|We are finally kicking off in all excitement the new 2013 Food Writer Friday series. In the next weeks you ll be able to get to know the people behind the popular food blogs and you’ll have the chance to learn lots of useful tips and tricks from them as well.|
We’re having a great time getting to know more about the personalities behind each food writer’s blog and we dared to ask them to share some titbits from their daily lives.
In addition to food writer stars you already know, we’ve also selected some of the upcoming talents to share their love for food and food writing here on Food Writer Friday.
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Today the spotlight is on the charming and brilliant Shulie Madnick from Food Wanderings. Shulie is one of those friendly, helpful and welcoming food bloggers.
She is a little marvel, a superb friend and inspiration to many in the scene and without her the food blogging world wouldn’t be that exciting and inviting. Shulie’s recipes are always spot on, inventive and influenced by her multiple cultural roots.
The lady behind the successful blog was born in Israel to Jewish parents who have their roots in Mumbai, India, yet her parents only met each other in Israel. Shulie also met her beloved Massachusets born and raised husband in Israel while he was studying for his undergraduate degree at the Tel Aviv University. Later on she moved at the age of 21 to the US and since that the happy family has been living just outside of DC (Shulie is also a proud parent of a college studying son). If that isn’t called multicultural, then I don’t know…
Food Wanderings reflects the person behind the blog. A witty and entertaining writing style is what makes Shulie’s work a must read. However that’s not the whole scoop of Food Wanderings. Each post is aimed to be useful and educational and I can’t count the times when I found myself getting all excited about some newly found food knowledge and cooking wisdom.
The fact that Shulie’s family had lived and traveled the world and gathered useful traditional recipes from her different heritages can be seen and felt in each of her recipe posts and write ups. Like the time when she visited the market in Tel Aviv and decided that the date cookies were the most delicate ones ever. On any other ordinary day she was not a fan of date cookies, but these were fresh-out-of-the-oven and had a soft crumble. They were one of the best cookies she has ever had.
We were curious to know what moved her to start her food blog . She explained that at the time her son was in his senior year in high school and that they had been talking for year about preserving their heritage, history, storytelling and recipes. As he was moving on to college, they wanted to give their son simple tools to make his own meals. That’s why her very first post was the all famous Middle Eastern brunch dish and every college kid’s hot plate, the Shakshuka. In addition to teaching her son to feed himself, Food Wanderings is a way for Shulie to explore her identity.
“It’s hard to believe given my addiction to social media but I was clueless at the time. I had no expectations whatsoever. My focus was in conservation and documentation of something I already was enjoying, food. Writing in my voice and all aspects of the creative process really appealed to me. It was cathartic and therapeutic for me at the time.”
Often we hear that there is a difference between traditional food writers and food bloggers. We wanted to know where Shulie saw herself in the spectrum. Shulie’s work has been published and mentioned in many of the popular and well respected publications from The los Angeles Time, the Washington Post, The Jew and Carrot to Fine cooking, Foodista and Whisk to count up some (Find all her published and mentioned works here), so of course we were curious to know her opinion.
Shulie says that she is certainly a blogger, although she respects traditional media. Her view is that she can differentiate between traditional media and blogging but agreed that on some occasions nowadays the lines seem rather blurred and the boundaries organically merge. She does point out that blogging is also a very legitimate platform and most importantly she thinks that there is lots of excellence in both.
Neither Maureen nor I ever dared to ask Shulie if she had followed any professional education in any of the blog related fields such as cooking, photography, writing and marketing. Her posts are all perfect from the beginning to the end with absorbing write ups as well as a balanced well thought through mixture of educational storytelling. She weaves her stories to reveal some of the most exciting dishes in the world along with some seriously professional looking photography.
Shulie has a knack for all that is connected to food blogging and of course we assumed that inside her ingenious mind was an accredited professional. But you know what? Shulie never studied any of the fields and she confessed that she has an artistic eye and of course some of the credit goes to her mom’s cooking talents.
At the end of the Interview we asked Shulie which recipe she would recommend a newbie cook to start with from her blog. Shulie suggests to go for the classic, simple but delicious Poached Egg and she mentioned her fusionized, curried Indian style Shakshuka.
Today Shulie chose to share her original, scrumptious Shashuka recipe with us. We are all Shakshuka freaks out there and I would be happy to dig in right now. How about you?
- 2-4 garlic cloves sliced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 jalapeno sliced
- Canola oil or any vegetable oil (few tablespoons)
- 4-6 med./large tomatoes (diced roughly)
- Tomato sauce up to 8 oz - small can (instead of tomato paste)
- 8 eggs
- 1 teaspoon plus paprika according to taste
- Red pepper flakes (optional)
- Black pepper
- Fresh cilantro leaves (chopped or whole leaves) to garnish (optional although gives the dish another layer of flavor)
- Fresh baguette, or any other fresh loaf
- In a deep frying pan sweat garlic, onion and Jalapeno in a bit of oil on low to medium. Do not brown or burn garlic, it will turn bitter.
- Add tomatoes and cook for about ten minutes on medium, add tomato sauce, paprika, salt and fresh black pepper according to taste.
- Crack eggs and drop gently one by one into sauce, next to each other in the pan and cook on low/medium according to desired level of doneness. You are sort of poaching the eggs in the tomato sauce....traditionally the yellow of the eggs should be runny when serving. If more firm eggs are desired cover the pan with a lid.
- Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves but not a must.
- Can break bread and eat directly from the pan as a communal meal, or can be served individually.
Follow her food Wanderings at Twitter, Pinterest and Stumbleupon and don’t forget to subscribe to her blog for the hottest Food Wanderings news. As we mentioned above, Shulie is one of the sweetest persons out there, so don’t hesitate to connect with her, she will be happy.