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Nov 1, 2012

An Interview With Vespawoolf: Well-known Food Hubbers

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One of HubPages well-known food Hubbers reveals the origins of her passion for the culinary arts.

Image: Vespawoolf A Well-known Food HubbersBio - Vespa is an educator and freelance writer from South America who lives with her husband. An amateur baker and home chef, her dishes are influenced by a Midwestern upbringing and fifteen years spent in the various regions of Peru. Her home is often filled with friends eager to sample freshly baked breads, homemade jams and savory meals crafted from locally available, fresh ingredients. All recipes have been tested repeatedly and garner rave reviews! Let see her interview here.

Though you write about other subjects from time to time, you are most well-known on HubPages for your gorgeous food Hubs. Have you always been a foodie?

Food has interested me as long as I can remember. I have fond childhood memories of poring over my mother’s cookbooks, reading about methods and ingredients and gawking at the beautiful photos. At 12 years of age, I prepared a special dinner for my parents’ anniversary: Cornish Game Hens a L’Orange. I combined two recipes and for the first time, did all the prep and cooking myself. Of course, my parents raved. Bolstered by my success, a month later I roasted a leg of lamb until medium rare and served it with mint jelly. The rare lamb tasted raw to my young palate and I wouldn’t eat it! But those experiences gave me impetus to continue cooking for others. Although I haven’t had formal training, while living in Cusco I enjoyed cooking for visitors from all over the world and learning from some of the best chefs I know.

You share in your bio that your dishes are influenced by a Midwestern upbringing and fifteen years living in Peru, which is most intriguing! Can you give us an example of a recipe Hub you have published that incorporates characteristics of both regions?

The first recipe that comes to mind is “ Thick & Creamy Tomato Soup from Fresh Tomatoes”. Midwestern comfort food at its best, the soup is made with plenty of juicy, fresh tomatoes. Borrowing a technique from Peruvian cooks, I thicken it with a handful of fresh bread. “Authentic Peruvian Aj√≠ Sauce” is a nutty, slightly spicy sauce best savored with good ol’ Midwestern sweet potato fries. “Butter Caramels with Pink Sea Salt” pairs my mother’s homemade caramels with Peruvian pink salt.

What inspires you to test and develop a new recipe? Do you follow a set process?

I’m inspired by ingredients. Curvaceous eggplants I found at the market became “ Smoky & Creamy Baba Ganoush”. When we returned from Cusco with bags of Andean pink salt, it sparked a whole series of sea salt Hubs such as “ Dark Chocolate Bark with Carmelized Nuts & Pink Salt”. The silky, bitter chocolate is a perfect partner for the sweet nuts and crunchy sea salt.

Once I have inspiration, I brainstorm. Which spices would work well with this dish? Which cooking method would be best for this cut of beef? Then I outline, jotting down a general idea of how the recipe might work with approximate measurements. Lastly, I research. I ask for suggestions from my friends who are great cooks. Then it’s to the kitchen to cook, cook, cook! It takes several tries to get everything just right, and then I need my testers to provide honest feedback and tips for improvement. I take lots of notes while cooking and, of course, hundreds of photographs!

Your food photos are gorgeous. What kind of camera do you shoot with?

Thank you! I’ve been using the Sony DSC-WX9 for my photos. It’s a great little point-and-shoot that takes beautiful macro shots. I recently realized I’d outgrown it, though, so my husband upgraded to a Canon G12 which I hope will give me more creative flexibility.

I'm always curious to know what great cooks eat on a daily basis. What is a typical breakfast, lunch, and dinner like for vespawoolf?

During the week we keep things fast and simple. Breakfast consists of a healthy smoothie with fruit and raw oatmeal or homemade granola and berries. Lunch might be a tuna-stuffed avocado or pan-seared beef medallions with an organic salad or quinoa tabouli. Green juice or a handful of almonds is our late afternoon snack and in the evening, a roasted red pepper and fresh herb omelette or quick homemade soup might be on the menu. On the weekends we have friends over and I whip up a more elaborate dinner like pork carnitas with authentic corn tortillas and chocolate cake or espresso ice cream for dessert. We indulge in a fattening breakfast once a week like fluffy pancakes, homemade English muffins or cranberry-orange scones.

We have found that Hubbers sometimes read Hubs that are very different from the Hubs they write. Is this the case with you? What do you enjoy reading most online?


Yes, so true! Health and beauty tips often catch my eye. I also read poetry, psychology and Hubs to help me improve SEO, keywords and writing skills. And I do read a lot about food. I love food blogs and spend time browsing photo-driven food sites. I enjoy fellow Hubbers’ recipes, especially those influenced by an adopted culture such as Letitialicious’s French-American dishes and Mama Kim’s Asian-inspired recipes.

Do you think you will ever publish your beautiful recipes in book form? What future plans do you have for your online writing career?


What a nice thought! I feel a traditional publishing house is the way to go for a cookbook, but at the same time that avenue intimidates me. So the cookbook project is on the back burner for now.

I hope to apply for the Apprenticeship program. I need to have all my ducks in a row first, though, because you get out of the program what you put into it. Another future endeavor is a food blog. That’s one of the reasons for the camera upgrade, to improve my images. I’ve also written a childrens’ book, a middle grade reader, and plan to revise and publish it one day. HubPages has given me a great platform and the confidence I need to reach those goals, something I would never have had the courage to do before. Positive and enthusiastic feedback from fellow Hubbers has boosted my confidence as well.

Finally, if you could give a tip to Hubbers interested in trying out new dishes (and creating great Hubs of the process), what would it be?

Don’t forget to measure and document as you cook, take plenty of photos along the way, follow your passions and most of all, have fun!


Courtesy : Vespawoolf.hubpages.com, Hubpages.com

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