I am finally back with another food blogger review, and do I have a treat for you!
Caitlin at The Communal Table is a wonderful young lady who has started a food blog as part of her senior project. I cannot believe the insight and eloquence she possesses at such a young age. When I was 16 I wasn’t nearly as focused or capable, and I salute her.
In addition to offering delicious recipes, she has taken it upon herself to give her readers reviews of various cafés all around the Los Angeles area.
Whether you’re looking for something to whip up, or a place to take a friend for brunch; Caitlin has got you covered.
When did your passion for food begin?:
I was brought up in a foodie family. A lot of my fondest childhood memories involve food. Every Sunday, I would wake up to the smell of freshly-baked chocolate-cherry scones, or a light vegetable frittata. I always helped my parents cook, but every so often, I would get up before everyone else to make a batch of pancakes or waffles. With the help of my foodie parents, I developed a great palette from a young age and learned a lot about wholesome, fresh ingredients.
I would also say that a lot of my passion for food has to do with my experience with an eating disorder. In my Freshman year of High School, I suffered from severe anorexia nervosa. Eventually, I was in such critical condition that I had to be hospitalized for 2 months. Recovery has been a long process with tons of ups and downs. One way I’ve been able to recover is by learning more about food and what it can do for our bodies. By getting a better understanding of how certain foods enable us to carry out basic bodily functions, fight disease, and improve our lives, I’ve developed a much more positive relationship with food.
Part of my blog is devoted to chronicling my “Café Adventures.” If I could go to one type of eatery for the rest of my life, it would be a café-bakery. I love cafés…and bakeries. There’s something about that amazing feeling you get upon walking into a sunlit café that boasts a chalkboard menu of simple and fresh, yet unique salads and sandwiches, but also a mouthwatering selection of magical baked goods. With driver’s license in hand, I’ve begun to explore the amazing variety of cafès dotted throughout the Los Angeles area, bringing back recipe concepts to my own kitchen, where I try to put a healthy spin on the delicious dishes I’ve tried on the road. I’m stressing the concept of health over the idea of low-calorie.
In America, a lot of focus is put on diet and low-calorie options (ex: diet sodas, snacks made with Splenda instead of sugar, and reduced-fat margarine), instead of teaching people the more important concept of health! I don’t believe in using strange chemicals to replace natural products. Our bodies need some sugar and fat, so healthy sweeteners and fats like honey or olive oil are good for us! By using wholesome, organic ingredients, we can enjoy food that not only tastes delicious, but is also nourishing.
When did you begin blogging about food?:
I just started blogging on June 10, 2013 as part of my Senior project, but I hope to continue blogging for a long time!
My blog is really new, so I don’t have a ton of recipes up, yet, but I love these Pancakes for One and this Five-Spice Carrot Soup recipe! The pancakes are really fluffy and satisfying, and I love how easy they are to make! I’m also obsessed with the Five-Spice Carrot Soup. It has a really unique flavor that’s perfect for any season.
What is one of your favorite ingredients to use?:
Favorite ingredient???!!! Oh my gosh, that is such a hard question…I would have to say that I love ginger. A lot of people think ginger is too powerful, but it’s actually extremely versatile. I love using fresh ginger because it adds brightness and freshness to things like Green Smoothies, salad dressings, or marinades. Ground ginger also works really well in baked goods, bringing warm notes to Fall and Winter recipes! Besides being delicious, ginger is awesome because it’s a nutritional powerhouse, with tons of health benefits including anti-inflammatory qualities.
What is one piece of equipment you can’t live without in your kitchen?:
Definitely my blender. Now, don’t go thinking that all the food I eat is baby food. I usually have smoothies for breakfast, though. I love regular fruit smoothies, and sometimes I’ll throw in spinach or kale for a green smoothie, cocoa powder to add indulgence to a strawberry-banana smoothie, or oats to keep me going through a day of school. I also love my blender because it means breakfast is easy. On mornings when I have school, I’m not the cheeriest or most coordinated of people. With smoothies, I don’t have to worry about getting up early to make a full-on breakfast, or messing anything up in my half-asleep state of delusion.
A Few encouraging words to other food lovers:
Words of advice: Try new things. Whether its a breakfast nook you’ve been dying to go to, or an enticing recipe for Dark Chocolate-Caramel Tartlets you’ve been eyeing on Pinterest, just do it! Exposing yourself to new foods, cultures, and cooking styles is a great way to discover your own passions and who you are as a food lover. Also, everything is good is BALANCE! Moderation is the key. Too much of a good thing, can be bad. Remember to always maintain a balance. Don’t get too caught up in one mindset, or you will miss out on so many opportunities.
Please Support Caitlin in her Efforts at The Communal Table, I highly anticipate a bright future from her.
All Photographs are from The Communal Table