an interview with julie van rosendaal

One day I will have a book on a store shelf. Getting published is on my bucket list.

I'm in the very preliminary stages of writing a lifestyle cookbook of sorts, but I needed some questions answered. Fortunately, my brother-in-law hooked me up with one of my fave fellow Canadian cookbook authors Julie Van Rosendaal for a little chat. She was super friendly and happily shared her thoughts on my endeavors. Since I had her on the phone I took the opportunity to ask her some questions and have her as my first fridaysoff interview subject. Here's what she had to say:

fridaysoff (FO): Where do you get your inspiration for your recipes?

Julie Van Rosendaal (JVR): I'm never short of inspiration - there are always ingredients, people and ideas inspiring me. I think about food all the time - a lot of my inspiration comes late at night. Some days I get an idea in my head and can't shake it until I get into the kitchen and experiment! I guess you could say my appetite is my inspiration.

FO: I read that ice cream is your guilty pleasure; what kind of ice cream is your favourite and are you a toppings girl or do you eat it plain?

JVR: Oh my yes. I eat it any way I can get it! I could never choose a favourite - although sour cream ice cream is pretty fab. If I'm out, I almost always order chocolate or praline or coffee - the more chunks in it the better. I'm also a sucker for soft ice cream.

FO: You have friends pop in from out of town unexpectedly and they're hungry; what's your go-to recipe/what do you serve?

JVR: Something from the freezer! Or I'll take them out to one of the many fantastic restaurants in the city - depends on how much I like them. Skillet roasted chickpeas and chard with lots of garlic and a fresh piece of fish is always fast and easy.

FO: What's your favourite restaurant?

JVR: Impossible to choose! CharCut, Alloy, Rouge, Bonterra, L'Epicerie, Brava Bistro, Aidas, Without Papers, Una, Notable, Mirchi, Mango Shiva- depends on my mood, and what city I'm in. Those are all in Calgary. (I'm also a huge fan of SoBo and TacoFino in Tofino.)

FO: If you were a contestant on Iron Chef what would you want the secret ingredient to be?

JVR: I was a contestant once! At a live version at the Jasper Park Lodge, against Chef Michael Smith, with Kevin Brausch emceeing. Some of the ingredients were bison and white asparagus. Guess who won?

Go check out her cookbook Grazing: Portable Finger Snacks and Finger Food for Anytime, Anywhere. It's on high rotation in my kitchen and will become your go-to cookbook in the kitchen.


chewy peanut butter cookies

I recently swapped cookbooks with my neighbour Daphne - I borrowed her Get It Ripe: A Fresh Take on Vegan Cooking and Living"" in exchange for my fave Grazing: Portable Snacks and Finger Food for Anytime, Anywhere"". Great idea right?!

Now for the record I'm not vegan, but as I was flipping through the pages I decided to challenge myself to a week of no meat. It was so inspiring to see all of these veggie recipes that I just had to give some of them a try. I kept fish on the menu because I'm still nursing L'il E and I think I would fall over and die if I went exclusively veg. So it's been two weeks and I'm still challenging myself (I'm loving it actually). This won't be a forever thing, but for now it's a right now thing and I'm feeling great.

Anyway, back to the cookbook; it was recommended that I try the recipe for chewy peanut butter cookies and they are ah-mazing! No sugar or butter = no guilt (right?!). Try them yourself!

You'll need:

  • 2 cups spelt flour (I used 1 cup white and 1 cup whole wheat)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup olive oil (I know weird, but you can't taste it)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (I'm out so didn't use it)
  • 1/3 cup chopped peanuts (didn't have any, but it's optional)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (a must!)

Then you:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Whisk flour, salt and baking soda together. Mix in the peanut butter, syrup, oil and vanilla until you don't see anymore flour. Fold in peanuts and chocolate chips.
  3. Drop spoonfuls of batter onto an ungreased cookie sheet and press down on them gently with a fork.
  4. Bake for 12 minutes and let cool.

Yummy and guilt-free!

May 06, 2011 — Alanna Banks