Giving Back Magazine: Tell us about your blog
Anita L. Arambula: It is called Confessions of a Foodie (www.confesssionsofafoodie.me) and it is my creative playground where I share stories about food and life along with photography, and most importantly, recipes. In the beginning, the only criteria for a recipe was that the food tasted great regardless of calories, fat or sugar content. These days, I have shifted my focus to creating healthier comfort food ranging from clean eating, my versions of the Mexican dishes of my childhood, vegetarian and even vegan recipes. I am enjoying updating my favorite recipes by using more wholesome ingredients with an eye towards organic, lower sugar, free-range and even grass-fed when I can afford to splurge.
GB: What is your background and how did you get to where you are today?
AA: My background is actually in the creative arts – writing, photography, music – so naturally I find cooking just another creative outlet. My days are spent working for a newspaper as a senior designer directing the food section, often cooking, styling and photographing the cover stories. I have been an art director, graphic designer, photographer, food stylist, photo darkroom technician, freelance writer and even jewelry designer at various points along my career. The two constants in my life since I was a child, however, have always been food and photography.
I learned to cook watching and helping my parents: mom as she prepared the daily meals, and dad as he prepared his special recipes on the weekends and for family gatherings. Dad used to cook for a living so he had much to teach. The rest I taught myself.
GB: What is your favorite food memory from childhood?
AA: My very earliest culinary memory is making flour tortillas with my mom. She used to make fresh tortillas nearly every day. I’d stand on a chair, a can of vegetables with the label removed as my rolling pin. My little ball of over-worked dough would get so streaked with gray stains from my little 4-year-old hands trying to work it into as beautifully round a shape as mom’s tortillas were. She would gently lift my creation off the counter, place it onto the hot griddle then I would watch it bubble up as it cooked. I would eat it while she finished rolling out the rest of the dough.
GB: What is your favorite food to cook?
AA: Despite the huge time investment, I rather love the art of tamale making. It is meditative when I make them on my own and an opportunity to bond when making them with family or friends.
GB: Who inspires you?
AA: That is easy, my parents. Besides teaching me the value of God and family, they instilled in me a desire to learn and a deep curiosity about life that fueled an independence that has served me well. That foundation gave me the confidence to explore and expressive myself creatively which has helped me to make a career for myself that I love and to pursue a semi-professional hobby that fills me with joy.
What is your favorite quote?
“A man who works with his hands is a laborer. A man who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. A man who works with his hands, his head, and his heart is an artist.” St. Francis of Assisi
1. SobaNoodleSoup: This soup combines soba noodles, baby bok choy, shitake and crunchy baked tofu in a slow simmered ginger and anise flavored vegetable broth.
2. Meatball: These Greek inspired meatballs with tzatziki go from kitchen to table in 40 minutes. The leftovers are great for sandwiches or tossed into a broth for a quick, nourishing soup.
3. SoyrizoTacos: Paired with homemade tortillas and quick pickled red onions, these soy-based tacos are packed with flavor.
4. ChocAlmondTorte: This Chocolate Almond Quinoa Torte is gluten-free, sugar-free and wonderfully orange-scented.