My Chat With Badger Girl
My online friendship with Kimberly (aka: Badger Girl) came about after being introduced by Jessica from Cajunlicious and it’s been a joy reading through her blog and the finishing results of our interview. Each interviewee is asked to keep their answers 3 to 6 sentences, when Kimberly returned her’s she told me, “My answers may be way too long…you just touched on some topics very close to my heart!”. That meant something special to me because I try my darnedest to make sure that each interview is unique to the food blogger and you bet I’d never cut anyone off if they have more to share. So with all that said…grab a spot of tea, kick back, relax and get to know Badger Girl…
More and more people are connecting to local farmers and food with CSA’s, talk to us about your experiences as a CSA member and how that has shaped your eating and cooking.
On top of being introduced to new foods and supporting local farmers, I have a very practical reason to love CSAs. I am lazy. I could buy in-season produce at the grocery store but that requires research and effort. I love getting a box of produce and basing my meals off of what was just harvested. Not only am I eating organic foods, but I am eating organically. The recent harvest is what is on our table.
The trick to succeeding with your CSA is meal planning. Every Friday, I post what we received in our share along with ideas and recipes to use the produce. Maybe it helps people but I also do it to keep me honest and accountable.
What are three of your all-time favorite foods and how do you incorporate them into your meals?
Asparagus, mushrooms and dates. Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables and to me, it truly is a treat. I love chopping it up raw and mixing it into salads. My favorite asparagus is steamed asparagus.
My favorite type of food is pizza so I was excited to come up with a way to incorporate asparagus and to somehow get it steamed on the pizza. By placing the veggies under the cheese and not using any tomato sauce, the veggies were steamed as the pizza cooked. Heaven.
And finally, I have a mission to bring back the date, as in these date-filled cookies…I love them in desserts. I think they are a way to add a rich component while still being healthy. I am surprised at how many people have not had a date before or even knew what it was. And not just un-popular people, lots of people have never had a date!
How is your container gardening going? Share your tips and tricks to success.
My container garden is going very well. I think I am probably the most surprised by this! We just had our first harvest: two cherry tomatoes. And yes, we ate them immediately and they were amazing.
I feel that I have waged an ongoing battle with the zucchini. They have not been looking pretty of late. I will be surprised if we end up getting a harvest from them. After the zucchini-cide I committed earlier in the summer, the survivors are still holding a grudge.
The peppers I saved from death are doing particularly well. Blossoms are starting to appear and they look pretty hearty. Maybe the zucchini are jealous…
Gosh, tips for success…that makes me sound like a gardener or something (somewhere in Southwestern Wisconsin, my sister just cringed). My advice would be to have low expectations. I thought everything would be dead by now but lo and behold, the plants are still growing.
Also, don’t be freaked out if your plants look dead. They are all drama queens. Give them a little water, shed a few tears over their demise and magically they will perk right up.
Who is Badger Girl?
Manatee (my husband) and I were both overweight as children. We ate processed foods and junk food. In our family’s defense, we also ate fresh produce and whole foods but when you’re a kid, who wants an apple when you can have a Hostess cupcake? And maybe that rationale was why we were a little chubby.
As teen-agers, we lost our baby fat through exercise and diet. Now as grown ups, we have the ability to be in control of what we eat. We both feel very strongly about having a clean diet that is made up of lean protein, vegetables, fruits and whole grains. This desire is so strong, it borders on obsession but to be honest, that’s how we like it. We get strange looks from friends and co-workers when we eat at restaurants and have become immune to rude comments, because that is our chosen lifestyle. At times, it infuriates us that we are not the norm and that people fail to see the connection between how they feel with what they put into their mouth but this train of thought could (and will someday) turn into a book.
I realize that I have lumped in my husband while answering this question. The feminist side of me is ashamed! Let’s see, to separate Badger Girl, I would say that I am a down-to-earth, learn-it-myself-cook who tries valiantly to have a sense of humor when things go awry in the kitchen (despite my bravado on the blog, I do sometimes shed a few tears, slam a few pots and drink a few glasses of wine) and who gets really excited when something comes together as planned (or better than planned).
My advice for other new cooks is to get a sense of humor, get ready to make some doozies of mistakes and celebrate the process. I am passionate about proving that everyone can cook and no one should be intimidated. And if some foodie is snotty to you, stick your tongue out at them. No one grows up knowing how to cook, some just fake it better than others.
Also, keep a number for some local delivery in your cellphone. Can’t hurt!
Pick a kitchen gadget you own and use all the time and talk about why you love using it.
My electric frying pan. I actually have two of them. This is probably the least sexy of kitchen appliances but I don’t even care. They are amazing! Imagine a huge saute pan that you can control the heat down to the degree.
I love them because I am terrible at ratios. I want to include a large variety of produce but never seem to get that to include a lot of different veggies, I should probably not use as much of each vegetable. So many times I end up with an overflowing pan on the stove. Enter the electric frying pan. When I make Chicken Pad See Ew for guests, I get both pans out, I smirk at Manatee (he thought we should take the second one back- ha!) and I am good to go. I can cook more veggies in less time.
Electric frying pans are also good for making pasta sauces, BBQ, french toast, well I could go on and on, I think you get the point. They are amazing. And I will be showcasing an electric frying pan recipe this weekend, so stop by the blog to check it out!
Badger Girl (Kimberly) is a full-time freelance writer. So, when she is not experimenting in her kitchen or chatting it up with local Madisonian chefs, she is helping local businesses with all of their writing needs. Check out her website: Capitol Writing & Editing Services. In her spare time (which is few and far between), she is an avid runner, triathlete and reader.
She has been married to Manatee for almost a year. They will be celebrating their anniversary by running a half marathon and then eating some really good food. He will probably have a salad.
I am shockingly not very present on different social media outlets. I have a Twitter account which is @BdgerGrl. That is about it.