Sunday, February 8, 2015

Liebster Award!

I am thrilled to share that Straight to the Hips, Baby, has been nominated for a Liebster Award by the very kind & talented Alexandra from Occasionally Eggs! Thank you! The Liebster Award is an effort to bring attention to smaller blogs from fellow bloggers. This is a fantastic opportunity for newer blogs to get some notice, especially in a sea of more established food bloggers.


-Link back to the person who nominated you

-Answer all the questions they asked in their post

-Nominate eleven more blogs you like

-Ask eleven questions for your nominees to answer

-Let all your nominees know either through their blog or social media

Alexandra had some very entertaining questions and I had a blast answering them! I hope this gives you a better idea of who I am and what my blog is about. At the bottom of this post, you will find the fantastic bloggers I have personally nominated for the award. All of them have delicious recipes and beautiful photographs to share. Cheers!

1)     Who is your favorite artist? Why? I am a huge art deco fan, and really love anything by Gustav Klimt. The way he mixes colors with geometric/architectural forms and complex themes just draws me in!

2)     If you could go into space, which planet would you visit, and why? You're going to laugh at me, but before poor Pluto was downgraded, that was my favorite planet (love you anyway, Neil deGrasse Tyson!)! I always thought it would be a cool place to explore, because when I was a kid, that was pretty much as far out as we had explored.

3)     How did you come up with the name of your blog? Ummm, have you seen my blog? Some of my recipes would shock your Fitbit! Truthfully, one night while gathered around the dinner table, I was tossing around the idea of starting a food blog. My husband & little brother were having fun suggesting title ideas centering around my love of decadent cooking, and my brother blurted out, 'Straight to the Hips'. I added the 'Baby' at the end for flair!

4)     What's your dream kitchen like? This is a tough one. My home kitchen is pretty darn close, space-wise. Lots of counter space, granite, lovely detailed cabinetry. We lucked out. Buuuuuut..... I would love to cook on a professional-grade gas range (like a big Wolf 6-burner). I daydream and design my imaginary kitchen around that beauty!

5)     If you had to choose one thing to eat every day, what would it be? If we are talking about just an ingredient, totally fresh sun ripened tomatoes, with a little salt, pepper, and olive oil. If it's a dish, probably a fantastic Indian Saag Paneer.

6)     What's your favorite color combination? Apricot & grapefruit pink. Bonus, turquoise and deep, vibrant red. I like color!

7)     What's your go-to cookbook? The classic, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, by Julia Child. Along with Martin Yan & Jaques Pepin, she was my childhood inspiration to get into more complex cooking. PBS Broadcasting, I owe you!

8)     Which genre of music/artist do you always end up listening to? When my kids are around, It's always Cookie Monster (C is for cookie, that's good enough for me...). If it's just me, I run the gamut. Classical from my ballet career days, teenage flashbacks to Alanis Morrisette, or driving to Red Hot Chili Peppers. Usually, a combo of Neil Young, Tom Petty, and U2.

9)     How do you come up with recipes for your blog? My "view" for the blog is to make approachable (but still sophisticated!) food that any home cook can prepare. I feel that all of the recipes on my site can be made by a cook of any caliber, and it makes me proud when I get an email from a novice cook who tried my recipe and surprised themselves! That's one of the reasons you see so many directional photographs and detailed instructions on my blog. I believe in eating seasonally as much as possible, so a lot of my recipes reflect that. Also, I try to coordinate my blog posts with my weekly/monthly menu, because it's a reflection of what I'm making in real life. Big holiday dinner coming up? I'll tend to lean on family recipes or tweaked classics. Everyday meals are pretty much inspired by what I can find at the market and any recent tasty dishes I've had at restaurants.

10)  What's your favorite hot drink? Oh, yum! I really like my Nutella Hot Chocolate with Kahlua or a similar spiked coffee drink.

11)  What's the best thing you've ever made? Or, the best thing you've ever posted on you blog? The best thing I've ever made/posted for drinks, is my Cucumber Jalapeño Margarita. I would have one every day if I could! For food, my Peach Shortcake with Honeyed Whipped Cream. Goodness, if I could get away with eating that all day and not bust out of my pants, I would!

12) Bonus question... What is your favorite primate? The Orangutan. I could watch them for hours. They are so graceful when they're swinging in the trees, and show so much tenderness towards their young. I once went to the Washington DC Zoo, and sat for an hour, just studying the face & movements of an older male orangutan.

Although I'm not entirely sure of the number of followers each of these bloggers have, you need to check them out! These are a few of my favorites, and some newly discovered (to me) bloggers. They are entertaining, informative, and influence my own work. In no particular order...

1)     Cygnet Kitchen
2)     Housewild
5)     Yorkshire Gourmet
6)     The Spice Train
7)     Milk & Honey
8)     Bonnie Mo
9)     Sift and Whisk

My Questions...

1)     Which chef/cookbook author/food blogger would you chose to have dinner with and why?
2)     Who has been your greatest influence in the kitchen?
3)     What was your original career/current career besides being a food blogger?
4)     If you could live anywhere in the world, where & why?
5)     What was your favorite childhood meal?
6)     What is your favorite cocktail or spirit of choice & why?
7)     If you were writing a cookbook, which one of your recipes would be the cover shot?
8)     What is your favorite meal, either one you've cooked or in a restaurant?
9)     What is your favorite food memory?
10)  Which dish or recipe has stumped you?
11)  What is your favorite food culture?

If you do write a post as part of the Liebster Awards, please let me know down below in the comment section!


  1. Yeeeah, I was hoping someone would say Orangutans! I love them too. Thanks for posting, Jessie! This was fun to read and I love your questions.

    1. Absolutely! Thanks for the nod, I had a lot of fun answering your questions and I think this is such a excellent way to share & promote our favorite food blogs!