Featured Community Member: MakeRoux

Oct 5, 2009 • Community Discussions

-FirstMakeARoux.bmp- Community member MakeRoux is the owner of a blog that tugs at my culinary heartstrings; it’s all about Cajun food! Even if you’re not obsessed with Cajun cuisine, you’ll want to stop by her blog and dig in to some of the most delicious recipes ever. Until then, read more about her and her blog here.

First, Make a Roux! is nearly two and a half years old, what advice do you have for new food bloggers?

My main advice is to keep at it. You may hit some rough spots where you feel like you’ve lost your cooking and/or blogging inspiration. Don’t worry. You’ll get it back.

What is the inspiration behind your blog?

The main inspiration behind my blog is my Cajun/French/German heritage and the food and customs of small town South Louisiana. I also like to entertain, which means mixing up cocktails and concocting new dishes for my friends to try when they come to visit.

Has food blogging changed the way you look at food?

It has. I can’t say that I’d ever photographed food before becoming a food blogger. I think more about the way my dishes look now. From a sociological perspective, food blogging has made me very aware of food as a means of bringing complete strangers together to discuss what they’re cooking and eating. It’s thrilling to look at my blog stats and see that I’ve had visitors from Malaysia and Bulgaria!

You are a transplanted Cajun – has living in Southern California changed the way you see food? How often do you get ‘back home’?

Living in Southern California and being away from some of my favorite ingredients, like andouille, crawfish, Gulf shrimp, and Steen’s Cane Syrup, has been truly challenging. Cooking my favorite Cajun dishes while in SoCal requires advanced planning, paying for shipping, and/or lugging bags of food back from my two or three yearly visits home. The end results are always worth the wait, the extra money, and the sore shoulders!

One positive effect of the move on my cooking, is that I’ve learned to put a California twist on some of my favorite Cajun ingredients. I make some killer shrimp tacos with my Cajun BBQ shrimp recipe. A decade ago, if you’d asked me about eating seafood in tacos, I would have thought you were nuts. Now, I think it’s delicious!

Is First, Make a Roux! your first blog? If not, what else have you written?

It’s my first and only blog. I started it after I realized how curious my California friends were about Cajun food and culture. Lots of them also wanted access to some specific Cajun and non-Cajun recipes that I’d contributed to parties and potlucks over the years.

Are you married? Do you have a family? If so, in what ways does that change the way you blog?

I’m married to a wonderful man who loves to eat and who is also my biggest supporter. He is always game for trying anything I cook and, as a New Englander, he’s been faced with lots of unusual dishes like riz au fevre and crawfish etouffee’. I have one stepdaughter, who is a bit of a picky eater. I blog fewer Cajun recipes than I’d like to because those dishes don’t go over as well with her. I did, however, have a minor victory, which involved her eating some jambalaya.

Your recipe for Brown Butter Pumpkin Corn Muffins is next on my list of ‘must-makes’, what’s the story behind the unusual blend of corn and pumpkin in these muffins?

I woke up a couple of Saturday mornings ago with a craving for some corn muffins. Even though it was 90 degrees out, I was thinking ahead to Fall, Halloween, changing leaves, and pumpkins. I figured some pumpkin would taste great in corn muffins and would keep them moist. Overall, I think the two flavors worked pretty well together.

Name a handful of ingredients that you couldn’t live without.

First and foremost, I couldn’t live without rice — it’s the basis of so many Cajun and Creole dishes. After that, I’d say that I couldn’t live without beans, flour (Make a Roux) or crawfish!

Share with us a day in your kitchen – what is the daily food like in your home?

Weekdays are generally hectic. I may have a smoothie or some whole wheat toast and peanut butter for breakfast. Dinner can be anything from fish on the grill to red beans and rice. I usually go to my backyard and clip any herbs or pick any veggies right before I start cooking. After dinner, I pack lunches for the family. My lunch is typically salad from my garden, along with some cottage cheese or a poached egg with Creole seasoning. If needed, I’ll start some beans soaking before going to bed.

Weekends are more involved. I might make some eggs, pain perdu, or muffins for breakfast. Lunch can be anything. For me, it is often a veggie sandwich or a cheese and fig preserve sandwich. I might cook a gumbo, which is too time-consuming to cook during the week. Sometimes, I’ll keep it simple and have a small-scale, indoor shrimp boil, which we all really love.

At other times, I may raid the freezer for leftovers because I am busy baking cakes or cupcakes for friends.

When and Why did you join Half Hour Meals?

I joined Half Hour Meals on August 14th after recieving an invitation from blogcatalog. HHM looked like an interesting site, so I signed up.

What’s your favorite thing about the site?

The rotating Meal of the Day recipes.

Have you tried others’ recipes from Half Hour Meals?

So far, I’ve tried AngieAlaniz’ Sangria recipe. It was delicious. There are several more recipes I’m hoping to try soon.

If others were to ask you about Half Hour Meals, how would you describe the site to them?

Half Hour Meals is a user-friendly and highly accessible collection of recipes, food blogs, and people who like talking about food. You must visit it!

I think I’d like to spend a day with MakeRoux, but for now I’ll sit back and read some more of her blog. Don’t forget to check it out for yourselves!