If you’ve been following along for a while now, you’ll already know that a recipe from Half Baked Harvest always makes an appearance on my weekly post ‘On the List’. So having the chance to talk with Tieghan, made this foodies year!
Half Baked Harvest is “THE” food blog to follow, everything from the way that Tieghan talks about food in her posts (you can almost taste the dish as you read) to her beautifully styled photos, you can’t help but be inspired to get in the kitchen.
Since beginning her blog in 2012, Tieghan has been featured in magazines, on television (GMA, Rachel Ray, and Hallmark’s Home & Family), and has also written two cookbooks, Half Baked Harvest Cookbook and Half Baked Harvest Super Simple.
I love how your writing style and photography give readers a feeling that they are in the kitchen with you as you make the dishes featured on your blog and cookbook. For those who might be new to Half Baked Harvest, tell me a bit about when you first decided to create a food blog.
When I was sixteen I first got the domain name, but I didn’t start the blog until I turned 19. It was actually my mom who encouraged me to start it in the first place. I had graduated from high school early, and I wasn’t sure what I wanted to major in, so I was at a crossroads. I’d originally planned to go into the fashion industry and move to LA, but I did a complete 360 and I decided to start Half Baked Harvest. Once I put up that first post, there was no going back.
You often come up with your recipe ideas while you’re on your daily hikes. Hands down what is one of your favorite recipes?
I’m really loving a lot of Thai and Indian cuisine. I like to mix the flavors of both cuisines. Right now I’m really into making coconut curries.
30 Minute Thai Chicken Meatball Khao Soi
What is the one ingredient or spice that you find yourself using frequently in the dishes you create?
I’ve been using a lot of shallots, but I would say my most used spice is either smoked paprika or chili pepper.
For those who are new to food photography and the art of prop styling what is the most important thing, you’ve learned in the process of styling and photographing the delicious dishes on HBH?
It’s all about your personal style, I like the food to scream “Eat me!” So that to me means real, as in messiness on the table, a bite out of the food. It’s all about playing up the emotions of the dish, seeing the melting cheese, or melted chocolate on the pan when you make chocolate chip cookies, and really highlighting that.
Fudgy Avocado Brownies with Chocolate Fudge Frosting
You spend the majority of your day between your two favorite rooms (the kitchen and the pantry) What is the first thing you do each morning before you start your day in the kitchen?
I always go for a hike.
Since beginning Half Baked Harvest, you’ve released two cookbooks, The Half Baked Harvest Cookbook and Half Baked Harvest Super Simple. Tell me a bit about what the process of working with a publisher is like, and when you first decided that you wanted to write a cookbook?
I first decided after I had a lot of different publishers reaching out to me. So at that point, I decided to take it into my own hands and wrote a book proposal. We shopped it around and I went with the publisher (Clarkson Potter Publishers) I work with today. It’s been a really good experience. It’s definitely not the same as writing a blog. It’s been a really good experience.
Mushroom Al Pastor Tacos with Garlic Lime Special Sauce
You’ve been featured on GMA, Rachel Ray, and Hallmark’s Home & Family to name a few. What was the most exciting (or nerve-wracking) part about your very first television Appearance?
I don’t really get nervous. I just try not to think about it, and it’s the opposite of my personality. I put it out of my head and I’m just myself. It’s really fun and I love doing it. It’s an adrenaline feeling. It’s fun and exciting. I especially enjoy interacting with the host.
How do you decide what dish you’re going to feature?
Sometimes they will have something in mind and I send a few options and other times I’ll send a few of my favorite recipes that I’d like to share and they pick which one to feature.
How did you feel when you found out you’d made the Create and Cultivate 100 list?
Really excited. It was such an honor to be a part of a group of such incredible women I feel very honored.
You’ve teamed up with Williams-Sonoma and are heading to a few cities for live cooking demos and signings of Super Simple at their stores. What is the most exciting part about meeting your fans in person?
It’s probably my favorite thing to do. I wish I was able to do more of it. It’s really the best. I do what I do for my readers and they feel like at this point they’re family. It’s s incredible to meet them in person see how excited they are and hear the stories of how the recipes have changed their lives.
Homemade Vegan Twix Bars
How do you feel that Half Baked Harvest has changed since the early days?
We’ve evolved quite a bit. The photos and recipes have improved. I’ve learned to simplify things, but still have the flavors that I’m known for. The recipes have become more weeknight recipes and ones you can make in 30 minutes to an hour to adapt to a busy lifestyle.
All images featured in this post are via Tieghan Gerard.