Who’s blogging: My name is Adriana Angelet. I am a financial analyst by day, avid home cook in the evenings, and food blogger and runner in the strange hours between those two. I’ve lived in San Juan, Puerto Rico most of my life. New Orleans is the other place I’ve called home. It’s where I went to college in the late nineties and where I realized how much I love to cook and enjoy new-to-me food. That insight was almost as big and life-changing as my “real” business school education. I love all kinds of cuisines and this reflects in my blog, Great Food 360˚. Pickled green bananas (guineos en escabeche) happily coexist with a fried green tomato sandwich and cinnamon roll ice cream.
Explain your blog name: I chose Great Food 360˚ because it gave me the flexibility to go beyond cooking and cover food from “all angles.” In addition to recipes, I love showcasing local farmer’s market purchases, and sharing my experiences while traveling and at local events. As with any circle, it comes back to the same place — all that great food enjoyed and shared.
Blogging since: September 2010. The blog unofficially started while my husband Eduardo and I traveled through Italy and France. I needed to make sure those unforgettable meals remained unforgettable, so we took pictures and notes of everything we really loved on our smartphones. Those notes eventually turned into the first blog posts I wrote.
Blogging from: San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Most popular post: Interestingly, it’s a pretty simple recipe. People come from all over the world for the Harina de Maiz – a hot breakfast cereal. This is a popular porridge enjoyed all through the Caribbean made with finely-ground cornmeal, milk and sugar. It was also one of the very first things I learned to cook, thanks to my home economics teacher! When I check my blog’s analytics every morning, I am happy thinking of the people who might have made this dish before heading out to work or to run errands.
What you’ve learned about food while blogging: I’ve learned to trust my instincts in the kitchen. It is the payoff for following recipes as written for a few years. Seasoning, temperatures, and cooking times will become second nature the more you cook.
Where do you get inspiration for your posts? Eduardo and I bounce ideas constantly on what we want to eat, and how to get around making it at home. One of our New Year’s Eve traditions is preparing a to-cook list and work our way through it during the year. One dish I’m especially looking forward to completing in 2013 is a fried codfish filet. The catch – it will be covered in bacalaíto batter. Bacalaítos are traditional Puerto Rican fritters made with a light, tempura-like batter that includes cilantro, onions and codfish bits. Some of these goals are also a little more open-ended, like preparing more kitchen staples at home.
French Fridays with Dorie, an online cooking group I participate in, is also a big inspiration. Every week, about forty bloggers “get together” to blog about the experience of cooking a selected recipe from Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table. We end up sharing way more than tips and lessons learned – it has been two and a half years of ups, downs, stories and milestones. I’m lucky to be in the company of such a wonderful group of bloggers and food lovers.
What have you learned from blogging? I’ve learned how to be engaging. If a recipe didn’t exactly turn out as I wanted to, I play up the back story or the lessons learned. If I don’t have much of a story, I focus on the process of the recipe and what will guarantee its success. Replying to comments is also a great way to establish rapport with the readers, and to make them want to come back for more. I just want people to click away feeling like they are getting something valuable or interesting out of my posts.
What are your favorite food blogs? Karma Free Cooking, a vegetarian blog created and maintained by Madelyn Rodríguez. It inspired me to start my own blog! When I first found it, I read almost every post in one sitting — a testament to her witty voice and delicious recipes. I also enjoy Plátanos, Mangoes and Me. Norma Torres is a New York based caterer/former personal chef. She tackles dishes from all over Latin America, but has a special spot in her site for Puerto Rico. Her warmth and larger-than-life personality shine through in her posts.