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On Vintage Mixer, Becky transports us back to her grandmother’s era. When folks cooked with fresh, local and seasonal ingredients and meaningful meals were shared around the table with good company. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah and is deeply involved with the local food community there via her SLC Foodie website.
I am so happy to have Becky Rosenthal of Vintage Mixer here on the show.
On Starting Her Blog:
I’ve been blogging since around 2008. Kind of a mixture of things. That’s the way I started it, too. I wanted to share some recipes. Some things around the house. Maybe some vintage clothing. It all boiled down to food in the end. It started as a conglomerate of lots of things. Inspired by my grandmother’s era of simple living.
A simpler time of life.
We’re bogged down by all of the technology. Connecting with social media, which I love. I think it also distracts us from relationships. I try to combine the two. Obviously I’m blogging. I’m online, but to put meaning back in that. To make it more relational. Like it was in that era.
What comes the most naturally is probably coming up with ideas for the food. I always have a long list of different things I want to make.
Writing can be natural for the most part. Writing the recipes can be difficult. Sometimes photographing. Depending on the time of day. That can be harder.
On Her Interest in Cooking:
Even as a child, I enjoyed playing around in the kitchen with my mom. Making cookies. Helping her flip the pancakes. Simple things like that. When I was in college, I was mentored by a lady who had her own fresh herb garden. I asked her to help me to learn a few more things.
After college, I worked for a ski resort that focused on food, and all those things kind of come in together to enhance my love for food and cooking.
Ruthie, my mentor in college. She cooked things really simply. Used fresh ingredients. I would say she was a big inspiration. More recently, online. People like Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks or even Gwyneth Paltrow of Goop. People like that who are sticking to simple eating with fresh healthy things.
On Food Culture in Salt Lake City, Utah:
It’s actually really community driven. People are always helping each other. Wanting to see other people succeed. Although we’re seeing more and more great products come out of the city. It’s not competitive in the negative sense.
A lot of local products and a lot of things that are back to the way things were done in grandmother’s era, like canning and old-fashioned cooking clubs, things like that, are popping up. Those are the things that have happened for a long time here in Utah. Now they’re becoming a little more popular again.
Honey is one thing. We have a lot of high altitude locations where there’s beekeeping and honey farms.
Cheese. We have several cheese makers that are highly valued around here. We have a salami maker called Creminelli who’s outstanding. He’s nationally known. We have a local hummus and Mediterranean spreads company called Laziz that we enjoy. Jams and things like that, as well. We have a lot of local products that are fun.
On Places for Food Lovers in Salt Lake City:
I would definitely say, sticking as close to downtown, the better. The suburbs around Salt Lake, you’re going to find all the regular chain restaurants. The closer you are to downtown, you’re going to find more diversity.
If I’m answering just based on what I like, I would tell you you need to go to Finca. It’s a little Spanish tapas restaurant in downtown Salt Lake. Afterwards, you can go get churros next door.
My husband and I own a little coffee shop called La Barba. We serve churros and chocolate. It’s right next to Finca. Biased, yes, but I would recommend that. Some other places. Pago. They serve seasonal fresh dishes. Copper Onion downtown has a famous burger. Then we have a lot of ethnic food that is really, really enjoyed around the city. Whether it’s Thai or Indian, we have our favorite places so…
On Making Cooking More Fun:
Turn on some music. Cook with people you enjoy.
If you like cooking alone, just turn on some music. Keep it relaxed. Don’t try anything too difficult at first. Cook things you know that you’ll enjoy. If you’re trying something new, maybe have a back-up in the fridge. Just in case it doesn’t turn out.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. Stick to the things you know you’ll enjoy.
The Pressure Cooker:
Which food shows or cooking shows do you watch?
I only watch one and it’s MasterChef.
What are some food blogs or websites that we have to know about?
I have some friends here whose blogs I love. Completely Delicious and Two Peas & Their Pod. Also Foodie Crush and Mountain Mama Cooks. Nationally, I love 101 Cookbooks and I love Sprouted Kitchen, Goop. Blogs like that. That kind of have a similar feel to mine.
Who do you follow on Pinterest, Instagram or Twitter that make you happy?
Probably some of those same bloggers.
Ones who give me inspiration. Who I feel like I can easily go home and make the same dishes that they’re making.
What is something all home cooks should have in their pantry?
A good supply of nuts, I would say. Nuts and dried fruit. Peanut butter or almond butter and honey.
Name one ingredient you cannot live without.
Sometimes I will roast potatoes or squash with honey.
I would say that and almond butter.
What are a few cookbooks that make your life better?
I like Heidi Swanson’s, Super Natural Every Day. The Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook. That was given to me by a friend. Vegetable Literacy. It was a good one. Bountiful, by a couple of popular bloggers. I like that one, too.
Those are some of my favorites.
What song or album just makes you want to cook?
I always listen to Pandora. It kind of mixes up the genres but I might start with something like John Mayer. Something just easier to listen to. I know the words and songs.
Loud Harp is a friend of ours. We enjoy his music.
Keep Posted on Becky:
Definitely following just the two blogs. Specifically, Vintage Mixer, the one I keep updated the most. Others, I don’t keep them both updated as much as I would hope. Vintage Mixer and then on Instagram, also Vintage Mixer.