Q&A with Lindsay Landis from Love & Olive Oil

Q&A with Lindsay Landis, the awesome food blogger.

Lindsay and Taylor- photo from loveandoliveoil.com

Lindsay and Taylor- photo from loveandoliveoil.com

If I had to compile a list of my favorite food blogs, Love & Olive Oil would be one of the ones on top, no doubt. Lindsay and her husband, Taylor, have created something that a lot of people (including myself) aspire to do. The authentic writing style paired with mouthwatering food photography, delicious recipes and a flawless site layout are combined to create Love & Olive Oil. In addition to publishing recipes on a food blog, Lindsay has written two books, one of which is dedicated to hard-core cookie dough lovers- and who doesn’t like cookie dough? Not only does Lindsay maintain a wonderful food blog, she also designs other awesome sites, sites that I admire for their look. So when I asked Lindsay to answer some questions for me, I was more than thrilled that she accepted to do so. Here goes:

 Where does your love for cooking come from?

Taylor (my husband) and I both grew up watching and helping our parents cook, and I was always baking with my mom. We didn’t really start cooking on our own (or, actually, cooking together) until we were in college, stuck in a dorm that just so happened to have a kitchen. We were pretty much forced to cook most nights unless we wanted to eat in the cafeteria (we didn’t), and I think that’s where we really fell in love with cooking.

Why did you decide to go into the field of web design and blogging?

I was always an artist, and a computer nerd, so the graphic design career seemed like an obvious choice. Blogging I just kind of fell into, it’s something I started because I wanted a space to share what we were cooking, and also a space I could play and teach myself web design. So a win, win!

Which types of recipes are your favorite to blog about?

Desserts! I’ve always had a sweet tooth. Of course, one cannot live on cupcakes alone, one reason we always post savory things too.

If you could only use one utensil in the kitchen, what would it be?

Just one? That’s hard. I guess (to copy Alton Brown) my hands. While a knife or a spoon or a spatula would certainly be missed, I couldn’t cook or bake anything without my hands.

Photo from Lindsay's Facebook fan page

If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only eat one type of food, what would you eat and what would you never touch?

If I were really hungry I’d eat just about anything. My logical side would want something nutritious and filling, but I would be so much happier if it were delicious too. So let’s say peanut butter. Jars and jars of peanut butter. I think I could live on that, for a little while at least. 🙂

 If you could pick one favorite recipe from your blog, which one would you pick?

The cookie dough truffles really have a soft spot in my heart, mainly because they were my first recipe to really go viral and what sparked the idea for my Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook. If it hadn’t been for those truffles I don’t think I would be calling myself a published author at this point.

When you’re not in the kitchen cooking up a storm or designing awesome websites, what can we find you doing?

Watching TV, reading, talking to cats, maybe trying to learn French. Honestly I’m fortunate enough to have turned my passions and hobbies into my full time career, and so much of my free time is spend in the kitchen (by choice).

What is your favorite part about living in Nashville?

It’s a great balance for us, between big city and small town, with a reasonably affordable lifestyle and not too cold winters (I say this; however, we’re in the middle of an ice storm, ack!) But both Taylor and I grew up in Colorado and simply could take any more snow.

What is a typical day in your life?  

Honestly not that exciting! We wake up, wander upstairs, and get to work. We’ll take a lunch break, sometimes a longer break if we have leftovers to photograph, and then keep working until dinner. After dinner it’s me-time, I usually plunk down in front of the TV with a book, and Taylor works on one of his many hobby-projects (he’s a hobbiest tailor and enjoys making his own clothes, crazy boy).

 What would you say are the highs and lows of blogging?

The highs are hearing from readers, people who’ve made our recipes and loved them. Lows usually come when a recipe just isn’t coming together, or a photo proves extra frustrating.

What is next for Love and Olive Oil?

Right now we’re just content to keep chugging along! After two cookbooks under our belt, we’re in no hurry to do another. And honestly we’re just enjoying coasting along!

What is the most important piece of advice that you would give to an aspiring blogger?

Be passionate. Your blog will have no chance if you don’t first and foremost love what you are doing. I didn’t start this blog to make money, although I have been fortunate in that (over the course of 8 years) it has brought some paying work that I am incredibly grateful for. But that was not my intention, and that still isn’t my intention and not the reason I blog. I think if you look at your blog like a business, it’s going to come across like a business to your readers. And honestly that’s not the kind of blog I want to read!
Thank you so much, Lindsay!

 See Love and Olive Oil