We sat down with best-selling author - Eleanor Ozich, to find out about her latest book, Homemade.
What inspired you to write Homemade?
I first started sharing recipes on my blog about six years ago, and since then, I’ve learnt that the key to creating healthy, exciting food is to have plenty of basic recipes which bring it all together. As a mother of three, I certainly don’t have all the time in the world to spend in the kitchen, therefore I’m always trying out simpler ways to cook, keeping methods as fuss-free as possible, yet still focusing on a very delicious outcome!
The basic recipes in Homemade are methods that I’ve been cooking for years, with small tweaks here and there, depending on what ingredients I have lying around. I love knowing that substantial and delicious meals can be whipped up in flash, so long as I have these essential go-to recipes up my sleeve. It’s a simple and fun way to cook that doesn’t require too much thought.
Do you have a favourite household recipe from Homemade?
Absolutely! My raw brownies topped with salted nut butter caramel sauce and freeze-dried raspberries. They’re a total crowd pleaser, and the best part is that you only need a small piece to satisfy a sweet craving!
How would you describe Homemade in three words?
Simple, rustic, comforting.
Do you have a favourite recipe/cookbook?
I’m a big fan of Jamie Oliver and his earlier cookbooks, in fact, I can remember the exact moment that he inspired my obsession with cooking. I was in my early twenties, watching one of his older cooking series ‘Jamie at Home’ which I had borrowed from the library. I was absolutely captivated by his rustic, vibrant and relaxed style of cooking, and felt compelled to find more joy and creativity in my own kitchen. Fast forward to now, and there’s nothing I love more than pottering around in the kitchen.
How does Homemade compare to your other books?
Homemade doesn’t include any meal recipes as such, it’s a collection of back to basic methods that can in turn, be thrown together to create simple, delicious dishes. More often than not, we buy these pre-made versions from the supermarket, without knowing how satisfyingly easy they are to make at home. I also love that homemade versions of convenience foods taste far better, contain more nourishing ingredients, and are easier on the environment without the plastic packaging, too!
What is your recipe for happiness?
To keep things simple. I love that when I slow down, and be intentional about the way I choose to live and eat, I find far more beauty in the small, daily things - the kind that I might have easily missed. You see, simple living isn’t about determining how little we can live with, it’s about celebrating the things we simply can’t live without! And this beautiful mindset can be applied to almost all areas of our life.
What is your recipe writing/creating process?
My style of cooking is almost always in impromptu fashion, in fact, when I do plan a meal, they never seem to work out! When it comes to cooking something new, I usually find inspiration by what’s in season, or what I might already have hanging out in the fridge and pantry. I could also spend hours on end reading through my many cookbooks, bookmarking the pages and writing down notes and ideas, despite never actually following a recipe! It’s quite a care-free way to cook, but I find this means I have the freedom to get more creative.
If you weren’t blogging/writing, what would you be doing?
I love to dress well and keep my home lovely, and so I guess I’d be working in the clothing or home-wares industry. My husband has a clothing brand, meaning I can live my passion vicariously through him, although who knows, perhaps it might be something I branch into in the future?!
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