Sunday, April 20, 2014

Rendez Vous With A Foodie - Joanne Ferguson of What's On The List

Twice a month am introducing newbie bloggers to this immense blogging virtual world, just to showcase their blogs with their guest posts they prepred specially for me and i named the event as Rendez vous with a foodie. Many new fellow bloggers came towards me to join this event and shared their fabulous dishes since ever i started this event. Happy that this event is going successfully since a year. I came to know more about my guest hosts through their replies they shared for my questions along with their guestposts. Each and every posts of my guest hosts are unique in their own way.

Blogging,this immense virtual world is definitely very close to my heart, i gained a bunch of good friends, well wishers and many blogger sisters. My today's guest is also one among them and she was a wonderful person who blogs at What's On The List. I happened to met her during a Food challenge and she was super kind enough to join me for making a guest post.She lives in Australia, am honoured to introduce Joanne Ferguson through my event.Am happy to say that i have an Australian blogger friend, obviously i have to say a big thanks to this beautiful bloggy world.

1)Tell us about your blog and you?
Thank you Priya..By way of introduction, my name is Joanne and my blog is called What's On The List.I started my blog the 25th of December (Christmas Day) last year. As a PASSIONATE Home Cook, I try and inspire people one recipe and one event at a time.I LOVE blogging and getting to meet new foodie friends from around the world, just like you!

2)Before and after blogging, tell us what blogging changed your life?
I eat, sleep, dream about food and wine! Food and food memories provide the “BUZZ” for me in life and there is no greater thrill than seeing the smiles on friends faces while enjoying foods from all world cuisines.I could not have even imagined how blogging has changed my life.It has enhanced my everyday “natural high on life” energy.I have met so many wonderful foodie friends from around the world who look forward to what I create and do as I do with their blogs too.So many doors have opened with opportunities to continue to do what I am passionate about.It gives me great pleasure in sharing about what makes my state of Adelaide and of Australia great.I love spreading the word of local producers and business owners who are as passionate about their foods and what they do too!

3)When and what motivated you to blog about food?
I think it was a combination of things which incorporated my love of cooking, my love of travel, my child-like curiosity of food and world customs, cultures, traditions etc.I love sharing stories from my wonderful childhood in New York and in reliving these memories, it brings all the food memories and food characters back alive so I can share them with my readers.Without embarrassing Lorraine from Not Quite Nigella, she indirectly  inspired me to not only start my blog, but continues to support and inspire me. I have always been very self-motivated and believe one can always do what one sets their mind and heart to do. Following one’s passion is one the of keys to a happy life!

4)There are a tons of blogs/pages on food these days, what accordingto you is the speciality of your blog and the food you cook?
I think everyone in the world is unique and every blog has their own niche. It greatly surprises me when food bloggers are so concerned about comparing themselves to their “competition.” I always believe like minded people always find each other world wide.My special niche would be that my blog philosophy is being very genuine, down to earth, personalised in every way; whether replying to people’s comments or communicating with a company.My food passion takes me on a “food journey through out the world” as I love challenging myself with all world cuisines; experiencing new foods, spices and techniques.It gives me great pleasure to share “a story behind the story” like I recently shared in Are You Curious About The #Treasure of Food Princess. 

5) When it comes to cooking, who is your inspiration?
Good question Priya.I would have to say Margaret Fulton, who is an extraordinary and inspiring Australian food and cooking guru, writer and author. Ms. Fulton inspired Australian woman to be creative with food from all world cuisines.Maggie Beer is an iconic Barossa Valley, South Australian guru and all-around inspiration to many generations of home cooks. Maggie is like a “food grandmother” to everyone who is blessed to experience her non-ending enthusiasm for all things food.Both Ms. Fulton and Maggie Beer have been “honoured and immortalised” on a postage stamp; part of five cooking greats of the 2014 Australia Post Legends Award.

6)Every newbie blogger faces tons of challenges when its comes to blogging, tell me about one of the challenges you faced and how did you overcome it?Please specify with the facts.
While I am very computer saavy and computer self-taught, I knew almost right away, I would not be able to keep up with everything. When I started my blog, I set short term, medium term and long term goals and surprised myself with what I was able to achieve in just one year’s time.Blogging is not solely about writing good content for blog posts, there is the “design feel” of the blog and I have a wonderful blog designer Lisa from Italy.There are also almost non-ending issues of technical difficulties which can be overwhelming on a regular basis.

Researching issues as to what host provider will be the best for my particular blog was a challenge after reading and talking with many food bloggers around the world and listening to their nightmares of blog hosting issues, interruptions of connections etc.

I am very happy with my hosting company and they are there for me 24/7 via live chat if necessary; inquiries are answered and resolved promptlyThen there is the “issues and etiquette” of social media.What works on Twitter, does not work on Facebook, does not work on Google+; then there is StumbleUpon, Sulia and the list goes on!

I always want my PASSION and ENTHUSIASM to be the success of my blog; not concerning myself with numbers of “likes and stats” like quite a number of food bloggers around the world seemingly do on a regular daily basis.I am in no shortage of collaborations with local business, creating recipes for companies, cookbook and restaurant reviews as well as other food related events.

My blog keeps me very busy; sharing makes me happy!

7)What is your best recipe and your favourite recipes you have blogged till now?
Good question Priya.I know this might sound a bit “cliché,” but every recipe I have blogged about is my favourite.Friends and family mean the world to me!My parent’s have passed away and I always smile (even when I re-read the blog posts) I did as tributes to my mum and dad. Every time I received a comment on  Happy 80th Birthday Mum's Special Spice #Cake, I know mum is smiling down from the heaven.Every time I receive a comment on Lost and Found Dad's Sinner and Saint Birthday #Cake, I know dad is smiling down from the heavens at me!

8)Few tips about food photography?
If you can, definitely obtain an DSLR; starting with a basic one.I LOVE my Canon 600D and Canon 700D; have nicknamed my camera Christina after the Stephen King movie about the car that was possessed.My Christina does it all; all I have to do is point and shoot.I did very limited editing these days.What I would suggest is people try taking photos of the same object with all different settings so you can physically see how a photo comes out.Photographing in natural light is always best and photograph from different angles as you never know what photo will be “the one!”

9)What is your budget for the props,do you have any or else do you manage with your household stuffs?
I do not have a budget for food props but what I can share is there are so many “discount variety” stores locally to choose props that I believe really add to my food photography.Sometimes it is the simplest prop that I have found in a kitchenware store  (i.e. a tea towel or glass) or even in the discount arts and crafts store.

I am always on the prowl for food props and am also known as “the gadget queen” of inexpensive fun-filled gadgets such as the The Egg Easy I shared in These Three Eggs Came To Breakfast

10)How do you plan your blog posts? Do you post rarely,regularly or once a week?
Planning is always a must in order to make sure each and every blog post goes smoothly and on time; some have been delayed for reasons beyond my control, but I am detail oriented and each post receives 100% of my attention.I print off a calendar that my friend Anyonita from Anyonita Nibbles  as part of her Blogging Crash Course.

I am a very visual person, always plan ahead ; like and need to always see what I need to plan ahead and do.

11)Do you have any other passions apart from food blogging or blogs you own?
I must admit, I love eating and South Australian red wines.One of my nickname is FANG as I have an unending “passion of hunger”; will try anything at least once, maybe even twice.I have extensively travelled the world due to my love of travel and my curiosity of all things, people and places new.Like food, travel to me is the “never-ending journey” one could never complete in only one lifetime!

I have a passion for reading as I can experience the characters in my mind; the plot transforms me around the world and to many different places in time.I have a lifetime passion of animals which I seem to have an unconditional affinity with.

One of my other nicknames growing up was Dr. Doolittle as you could always find me chatting and listening to the animals and perhaps you might not want to come with me to a zoo or into a toy store, but those stories will have to wait for another day!

Thank you Priya for inviting me to be your guest blogger!

I thoroughly enjoyed my time and look forward to continuing being inspired by you!

Mum's Special Spice Cake:


Units: US | Metric
2 cups sugar
2 cups hot water
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground allspice
2 tablespoons Crisco
1 (16 ounce) box raisins or 1 (16 ounce) box sultanas
2 teaspoons baking soda
3 cups flour


1)Bring sugar, hot water, salt, cinnamon, allspice, crisco, and raisins to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
2)Meanwhile, COMBINE 2 teaspoons baking soda and 1 tablespoon HOT water.
3)ADD baking soda and HOT water combined to boiled mixture. Do not mix in, just pour in and it WILL sizzle/bubble.
4)MUST COOL mixture to room temperature.
5)When cool, mix in 3 cups flour.
6)Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 55 minutes to an hour.
7)Cake is best left for 3 to 4 days before serving.
8)HINT: Looks nice if baked in a fluted bundt pan and can be wrapped in aluminum foil.

Note: To prevent the cake from sticking, it is IMPORTANT that all the creases of the fluted sides are WELL greased with Crisco and floured before pouring in batter.

Hope you enjoyed this beautiful post by Joanne, stay tuned for an another beautiful guest post by an another blogger.


Ramya Krishnamurthy said... Reply To This Comment

That's a wonderful post.Johanne you are rocking dear.Kudos to both of u.Great to know about her

Farin Ahmed said... Reply To This Comment

Wonderful Guest post dear!!!! Very intersting to read about her... Love the cake too

Rafeeda AR said... Reply To This Comment

that's a really wonderful post... i am amazed at how arranged Joanna is... all the very best to her, this cake looks so good...

mickeydownunder said... Reply To This Comment

G'day and thank you soooooooooooooooooooooo much Priya fot this wonderful guest blog opportunity!
Thank you for continuing to inspire me and love your challenges too!
Mum would ve extra proud knowing I have shared her 4th generation handed down recipe with your readers and you!
Cheers! Joanne

Sundari Nathan said... Reply To This Comment

Lovely post!! Very interesting to know about Joanne & U rock as always Priya akka :)

Joy said... Reply To This Comment

Priya and Joanne, I enjoyed this post so very much! I have had the pleasure of having already met Joanne, and I have just met Priya- just yesterday, I believe!

I enjoyed getting to know Joanne better, and visiting your blog again, Priya.

Priya, thanks for having Joanne on your blog today.

Kecia'sFlavor Breakthrough said... Reply To This Comment

Wonderful post... I enjoyed reading about Joanne, who I have just recently met through blogging. It was nice to get to know more about you Joanne.
Priya, very nicely written!

Renee P said... Reply To This Comment

Nice getting to know Joanne a little better and I love this cake recipe handed down from Mum. Found this page through Joanne!

Tara Noland said... Reply To This Comment

Love all the spices in this cake, it would be so flavorful!!

nancy@skinnykitchen said... Reply To This Comment

Joanne, I loved this interview with you. So nice to get to learn a little about you. Your cake this yummy too.

Swasthi B said... Reply To This Comment

Nice to know more about you Joanne. Loved your spice cake. As always nice effort dear Priya.