New Year, new cooking inspiration!

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Photo credit: Chris Perez

Austin, Texas based Jeanine Donofrio is a designer, healthy-food maker, and the vision (along with her husband!) behind the scrumptious blog Love & Lemons. From her inspired cookbook collection  to her beautiful handmade collection, we’re just about head over heels with everything on her page.

We were psyched to get a chance to catch up with the lovely Jeanine and even more excited to start trying out her recipes!

 Tell us about Love & Lemons:

I created the food blog Love & Lemons to share healthy and delicious (mostly) vegetarian food. I cook with seasonal, natural ingredients and try to showcase them in the most beautiful way possible. We eat with our eyes first, right?

 Were you always into cooking?

Not at all. After a long day of work, coming home and cooking was the last thing I ever wanted to do. My husband and I had a regular rotation of restaurants that we would frequent night after night. One year we started traveling and that was the year I started cooking. Our first long trip to Italy inspired a new appreciation for whole foods and fresh ingredients. Soon after, my time in the kitchen became my favorite creative outlet.

What’s your approach to cooking? What’s your inspiration? 

My number one inspiration is seasonal produce. A vegetable at its peak season has so much more flavor than one that is out of season. From there, I’ll think about what ethnic direction(s) I might want to go in. And lastly, what colors, shapes, and textures will balance and contrast each other. It sounds a little crazy, but once I started thinking about food visually, my dishes started to taste better.

jeanineknifeWhat kitchen products do you recommend for people who want to cook more?

This is hard because I have become a hoarder of kitchenware. But the basics tools are:

A good knife. You don’t need a whole set, just one good knife will do.

A good cutting board, so you don’t mess up your good knife.

• A decent set of pots and pans in a few different sizes.

• A small and large food processor and/or blender, I have a mini Cuisinart and a Vitamix.

A whisk. I’m usually too lazy to wash the pieces of an electronic mixer so I tend to always mix by hand. (Although I do have a blue Kitchenaid mixer that looks pretty in my kitchen).

• A wine corker. I rarely cook without a glass of wine nearby.

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 What are some of your favorite food products that you use?

• Oils: Good olive oil, coconut oil, and sesame oil

• Vinegars: Balsamic, sherry, champagne and rice vinegar are my basics.

• Pantry basics: Usually I buy from the bulk bins, but I’ll go out of my way to get Jovial pastas, and specialty flours from Bob’s Red Mill.

• Herbs & spices: Now that it’s cold outside, I’m trying to start a little herb garden indoors. I’m also experimenting with a sprout growing kit. Dried spices are great to have on hand because they can transform your food into so many different cultural directions.

Do you have any resolutions for 2013?

I don’t tend to make food resolutions because I don’t like to view healthy eating as a “diet.” So my resolutions are a bit random, but they involve learning Italian and getting my home decor together. Basically, some things I’ve been wanting to do but have been putting off.

If you’re gearing up for a big year of cooking, be sure to take a peak at all of Jeanine’s recommendations!

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One Response to New Year, new cooking inspiration!

  1. Kate Harris says:

    I have a Shun knife and I LOVE IT. It is my treasured kitchen utensil. They stay sharp and cut so easily. I highly recommend it to everyone. Plus I had a sneak look at your website – the pear and fennel salad looks delicious!

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