I’m excited to reintroduce one of my favorite series today with Cara Eisenpress of Big Girls Small Kitchen. I first started reading and cooking from BGSK while I was in college and I’ve enjoyed following Cara’s journey since then. October is a big month for Cara with a birthday, wedding, and a feature in Glamour magazine (!), so what an appropriate time find out how this fabulous girl, figures it out…
When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Novelist, journalist, bakery owner, pastry chef, CEO.
What do you do now? Is there anything on your list you still want to do?
I’m a cookbook author (my book is In the Small Kitchen), blogger, freelance writer and recipe developer, and a graduate student in journalism. One day, I’d love to open my own prepared food shop, like Loaves and Fishes or The Barefoot Contessa, but I worry it’d demand my absolute attention to the exclusion of everything else. So maybe I’ll do that when I’ve done everything else on the list.
What inspires you?
Person: Martha Stewart
Brand: Le Creuset. Terra Firma
Color: Yves Klein blue
Music: I And Love And You by The Avett Brothers because it’s all about the comfort of Brooklyn, which I totally feel
Artist: Claudia Pearson’s food drawings
Blue | Martha | maple syrup | Le Cruset | drawings
When did you realize something you liked was actually one of your passions. What did you decide to do with it?
I was cooking for my friend Jordana’s birthday party a couple years back, right before the blog was started. I had been making peanut noodles and veggie summer rolls all night, and I’d started prepping a few days earlier, staying up past midnight. By the end of her birthday party, I’d spent hours hanging out with friends and hours cooking. I was exhausted. But here’s the thing: I was happy and energetic. I had had a great night combining food with friends. That was it.
Tell us about a risk you’ve taken in the process of figuring it out.
Quitting my day job after BGSK landed a book deal! That was terrifying.
What are the biggest obstacles that you have overcome to get to where you want to be? And if you aren’t there, what are your fears in getting there?
The decision to work for myself was tough (see above). I always figured that having a job meant, well, having a job, and figuring out how to make a living without necessarily going into an office has been interesting. But I think the best life might involve a little bit of back and forth between working with others–which can be so rewarded and push you in unexpected ways–and working for yourself.
How does blogging help you figure it out?
Recently, I sat back and took stock of everything I’d learned from blogging. I would have predicted that that list would be mostly about food–mastering dinner parties, making perfect poached eggs. But in fact I saw that some of my real passions had to do with writing on the internet, interacting with users, learning about analytics and user experience and the best schema for tagging posts. I could reorganize tags all day, which probably makes me a giant nerd, but I never would have realized that was an interest if it hadn’t been for that food blog of mine.