #

    Hi T, Congrats on your award. Lovely picture of your Ma and your Man. Really enjoyed reading your post. Cheese and Onion Chrisps!!!!!! lol! Thank you for the link you are very kind.
    Regards Florence xx

    • Chica Andaluza January 20, 2012 at 13:38 #

      Thought you knew about my dirty secret…I´m a not so secret cheese & onion crisp lover 😉

  22. spicegirlfla January 20, 2012 at 16:53 #

    I’m so jealous over the places you have visited and eaten at. Your life sounds like a dream to me. Honestly Tanya, every post you write I just imagine how beautiful your life is. So nice to get a more inside, personal view of you!

    • Chica Andaluza January 20, 2012 at 17:28 #

      I was lucky to have travelled a lot with my job and then when I turned 40 (and the year I met my Big Man) I did my Round the World trip with best pal Ria. It was a very, very good year…I know I was lucky to have had such an incredible experience.

  23. sportsglutton January 20, 2012 at 17:38 #

    A trained and practicing Psychometric Profiler eh? I think I’ll have to think twice about my comments from now on. 😉

    • Chica Andaluza January 20, 2012 at 18:04 #

      “Grin” – no, this is for pleasure, so I take everything at face value 🙂

  24. fati's recipes January 21, 2012 at 12:48 #

    🙂 This is a really nice post, Chica… Loved all your answers. Congrats on the award! 😀

  25. Michi January 22, 2012 at 16:02 #

    I am so coming over for dinner!!!!! Mmmmmmmm. I love interviews like this – they’re so much fun to read.

    • Chica Andaluza January 22, 2012 at 19:43 #

      Thank you…and any time you´re further south, we´d love to welcome you (seriously)…

      • Michi January 30, 2012 at 11:40 #

        D-Man and I are thinking of heading over to warmer weather and visiting Nerja (al balcón de Europa!) one of these weekends – is that close to where you live? I shall email you!

      • Chica Andaluza January 30, 2012 at 12:19 #

        Oh yes – it´s about 45 minutes from us. We´re inland. Do e-mail me!

  26. Sawsan@ Chef in disguise January 22, 2012 at 21:09 #

    Congratulation on your award
    Loved reading your answers Tanya 🙂

  27. the island traveler January 23, 2012 at 13:17 #

    You got me with the suckling pig. I grew having a roasted pig as the main attraction of every festivity. Now that I’m older and conscious about cholesterol I mellowed down to veggies and fish. Delightful insights and discoveries. Thanks.

    • Chica Andaluza January 23, 2012 at 14:14 #

      It´s a rare treat for us..but yes, a bit naughty!

  28. Calico Stretch January 24, 2012 at 09:24 #

    You had me chuckling again and I loved the fish in Bali etc which I would love to try. Loved the story of mum serving ketchup on limp pasta, which beats my sisters’ broccoli surprise hands down :o))

    • Chica Andaluza January 24, 2012 at 15:16 #

      Oh yes, the pasta is still talked about and they met over 50 years ago…it must have been truly atrocious. But all credit to my dad – he ate it!

  29. filingawaycupcakes January 24, 2012 at 21:14 #

    Love the Bali pic! I haven’t been since I was a child, but it was the most beautiful place I have ever been.

    • Chica Andaluza January 25, 2012 at 10:10 #

      It was hard to choose just one pic – I thought it was such a wonderful place, and the people are so gentle and kind. Thanks for visiting and commenting!

  30. Burhan April 17, 2015 at 15:25 #

    Oh God, I was glad when I saw there was a picture of the island of Bali on display here, I feel proud to be Indonesian, because Bali is part of Indonesia.

    • Chica Andaluza April 17, 2015 at 20:32 #

      I’m glad you liked it – it is a very, very special place!

  31. Burhan April 17, 2015 at 15:27 #

    What do you think about Bali, after a visit there.?

    • Chica Andaluza April 17, 2015 at 20:33 #

      I had a very speial time there, the thing that made the most impact on me was the people – so kind and gentle. It’s a very, very beautiful place and I hope to return one day with my husband as he has never visited.

  32. Burhan April 18, 2015 at 05:16 #

    Thank you for the compliment, because we’ve been here since childhood are taught to always smile and be kind to guests who come, hopefully a visit to the two can come to Lombok and enjoy the beach sengigi or Terawangan, and I would feel happy if I can meet with you The island of Bali or Lombok.

  33. Saiful Bahri on wisata lombok October 11, 2015 at 03:34 #

    Bali ??
    it is very unusual Mrs. Chica
    whether you visit with family ???

  34. Kursus ACLS August 18, 2016 at 07:56 #

    Wow , Beautiful Bali.. thanks the article.

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