When and why did you start blogging?
You can red a little more about this in my “Meet Julie” section — but to summarize, I started in 2011 while in graduate school pursuing a Ph.D. in cancer biochemistry. I baked the birthday cakes for everyone in the lab, and my fellow labmates suggested I start a food blog. Unbeknownst to them, I had already been blogging for years, sharing my graduate school experiences pseudonymously (and the occasional recipe). While I closed down my graduate school related blog in 2012 as I ended graduate school, Bunsen Burner Bakery lives on!
Where do you get the inspiration for your recipes?
Everywhere! Perusing restaurant menus is probably my favorite source of inspiration — the “I’d like to order 14 entrees but I can’t eat that much” problem. I love to read cookbooks and have quite a few at home and love to flip through new ones at bookstores and gift shops. My husband watched a lot of Food Network while he was in medical school, and even years later, he’ll recall something that looked good and ask me to recreate a version of it. I also, of course, love to read food blogs and pull many ideas from fellow bloggers. Any recipes that are not my own creation are always cited — you’ll see the phrase “adapted from” when I use a significant portion of a recipe, or “inspired by” when I take things in my own direction, but pulled an idea from a particular source.
Can I use your photo or recipe on my blog?
Thanks for asking! Please don’t publish my content in full on your own website. If you’d like to share my recipe with your readers (or part of a recipe roundup), go ahead and use a photo, as long as the image is credited with a link back to the original post and clearly states that it is from Bunsen Burner Bakery. If you’ve made one of my recipes and would like to share it on your own blog, rewrite the recipe in your own words and use your photo, but please link back to the original post. I take great efforts to always give credit where credit is due with my recipes, and appreciate you doing the same for me!
Do you have any recipes for _________?
I might! Try searching my recipe index, where you can find recipes sorted by category and by ingredient. There’s also a handy dandy search bar, both in the upper right hand menu bar and in the sidebar to the right. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, reach out to (use the ‘contact’ link in the menu bar) and let me know what amazing recipe you’re trying to track down — I might just have one up my sleeve, or I can recommend a favorite to you. (And if I don’t have one, I love creating new recipes!)
Can I substitute _____ for _____?
Yes! Absolutely! Go for it! You can substitute whatever you’d like! Well, you can… because you didn’t ask if the substitution would work well. I’m a scientist – I thrive on experimentation. If I want to know if I can substitute something, I just jump in feet first and see what happens. You might make a great substitution and have a new favorite recipe or… you might have an epic failure – but I encourage you to try. Life is an adventure; treat your time in the kitchen the same way. (If you want to know if you can make a specific substitution without altering the end result, it depends on what you’re trying to substitute. The best way to get an answer is to leave your specific question on the recipe post and I’ll try to get back to you ASAP. But really – be adventurous and experiment!)
Do you follow any particular diet?
Not anymore. I was a pescatarian (yes to fish, no to any other meat) for 16 years, but started introducing meat back into my diet while I was pregnant. (Yes, you can absolutely have a healthy pregnancy while pescatarian/vegetarian/vegan/paleo/gluten free/etc — this is a decision that was right for me at the time). I still very, very strongly dislike white meat chicken and turkey (it’s a texture thing – after years of eating so many vegetables, I can’t stand anything that tastes dry), but I do eat everything else. I try to follow the 70/30 eating plan — 70% of what I eat is wholesome, nutritious, and ‘healthy’ (you know, the kind of food that makes my trainer proud) and 30% is… well… we’ll just keep that between you and me.
How can I get your recipes emailed to me?
I’m glad you asked – email is the easiest way to stay up to date with new recipes and other exciting news from Bunsen Burner Bakery! Head on over to the sidebar on the right —> and look for the box with the big orange letters that say SUBSCRIBE. Enter your email address and you’ll always be up to date with the latest and greatest!
What kind of camera equipment do you use?
Currently, I use a Canon 60D and almost always use a Tamron 28-75 mm lens for food photography. Untraditional? Sure. But I also feel strongly that you don’t need to spend a fortune on a body or lens to get take good photographs (whether or not any of my photographs count as “good” is completely up for debate!). Prior to 2013, I used a Canon Rebel XS, which probably belongs in an ancient history museum by now. Because my traditional Philadelphia rowhome kitchen only gets light from one side (seeing as how we’re sandwiched between other houses) we get no decent light, so 100% of my food photos are taken in my dark, windowless basement thanks to two Lowel EGO tabletop lighting units.
What’s your favorite dessert? Dinner? Junk food?
Finally, an easy question! Favorite dessert: almond crumble blueberry pie and ice cream (especially my extra minty mint chocolate chip ice cream). Favorite dinner: tapas or small plates – I love variety. Favorite junk food: Cheez-Its. I haven’t had them in years because I have zero self control, but just typing that word is making my drool. Cheeeeeeezzzzz-Itssssssss.