A few months ago I stumbled upon an awesome food blog called Aggie’s Kitchen. In doing some research, I was thrilled to find out the author lives right here in Central Florida. So what did I do? I e-mailed Aggie to see if she’d like to be featured in our “People Pulse” series!
Before starting the interview, let me just say…seriously, this blog is awesome. Every time I read a new post my tummy growls with envy. I can assure you once you’ve learned more about AggiesKitchen.com you’ll feel the same way.
The Woman Behind the Site
Q: So we always like to start out this series with a little known fact about the person we’re highlighting. What’s yours?
A: I am a bit obsessed with collecting seashells, hot sauces and vacuuming.
Q: Are you a Central Florida native? If not, how long have you been a resident?
A: I moved to Central Florida in 1999, shortly after graduating from the University of Florida.
Q: What do you enjoy most about Central Florida?
A: Sunshine, sunshine, sunshine….as well as our great location to all things Florida.
Q: You have an awesome food blog called “Aggie’s Kitchen”, that’s been around for about two years. It seems you have quite a history with food, so was a food blog a no-brainer?
A: I had no idea what a blog was until the week I started my blog. I randomly came across a few while searching for a recipe online, I was immediately intrigued! I couldn’t believe they were written by actual “people” cooking at home! After some encouragement from my niece Sarah, I finally started my own. So glad I did.
Q: How does your blog connect you with other culinary enthusiasts?
A: The food blogging community is full of the nicest and most supportive people. It’s really unique. I’ve connected and developed relationships with so many people that I have never met in “real life”. We share ideas and inspire each other daily.
Q: I imagine you have readers from all over, not just Central Florida?
A: It’s pretty cool to see where your readers come from. I have regular readers from all over the US, even some in Canada, Australia and Japan!
Q: Where do you get your ideas for content?
A: I write about what I’m cooking at home so it isn’t much to think about….I’m inspired by so many things when it comes to food…cookbooks, magazines, bloggers, a great meal I had out…plus if my kids or husband happen to request something special I’m all over that!
Q: Do you find inspiration in Central Florida’s culinary scene?
A: I love when I visit a local restaurant and immediately want to come home and recreate the meal. Recently I have found inspiration at the Lake Mary Farmer’s Market…if you start talking to people while you’re browsing, it’s great to hear what they tell you! One guy told me about how he enjoys the local spring onions in a salad…and another woman shared with me her favorite way to cook sauce using fresh tomatoes and red peppers.
Q: Is there a big food community in Central Florida?
A: Well, since I’ve started blogging about food, it seems to come up in lots of conversations with people I meet in the area. Everyone enjoys a good meal. I love learning about what people are eating….especially if its something I’m not familiar with.
Q: We have to ask: What’s your favorite restaurant in Central Florida?
A: That is a hard question to answer. I have a lot of “favorites” in my little part of Central Florida…for pizza – Cafe Positano, Lake Mary…for Chinese – Imperial Dynasty, Longwood…for Cuban – Oasis, Longwood…and I always can count on a great meal at Dexter’s in Heathrow. I really enjoy eating at “mom and pop” places and try to stay away from big chains…though I do love Seasons 52!
Q: According to your blog you have two children. Do you feel Central Florida is a good place to raise a family?
A: I love the area that I live in. Seminole County is so family friendly…lots of parks, good schools, good people. It’s a great place to raise a family.
Q: In terms of growth & development, what would you like to see for Central Florida?
A: I would love to see more frequent farmer’s markets and community gardens.
Q: Is there something on the horizon you’re really looking forward to for Central Florida?
A: The new Orlando Magic arena! Go Magic!
Q: You’re very interested in athletic and outdoorsy activities, aren’t you? Where are some great places to do these types of things here in Central Florida?
A: Well, the kids and I like to make our rounds of the local parks. That’s how they get their exercise! The Cross Seminole Trail is great for running, cycling or even roller blading. It covers a lot of area so you can easily change up your route to keep things interesting. I’ve swam in a couple of local lakes while training for a couple of triathlons, not sure if I would do that for recreation though! What I really love is that we live only 30 minutes away from the ocean, the beach is my favorite place in the world so to have easy access to it is wonderful.
Q: What do you and your family do for entertainment in Orlando?
A: I always say how lucky our kids are to be living right down the road from all of the coolest places….Sea World, Disney, Universal etc. We have definitely taken advantage of the great yearly pass deal at Sea World the last few years. It’s such a nice treat. Normally though, we stick closer to home. We like to get together with other families, with young ones its always easier that way. I love to entertain at our house, cook up a great meal and let the kids run free!
Q: Are there any “secret treasures” in the Central Florida area, that people should know about?
A: Strawberry picking at Oak Haven Farm in Sorrento! It’s a great place to bring the kids and spend the afternoon. They have a hay ride, a fire pit to roast hot dogs and a playground. And the best part is you go home with strawberries you picked yourself!
Q: Besides your blog, are you active in other channels of social media?
A: I will admit I have an addiction to Facebook. I have a Twitter account but to be honest feel that it’s a bit too much to keep up with. Facebook is great for connecting with old friends. I recently started an Aggie’s Kitchen page and love keeping up with my readers on a more personal basis. I like to post questions daily, or share something simple I made for lunch. There’s lots of discussion on the wall and it’s great because someone is always learning something new, including myself!
Q: And in closing, what is one thing you would like to leave with our readers?
A: Although it’s pretty obvious that I love to cook, I don’t consider myself gourmet or an expert in anyway. My main passion for cooking stems from my roots…how my parents and grandparents cooked for me. We always had a huge garden, eating vegetables was not a scary thing for me as a child. I love all things food and love to talk food with others (how obvious is that!). If there is anything I want to accomplish with my blog it’s to inspire more people to use their kitchens and treat themselves to a healthy home cooked meal!