One of my favorite days of the week! I love food and I love food bloggers! No better way to feed that passion than food blogger interviews in my Friday Foodie series!
Today we have Julianne Puckett of Yankee Kitchen Ninja and as her blog name suggests she straddles the North and South having lived in Vermont and now living in Kentucky (such a beautiful state!) and is a bit of a master when it comes to cooking natural, home-grown, locally-sourced food.
Let’s meet Jules!
 Have you always been a foodie, or is that something you grew into?
HA! I grew up in a very non-adventurous food family, in which my mother’s favorite kitchen tool was, and still is, the microwave, so being a “foodie” is definitely something that I turned to much later in life. I was pretty dependent on Kraft mac and cheese and microwave meals when I first got out of college, until I realized that I needed to learn to cook for myself.
But my current obsession with food – with real, healthy, locally produced, sustainable food – didn’t start until my late 30s (yes, I’m that old), when I read and was transformed by Barbara Kingsolver’s book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.
 How and why did you begin your blog?
I started Yankee Kitchen Ninja in 2010 shortly after we relocated from North Carolina to Vermont, as a way of keeping in touch with some fellow foodie friends with whom I had often shared recipes. I was also looking to take a break from my corporate IT career to get back to my roots in writing (I have an MA in English).
I realized quickly that, through my blog, I might also be able to help others see that cooking healthy meals doesn’t have to be boring, bland or difficult and that it’s possible to kick the processed and fast food habit as I did. So I started teaching myself to take better photos (my early photos are amazingly cringe-worthy) and learning the fine art of social media marketing to expand the reach of my blog. It’s still a work in progress!
 What’s your favorite thing to make/cook?
Thanksgiving dinner! I love Thanksgiving, because it’s the only holiday that doesn’t seem to focus on crass commercialism but instead on friends, family, gratitude and delicious food. While I have some traditional foods that I wouldn’t dream of leaving off the menu (we deep-fry a turkey on the driveway!), I also like to add at least one new dish each year.
 What is your favorite thing to eat?
Oh lordy, that’s like asking someone to pick her favorite child! I’m terribly addicted to pasta (must be my Italian heritage), and I have more of a savory tooth than a sweet one. Which is why I love salted sweets like my salted cardamom oatmeal cookies (recipe here).
 What is your comfort food?
Pasta. Pasta, pasta and more pasta.
 Describe your perfect food day?
Dinner slow cooking throughout the day in the crockpot while I bake a loaf of something heavenly smelling for breakfast and then spend the afternoon preserving fruit jams. Oh, and there must be a fancy cocktail before dinner. Now that would be a perfect day indeed!
 What are three other blogs that inspire you?
Healthy Seasonal Recipes: I met Katie while living in Vermont and she is a dynamo. Her commitment to delicious, healthy food and a an all-around healthy lifestyle is truly impressive. Plus, she has a maple-focused cookbook coming out in 2015 – I can’t wait!
A Brown Table: Nik’s photography is simply stunning. And his recipes, which often feature his updated take on Indian classics, are always exotic and tantalizing.
Eating from the Ground Up: I’m probably Alana’s number one groupie. Her book and blog inspired me to start making my own homemade versions of pantry staples and processed convenience foods.
 Do you have advice for bloggers just starting out?
Do your homework and make sure that blogging is something you love to do, even if you never make a single penny from it. Blogging takes an incredible amount of time, so it must be a labor of love. If that’s okay with you, you’ll be rewarded many times over, particularly through the virtual community you’ll be joining.
How about you? Are you pasta-loving like Julieanne or do you have another comfort food you prefer?