Who’s blogging: T’s Tasty Bits is written by me, Tamara Lukens. I was born and raised in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and immigrated to the United States over 15 years ago. Since I was a young girl, I have loved cooking, and learnt by watching my mom, my grandma and my nana (a lady that took care of me while my mom worked) cook traditional Ecuadorian meals. My mom was an amazing baker and cake decorator, and I inherited my sweet tooth from her! I was also inspired by the only cooking show in Ecuador at the time (late 70’s-early 80’s) called Dia a Dia con Maria Rosa. I remember being home from school break, and tuning in every weekday at 11 a.m. to watch her cook. I always copied down every recipe and rushed to the kitchen as soon as the show was over to see if I had everything I needed to make what Maria Rosa made that day. I have no formal training in cooking, but I learned from watching others and reading tons of books. I actually have a finance background, and I worked in the hedge fund industry in New York City for many years – definitely apples and oranges there! However, I have always been passionate about food and culture, and felt the need to reconnect with my background. Hence, T’s Tasty Bits was born.
Explain your blog name: I wanted to find something that would convey delicious food made by me, so T’s (for Tamara) Tasty Bits came to mind. I wanted to make sure that in the future, if I decided to expand my cooking repertoire, that the name would be able to convey the venture. I love all types of cuisines and I enjoy recreating each bit of awesomeness in my own kitchen!
Blogging since: I launched T’s Tasty Bits in November 2009, and I have been fully committed to it since May 2011.
Where you’re blogging from: I had been blogging from New York/New Jersey, but I relocated to Atlanta, GA in December 2011.
Tamara was born and raised in Guyaquil, Ecuador’s main port. She moved to Oklahoma at age 18 to attend school but continues to cook the delicious foods of her childhood.
Most popular post: I think my most popular post by far has been “Pan de Yuca,” little bread bites made with yuca root starch and cheese. Anybody who has lived or visited Ecuador has most likely visited a yogurt shop called Yogurt Persa, where it is mandatory you order a fruit smoothie along with a baggie of out-of-the-oven “panes de yuca.” People tend to have fond memories of the place and how they used to visit it with their families.
What you’ve learned while blogging: I have learned it is important to have a plan, especially as it pertains blog posts. It has helped me become a bit more organized with my tasks and my thoughts. However, I have also learned that life happens, and if you can’t get a post out on Tuesday at 9am, it’s OK! Life is all about balance, and it is good to enjoy yourself offline. We need to go outside and be inspired!
What inspires your posts?: I get my ideas from old recipes my mom or aunt has given me, along with old Ecuadorian cookbooks I have inherited from my mom. I also get ideas from traveling to different parts of the world, as well as restaurants I visit during the weekends.
What lessons have you learned from blogging?: I have learned that, while it takes time and effort, it is very important to find your own voice and follow it passionately. Blogging has helped me rediscover my love for writing and teaching, and have helped me utilize the creative side of my brain. Through blogging, I have met some incredibly amazing people and it has allowed me to connect with people who are as passionate about food, especially Ecuadorian food, as I am.
Where else can we find you online?: I have just launched T’s Tasty Bits TV on YouTube, so you will be able to see more of me there in the near future. You can also find me on Facebook and Twitter. You can also find me on Google Plus, where I also have a T’s Tasty Bits blog page.And of course, Pinterest is my most recent obsession!