Tuesday, October 5, 2010

What’s Cooking in your Kitchen – Vanilla Sugar Blog



Today I will be going into the kitchen of Dawn from the Vanilla Sugar Blog. I discovered Dawn’s blog a few months back and got hooked right away.  Her blog is simple; the photography is amazing and the recipes are delicious. Dawn is born and raised in California but living in Cape Cod, MA these days, and creates some amazing recipes. But most of all she was part of the 55 Knives, where 55 bloggers contributed to create this amazing Cookbook.          


How long have you been cooking and who was the person who encouraged you to come into the kitchen and learn about food?           

As a child I loved watching Julia Child over Sesame Street any day.  There was something more appealing about Julia Child and how casual she was with food that drew me right in.  This was the time when canned foods, frozen meals were making a huge debut and impression on most of America.  I always hated them as a kid and was drawn to how Julia used whole foods.  Watching Julia on TV you could instantly tell she was real, she was messy, and she was loud—I loved that.           

Banana Custard Tartlettes and Julia & Me

 Why did you decide to start a food blog? And why do you love it?          

Good question! I even want to ask every new exciting food blog I come across why did you start a food blog?  I know, there are hundreds if not thousands of other foodies out there, like me, that love to kick things up a notch and who have a passion of combining the sweet with the savory.  I love food blogging because I have found such people who speak my language!  Ha ha!         

I used to live in Boston and go to the cape every summer, I love it. How did you end up in Cape Cod, MA?         

I’m a California girl but love cape cod just as much.  I used too, many moons ago, run my family business here on cape cod.  I haven’t left, but have plans to move back to California in the next couple of years; I miss the constant sunshine and no snow.         

What is your favorite restaurant in Cape Cod and why?          

There is this wonderful little family owned restaurant called Lindsey’s Restaurant in Buzzards Bay that serves up the best seafood dishes around.  Family style seafood dishes, huge portions, freshest seafood, infamous bisques and still in this economy reasonable prices.  I love that they are still family owned after all these years. Plus they are not ever going to scale down their foods to save a buck.  They know that in order to keep your customers happy and coming back you need to keep serving the best.  Smart and hard, but it’s working for them.         

Do you have a signature dish? What is it and how did you come up with it?          


Asian Meatballs in garlic-black bean sauce with peanut fried rice

The most comments I get about a certain dish have to be the Asian meatballs with garlic-black bean sauce. I love meatballs, little tiny morsels of kicked up beef, all in a nice bitesize piece. Oh what’s not to love?  I make a good Italian meatball but have always wanted to make an Asian one.  And I think I found it with these, so flavorful and with a hint of twang. How did I create it?  As with most of my dishes I see something I like on TV or on a friends blog and think how to ‘kick that recipe up a notch or two’.  It’s like I study a recipe or see a dish and think what is that dish missing?  What does it need?  Did they forget something?  That’s how my foodie brain works.     

What eatables do you have in your backyard?           

Is it bad that I don’t even know how to garden?  You’d think most cooks have these elaborate, organized gardens brimming with vegetables and multiple arrays of exotic herbs.  Not me.  I wish I had a green thumb. Maybe someday….         

If you could sit down and have a dinner with a celebrity chef, who would it be, why and where would you take them to eat?          

Picture from NY Daily News

If I could go back in time and make the infamous restaurant in Boston “Maison Robert” come back to life I would go there with Julia Child.  This was the place in Boston to go to back in the 80’s for the ultimate in French food:  Classic French food with perfect ambience.  They were also known for their spacious, private seating, making it as though each table was the only one in the restaurant—it was very private, very warming atmosphere.  I know Julia used to dine there and whenever she was there the chefs would be all over her—it was fascinating to witness. It might also be nice to have Emeril join us as I would love to know what kind of questions he would ask her?           

What are three things people don’t know about you?      

Picture from Cheez_It.com


Ha ha I have a bad addiction to Cheez-It.  I do not like goat cheese—I have tried to like it but just cannot.  When I eat a cupcake I take the bottom half of the cupcake off and put on the top to make a cupcake sandwich.  It’s really good.        

What is your favorite kitchen gadget? 

Picture from Huset-shop.com


I love and collect spatulas.  As soon as I walk into a kitchen gadget store I go to the spatulas first and grab whatever colors and size I don’t need!  I must have over 25 spatulas…so far…         

Tell us about 55 Knives.         

55 Knives Cookbook


55 Knives is an ecookbook comprised of 55 other chefs/cooks who share some of their best recipe.  But the best part is these chefs also share who and why these recipes came about; a little story to go along with the recipe.  When you think about it, it’s really genius.  I wish more cookbooks would adapt this same theory. The best part? You can order it online and be reading in a matter of minutes.  No waiting for it to be delivered to your house.  Open now and devour!         

Order Now!         

Describe your death menu. (Last meal before you die)?         

Picture from NYTimes.com

One of those grilled cheese hamburgers that you see on all the famous food trucks.  You know the ones that have two grilled sandwiches as the bun to the hamburger?  Man those are crazy, but I love it.         

What advice would you give to other food bloggers?         

Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes


 Be creative.  Don’t ever be afraid to step away from the recipe and create your own recipe.  You’d be surprised at how easy it is to take something so simple like a vanilla cupcake and add a layer of salty to it, then a texture to it and then a simple Ganache.  If you step outside your comfort zone and watch what the pro’s do and why—you’ll learn a lot, I do.         

I wanted to thank Dawn for letting me in her kitchen! Thank you!           


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10 Responses to “What’s Cooking in your Kitchen – Vanilla Sugar Blog”

  1. 1

    Tweets that mention What’s Cooking in your Kitchen – Vanilla Sugar Blog — Delishhh -- Topsy.com — October 5, 2010 @ 10:11 am

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by vanillasugar (dawn), vanillasugar (dawn) and Delishhh, Delishhh. Delishhh said: What’s Cooking in your Kitchen – Vanilla Sugar Blog http://goo.gl/fb/9xVE3 […]

  2. 2

    Carrie — October 5, 2010 @ 11:14 am

    Great interview! Those Asian meatballs are *exactly* the type of thing I go for. My husband is addicted to Asian flavors.

    Can you believe I only have 2 spatulas? And one is a tiny one for getting into jars with. It’s pretty sad, I usually end up using my fingers (when licking bowls).

  3. 3

    Maddie — October 5, 2010 @ 11:50 am

    Love this profile — I hadn’t seen Dawn’s site before, but now she’s got a new reader. Her creativity and experimental tendencies in cooking are something to strive for.

  4. 4

    vanillasugar — October 5, 2010 @ 3:21 pm

    thank you madie and carrie! i appreciate that!

  5. 5

    Lael Hazan — October 5, 2010 @ 4:33 pm

    Great interview with a great subject and fun questions! I’m glad that through Vanilla Sugar I’m discovering your site. Lots of fun. Thank you

  6. 6

    doggybloggy — October 6, 2010 @ 8:01 am

    excellent interview – its always nice to learn more about those you know…

  7. 7

    Privet and Holly — October 7, 2010 @ 3:07 am

    Loved learning about
    Dawn and 55 Knives….
    I need to pop over to
    her blog and see what’s
    cooking. I love how
    bloggers are so kind and
    generous about introducing
    their “neighbors….”
    and that includes YOU : )
    Thanks for the introduction!
    xx Suzanne

  8. 8

    Optoisolator : — October 29, 2010 @ 9:00 am

    there are many kitchen gadgets that you can buy online and offline but when you buy, make sure that they are energy star certi ~

  9. 9

    Fishing Umbrella — November 16, 2010 @ 9:09 am

    i like to search the internet for new kitchen gadgets to add to my kitchen `”.

  10. 10

    google — August 1, 2014 @ 9:13 am

    Hmm is anyone else encountering problems with the images on this
    blog loading? I’m trying to find out if its a problem on my end or
    if it’s the blog. Any responses would be greatly appreciated.

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