Meet the lovely Lindsey, blogger behind Dolly and Oatmeal which is a space where she creates delicious and healthy recipes! I first stumbled upon her work a couple years ago when her food photography caught my eye, she has an incredible visual skill of composing and styling food shots. Lindsey is writing her first cookbook, which I’m so excited for and have a hunch you’ll all love her work. Here’s Linsday, find out what keeps her motivated, how she started blogging, her favorite recipes and more!
LINDSEY OF DOLLY AND OATMEAL
FOR NUTRITION STRIPPED
Lindsey S. Love
If someone were to ask you what you “do”, what would you say?
It’s a bit of a jumble, part recipe developer, food photographer, blogger, food stylist, and the food editor at Thoughtfully Magazine.
What is your background, your story of how you got to where you are today?
I probably would have never gotten to where I am without taking my health and well-being into my own hands. I sought the help of doctors and other professionals for various illnesses. However, I came to the conclusion that medications were not healing me, so with the help of a nutritionist I was able to heal many of my issues with a whole foods, gluten-free diet. With the help from husband (who gifted me the blog when we were dating) I began to “journal” various recipes on the blog, while also familiarizing myself with a vast community of bloggers and readers.
When was your “ah-ha” moment, of when you felt you were succeeding at what you do with your blog? Speaking of blog, how’d you come up with the name?
I’m not sure I really had that moment. But when Dolly and Oatmeal was first recognized by Saveur Magazine in 2014 for their annual Food Blog Awards, I guess I looked at the content I putting out there and took it a bit more seriously. I think that was the first time I realized it wasn’t just my mom or in-laws reading my blog. The name dolly and oatmeal was born out of a familiar childhood morning where my mom, whose nickname for me is dolly, would prepare me oatmeal over the stove with sliced bananas. The words are just comfy, homey, and simple to me.
What’s your favorite quote or mantra you can’t live without?
Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom. -Aristotle
Where do you draw most inspiration? Who? What?
I would say I draw much of my inspiration by the sights and smells around me. I grew up in a suburb just outside of New York City, so I was constantly immersed in nature. However, I always had a draw and connection with the tempo of the city; its various cultures and history. So it’s a mixture of the natural world meets big city feels that really inspire me personally and the food I eat and create. I’m also Jewish, Italian, Irish, and German, and I identify with each culture in various ways be it in a dish, or a type of food, or what I grew up eating.
Picture this, you’re living your most perfect day- what does this look like?
Waking up next to my husband and our scruffy pup, Quint, grabbing an iced coffee and heading down to the shoreline while Quint playfully digs in the sand and tries to eat seashells, and my husband and I laugh along. Maybe there’s an early swim, but sharing the quiet morning listening to the waves crashing and planning what we will do for the day – maybe a bike ride, a swim in the ocean, or a walk into town. The afternoon would be quiet, maybe hanging at the beach, then we would head to the market to pick up fresh vegetables for our dinner that night. We would then take a bottle of wine or beer down to the shore and watch the sunset before we head home to make dinner.
Now what’s your actual typical day look like?
I used to be a teacher, so I still wake up pretty early. I usually do a 45-minute – 1 hour yoga or pilates session, or my husband and I will take Quint for a really long walk through our neighborhood. After that there are showers, and then I usually get breakfast going, while Quint chases squirrels in the backyard and my husband reads the paper. We eat breakfast outside, talk, read, and usually plan out what we’ll have for dinner that night. From there Frank heads off to work, and I get started with my day as well. First, I check emails and return any that I haven’t gotten to yet. Then I’m either working on testing recipes – either for my book, blog, or freelance project – or editing photos, taking photos, or developing recipes, and sometimes it’s a little bit of everything!
How do you balance personal and professional life?
I’m still working on that! Like I mentioned above, I used to teach; so I’m still coming off of a more typical 9-5 workday. Balancing a freelance lifestyle has been an interesting adjustment. It’s hard to not work sometimes, but my husband does a really good job at letting me know when to put it all down and take a breather.
You’re writing your first cookbook, what has been the best and worst part of it all?
The best part of writing my first cookbook is that I was even given the opportunity in the first place! But that aside, it has been one of the most rewarding experiences I think I’ll ever have; being able to create, style, and shoot the book as I envision. It’s all still a little surreal. There hasn’t been any bad part of writing the book, but I will say that I stress out a lot about the food waste. Whether it’s a recipe that I work on 4-5 times, or leftovers in the fridge; I get pretty anxious thinking about how many people there are in world struggling. So that was my main concern when I was testing recipes.
What’s your typical meal for…
- In the summer: a big glass of water. In the winter: a large mug of warm lemon water.
- Morning: I’m a creature of habit and I love oatmeal. So it’s usually oatmeal with cinnamon, a drizzle of maple syrup, and spoonful of almond butter and seasonal fruit.
- Lunch: Something easy, be it a salad with an egg, leftover soup or stew, or a something I’ve made for work that’s leftover.
- Supper: It depends on the season, but generally it varies between huge salads in the summer, grilled vegetables and fish, a grain salad, veggie burgers with sweet potato fries; wintery stews, or making pizza dough for Friday night pizza.
- Snacks or sweets: An apple and peanut butter is my go-to; also fresh fruit, nuts, or dark chocolate dipped in peanut butter. I basically love everything with peanut butter!
- Favorite beverage: Iced coffee, my husband takes his coldbrew coffee method very seriously, and it’s the best!
If you could pick one meal to eat over and over again, what would it be?
Gallo pinto! My husband and I went to Costa Rica on our honeymoon, and all we ate for 10 days straight was gallo pinto, which is a very basic preparation of rice and beans. Each morning we ate it with a Tico breakfact, a typical Costa Rican breakfast of eggs, gallo pinto, and fresh corn tortillas. I’ve tried to recreate the dish, but I’m still working to get the flavors right. We still talk about going back just for that breakfast!
What’s your favorite…
- Photo you’ve ever shot for the blog and your cookbook: My favorite photo for the blog is a shot of a holiday party I was throwing for a project with Gardenista; it was such a simple setup, and the light was just perfect that day. I would have to say that so far my favorite photo from the book is a process of shot of tomatoes that I shot at my parents’ house; the sun was streaming through the kitchen window, which made such a great capture.
- Piece of kitchen equipment: Sharp knives! A sharp knife makes life so much easier. But my mighty Vitamix comes in a very close second.
- Tip for baking, for non-bakers: Follow the instructions and amounts carefully. There were so many times where I tweaked recipes and they came out utter failures.
- Favorite blog/website you’re reading in the moment: In the Making By Belen. It’s a beautifully shot blog, with high-vibe recipes, yoga inspiration, and gorgeous photography.
- Piece of photography equipment: It’s a really cheap piece of poster board from an office supply store. I use it as a background and also to balance light for photo shoots.
What makes you laugh, smile, and be joyful?
My husband makes me laugh on a daily basis, whether he’s trying to cheer me up after a rough day, or just being his goofy self, he’s just the best! Our pup is also really good at taking my mind off stressful things; one snuggle and kiss from him can turn everything around! And for me personally, practicing yoga really sets the tone for a positive and upbeat day, as well as eating the best I can; that connection between food and well being is a significant one. And of course, good tunes!
What are your biggest tips for having a successful blog?
I’m not sure I’m any sort of authority on this, but I would say be authentic to who you are and why you’re blogging in the first place. There are so many blogs out there, so inserting the essence of who you are goes a long a way.
Favorite recipe from your blog?
It would probably have to be the kabocha squash, fennel, and ginger soup with spicy coconut cream from last autumn. It’s full of flavor, super simple to prepare, and aesthetically pleasing.
What’s happening next for you?
I’m gearing up for some food styling jobs, which I’m pretty excited about. I also have a bunch of freelance jobs and collaborations with some lovely folks. And my cookbook will be released in spring 2016, which I’m over the moon about!
So where can everyone keep up with you to learn more?
I hope you enjoyed reading and learning more about what inspires blogger, Lindsay. I can’t wait for her cookbook to come out and see what she has in store this coming year, hope you enjoy!