BLOGGER SPOTLIGHT – NOOR

14344851_1769387436675146_3099008497507100240_nI am glad to introduce a very talented and innovative Food Blogger, Noor. She is the girl behind fabulous photography and recipe blog SPATULA IN MY POCKET. I like the way she presents her recipes in a different way, she is a young addition in Foodie world of blogging. She has a lot of potential to attract readers towards her.

“If you are careful, ‘if you use good ingredients, and you don’t take any shortcuts, then you can usually cook something very good. Sometimes it is the only worthwhile product you can salvage from a day; what you make to eat. With writing, I find, you can have all the right ingredients, give plenty of time and care, and still get nothing. Also true of love. Cooking, therefore, can keep a person who tries hard sane.”  John Irving.

 

She is hard worker and a successful future blogger. Here she is telling about herself :

 

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Hi, I’m Noor, the creator, designer, author, photographer, chef, and baker (basically the brains and heart) of the new Pakistani food blog Spatula in My Pocket. I’m a student at NUST Business School, currently doing a business administration major with tentative intent to work in HR or to open a street food café (fingers crossed).
I believe that baking and cooking run in my blood, which is funny because everyone else in the family is more interested in the eating rather than the making of food.

 

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ME: Tell us about your blog and its name and origin, did you have any goals when you started it and have you achieved them?
NOOR: I also believe that a passion for something fun and productive should be shared. The idea of starting a food blog was at the back of my mind since the beginning. I tested the idea by posting pictures of my dishes in Facebook and the resulting demand for recipes and instructions further fueled my resolve. Many people are hesitant to start cooking and most stay away from the oven because they believe that it’s something complicated that requires special skills. If I hadn’t taken the first step and burned all those cakes years ago, I would be thinking similarly and would have never ventured in the thrilling art of cooking.
So, Spatula in My Pocket is a food blog where I document my food adventures and instruct about what to do and especially what not to do. It comprises of tried and tested recipes by renowned chefs around the world and some of my own food creations which were a success. The name has caused a bit of an uproar among my family and friends. Everyone wants to know what a spatula is and how it’s pronounced. I admit I am having fun educating them. :p The process of baking is very difficult and wasteful without the help of a trusty spatula (or five). It is magical and everyone should go buy one.

 

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ME: When you first started blogging which method you find was the most successful to build up your audience?
NOOR: Our lives today revolve around food and the Internet. Joining various food groups and interacting with other Food bloggers around the globe through Facebook has really helped my traffic grow.

 

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ME:  How did you get attracted by cooking and what was your first dish?
NOOR: The love for cooking was always there, lingering in the background as I read a friend’s cookbook cover to cover, burned orange candy muffins and fried doughnuts with my sisters. It built when I attempted my khala’s recipe for chocolate cake every Friday and every time the cake turned out different; dry, moist, flat, too sweet. It intrigued me.
But the love, I think, really kicked in after 10th grade, when I had five months of holidays and nothing to do. Boredom led me to Masala Mornings, every morning at 11. I owe my first written recipe to Shireen Apa. The first recipe became the first notebook, which turned into to 3 over the months. I couldn’t get enough. There were so many cuisines to try, so many yummy ingredients combining to form something even more yummy. I started researching the different techniques involved. I printed hundreds of recipes. Still hard to keep track of them all. Still so many to try; to cook; to make. Thinking about it makes me giddy.

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ME: What was Your Major Challenge when starting out and how did you overcome it?
NOOR: My greatest strength was also my greatest challenge. Social media. I now had to reach maximum Consistency. I hate that word. But yes, consistency in my posts is what I’m struggling with. I can’t keep up with any of the schedules I design. I see a post with high traffic and decide to forgo the next post for a day later. I see a post doing slightly worse than average, I decide to put up the next pot immediately. So the timing is not right. And one other major challenge would be coping with pressure of the social media. The vast amount of attention you need to put in there. It’s so hectic. You now have to handle two-Facebooks, Instagram’s, Pinterests, twitters, Gmails…

 

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ME:  What are some of the biggest mistakes you see Upcoming Bloggers?
NOOR: As I’m just an upcoming blogger myself, I am in no place to judge or comment seeing as I’m still learning from my own mistakes.

 

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ME: Which aspect of food blogging you like most?
NOOR: The Eating, obviously! Haha no. I love the cooking part the most. Correcting the balance of spices, adjusting the flame for just the right heat. And then the photography, however pathetic I am at it, I love taking pictures and making things pretty. The sitting down and writing and formatting the post, the recipe is the part that I abhor the most. It’s the part I procrastinate as much as possible, leaving for as later as I can. Writing at the last minute. but when it comes to documenting it on the good ole Internet, I prefer eating them all instead of writing about them.
Share your favorite food related memory.
My favorite food related memory is the Master Chef audition last year. The atmosphere, the people, the pressure, and the cameras. Of course, presenting my dish to the renowned judges and hearing them they say nice stuff about my food was the best moment of my life. But this is only second to my father complimenting me on my dishes…that means the world to me!

 

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ME: What is your favorite Pakistani dish which you have posted on your blog?
NOOR: Rolls parathas! I’m a huge fan of Pakistani street food. The roll paratha recipe was the first Pakistani native recipe on my blog. Hot, flaky parathas filled with succulent pieces of spice-rubbed chicken and loads of chutney…YUM.

 

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You can join her here:

Blog: Spatula in My Pocket

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/spatulainmypocket/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/spatulainmypocket/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/spatulainmypock

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/spatulaIMP/spatula-in-my-pocket/

Snapchat: noora559

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“Recipes don’t work unless you use your heart!” – Dylan Jones
Very true it is, and I felt the same passion and love of this 21 years old girl Fatima towards food and cooking for her family and friends while we were discussing blogging few days ago.  FATIMA COOKS is a place where this young girl cooks and tells you details with friendliness. I love her photography skills and her enthusiasm . Today she is here with us to share her experiences of blogging and Cooking. You will get a lot of Desi style recipes on her blog with a beautiful click. So here she goes 🙂
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Asalamu alaikum! My name is Fatima, the face behind http://fatimacooks.net 🙂 I am a Punjabi Pakistani but was born in Karachi and came to London when I was veryyyyy young. I am a 21 year old student living in London and just got married last August when I was 20. I am a full-time student at University and am also training as a fitness coach. 
Before marriage, I would mostly bake or cook non-Pakistani foods. I’ve always been active in the kitchen but cooking Pakistani food was solely by Mother’s area. However, my husband was a big salan-and-roti kind of guy, so through trial and error I learnt the basics of Pakistani food and now, Alhamdulillah, I am very confident with cooking. In fact, I am so comfortable with cooking Pakistani food that it is my favorite cuisine to cook! It’s my favorite thing to cook for my loved ones now – in fact, you should come over too for dinner with me sometime! 
Getting married at such a young age has truly been the best thing that has ever happened to me. My husband is extremely supportive of everything I do and never did he complain when I was going through my learning period and cooked him half raw curries or burnt rotis 🙂 
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Why and how did you decide to start a food blog?
I have always been an avid reader of food blogs and would regularly use them for inspiration for what to cook for dinner. I have also always wanted to write down exact recipes of my successful cooking so I didn’t need to remember/guess the exact quantity of ingredients and spices the next time. My blog came about very impulsively as I read an blog post on Deliciously Ella about how to start your own food blog. It’s then that the blog became the perfect solution to my desire to write all my recipes down as well as being a platform for inspiring others as I too would be inspired! I’ve never looked back since!
What about the layout and design of your website? Was it difficult to learn how to manage all of that?
WordPress makes it very easy to customize the layout and design of your blog. Having said that, I do want to update the design soon. My brother is fantastic with all the techy stuff, I’ll be going to him when it’s the time! 
 
Which part of blogging excites you most: the recipe development, the post writing, or the photography?
The entire process is super duper exciting but my favorite is the post writing. This is because I can share the story behind the recipe and the memories associated with it. I feel like food is more than just something to eat, but it is also an emotional substance that reminds me of people, places and times. I love expressing that. For example, whenever I make aloo keema I remember this was the first dinner I ever made after marriage that my husband loved and that thought always makes me happy.
 

What would be your dream destination regarding food?

I would love to write a cookbook one day! Something for beginners or for people who are new to Pakistani cuisine, or even for busy working women who need quick and easy recipes! It’s always been a dream of mine since I was 7 to be a writer! But let’s see what the future holds. 
 
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What are your cooking inspirations? A famous chef, your mom, a cookbook, a blog?
My Father is my biggest inspiration, both in cooking and in life. He cooks with so much love and passion that is amazing but he is also a fantastic cook. I want to cook the way he does with as much passion as he does! He combines flavors and ingredients from different cultures like an art and it always surprises me how he puts his own spin on things. I have yet to taste something he has cooked that isn’t a 10/10, MashaAllah! I am also a huge fan of Shayma from www.TheSpiceSpoon.com Her writing style is beautiful and I love reading her stories about her family, heritage and cooking.
 
What is your favorite cuisine and favorite Pakistani dishes.?
That’s a tough one, Ainy Baji! I love Italian, Middle-Eastern and Bangladeshi food but if I had to choose one it would be Italian. My favorite Pakistani dish would have to be between a good spicy Prawn Karahi or a tender, aromatic meat Pilau. I can’t decide!!
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What are the pantry ingredients that you use the most?
I often use butter and ghee in my cooking instead of oil – it adds a world of a difference. My favorite spices are coriander and cumin powder (pissa hua dhania aur zeera) for adding a brilliant flavor and paprika for a pop of color!
What do you think food blogging will look like in 5 years?
I think we will see a lot more new food bloggers on the field! And I’m pretty excited to find those food bloggers, get to know them and try out their recipes 🙂
 
Any message for new bloggers?
If you are passionate about something and know it is something you can’t get bored of, then go for it and start up your own blog! It will be an outlet for your thoughts, a place to share valuable information that others can find inspirational or helpful and it will be a platform to meet new people! Plus, it’s so much fun!
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 I am very active on Instagram so do follow me to keep up-to-date with what I’m cooking!
And you can follow me here too 🙂
“Secrets, especially with cooking, are best shared so that the cuisine lives on.” – Bo Songvisava
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 Thanks dear Sister for giving your precious time. 🙂

mk3Today we have a young and talented Pakistani blogger Maira , who blogs at Maiya Kitchen. Interesting thing about her blog is her Japanese Recipes. She is an expert in Japanese cuisine . You will find easy recipes on her blog. She is just 21 but she is doing a marvelous job. Her work reflects her talent 🙂

“Hide not your talents, they for use were made”

Happy to have you here Maira,

Q 1. Tell us about your blog and its origin.Why you give emphasis on Japanese cuisine. ?

MAIRA:  I started blogging one in and a half year ago.Cooking is my passion  and I always wanted to discover new tastes. I want to expend my horizon. Japanese cuisine offers a great variety and regional specialties. I try my best to offer 100% Halal food for  my readers.

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Q 2. When you first started blogging which method you find was the most successful to built up your audience.?

MARIRA: I started posting and commenting on different food Blogs,Sharing my recipes in different food related groups Via tumblr,facebook,twitter,pintrest,LinkedIn and g+ this helped me built up my audience.

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Q 3. If you had to pick one favorite post what is it and why?

MAIRA: All posts are my favorite but my personal favorite is Naruto Ramen.Many readers requested me to teach them How to make Naruto Ramen. Keep this in your Mind that Naruto is Japanese  Anime Series that’s why Naruto Ramen are quiet popular among people and as I am also Naruto and Ramen fan, this post is my personal favorite.

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Q4. What is your favorite weekday meal and dish to make for a special occasion?

MAIRA: My favourite weekday meal is Pizza and Kung Pao Chicken and for special Occasion I love to make Chullu Kabab.

Q5 . Please tell us the most interesting or adventurous dish or food you have tried some where?

MAIRA: Korean kimchi is the most interesting dish I’ve ever made. It was my first time making something from Korean cuisine and kimchi is popular worldwide. I’ve tried kimchi for the first time and it was a success.

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Q6. You favorite Pakistani Food?


MAIRA: Of course one and only Biryani.

Thank you Maira. Visit Maira’s blog for more Japanese recipes 🙂

HAVE A NICE DAY.

NR MAnd so our mothers and grandmothers have, more often than not anonymously, handed on the creative spark, the seed of the flower they themselves never hoped to see — or like a sealed letter they could not plainly read.

Alice Walker

I have quoted here Alice’s words you know why.?? Because I have got a chance to interview an excellent and fabulous home cook who is a Mother…Grand mother and an awesome blogger. Her blog’s name NANO’S RECIPES attracted me and when I read her recipes a big WOW came out of my mouth…:)  I believe no recipe/ cooking can compare Mother’s recipe at all. Mother’s meals are our first taste experiences and we are looking for the familiar tastes and aroma to eat and tastes to enjoy in whole our lives.

A mother’s apron strings are a powerful link to the past.

After meeting Fakhra Aunty (  hope you will allow me to call u Aunty..:) ) one thing I have learned never waste your skills and talent no matter what is your age. Besides her culinary skills I will mention here, her team. Her son and daughter in law helping her and giving life to her recipes. I, in future am going to try her recipes and will share with you all here on my website..:)

A big thanks to Fakhra Rashid Aunty for giving me your time.  Now please tell my readers about you 🙂

“My Name is Fakhra Rashid. I have more than 40 years of cooking experience and have been a passionate cook since I was in my teens. Being an army family we used to get posted to a new town every 2nd year or so. This traveling and living in different communities enabled me to learn diverse food items from new people I met. In old times when there was no internet I used to improvise and experiment new stuff to bring a new touch and taste in cooking. After all my kids got married I almost stopped cooking different things but since Nanos recipes, the inner chef is back in business.”

ME:  What inspired you to start your own blog, and what challenges you have faced in maintaining and promoting your blog?


FAKHRA RASHID: Well, it actually started with a Facebook page. An acquaintance of mine was running a Facebook page where she used to post recipes and she had asked me to share any of my recipes since she knew that I was pretty good at cooking. However, one day I planned to prepare a recipe for her page, along with step by step images, I asked my son to take photos as he’s good at photography. After we were done, my daughter-in-law said to me that why don’t we start your
own Facebook page and upload this recipe there? As she is a graphic designer and also fond of cooking.
That was the moment when it all started really 🙂 since I have always been sharing my recipes with my friends and family. From drinks, jams, squashes, chaat masala, everything used to be homemade in our house and my kids as well as everyone else thoroughly enjoyed it.
As I have always been generous in giving out my recipes, so this seemed like an ideal situation.We started our page with a Pretzel’s recipe but the recipe that gave use the biggest boost was KFC Chicken. We gained more than 2000 Page likes in a single day without even promoting it. Since we were getting so much attention, my son and daughter in law decided to make a blog for Nanos Recipes.
As for challenges, I try my best to answer each and every query by the followers. Also, there is this long pending list of recipe requests that I know I have to share at some point. But as it can be seen, each recipe requires quite a lot of work. Cooking up a recipe at home is easier, but when I’m teaching someone, I have to make sure that none of the steps are missed, I have to measure the exact quantity of ingredients, the images have to be post processed and the recipe typed. So, that’s a challenge.

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ME: What makes Nano’s Recipes different from other sites and blogs. What is the story behind this name?
FAKHRA RASHID: The most unique thing about my recipe blog is that Recipe instructions are illustrated with step by step pictures which make it easier for readers. All the recipes are posted after trying and testing. Nothing is hidden in the recipes and if followed properly then the result will be accurate. Also the content and picture quality is never compromised. If we miss some pictures of steps or they don’t turn out good, the item is cooked again for better pictures. Also all the comments and requests are entertained, every query is replied properly.
I also try to give a flavor to all recipes that will be agreeable with our Eastern taste buds. Another thing I try is to make the recipes as short as I possibly can, yet making sure that it tastes great because complicated recipes scare people off. However, for some recipes it can’t be helped 🙂
There was a time when my rank was “Nadia, Saad ki Ami”, “Taimur, Ambreen ki Ammi” then after my grandson was born, I was promoted to the rank of “Ali’s Nano.” That is the name I chose for my personal email ID and Facebook profile. And when I was launching the recipe page my children suggested the name “Nano’s Recipes”

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ME: What is your fondest food memory?


FAKHRA RASHID: 3 years ago I went to Khewra Salt mines with family, on our way back we had supper from Food Village resort near Talagang Motorway Interchange. The place was beautiful and the food was divine! They served us with “Turkish Kebabs”. I have never tasted something like that. Neither I was ever able to replicate the recipe. They were perfectly grilled on skewers, chicken was juicy and cheese was dripping from the kebabs and it was very spicy and brightly colored. I tried to look for its recipe but couldn’t find it. I wish I knew itso that I could share it on my page

ME: Tell us any three Pakistani dishes along with their links that you like preparing often.

FAKHRA RASHID:

1. Tawa Chicken
2. Hareesa
3. Chappal Kebab

(click above links for recipes)

 

ME: What is your trusty kitchen companion?

FAKHRA RASHID: If you are asking about things/tools than it has to be my hand beater 🙂

 

ME: Do you have any tips for Aspirants?

FAKHRA RASHID: For people, who love to cook or are learning to cook, I’d like to say that perfection can only be achieved by experience. I try my best to give each and every tip on my Blog, however even then people can mess up because of lack of experience. What I’d like to say is, don’t freak out, with a passion for good food and cooking and good practice, “Any one can cook” 🙂

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I am grateful to you.

Friends you can visit NANO’S RECIPES here:

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/NanosRecipes

Tumblr:  http://www.nanosrecipes.tumblr.com

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/nanosrecipes

Pinetrest: https://www.pinterest.com/nanosrecipes/

 

MUTTON STICKMonu , an innovative , simple and a great helper is one of my old blogger friends. There is culinary innovation happening on all levels at RECIPES PASSION 🙂 You just need to click the link for her awesome recipes.

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I read on a food blog once and I am 100% agreed with this statement because she is a lovely blogger and friend.

Greatest food blogs feel like a good conversation between friends: comfortable, warm, with many snacks at an arm’s length.

I am grateful that she has given me her time , Check out her interview below with a lot of pictures of her creations just click on the link and read her recipes 🙂

GULAB JAMUN

RECIPES PASSION

Q1. How did you come to start your food blog ?

MONU: Well it’s a very common question among all ladies with so many different replies. To be very truthful, I thought to share my creativity, not only this but I was keenly interested in learning more about food and recipes. I am sinfully addicted to baking since I was only 16. I didn’t know how to make rice but i could bake a cake for my guests. This inspiration has come genetically to me by my mom. She is my teacher and a best friend. Interestingly, what she notices in me that I can spend hours only by staring at the cake decoration and its pictures. I know that sounds funny… But it’s just my passion and I am blindly following it to learn something new.

I am a blogger user since 2010. But, due to so many commitments and routine work I couldn’t use it regularly. I made my food blog in June 2012 after collecting so many foodie clicks. Later on, i decided to seriously work on it. From there, my journey began with my family’s support and guidance, where my mom and husband come first and some of friends i found like Haffa, you, Gloria and Tabu who are always keep pushing me to post and be regular on my Food Blog.

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Q2. What about the layout and design of your Blog?

MONU: Being an Engineer, I.T and web programming is almost a different field for me. But I have learnt and studied Html and Java programming a bit in my pre semesters of MBA. So, what I usually do; I take good templates from template site, amend its design and layout according to my choice, and then use it. This saves my plenty of time and readers can get a better look of my blog with the amalgamation of two things, i.e. basic previous layout and my hard work on it.

Q3. What was Your Major Challenge when starting out and how did you overcome it?

MONU: Major challenge was the network, followers and the traffic. It has been improved a lot since last 2 years when I actually started blogging. But yes, it is still a challenge for me now too and I’m working on it.

Q4. What are some of the biggest mistakes you see Upcoming Bloggers making in regards to blogging?

MONU: A big mistake that I have seen is unawareness of keeping their blog alive and to attract readers with their blog impression first. This should be their top priority. This can be ignorable as there are new to this virtual world. They will learn later on as time passes by.

But, I like to mention some new bloggers in whom I have seen real talents are Tabu from Arabic Bites, Asma from Asmie’s kitchen, Farheen banu from Zaiqedaar Pakwaan and Febina ku from Febi’s Cook Book.

Q5.Would you share your tips on being a successful food blogger with our readers?

MONU: Few important points which I think the new blogger should;

1. Make your blog and write your food articles in a very user friendly way

2. Work on Social Networking like join some food forums, food groups.

3. Keep Following & make Followers on multiple sites.

4. Try to work on your own creativity in every post, make your own stuff.

5. Respond to your blog readers as quickly as you can.

6. Be regular otherwise you will lose your fans.

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Q6.What is your favorite Pakistani food and recipe?

MONU: I am always fascinated to Pakistani chat patta and desi food. On top of that list there comes;

Mughlai Chicken Biryani when served with cold vegetable raita.

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Thank you Monu 🙂

yd 8It’s time for another interview with one of our amazing Pakistani food bloggers . We’re excited to have Yasmin of  YASMIN’S DELIGHTS  with us today she will share her food blogging wisdom with us.

Her blog YASMIN’S DELIGHTS is a veritable treasure trove of foolproof recipes for the beginner as well as expert home cook. Yasmin’s blog features healthy and delicious recipes that every one will enjoy. So here she is talking about herself first. 🙂

Yasmin please tell us something about you.

Yasmin: My name is Yasmin, I’m a British Pakistani who loves cooking food.
I’m a fun socializing person who loves to meet new people and regularly meets up with friends for a cuppa. Alongside my cuppa I will have lots of snacks that I prefer made by me to share with everyone I love.
I love to learn about Islam and attend lots of Islamic events where i share my food for charity.

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Q1. What is the inspiration behind your blog?

Yasmin: My mums homemade food that iv eaten all my life. For me food brings people together and is a way to people’s hearts. The passion I have for food when I cook completely shows in compliments I get after everyone has eaten and thats my biggest achievement I could get.
Feeding people makes me happy.

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Q2. Have you always been a foodie, or is that something’s you grew into?

Yasmin: I have always loved food and that credit goes to my parents. From small age I have ate only and only homemade fresh food,fresh home made rotis and lots of fruit and vegetables. My mum had 7 children but not once she opted for a ready made meal or takeaway so I grew up eating only good stuff.

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Q3.What are some of your favorite meals to cook in a pinch when you have limited time.?

Yasmin: I have three small children and you can imagine how hectic my day would be so sometimes I have no time and no energy to cook a long meal so I have some dishes that takes no time to cook at all like spicy Spanish omelet, red lentil curry or chickpea tarke wale chawal (rice).

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Q4. What is your favorite Pakistani dish?

Yasmin: It has to be lamb Pilao, Tandoori chicken legs, Kichri and for dessert a proper Pakistani Zarda with saffron just the way my mum makes it.

 

Q5.Do you have advice for bloggers just starting out?

Yasmin: I have many recipes on my blog and in fact my aim was to teach all the new cooks to Pakistani cuisine. There are many recipes out there but it’s so complicated, it puts the reader off to cooking. My aim is to only bring these new cooks into food and introduce Pakistani food to people not just Pakistani but all over the world. I believe Pakistani food is the best in the whole world.

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Thank you Yasmin for sharing your views with us.

Friends you can visit Yasmin’s blog for all her delicious and wonderful recipes.

YASMIN’S DELIGHTS

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We have a great blogger today with us, Carrie Rashid. The author of stunning and interesting food blog WITCHY KITCHEN and what a treat it was to interview Carrie. Carrie is a busy mom of two pretty young girls.

Carrie was kind enough to answer few of my questions . I like that she has a beautiful creative connection with food and within your busy lives how you can make a healthy joyful lifestyle with healthy food, you will see in her recipes. So meet this amazing lady, Carrie Rashid.

Q1. What is the story behind your Blog’s name, Witchy kitchen. For me this is a very interesting name.

CARRIE: I’ve loved fairy tales – especially ones with witches! – since I was a little girl. I still love Halloween, spooky stories and witches in pop culture, and I think we can all agree that cooking is a little magical.

Q2. What are your cooking inspiration? your mother, any chef or cook books.

CARRIE: My best friend is an amazing cook; we share tips and recipes, and get together for lovely afternoons in the kitchen. My husband introduced me to Pakistani food, which I have fallen in love with, cooking more and more each year until it has pretty much overtaken my kitchen. I read cookbooks like they are novels, get swept away in the spice aisle, scope out blogs for modern takes on classic dishes, and text my sisters-in-laws for family recipes.

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Q3. Do you experiment in the kitchen, how do you handle it when things flop.

CARRIE: I am always trying new ingredients, new techniques and new dishes – sometimes with great success and sometimes great tragedy. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get upset (and maybe a little dramatic!) when something didn’t turn out the way I’d hoped. After my initial disappointment though, I try to treat it as a learning experience, figure out why it failed, and what I’ll do differently when I try again. After all, the only way to never fail is to never try anything new.

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Q4.What is it that you love most about food blogging?

CARRIE: It’s fun because you’re building a pretty little scrapbook of your cooking adventures, but also sharing them with others with the same passion as you. Through food blogging I’ve also gotten into podcasting (fictionkitchenpodcast.com) which is a fun adventure in itself.

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Q5. How important is eating meals together as a family to you?

CARRIE: Eating meals as a family is very important to me, but I have to remember to also be flexible. I would love, LOVE to have family dinner every night, but nowadays when we all get home from work/school, our 19-month-old is screaming hungry, while our 6-year-old has homework and my husband and I aren’t ready to eat yet. So we have dinner for the baby, a little snack for our daughter during homework time, and tea for my husband and me, and we all sit at the table as a family even if it’s not technically for dinner. I try to have family meals on the weekend, and enjoy this precious, if barely balanced, time in our lives.

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Q6.What are your shortcuts in the kitchen.?

CARRIE: My best kitchen shortcut is to make a bunch of simple foods on the weekend – big pot of lentils, rice, several trays of roasted veggies, whole roast chicken – and to remix them into different meals (salads, soups, omelets, stir-fries) during the busy week. Meals are quick to prepare but still made from fresh food and you don’t feel like you’re eating the same thing every day.

 

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Q7.What is your favorite recipe to make with your kids?

CARRIE: Pizza! My daughter loves to knead the dough and pick out her own toppings. Baking is also fun, she helps to measure the ingredients. The little one mainly just reorganizes my pots and pans and begs for raisins.

Q8.What wisdom could you share to new bloggers.

CARRIE: Just to have fun, cook what you love, don’t be afraid to try new things, and be proud that you’re creating something. We’re all still improving.

Q9. Any favorite Pakistani recipe?

CARRIE: There are so many delicious Pakistani dishes; dal chawal is pure comfort food, with chicken karahi I get my ginger fix, and I could probably eat a plate of pakoras by myself… but if I had to pick one, it’s hard to beat Chicken Biryani!

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Thank you Carrie for giving my readers time 🙂

BLOGGER SPOTLIGHT- MARIA

BPM
  “No matter where you are in the world, the common experience that brings us together is food”
Food blogging brought us closer, I am talking about Maria. I first saw her recipe pictures on Instagram and from then i am her regular visitor. Maria is a stay at home mom of two daughters and a passionate lady , you will find some new twists on Pakistani cuisine. Visit her Blog FOODAHOLIC to find out why she is not just another Food Blogger.
She is a type of food blogger you want as your next door neighbor , so you can be her tasting friend ..lolzz.
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ME: What is your background in the food and what made you want to start a Blog Foodaholic?
MARIA: No professional training, none at all ! I’m a self taught, home cook. I was always passionate about food, even as a child when I cooked only in tiny clay pots for my dolls, I cooked it with a lot of love. I always wanted to eat something new and different for each meal, monotony in menu bored me to death. This desire to try new tastes and create something different out of the same old ingredients made me experiment in the kitchen and that’s how I learnt, with trial and error. Initially the blog was just a way of documenting my cooking experiences for my daughters to remember me by something.
 ME: How long have you been blogging and how did you pick the name “FOODAHOLIC” for your blog. I found this very interesting.
MARIA:  It shall be two years in  March, 2015. I’m crazy about food, really ! I cook when I’m happy, I cook when I’m worried and I cook to express my love. It’s a therapy and a way of expression for me. My family makes fun of me that I actually think about food all the time 😀 The name Foodaholic reflects naturally what I am as a person.
 ME: What is your ultimate goal for the site? How do you see it growing and evolving over the next year?
MARIA: What started as a food diary and hobby, rapidly developed into a full time activity as it got very good response from friends, family and social media. Some friends advised me to take it to business level since I was spending so much time on creating new content each day. I’ve already launched a free eBook and gradually there will be a series of other eBooks for sale too. The blog has become a promotional platform for my catering business and there are other business plans in the pipeline based on it.
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 ME:  Your Blog is an interesting Mix of Recipes, Videos and e-book .What made you decide to write an e-book ?
MARIA:  I wanted to create a magazine like website with something to enjoy for everyone. I started making videos at the request of some of my followers and also because I wanted to promote Pakistani cuisine and culture in the world, to familiarize people with our food and make it easy for them to cook in daily life. My videos are not just recipe tutorials but there is always a touch of our culture in the background. Same is true for the eBook, hence the name “Five Pakistani Recipes Everyone Can Cook”.
 ME: What’s your biggest failure ever in the kitchen?
MARIA:  My first attempt at making a souffle ! I always thought souffles were really scary to make, so I was already scared when I started. I have learnt over the years that if you are afraid in the kitchen, something would definitely go wrong ! You got to start with confidence and a ‘ what-the-hell’ attitude, in Julia Child’s words. I tried again a few times, experimented with ingredients and oven temperature till I got it right.
 ME: What is your favorite cuisine and recipe from your Blog?
MARIA:  Oh it’s such a difficult question for a foodie to answer!  I love food that looks good, smells good and tastes good ! Other than Pakistani cuisine, which is always my first preference, I have collected my favorite recipes from global cuisine on the blog, such as South Asian and South East Asian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and European. My all time favorite is Chicken Nihari from Pakistani cuisine and Kabuli Pulao from Afghanistan.
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ME: Do you have any advice for aspiring bloggers?
MARIA:  Blogging is fun but blogging is a great responsibility too. Only venture into this field if you think you have the passion and sincerity to share original, positive and helpful content  with the world.
Links to some of my favourite posts :
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Be sure to visit her blog FOODAHOLIC.
Thank you Maria and best of Luck for your successful future 🙂

BLOGGER SPOTLIGHT- NEELAM

wholethaifish2_thumbNeelam Hamid who blogs at Neel’s Corner, is a very active food blogger. Throughout Neelum’s Blog you will see a love for food and family shine through. Many of the recipes i came across like, Pakora Karhi,
Mughlai Biryani , Seekh Kebab and Shahi Sheer Khurma  these all are authentic , delicious and easy to replicate in my own kitchen.

 

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One very interesting thing is, most of Neelam’s recipes are purely traditional. One can get lost for hours browsing through her pages.You will get not only recipe but also Beauty tips , Home remedies and much more.

 

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Hop on over to her blog for more recipes 🙂

Neelum tell us something about yourself first.

 

 My name is Neelam Hamid. I have three kids two daughters and one son. Daughters are 11 and 9 and my son is two years old. I have done MBA in marketing. I started this blog seven years back. I started cooking after my marriage. My passion is to try new dishes. Currently i am settled in Lahore with my family. This blog was my husband ‘s idea. He designed it for me and motivated me to write recipes in blog in my free time.

ME:  Why did you start your blog? Has the experience been what you expected?
NEELAM: Seven years back I don’t even know what was blog. My husband told me about it and not only he designed and created it he also motivated me to start writing my recipes, health tips and beauty tips in it. I also added reviews on restaurant in it. its really great experience to see your recipes publish on net and it feels great when people comment on my posts.

 

ME: What you think is most notable about your blog. What are the keys to its popularity?
NEELAM: I think my blog is popular because of simple and easy recipes. Believe me anyone can cook my recipes because I mostly publish easy quick and yummy recipes.

 

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ME: What’s the greatest satisfaction you get from hosting your blog?
NEELAM: I have professional degree but I am not doing any job because of my kids but when I see my blog I feel like I am doing something. My blog gives me inner satisfaction and pleasure.

 

ME: What kind of recipes most of the people want these days?
NEELAM:  Now a days people don’t want to spend much time in kitchen. they want simple and quick recipes

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ME: What piece of photography equipment could you not go without?
NEELAM: I don’t have any professional camera which i regret. I just take photos from my phone. I wish that i could take better photos but unfortunately my photography skills are not that good.

 

ME: What is your most successful food invention?

NEELAM: I invented many recipes but my family like my dessert recipes more so I can say that my successful inventions are oreo mcflurry and pudding trifle.

 

ME: What’s the recipe in the blog you always tell people about — or show them — first?
NEELAM: There are many recipes which I love to show others but my top favorite are

  • Oreo mcflurry dessert
  • Custard cookies
  • Creamy chicken karahi
  • Chicken mac arabia
  • Chicken shashlik in sauce

There are more than 600 recipes on my blog so the list can go on.:))….I also posted many famous chefs recipes which I tried in my kitchen.

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ME: Tell us about your favorite Pakistani place and food.
NEELAM: My favorite place to eat out is Cosa Nostra in Lahore because of their good quality food and fine dinning experience. People of Lahore love eating so dining out is not a big deal for them, but the concept of the fine dining and its etiquette are always misunderstood. Cosa Nostra is bound to provide the right experience.

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Thank you Neelam for giving us your precious time. 🙂

hersheysbestbrownie2_thumb3This week we have a great interview with a young and creative girl Aiza, she shares her thoughts and her recipes for ” LA TOUR DE FORCE” .Very different name of her blog 🙂 It was a treat to interview Aiza. Latourdeforce is made of the French words, ‘la’ meaning the, ‘tour’ as it is, and ‘deforce’ meaning of force.(explained by Aiza ).

The creative process is also the most terrifying part because you don’t know exactly what’s going to happen or where it is going to lead. You don’t know what new dangers and challenges you’ll find. It takes an enormous amount of internal security to begin with the spirit of adventure, discovery, and creativity. Without doubt, you have to leave the comfort zone of base camp and confront an entirely new and unknown wilderness.

STEPHEN COVEY

You will see diversity in her posts. I personally love her Food Photography. You can Enjoy her work in my video 🙂

LA TOUR DE FORCE by Slidely Slideshow

I’m Aiza, 18, I make mistakes and I learn more everyday. I am currently in my first year of university and there are days when my interaction with my family borders on hellos and goodbyes. My dream in life is to someday be a published writer.

 

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Q1. How did you decide to start a blog about Food in the first place? Did you consider any other ideas or was this the only thing you wanted to blog about?

AIZA: It was honestly the only thing that captivated me, ever since I had stumbled upon my first food blog. I wanted to learn to bake, and to share everything that I had done afterwards with the World. Maybe I always needed to share my ‘voice’ with the World.

Q2. You have excellent photography skills — was it something you’d studied before, or something you picked up as you started blogging?

AIZA: Never in my life had I studied it before. The first food pictures that I ever took sucked, they give me tremors of embarrassment even now. But I’d say, reading a lot of articles and more than 2 years of practice worked. If you are really trying to improve your photography, there’s a guarantee you’d impress even yourself.

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Q3. How have you found the public’s reaction to your recipes and writing?

AIZA: I’m not sure if I have anything worthwhile to share, or why anyone would ever want to hear what I have to say. But I’ve met some amazing people, worked alongside them, and learned. That’s all that matters to me, at this point.

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Q4.Which part of blogging excites you most: the recipe development, the post writing, or the photography?

AIZA: The writing, all of the other things I have had to learn to do. I never had to learn to write, it was embedded deep inside me, and I just had to redirect my fingers, and it felt rejuvenating, to finally say all these words I had kept deep inside me for a long time, it was just like a breath of fresh air.

 

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Q5. Do you have any tips for people who have just launched their blogs and want to expand their readership?

AIZA: I’d just say post consistently; this is something that I struggle with a lot. And never be discouraged by comparing yourself to someone else’s blog readership. Stay true to yourself, and you.

Q6. As a Pakistani tell us about Pakistani cuisine and your favorite Pakistani food.

AIZA: Pakistani cuisine is often mistaken to be very similar to the Indian taste buds, but I believe it is different. It reminds me of home, far away from home, and the flavors are so exquisite, so rich, so deep, they mold together to give a heavenly concoction. And as far as my favorites go, I don’t think I have any. Kadhi maybe?

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Thanks a lot Girl for your time.

You can meet Aiza here:

BLOG                 FACEBOOK              INSTAGRAM

BLOGGER SPOTLIGHT- AYESHA

kkarhaiThere are thousands of food bloggers from around the globe and while most of them are skilled writers, photographers and cooks Ayesha adds her personal touch on everything she does. I adore the sensational recipes specially a vast range of Pakistani cuisine she has covered 🙂
Her recipe of Chicken  Tikka Boti , which she posted on 14, jan is finger licking delicious. I am also planning to try out this weekend.
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When you read her blog, you almost feel like she has opened her kitchen to you to teach you how to make everyday meals that you and your family can enjoy. I am sure you will like her recipes and way of explaining her recipes.
Now Over to Ayesha 🙂
I am Ayesha born and brought up in Lahore, Pakistan, currently residing in Melbourne Australia. My hobbies are cooking, reading, travelling, listening to music, dancing and having fun. My interests are fashion, interior designing, knowing about different cultures, learning different languages and learning different cuisines plus A lot of stuff. A true “Libra Woman”.
Q 1. How did you come to start your food blog ?
AYESHA: I started cooking at a very young age maybe because I love food LOL and i always loved my Pakistani food a lot, specially the charcoal grilled BBQ, biryani, zarda, korma, nihari and various other dishes related to pakistani home cooking and restaurants and when I went to New Zealand i started missing my native food, specially desserts. I was never a sweet tooth but when i moved to Auckland, I realised that its hard to find the authentic Pakistani food here or something that suits my tastebuds so I decided to make everything at home….. At least give a try. So i started looking for recipes over the internet, youtube and some good old cook books I carried all the way from home.
I tried one recipe again and again by making some changes every time according to my taste until I got what i was looking for. After a year of reading, browsing and trying different recipes my cooking got mature. I came to know different techniques of cooking and got a chance to try other cuisines around as well and to learn how to cook food of different origins. My passion, my taste buds and my continuous explore of good taste took me on a never ending journey of culinary perfection.
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I think unlike other branches of art, culinary art was not much explored until year 2000. After that there was a drastic change in this field. People started to explore more and more about different food and the way to make everything natural and healthy. New food TV programmes started and some TV channels were specifically dedicated to culinary Arts. People like Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson and other cooking experts and legends got more recognition and people actually started following them. (Curtis stone and Laura Vitale are my top two favo chefs).
Even in Pakistan we got some new food channels which was a positive change but the so called “cooking experts” are still misguiding people when it comes to international recipes LOL and the programmes are not mature at the moment, they still go for viewer phone calls and a lot of irrelevant stuff which should not be the part of a proper cooking show. I don’t follow them. Then social media also played a very essential part in the promotion of good food and recipes. So it all started after year 2000. I started my blog in year 2008.
Q 2. What about the layout and design of your Blog?
AYESHA: The layout and the design of my blog is from wordpress.com. I just purchased the domain.
Q 3.What are some of the biggest mistakes you see Upcoming Bloggers making in regards to blogging?
AYESHA: Upcoming food bloggers are trying to put everything on their page. From their most favorite recipe to the most unfavorite recipe. I only put up my favorite recipes because I only try them. I cant cook, eat or post my unfavorite recipe.
Q 4. What was Your Major Challenge when starting out and how did you overcome it?
AYESHA: The major challenge I faced while coming up with my website was getting more and more visits and comments. I was eager to know, where i am heading to. When you come at front publicly, its natural that you want some appreciation and a little criticism to know where you are up to. So to overcome this or to penetrate in food blogger world I took Facebook help. I made and promoted my fan page and group to let more people know about my website. I posted links to my fb page on different groups. The feedback from people is very valuable to me. It makes me feel special plus it guides me what I have to change on my site.
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Q 5. Would you share your tips on being a successful food blogger with our readers?
AYESHA: My tips to the upcoming or young food bloggers are:
1. Keep it simple. No need of using difficult vocabulary or making your page complicated. Just keep it simple and easy to browse so you can get more and more people following you.
2. Try to upload your favorite recipes. Because the recipes you like are the ones you have invested most of your time coming up with and they actually taste nice.
3. No need of irrelevant stuff on your website. If it is about cooking keep it for cooking don’t add tabs like “beauty tips” and “interior designing” please. Focus on one field and you will be golden.
Q 6. Your favorite Pakistani food and recipe
AYESHA: My favorite Pakistan recipe is or maybe favorite recipes are…… Lol
Sindhi biryani,  shaami kabab, BBQ, zarda, mithaiyan, club sandwiches, pakistani chinese, paratha roll, kulfa, gulaab jaman (hot and fresh), chappai kabab (top fav), and being Lahori everything in Androon e sheher.
gulab jamun
Here is another very interesting recipe of Ayesha “ SKIN GLOWER DEINK” must try.
skin glower drink
Please visit Ayesha’s blog,  AYESHA’S KITCHEN and  FACEBOOK PAGE  for interesting great recipes, some unique cooking tips and a lot of Pakistani authentic recipes . You’ll find inspiration and a lovely new friend to treasure.
Thank you Ayesha it was very nice to know about your culinary journey. 🙂

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Today’s Blogger Spotlight not only has a fabulous blog, but she is also such a nice person.Sadaf, from “ CHEF IN FRAME” Is one of my
favorite food bloggers. Her approach to everyday food i always admired. She is a passionate young cook and a blogger. I am so happy to have her here today sharing more about herself, her blogging, her memories and tips.
Thanks for being here Sadaf, now tell something about yourself 🙂

Thank you Ainy I am a 21 year old business student, a passionate foodblogger and blog designer.Currently focusing on being a good baker and officially starting my online cake and blog shop.In free time I love to read. I heart pink. And eating junk food is kind of happen as a hobby.Tea is my soul mate. And I am out of thinking about myself. 😉

Ha ha ha ,this is very sweet Sadaf. I am glad to know about you.Thou Tea is your soul mate but i love your posts of drinks specially one which you have shared recently.
“VEGETABLE SPICE JUICE”

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ME: Who or what inspired you to take the plunge and start your own food blog?

Sadaf:  My serious affair with food, to be honest.

 

ME: What do you consider the most successful part of what you do in food blogging?

Sadaf: Sharing, what I love to share and getting to know the whole lot of techie stuffs involve in blogging and social medias. Meeting lots of Foodies and getting to know them. I also start a little Pakistani Food Blogger campaign on Instagram along with the most lovely blogger Aiza, we are featuring Food bloggers of Pakistan around the world. ( our IG is @pakistanifoodbloggers)
ME: What is it that you love most about food blogging?
Sadaf: Creating Recipes, tasting, writing, editing and most genuinely food photography.
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ME: How has the world of food blogging changed since you started?
Sadaf: It has been one year only since I started so the changes is mere in my view.
ME: What is your first food memory?
Sadaf:  Baking my first sponge cake. I remember being happy like a child when I touch the top of cake and it spring back beautifully and the perfect crispy brown crust. Oh I need to bake it again now.
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ME: What is the best food photography tip you have learned in the past years.?
Sadaf:  Never, I mean never ever take photo in low light or in night. Use natural light around the time of after noon. Use good cookery set (I prefer light colored or mostly white) Arrange the food in most appealing way that make picture even more tempting.
ME: What are your top 3 tips for aspiring food bloggers?
Sadaf:  Be honest and be yourself, don’t ever cheat with the love you have with food. Start it with pre-plan. Choose un-chaotic theme for the blog and if you are starting with ‘Blogger’ (which I would suggest to) then I am available to hire at minimal cost for blog design. Aside from all these, use to learn or experience good food shot which is what revolve around food blog along with the great recipes.
ME: What is your most successful food invention?
Sadaf:  Baked Hyderabadi (PK) potato patties. It revolve around all my childhood in Hyd.
ME: What cooking types would you like to be best known for?
Sadaf: BAKING. A baker, specialist in baking pretty Cupcakes and fancy Cakes. I’m also toying around the ideas of starting my Cake shop, home-based in Karachi. *Finger crossed*
ME: Tell us about your favorite Pakistani place and food
Sadaf: First for food I prefer Peshawari Ice-cream, no matter what the weather or case, I would always say yes to Crunch flavor they have. And for the place I heart Hyderabad City, the calm and peace is enviable there.
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Thank you Sadaf, If you want to see more from Sadaf . You can find her here:
Sadaf F K. | Chef in Frame.

BLOGGER SPOTLIGHT- HEENA

ricottazucchinigalettepicIt’s time for another interview with one of our amazing food bloggers! I am so excited to have a wonderful person with us today . Her captivating writing style grabbed my attention and I contacted her for an interview. She is a girl behind “MY NINJA NAAN“. A very cooperative and friendly girl Heena is a Pakistani living in America.

Like most successful bloggers Heena understands what makes her blog special. Besides her interesting script i like her photography too. A good food image speaks more than a thousand words, If you can take photographs well , mouthwatering photography can become a major reason for others to visit you again and again.

Watch this video and enjoy Heena’s Work.

PROUD PAKISTANI BLOGGER- HEENA

 

Heena’s Blog “MY NINJA NAAN” is a treat to read. The recipe of Tempting ” Chicken and Chickpea Curry/ Murgh Chanay” pictured below is mouthwatering delicious.

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Here are my questions and her responses. Please comment to let me and Heena know what you think.

Hi all! My name is Henna and I blog over at My Ninja Naan. I am a American-Desi (although some would probably attest that I am more of an American-Born-Confused-Desi, lol), wife, and mother to a bright little boy. My blog is a collection of some of my most loved recipes, and a place where I come to time and time again to unwind and a place that I call my own.

ME: How did you decide to start a blog about Food in the first place? Did you consider any other ideas or was this the only thing you wanted to blog about?

HEENA:  When my husband and I married, we lived away from both of our families. I didn’t know how to cook much, if anything, and I relied a lot on the internet for my recipes. When I began blogging, it was a means for me to organize the recipes I was using, as I would often use a mishmash of multiple recipes to create my own.

ME:  You have excellent photography skills — was it something you’d studied before, or something you picked up as you started blogging?

HEENA. Thank you for the appreciation! I don’t see myself as someone with excellent photography skills; if you look further into the archives of my blog, you’ll be able to see the progression from post to post. Photography isn’t something that I had studied before, although it is something that I do take great interest in now. Since I began blogging, I’ve come across some of the most amazing food photographers. I take inspiration from their work, and I try to create my own art.

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ME: How have you found the public’s reaction to your recipes and writing?

HEENA: The support I have received from the start of my blogging and photography journey has been overwhelming, to say the least. I have met and befriended people from all corners of the globe, some of which have become my closest friends, all thanks to the world of food blogging. My “real life” friends and have all been nothing short of supportive as well. They often tell me that they tried and had success with such-and-such recipe, and it totally melts my heart every time.

ME: Which part of blogging excites you most: the recipe development, the post writing, or the photography?

HEENA: The most exciting part of the blogging experience is both the cooking and the photographing. I, personally, do not cook to blog. I blog about what I cook. I don’t try, experiment, and tinker with recipes for the sole purpose of later posting them on my blog. I cook and experiment with meals that my family enjoys eating, and things that I make time and time again. Once I feel that I have perfected my recipe, I work on photographing it. Capturing the image that I have in my mind is both most exhilarating and frustrating, haha. Sometimes I am able to capture exactly what I want, and at other times I am not. Sometimes I find myself getting frustrated at the lack of a quality image, and when I realize that I am getting upset, I scrap everything and decide to photograph at a later time. I don’t like to rush through a shoot, but having a rambunctious toddler around can sometimes hasten the process :).

ME: .Do you have any tips for people who have just launched their blogs and want to expand their readership?

HEENA:  The best advice I can give to someone new to the world of blogging is to do it for themselves. The readership and following will come with time, but let this hobby/passion be something that you do because you love and you enjoy it. The internet is a vast place, and you are bound to meet like-minded people who have a genuine interest in what you have to say.

ME: As a Pakistani tell us about Pakistani cuisine and your favorite Pakistani food.

HEENA: The thing about Pakistani cuisine that I find most interesting is that we are one of the few cuisines in the world that uses such an array of spices in their cooking! If you look at most other cuisines, they allow the flavors of the main ingredient to shine. Pakistani cuisine is so unique in that sense that we use a number of spices and flavors to meld together to form an incredible meal.
My favorite Pakistani meal is Chicken Karhai. Like real Karhai, not the kind with green bell peppers (because let’s be real now, that is NOT karhai!). There is something sooo lip-smackingly delicious about the tomato-y and gingery goodness that I can never refuse it 🙂

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Website: www.MyNinjaNaan.com
Facebook: www.Facebook.com/MyNinjaNaan
Instagram: @my_ninja_naan

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I’m so excited to be featuring Talented Pakistani bloggers this month…. really successful bloggers, and hearing their thoughts and tips about blogging! “ Try new things, meet new people, and look beyond what’s right in front of you.” – Andrew Zimmern

Hafsah, of ,Haffa’s Kitchen adventures is not only versatile in blogging, as well as inspiring, everyone who visits her blog to remember that healthy food can be full of flavor. Each time that I view a new recipe or tip of hers i admires her work. A visit to Hafsah’s blog is a step into a world full of gorgeous pics of amazing meals and recipes.  Her blog is unpretentious and easy to use. hafsa tip

 

Few days ago she posted a  recipe of Baking a cake on stove, i liked her post and here i am sharing her link of ” MARBLE CAKE ON STOVE TOP”

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I asked Hafsa few questions including  her own self and her lifestyle, so here she is..:)

Thank you dear Ainy for inviting me for the interview as a Pakistani food blogger at your place ^_^ I am soo happy to have this opportunity!!!

My name is Hafsah Behzad, (Haffa Bexi as nick) & I am from Pakistan. Professionally I am doctor, but I’m not practicing at the moment which practically makes me jobless. Hope to get one soon! Since I got married cooking and blogging have become not only my job but also my favorite hobby. Although I myself am still in learning phase & love to try new recipes of different cuisines but I like to share my experiences in my kitchen with other amateur and professional cooks.

As far as the photography for my blog is concerned, my hubby is taking care of that 😉 Honestly speaking, cooking have never been by passion till my marriage, in fact I hated cooking, but thanks to blogging which created its love within me and now i spend most of my day in the kitchen cooking or in front of my lappy blogging.

Me: When did you decide to create your blog and what motivated you to blogging?

Hafsah: I was not even aware of the word “blog” till 2 years back when I got married. Being jobless, I had nothing to do whole day except waiting for my hubby to come back from job. Having keen interest in cooking & photography himself, one day my hubby told me to keep writing down all the recipes I was trying, for subsequent reference and he would manage my blog. This was the time i started to develop interest in blogging. Since then, I never looked back & blogging became my passion. Blogging has indeed been a great blessing for me! I was introduced to so many new things in the world, which I had never heard of. I met a number of new friends like Ainy & Monu! Both of them are such a darling and are always ready to help!! God has been so kind to me by giving me such a sweet time pass like blogging! 😉

Me: What kind of Theme do you use on your blog and what are the “must have” plugins for a blog?

Hafsah:  Basically, it depends upon the type of blog, its contents, its audience, age group of the audience and many other factors…. but, I prefer a simplest theme mostly with white background. I keep on changing themes every now and then.. as change is the only thing permanent 😉 As far as plugins are concerned, apart from widgets used to promote your blog, like Facebook like & share button, Tweet button, few other plugins are a must have for a blog which include Subscription widget & a Search bar. Other than that you can always choose other plugins depending upon your audience.

Me: What do you think food blogging will look like in 5 years?

Hafsah:  Hmmmmm.. 5 yrs from now, i would love that, technology has advanced so much that my visitors will be able not only to smell but even taste dishes cooked by me through my blog. 😀 which of course is far from reality!! 😛 Jokes apart, I guess 5 years isn’t a much of a time span. It won’t make much difference. But with time passing, people are becoming more foodoholics, the number of bloggers will increase, encouraging a healthy competition and definitely enhancing the quality of blogs, so much so that people would take up food blogging as a profession.

Me: Imagine you could invite anyone to a meal. Who would it be and what would you serve?

Hafsah: I am confident that all those who read my blog will be able to try my recipes. I would love to invite some children who can afford such food and serve them with a sumptuous meal including Chicken Karahi, Mutton biryani, Shami Kabab & Rasmalai as a dessert.

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Me: What are your top 3 tips for aspiring food bloggers?

Hafsah:  Although I do not consider myself to be at a position yet to give tips or advice to aspiring youngsters but as you have asked so here it goes. First of all, You should have faith in yourself and your capabilities. Secondly, you should describe recipe in detail so that the readers be able to follow you step by step and you develop a reputation and people come back to your blog and lastly; as presenting a dish plays a very important role in cooking, similarly the presentation of your recipes should be eye-catching so have attractive photographs.

Me:  Your favorite Pakistani food and recipe.

Hafsah:  That’s a very tough question for any food lover. But I’ll have to think… ummm… Gulab Jamun 🙂 For recipe please visit http://haffaskitchen.blogspot.com/2013/08/gulab-jaman.html g j hafs To stay updated with Hafsah and find more of her delicious healthy  recipes make sure to check out her blog and follow her  here:

My food blog : http://haffaskitchen.blogspot.com/

Facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/haffasadventures

Follow me on twitter :https://twitter.com/Haffabexii

Meet me on pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/haffabexi/

Thank you so much Hafsah for giving us your time ..:)

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It just hit my mind to take interviews of all those Pakistani Food Bloggers whose work i enjoy and feel you might find interesting and useful, too. This is actually a little hub of online info and insight from bloggers within our Food community. Proudly present My first Pakistani Celebrity today.
You will come to know about the blogger’s secrets to success and practical advice, plus it lets you get to “know” the person behind the blog a bit in this series. The initial post here featured ASNA blogger of the well-known “My Happy & Chaotic Kitchen” is a truly unique resource for food writers or bloggers.

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Asna features gorgeous food photography and healthy, delicious meals.On 31st Dec she posted a recipe for a CHICKEN SAJJI. Which i liked a lot..

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I’m so grateful to bloggers like Asna for sharing their knowledge and taking the time and energy to help others! Including answering a few of my questions about how they got to where they are today. Here’s what I asked Asna about:

Thank you Asna for joining us today now first we would love to know about you… a girl behind “Happy & Chaotic Kitchen”.

I am Asna, a Pakistani – American, mother of two, living in U.S.A. This blog is my visual recipe journal, which I share with my friends. Though i consider myself an amateur, I have always felt very comfortable in kitchen. I cook and try to follow recipes but never can follow one without tweaking it unless I’m baking!
I am a lover of everything creative, and I have penchant for learning new things. An avid reader, on my bookshelf you’ll find books on coding and design, typography, Photoshop, photography, illustration, watercolor, cooking, Islamic geometrical patterns and my religion.

There are many things I would love to do with my time but most importantly at this time in my life I hope Allah guides me to raise my daughters in a way that they become appreciative of the blessings they are blessed with and become creative and free thinking individuals who are a credit to their society.

Q1.Why did you start your blog? Has the experience been what you expected?

It has been almost two years since I started blogging about food, why I started? There are more than a few reasons, apart from the fact that I love everything about food, mainly it was my growing collection of food pictures. Photography is amongst a number of hobbies I have,while I love cooking styling and plating food is the most fun part for me. Also I wanted to show my mother who lives back in Pakistan how good I was faring in the kitchen, given I knew very little about cooking when I got married.
It has been a wonderful experience, I found amazing people who are so artistic in different fields not just cooking and also found such talented cooks and photographers but above all I loved how big hearted most of them were, they welcome newcomers and cheer for them, they have no qualms about sharing their expertise and platforms to promote work of other bloggers. Now I have a whole lot of artistic bunch of friends who keep me motivated.

Q.2.What you think is most notable about your blog. What are the keys to its popularity?

I would say the photography, because honestly speaking unless you keep the reader visually interested they won’t stay on you blog for more than a couple of minutes. I have been complemented on the photography of my blog very often, people are so nice and it humbles me, truly does, because most of the time it’s just done in quick minutes before I serve the food. As I don’t cook for the blog, I blog about what I cook. I have to learn so much more about photography, I have just barely scratched the surface yet.

Q3.What’s the greatest satisfaction you get from hosting your blog?

It does give me satisfaction that is for sure, because it’s something I do just because I like it and it makes me happy. Also I truly cherish the people I have met from across the globe who share same interests as I do, never knew we had such an amazing community of artists, photographers, lifestyle bloggers, calligraphers and food bloggers of of course.

Q4.What kind of recipes most of the people want these days?

My desi readers and friends really love the recipes of chocolate desserts, cup cakes and entrées from American or Mexican cuisine.
And the non Desi readers, prefer pure Desi recipes, they especially like kebabs and chutney, and everything Pakistani.

Q5.Where do you get your inspiration from?

I started blogging long before I started following other food bloggers, at that time I just wanted to share the pics on my iPhone but now I do look for recipes that are easy and practical to make or bake, and tweak those to my taste. I won’t ever spend more than 15 mins to frost a cake nor do I wanna do intricate patterns on cookies. I just don’t believe in such complicated food arrangements.

Q6.What piece of photography equipment could you not go without?

Though nowadays I am sure I am suffering from a chronic disorder of shopping for food photography props but I can easily do with just a camera, iPhone even, and lots and lots of natural light.

Q7.What are your top 3 tips for aspiring food bloggers?

1. Cook what you would want to eat yourself.
2. Try to experiment, it’s so much fun. Know the basics and then break the rules.
3. Most importantly have a good time, take pictures of the process and keep it stress free.

Q8.What is your most successful food invention?

I wouldn’t call any of my recipes my own invention as we all get our inspiration from some where, having said that the most requests I get are for tamale corn cakes and My super secret Mac and cheese recipe that still hasn’t made it’s way to the blog, I did invent this one !

Q9.What’s the recipe in the blog you always tell people about — or show them — first?
That would be tamale corn cakes, chicken karahi or instant noodle kebabs.

Q10.Tell us about your favorite Pakistani place and food .
On my last trip to Pakistan we went to this barbecue place called charcoal. It was a wonderful experience not only because of the scrumptious heavenly smelling food but the whole atmosphere, the ambience and the setting of the restaurant was excellent.

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Thanks to Asna. You can visit her blog here:

My food blog : myhappyandchaotickitchen.com
Facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/myhappyandchaotickitchen
Follow me on instagram @myhappychaotickitchen
Meet me on pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/AsnaFaruqui/