Today’s interview comes from the heart of Wisconsin. Hannah runs a website called Pints & Pickles and has been writing, photographing and sharing recipes since the latter part of 2015. She has a strong affinity for mason jars and coffee, so you bet you’ll find some interesting ideas on her blog. Hanna frequently cooks for friends during special theme nights and enjoys watching their reactions to her food. She’s creative, curious about new methods of cooking and thrives on the technical aspects of blogging.
If you’d like to follow Hannah’s site, visit Pints & Pickles today.
1. Can you please tell our readers a bit about yourself?
Well I’m almost 25 and love to stay busy! I work 40+ hours a week marketing a large food pantry and spend the rest of my time cooking, taking photos and hanging out with my pet rabbit, Ollie. When I get to travel, I love finding breweries to tour and coffee shops. My all time favorite job was being a barista in college and my love for iced coffee has only grown since then.
2. Where do you call home?
I’m 100% a Wisconsin gal. Cheese, Beer and Packers all the way. 🙂
3. How long have you been creating and sharing recipes on your website?
I’ve been creating recipes since I was in college. It’s amazing what you can create while you’re trying to save money, but still wanting to make fancy meals for friends.
I only started my blog a few months ago. I write posts and handle social media platforms at work and really enjoy it so I figured why not do the same thing on my spare time but with a personal interest of mine. 🙂
4. Are you self taught or formally taught? Where have you found the majority of information you use today?
I’d say I’ve learned the idea of making recipes from people around me as well as online. I always loved spending time in the kitchen with my mom when I was younger. My boyfriend, Steven, also loves to cook which is great! We love experimenting with herbs and spices and also experiment with drinks. Since living close to the famous Farmers’ Market in Madison, I’ve become obsessed with pickling. You’ll always find a few mason jars filled with pickled veggies in our fridge.
5. What is your favorite part of being a home cook and food blogger?
I love that I get to be creative! Between coming up with a recipe, photographing the process and editing and posting it online, I love all of it.
6. What do you think is the most challenging aspect of what you do in the kitchen?
Accepting that the finished product might not be exactly what I had in mind. It stinks when you spend a lot of time on a dish and it’s not exactly what you were picturing but that’s okay! Just take some notes and try again. You live and learn.
7. What’s it been like creating and operating a blog like yours? Have you had challenges and successes? If so, can you share some of them?
It’s been a fun process! It’s always hard at the beginning but I’m learning a lot. I always take plenty of photos but would only post one or two of them on my post. I’ve learned that photos are just as important as the writing so now I put in more of my shots, which I think really helps bring the recipe alive.
8. From your website, I can see that you take all your own photography. How did you learn to shoot so well?
I’ve been photographing for many years. I was a photographer for a newspaper which was a blast but I usually photographed people and not food. So I’m having a lot of fun learning and my love for natural lighting has grown even more than before.
9. Do you cook for friends and family? If so, which do you enjoy more, the actual food preparation or receiving their feedback on your creations?
Steven and I have friends over for theme nights where we enjoy drinks while making a unique dinner. I really enjoy making food with others, and then sitting together to tell stories and enjoy the meal. It’s so much fun seeing their reaction to the food as well as see them head back to the kitchen for seconds.
10. What sparked the idea that you could create a following by writing about what you do in the kitchen?
I write and photograph for a living so I thought why not do it for my own interests! I’ve been obsessed with Pinterest for years and wanted to start being a part of the blogging community. I’m learning as I go. 🙂
11. What’s your favorite part of cooking?
The actual process of cooking is my favorite, oh and of course enjoying the food. I have a lot of fun putting ingredients together and learning what works well together and what doesn’t. My favorite is spending my entire Sunday wearing sweatpants and making food.
12. What is it about food and writing that keeps you motivated to continue on in this area?
Once I start something I like to finish it, so I think it’s fun coming home from the grocery store and seeing a variety of ingredients come together to make something delicious. And then to top it off, I get to share it in a post.
13. If you could offer one piece of advice for someone who may be interested in following in your footsteps, what would it be?
Learn as you go. Don’t spend hours staring at your screen trying to make the perfect website right away. Just have fun with it and see where your site takes you. Start off simple and have fun while you grow into a blogging pro.
14. Do you have any favorite cooking related websites that you simply must visit regularly? If so, which ones?
I love visiting Gimme Some Oven. She has great recipes and I also just love her personality. It really comes out in her writing. I’ve also followed A Beautiful Mess for a few years now. They’ve inspired me to be more creative in my photography and I just love their style.
15. What do you think the future holds for you in regards to the culinary and blogging world? Where would you like to see yourself in the future?
I hope to connect with more bloggers in the future and learn from their experiences. I’m so happy to find something that I enjoy just as much as I enjoy cooking. Hoping my skills will grow and I become a blogging pro. 🙂