Friday, June 20, 2014

My food blogger "internship"

Have you ever wanted to try out a different job...just for a day or two? I'm always wondering what it would be like to visit my friends in their workplaces and experience their work days.

Earlier this year, we visited our daughter Sarah in her "workplace" at Lane Tech College Prep High School in downtown Chicago. It was such a beautiful old building, bursting with 4200 hormonal high schoolers. Sarah works hard to keep their minds on ART!

And would you believe...Ms Wain's classroom just finished their spring semester this week. Can you spell "SNOW DAYS"?

Last week I got the chance to "intern" with our other daughter, Ali in Kansas City. She works from home in her airy loft in downtown KC (near the City Market for my Kansas City readers).

Ali's a busy food blogger and this summer she's trying to juggle her regular workload, while shooting her very first cookbook. So I volunteered to drive 3 hours to KC (and bring her Dad, too) and "intern" in the kitchen for a few days. 

Ali doesn't cook and photograph every day, but for our visit she planned 2 days in a row of nonstop cooking, cleaning, photographing...and a little eating.

Everyone's always asking me what a food blogger does. How does Ali earn a living as a food blogger? What you see on her blog ( is just part of the job. She spends tons of time on social media (not for fun - for WORK!), editing photos and writing copy, negotiating contracts with food companies, networking with other food bloggers, traveling on sponsored foodie trips and lots more...with tons of experimental cooking and tasting inbetween.

Here's her pristine white kitchen BEFORE we started. Here's a link about how she acquired this beautiful new kitchen.

Here's the same kitchen counter (in real messy life)as we're getting started on our busy day. Ali had shopped early that morning and the dining table was full of groceries when we arrived. Check out the window corner in the top background. That's where she does her photography.

We made some beautiful vegan nachos...yes, VEGAN nachos. No off-limits dairy products in this recipe! Personally, I thought it was a LOT of work to make this "faux cheese", but I'm sure Ali's vegan readers will appreciate this. I was the sous chef for the day, so please notice the beautifully sliced jalapenos and cherry tomatoes and...oh yes...the carefully selected "pretty" chips I chose - no broken chips allowed!

Here's Ali actually photographing the nachos above. She works with natural light in one corner of her loft. She's standing on a ladder for just the right angle.

We also made a yummy salad...and ate the beautiful results several hours later. 

Alan did about a million dishes (forgot to take picture) and squeezed in some honey-do projects and emergency grocery trips during the day. Basically it was wash, dry, use, repeat, wash, dry. use, repeat with pots, pans, food processor, blender, cutting boards, knives and utensils, etc. I kept busy with sous chef responsibilities, with numerous conversations like this:

Me: Do you want cherry tomatoes or Roma tomatoes cut up? How do I cut them? What size should the pieces be? How many do you need? Do I have to take the seeds out?
Ali: I want the cherry tomatoes, but only the big, blemish-free ones, cut in half.

We were all tired by the end of each day. I never found my way to the sofa, but Alan and Ali's official photography assistant, Henry, squeezed in a quick nap.


  1. I am a faithful reader of your daughter's blog - thanks for the insight to how she puts it together so beautifully!

  2. How interesting! Love her place too..thanks for sharing.

  3. It looks like you guys had a fun day. And your daughters home is beautiful!

  4. Enjoyable post and some beautiful picture.Thanks

  5. Great food, amazing house, love your place !