Friday Foodie – Nazia of Your Sunny Side Up
I love when people see the world through a lens of humor. Sometimes these don't even realize it, they are so innately funny they just can't help themselves! I was reading the About Me page of Nazia's Your Sunny Side Up blog and was actually giggling! First she fooled me, I thought I was going to meet someone who is as obsessed with eggs as I am, turns out she does love eggs, but I can see right away that she just has a positive (sunny side) view on life.
I almost had to immediately break up with her when she stated she hates cream cheese frosting. Because in my opinion, there is nothing greater! But then I realized that meant there was more for me, and I am okay with that.
Nazia is a witty part-time chef and blogger. As well as a darn good photographer. Her real job is being a student, and these days, a post-grad student, in London. Which means a lot of her meals are fast. Real fast. But fast doesn't mean not tasty and Nazia has a ton of recipes on her blog for people on the go.
How's 3 minutes to make a chocolate mug cake??!! IMPRESSIVE.
Let’s meet Nazia!
 Have you always been a foodie, or is that something you grew into?
I've always enjoyed food and as I grew older my enthusiasm for it shifted from not just eating food, but trying to make the food myself, too. Food tech at school was by far one of my most favourite classes (a lot of fond memories!) but unfortunately there wasn't an opportunity to study it past the age of 14.
Still, I found other ways around it and signed up for classes in my local community over the summer – I really wanted to learn! And I got to eat pretty well during those classes, too. I love trying new foods and whenever I visit someplace new I make a conscious effort to track down all the best places to eat. My friends are the same and our social calendars revolve around where to go for our next meal, with any other excursions always coming second.
 How and why did you begin your blog?
For years I would buy cookbooks but never use them – I enjoyed looking through them but never thought I could reproduce the results and so they would sit in storage boxes hidden under my bed. When I started university I really learned to appreciate the value of money, in that I had none, and decided to start a food blog (then called This Baker Girl Blogs) to put all that money I had spent to good use. It was one of the best decisions I’ve made. The initial idea was to document all the things I was learning as I worked from different cookbooks and attempted different recipes. I never expected it to become such a huge part of my life!
On September 2014 I decided to rebrand my blog as Your Sunny Side Up with a greater focus on storytelling and developing my own recipes. I still buy and use cookbooks (I'll never stop!) but I've grown in so much confidence in the kitchen and love the idea of exploring my own creativity and sharing it with others. Rebranding was a scary decision to make but I am so happy I did – I'm learning a lot and am having so much fun!
 What's your favourite thing to make/cook?
Oooh, that's tricky! But I think my favourite thing to make is usually whatever dish I had made last. I always think “wow, that tastes great, let's do it again!”. Blogging and baking/cooking are not my full time jobs – I'm a post-grad student and I don't usually get home till 7pm – so besides evenings and weekends I don't get a lot of time to indulge in my favourite hobby. Which is why I've most recently become inclined to making things that are quick and easy but still taste really good. It's a lot easier to wake up at 5am when breakfast consists of Oats and Raisin Breakfast Muffins or my Three Ingredients Banana and Nutella Puff Pastry Pies.
 What is your favourite thing to eat?
If I'm being honest, it's toasted buttered bread. Not at all adventurous or fancy, I know! But it's something I eat practically every day and don't think I could go without. But I have a massive sweet tooth and my favourite dessert of all time is cheesecake. Any kind will do, but I usually go for a strawberry cheesecake.
I also really love Chinese food, but unfortunately my family aren't too fond of it. I remember insisting on ordering in a Chinese takeaway for the whole family one night, and ended up eating leftover chow mein for the next 2 days. Not that I'm complaining – I didn't mind it at all! And a recent trip to Italy has definitely sparked an interest in authentic Italian food. Once you've tried ‘real' pizza, there's just no going back.
 What is your comfort food?
It's a tie between my mother's spaghetti bolognese, and my macaroni and cheese. Both dishes just scream comfort! If I'm feeling in particular need of warm and fuzzy insides then I usually opt for the spaghetti, because nothing tastes better than my mother's cooking.
 Describe your perfect food day.
Hmm, let's see … Well breakfast would definitely consist of toasted buttered bread, some fruit and maybe a smoothie or freshly squeezed orange juice. For lunch I would have a big plate of chicken chow mein, or spaghetti bolognese, and maybe a cheesecake for dessert. Dinner would probably consist of pasta and more fruit, followed by something rich and decadent. Am I allowed to have snacks? I would snack on chilli cheese fries throughout the entire day.
 What are three other blogs that inspire you?
There are so many that I enjoy. But three that I frequently stalk and am in love with are:
1) Happy Yolks. Kelsey is so genuine and writes beautifully, and the photographs always take my breath away.
2) Oh, Lady Cakes. I want to make everything and become best friends with Ashlae. Whenever I notice she's published a new post I drop everything.
3) My Name is Yeh. Molly makes me laugh out loud and her food is incredible. All three are written by some of the most beautiful, sincere and talented women I have met in this crazy blog-land, and they've inspired me to find my own voice and explore my own creativity.
8. Do you have advice for bloggers just starting out?
Lots! Connect with other food bloggers and with your readers, find your own voice, work hard, be open to learning a lot, try different things, and don't be afraid to make mistakes. But most of all to just have fun with it – do it because it's something you enjoy. Keep going and good luck!
Keep up with Nazia’s tasty tidbits on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest and of course by visiting Your Sunny Side Up.
How about you? What would you like to ask Nazia? What’s would your perfect food day?
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1. Cream cheese frosting is like nectar from the breast of Jesus. If, you know, that could happen. SO GOOD.
2. Those Nutella hand pies? That will be happening at my house VERY soon.
3. Blogs like yours and Nazia’s make me realize how far I have to go when it comes to food photography. My biggest challenge is taking shots in the dark. I refuse to cook my dinner at 2:00 p.m., and my kitchen isn’t the brightest anyway. And the food I consumed from my cooking classes in Italy? That dining room was SO dark and had no natural light at night obviously, so all of my pictures look orange and have a very shallow depth of field. Have any tips to do better when lighting conditions are less than ideal??
@Katie, you just mentioned my BIGGEST pet peeve – dining rooms that are too dark! I don’t have these, but if your kitchen and dining area don’t get natural light you need to get some lights and those umbrella things (yes, that is the technical photographer term for it, ok, no it isn’t) to help.
Awesome feature on Nazia! I must say those Nutella pastry pies are so delectable! And I’m with her on mac N cheese as the ultimate comfort food! I have my fill at least once a week! 🙂
@Cara, my hubby recently made his first batch of gourmet MacNCheese and it is definitely a fan favorite!
Thanks, Cara! With these colder days (and nights!) I’ve taken to make it quite regularly too! 🙂
Okay, those Nutella Puff Pastry Pies?!! AMAZING! I’m checking out Nazia’s blog ASAP <3
Thank you! Would love to see you there! 🙂
Oh my dear lord those recipes look amazing! I will for sure be following this talented girl. Thanks for sharing!!
I also can’t live without toasted buttered toast. Nothing is better than toast!! I love cheesecake – making it and then eating it. 😉
Yay, someone who agrees!! 😀
Wow, those nutella puff pasteries look incredible. She could open up her own bakery with those alone.
LOL I love buttered bread too! I love it with spreads, jams, fresh blueberries! My absolute favorite thing to eat though – is even stranger, sauces … I LOVE all sauces! Great photos on this post! Love it
@Joely, it’s the simple pleasures, right?!
Indeed Andi! Your post also inspired me to go find my Joy Of Cooking cookbook too lol
@Joely, oldie but goodie!
Nazia has such a great personality! I’m not the biggest fan of cooking (luckily my boyfriend is) but I might have to get over that for those nutella and banana pastries. Yum!
@Caitlin, I hear you (my hubby does all the cooking) but how can we possibly wreck a 3-item dish?!
Thanks Caitlin! And the pastries are effortless – I hope you’ll give them a go! 🙂
Those cupcakes are beautiful and that mac n’ cheese looks very dangerous and delicious!!!!! I love her story, thanks for sharing!
@Heather, so glad you enjoyed it! Sorry for making the pregnant lady hungry!
I really, really shouldn’t have read this post while I was hungry. All of Nazia’s pictures are gorgeous, and the food looks SO good. I’m not a very good (or original) cook, but I CAN follow a recipe–I’ll be trying those hand pies very soon. 🙂
@Natalie, the pies seem to me a definite winner!
What a great story! Those cupcakes look so beautiful. I wish I was talented enough to come up with my own recipes
@Julie, Nazia is super talented! The cupcakes are gorgeous. My hubby loves Earl Grey so I know he would love these!
I just love learning about other bloggers. This Nutella Puff Pastries are making my mouth water.
@Valerie, I hear you! I should have never allowed her to post that photo without a warning!
Gorgeous! The food looks amazing!
OH my gosh, This pregnant woman should have stayed away from this post! Look at all that food!!! YUM
@Melissa, I know I should develop a warning sticker!
Or you could just make it for me, lol!!! I’m seriously going to have to make some of these things!
@Melissa, good plan!
Not only intrigued by Nazia’s baking but also her beauty. Wow, those chocolate brown eyes are beautiful!
@Laurie, I know aren’t they gorgeous!
She is stunning. Very beautiful blog, too, and I loved her list of favorite blogs. I swear, if I could make food that beautiful, I’d ditch Generation X and become a food blogger!!
@Jen, I hear you! I was so pleased with her selections, I had not heard of any of them and I loved every one of them. I even included one as part of my Saturday Six post, that is why I love doing these series – I still discover something new every week!
Oh my everything looks so good and those cupcakes are so cute.
I love that she makes these amazing dishes but loves to eat something so simple!
@Stefany, pretty interesting, right? Have you ever made a huge meal and then wasn’t really all that interested in eating it? Sometimes that happens when I cook, maybe because I have been tasting along the way and I am no longer hungry/interested!
Oh my! You made my hungry stomach grumble talking about those.
Wow Nazia’s photography is just beautiful!! I really need to learn (and have the patience) to take great photos!
What wonderful cupcakes! I’m sure they taste delicious.
I love cream cheese frosting! The cupcakes look amazing. Great Post!
3 words: Nutella. Banana. Pastry.
That will be on the menu tomorrow morning! Done.
@Michelle, pretty awesome, right?
Oh my goodness that baked macaroni and cheese recipe – looks so good! What a talented cook!
I have to say I do love the idea of interviewing other bloggers. And yes cream cheese frosting IS the bomb! I like eggs too. 🙂
@Joely, I am so glad you think so, it is a great way to meet other bloggers.
wow Nutella pastry pies sounds so yummy for nutella lovers like me! and i often have to struggle with the indoor lighting issues =(
Her mac and cheese looks delicious! Going to have to try her recipe.
A great interview! My favorite comfort food is macaroni and cheese too!
I absolutely love this interview! Im definitely going to be checking out her blog right now!
OMG Andi…I think I gained 10 pounds just looking at these pics! I really enjoyed reading this interview…Nazia seems like a great person to be around…full of positive energy!
Yummm… now I am craving some mac n cheese 🙂
Those chili cheese fries looked amazing. I’ll blame you if I gain a ton of weight now haha.
OMGosh the photos, you just made me sooooo hungry!
Oooh, that Mac & Cheese and that cheese cake! Nazia’s photos are stunning!
I always love reading about the bloggers you highlight- keep these posts coming!
Nazia sounds awesome and super-talented! Impressed that she has already evolved her cooking and journaling passion as she has, and is now creating her own recipes that sound and look absolutely delicious. I see a cookbook author in the works!
Her food looks insane. Those Nutella things?! I want them delivered to me asap. What the heck, that was like food porn all the way. I need to pin every single on. Thanks for sharing!
Nazia is very inspiring. 🙂
Those look so good. I try to cook. Try. I baked bread rolls yesterday and that didn’t go well.
Scrumptious food & pics!