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Blogger Spotlight: Jeanie and Lulu’s Kitchen

Leigh of Jeanie and Lulu's Kitchen makes food full of love and flavor, inspired by her two grandmothers' culinary talents!
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Meet Leigh!

Leigh is the mastermind behind Jeanie and Lulu’s Kitchen, and one of our favorite home cooks!

How did your blog start? What’s your food story?

I have all sorts of things in the works! My blog, Jeanie and Lulu’s Kitchen, is my primary focus. I just want to keep making great content and working on my photography skills. I am looking to start making more videos of my cooking for YouTube, which I think would bring in a lot more of an audience. I also am working on self-publishing a cookbook! That has been a dream of mine since I was little. I just love the glossy pages and gorgeous food photos in a cookbook. My collection [of cookbooks] is extensive and I want my own to be a part of it. I started my blog back in 2013 after I graduated culinary school and decided that I wanted to make a tribute to my two amazing grandmothers, Jeanie and Lulu. They are the reason that I am so passionate about food!

What was your favorite childhood meal?

Food was everything when I was growing up. My entire family is excellent in the kitchen. Friday nights were always pizza night at my Nana Lulu’s. She would make the most incredible thin-crust pizzas with homemade marinara, fresh mozzarella, and all kinds of toppings. The pizzas were always accompanied by her antipasto platter, spaghetti and meatballs, and her incredible eggplant parmigiana. It was a feast and I’ll never forget those family dinners.

What's in your bag and what are your kitchen essentials?

Ok, I have three items in my kitchen that I absolutely cannot live without. The first is my chef’s knife. It is indispensable for my prep work. If I ever am cooking somewhere other than home, I have my knife bag to bring that and my other special knives with me. When I am baking, my KitchenAid stand mixer is my right-hand helper. It makes baking cookies and cakes such a cinch. I also use it a ton to make fresh pasta with the pasta roller and cutter attachments. The third is my food processor. It is essential to me for making dips, doing mass prep work for vegetables, making pesto sauce, you name it. I don’t know what I would do without those three things now that I have them!

What is the best or weirdest thing you've ever eaten in your travels?

My favorite trips are always Disney Cruises to fun places with my husband. One of the many reasons is the incredible food at their special dining room, Palo. It’s upscale Italian and one of my favorite meals ever! I always get the lobster ravioli in mascarpone cream sauce because it is pure delicious decadence and something I could never recreate at home the way they do. I am also completely gaga for their chocolate soufflé!

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

My proudest accomplishment is most definitely graduating from culinary school. It was a super intense four-month program that involved quite a commute into NYC every day. It was such a fantastic experience though and worth the hard work. My other greatest accomplishment is finding the most incredible man to be my husband and having him by my side when I graduated!

Describe your dream kitchen (laboratory) or dining room.

Oh, Pinterest has given me so many ideas about my dream kitchen and dining room. I love stainless steel appliances with a huge refrigerator, two dishwashers for all of the dishes I make recipe testing, and at least two ovens to have lots of things roasting and baking at once. A huge island with lots of room for prep is ideal for me too, with a breakfast nook and good sight lines to be able to see everything while entertaining. I would love my kitchen to be clean and elegant but still have some character to it.

I came across this picture on Pinterest and this is the most gorgeous, perfect kitchen I have ever seen in my life. The link leads to a $17M absolute dream home in Vancouver, BC. If I ever win the lottery, that kitchen will be mine, ha!
http://evcanada.com/en/listing/cms/mls-r2133423-5087-connaught-drive-vancouver-british-columbia-v6m-3g2/

My perfect day would be…

A beach day with my family and a yummy picnic.

I believe any problem can be solved with…

A respectful, deep discussion over a delicious meal.

When I need liquid courage I drink…

Malbec!

My guilty pleasure is…

Fast food once a month.

I wish I had the superpower…

To fly, so that I could get places faster and whisk people or animals out of dangerous situations.

What is your favorite recipe on the app, and why?

Oh, that is an impossible question to answer because they all look so good! I’m really proud to have my recipes among them.

What is your advice to people who aspire to be in your field or do similar projects?

It is easy to get hurt by rejection or wallow in self-doubt when you choose to get into the food industry and start your own blog. Don’t give in to it and press on. Keep reminding yourself of why you love it and are passionate about it! Never stop trying to learn and grow.

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