Half Hour Meals member FujiMama is Rachael who blogs at La Fuji Mama, a life blog that transformed into a food blog. Her photos are beautiful and her recipes accessible and innovative. One trip to her blog and you’ll be back for more, guaranteed. Read on to learn more about Rachael, and when you’re done, be sure to visit her Half Hour Meals page and her blog. You can also find her on Twitter as @fujimama and become a fan of La Fuji Mama on Facebook.
Your blog, La Fuji Mama has been up and running for nearly 3 years, what
is the inspiration behind your blog?
My inspiration is my love for food and family and for trying to live life
to its fullest. I started my blog right after the birth of my oldest
daughter, while we were living in Japan. I started blogging as a way of
journaling our experiences living overseas. When we moved back to the US a
little over a year ago, I went through a period of a few months where I had
no idea what to do with my blog. I finally realized that the longer I had
been blogging, the more food showed up. I’ve always loved to cook and eat,
so food blogging was a natural transition. My blogging still is heavily
influenced by my time in Japan as we still eat a lot of Japanese food, or
incorporate Japanese flavors and ingredients into our meals.
Having a family can be very challeging for a food blogger. How do you
make it work for you?
I try to make what I write representative of what we’re actually
eating/doing. The wonderful thing about blogging is that I’m not having to
blog every single meal that we eat, so I can constantly have new content.
I use my cooking time as an opportunity to involve my oldest daughter in
the kitchen. The actual writing usually takes place during naptimes or in
5 minute increments here and there. I keep a laptop in my kitchen, so if I
have a thought, I can run over to my computer and type it out.
Walk us through a typical day in your kitchen.
It seems that for the most part, there is no typical day in our kitchen!
My girls are still so young (3 years old and 10 months) that it’s hard to
predict what any given day is going to be like. We always start the day
with a simple breakfast–usually oatmeal, miso soup, or fruit and yogurt.
Depending on what we’re having for dinner that night, I may start cooking
early. Lunch is often leftovers from dinner the night before, or a quick
recipe I’ve been dying to try out. We’ve got a rice cooker sitting on our
counter that is always filled with fresh rice, so several times a week we
have onigiri (Japanese rice balls) for an afternoon snack.
Depending on the day of the week I also make bread. About an hour before
dinnertime I usually put the baby in her highchair with a snack so that I
can have my hands free to finish/start cooking dinner, and my oldest
daughter comes in and helps or watches. There seems to always be something
going on in our kitchen, and as a result, it’s usually a bit crazy. My
rule is that I can’t go to sleep with a dirty kitchen, so I usually spend
some time after the girls go to bed cleaning up.
Name a handful of ingredients you can’t live without.
Fresh basil, fresh garlic, fresh ginger, butter, yeast, flour, and miso
How many cookbooks do you have and which is your favorite? Why?
I have no idea how many cookbooks I have–too many! Chocolate and
cookbooks are my biggest weaknesses. LOL I have several favorites,
depending on the type of food I’m making, but one of my favorites that is
currently getting the most use is “Washoku: Recipes from the Japanese Home
Kitchen” by Elizabeth Andoh.
The book is basically a master class on Japanese approaches to prepping
ingredients for cooking, the basics of the different techniques used to
cook those ingredients, and the equipment required for each procedure. I
started a group called Washoku Warriors to start cooking through the book. The book is gorgeous and is a
fabulous reference source. It also makes cooking Japanese cuisine very
accessible, even to someone without any previous knowledge of the cuisine.
It’s been wonderful to strengthen some of my existing skills and learn some
Do you see La Fuji Mama still running in a few years? What are your
Yes, La Fuji Mama is around for the long haul. My current plans are to
keep doing what I’m doing and exploring this crazy huge world of food.
I love your recipe for Chipotle Pork Quichelettes. I know they were
devised for a dairy challenge and I think you hit the mark! Without an
impetus like that challenge, what else inspires you to create original
I get inspiration from a variety of sources. Sometimes it’s a recipe that
looks good, but I rework it to fit the ingredients that are already in my
pantry. Sometimes it’s a particular ingredient (like the Diary Challenge).
Sometimes I take a dish and try to think of new ways of looking at it or
thinking about it. Sometimes I taste something at a restaurant that I then
try to recreate at home. I also occasionally do a theme week where the
entire week is devoted to a certain ingredient, type of food, etc. This
forces me to come up with new ideas (ex: Pumpkin Palooza, Cupcake Week,
Tofu Week, etc.)
Have you tried any others’ recipes from HHM?
I’m relatively new to the HHM community, but I have tried several recipes
from other members. Though my favorite activity is lurking on the
How would you describe HHM to others?
A community where you can go for recipes, advice, inspiration, and ideas
and where we’re all normal people with a limited amount of time!