Inspire me: Kelsey from Happyolks

I'm always rabbiting on about honest writing, I know, I know. But it's one of the things I find most endearing about blogs. I don't care much for foodie talk, heck I used to try and pull it off in my earlier posts, but it's just not me. So I stopped, mostly. For me it's the stories of regular life that pull me into someones world so much so that I feel I can't miss a post, and devour them greedily as soon as they pop up in my inbox. Take a little sneaky peek at the list of blogs I love and you will soon see that this whole being real and honest (both in writing, food and photography) is the common theme amongst them all.

I don't think anyone out there keeps things as honest and real as the duo behind one of my favourite blogs, Happyolks. Kelsey's writing is some of the best on the web in my humble opinion, raw and heartfelt and Shaun's photos constantly take my breath away with their beauty. There's movement and life in each and every photo, and don't even get me started on how stunning their videos are.

Because I'm a nosey girl, I've asked Kelsey to share a little more about herself and their blog...

What is your blog about and when did you first push publish?

Happyolks is a space where my life, fascination for the human experience, and love of cooking coalesce. I began playing around with a blog template in 2010, but it wasn't until early 2011, when I returned from living in Africa and Asia, that the ethos of the site really came together. Today I still call Happyolks my playground -- a place to practice writing and share in community with like minded individuals.

Tell us your cooking philosophy in three words.

As to nourish. Nourishment can come in the form of herbal tea, a big bowl of veggies, or chocolate ice cream. Sometimes nourishment is not synonymous with nutrition. It's about cooking to the seasons of life as much as seasons of the earth.

What's your favourite season?

I feel grounded in the winter, liberated in the spring. It's hard to pick a favorite, it seems whichever one I'm standing in always takes first prize.

Happyolks Whole Wheat Belgian Waffles with Thyme, Strawberries, and Mascarpone-20

Sweet or savoury?

Savory. I'll take a bowl of curry and naan over a cookie every day of the week.

What's your favourite cuisine?
I love the flavor complexity of global fare. Ethiopian, Lebanese, and Indian are the varieties I crave most. My favorite meals often are communal in nature. Sitting around the table, passing spoonfuls of this, dollops of that… it slows everything down and makes for a rewarding meal on a social level. I'm also a strong memory-based eater. I crave foods that somehow bookmark memories of friendship, love, and family.

Who are your food heros? And which food bloggers inspire you?

I love Nigel Slater's no rules/no fixed-recipe approach to cooking with vegetables, I reach for Cook's Illustrated to teach myself new technique, and I have probably cooked most from Yotam Ottolenghi's Plenty. Online, I look to Sprouted Kitchen, The First Mess, Delightful Crumb, Bon Appetempt, and Not Without Salt for consistently soulful recipes and writing.

Do you come from a family of good cooks?
I sadly don't know much about my family's culinary history. From stories passed on, I'd say probably not. On a nuclear level, both of my parents worked growing up and played tag-team to put healthful, practical meals on the table. I think “healthy-practical” meals are highly underrated. I get excited about creative recipes with exotic ingredients, but after a long day all I want is a big piece of toast and a heap of steamed kale with olive oil.

Grilled Carrots with Horseradish Yogurt Sauce over Lentils Happyolks-25

What's your favourite food indulgence?

I love a funky cocktail. Shaun and I ate at a Middle Eastern restaurant in Seattle a few months ago and had a bourbon cocktail with mashed figs and almond liqueur. Crazy good.

Tell us something about yourself that we wouldn't necessarily know from reading your blog…

My eyes turn green when I’m feeling emotional, I love baseball and throw a mean fast pitch, Lisianthus are my favorite flower, Buoys creep me out, and I am (without contest) Oprah's biggest fan.

happyolks pisco sours-47
What's one of your favourite posts/recipes from Happyolks?
I don't know if I really have a favorite. In some way it's like trying to figure out which limb on my body I like most -- they all work in tandem and at different intensity and frequency to help me move and thrive. The camp cobbler is a recent fan favorite.
Thank you so much Kelsey, you and Shaun are both true inspirations xx

You might like to also read my other posts in the Inspire me series:

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  • Reply
    london bakes
    July 19, 2013 at 8:25 am

    I totally agree with everything that you say about Kelsey's site. Kelsey and Shaun always offer such a fresh perspective on the world and make me look at things totally differently.

    • Reply
      July 20, 2013 at 12:23 am

      Absolutely! xx

  • Reply
    July 19, 2013 at 8:34 am

    I agree, great writing gets me every time. Part of what makes food beautiful is the thoughts and memories it invokes. Great interview!

    • Reply
      July 20, 2013 at 12:24 am

      Thanks love xx

  • Reply
    Colette Joseph
    July 19, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    Lovely post. These are the things that keep us going on ordinary days!

  • Reply
    July 19, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    Absolutely fantastic interview and so happy to have just found your blog through Kelsey!

    • Reply
      July 20, 2013 at 12:24 am

      Thanks Ashley, lovely to have you here xx

  • Reply
    July 19, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    Kelsey, I'll give you some of my cookie if you'll share your curry. Great interview! And what a lovely site you have here, Emma. It's my first time visiting, and I'll be back.

    • Reply
      July 20, 2013 at 12:25 am

      Thanks Jess, you are too sweet. Welcome! xx

  • Reply
    July 19, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    I love Kelsey and I loved reading this interview..who knew she was Oprah's biggest fan? x

    • Reply
      July 20, 2013 at 12:26 am

      Haha, I'm more freaked out by the fact her eyes change colour with her mood! 🙂

  • Reply
    Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things
    July 20, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    Loved reading this post… am a firm fan of both your blogs…. thanks so much for the interview… xo

  • Reply
    Healthy Life
    July 21, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    Interesting Article.
    Thanks a Lot for Sharing

  • Reply
    July 22, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    I really agree to all the comments! It's not just about the recipes but it's all about how good you write your content that will give interest to your readers to comment on.. That's why I always love reading your recipe blog posts.

    • Reply
      July 23, 2013 at 3:15 am

      Aww, thanks so much Will xx

  • Reply
    TITLE Boxing Club Cary
    July 22, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    Great post, really enjoyed it.

  • Reply
    July 22, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    Love this. Love Kels. (duh) Nice one, Emma! 🙂 xo

  • Reply
    Lee's Summit Heating and Cooling
    July 23, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    Very honest, thank you. By the way Belgian strawberry waffles sound delicious.

  • Reply
    FirsTrust Mortgage
    July 23, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    Savory is the way to go!

  • Reply
    July 25, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    Kelsey is a rockstar. Love what they do. honest, real and consistently good food!

  • Reply
    dervla @ The Curator
    July 29, 2013 at 2:39 am

    I love Happyolks…Kelsey's writing is so so gorgeous. Also, a bourbon cocktail with mashed figs, i have both ingredients in my kitchen. Trying it out now!!

  • Reply
    Irina @ wandercrush
    July 30, 2013 at 3:58 am

    I completely agree… Those two somehow breathe so much substance and life into something as fundamentally simple as a food blog. Honest writing is so important, and something I'm trying to incorporate more and more in my own blog. In the first few months I was all about cramming as much information about ingredients and food history lessons that writing posts almost felt like completing homework assignments! Now I'm realising that it's so much more fun and fulfilling to write from the soul, and Kelsey's blog is the embodiment of that. Thanks for sharing this 🙂

  • Reply
    sara forte
    August 6, 2013 at 2:31 am

    I am a cheerleader of theirs as well. Really loving the Inspire Me series. So interesting to read little personal bits about people you admire. xo

    • Reply
      August 6, 2013 at 6:50 am

      Thanks Sara, I'm loving doing this series too. Me being the nosey girl that I am, I always want to know more about the people behind the blogs I love 🙂

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