What is your cooking style/food philosophy?
I describe my food as simple, fresh and flavourful. I don’t follow any special diets; I just like good, real food, so that’s what you’ll find on here. I love cooking with fresh herbs, spices and other ingredients that pack a punch (and that are easy to find!). You won’t find any recipes that are overly complicated, when I’m developing a recipe I’m very intentional with the techniques and ingredients–I want the recipes to be easy and delicious.
Mostly, I just share recipes that inspire me and that I like to cook. A combination of quick and fast dinners, long and slow braises, slow cooker recipes and a few of my favourite desserts thrown in. You can learn more about me and Living Lou by reading my about page.
What tools do I need in my kitchen?
- Dutch oven (I love Le Creuset, but Cuisinart and Staub are also great options for different price points).
- Large saute pan (I use these for everything from braises to easy pasta recipes, it’s a workhorse for me).
- Slow cooker (this is the exact one that I have that I have been using for almost five years) It will make your life so infinitely easier.
- Immersion blender (again, I love the KitchenAid immersion blender it’s perfect for making soups).
- Instant read thermometer to ensure that meats are cooked perfectly.
Bonus: The Flavour Bible— this is a cookbook, so not technically a tool, but I reach for this book every single day when I’m cooking. It’s full of information on flavour pairings that really enables creativity in the kitchen.
Do you have any Toronto restaurant recommendations?
We have so many amazing restaurants in Toronto! Here are some of my tried and true favourite, affordable options for dining in this great city:
Pai has the best Thai food in Toronto. If you’re in the downtown core, definitely make a stop here.
Sud Forno is a great lunch spot and is my go-to when meeting clients or colleagues for lunch.
Forno Cultura has amazing coffee and Italian treats, their sandwiches are also great for an on-the-go lunch option.
Pho Rua Vang Golden Turtle has the best pho in the city (pro-tip, this is a cash only spot).
Isshin Ramen is one of the best ramen spots–get there early to put your name on the list.
Mother’s Dumplings on Spadina makes my favourite dumplings in the city.
Superpoint Pizza head out west for these! These pizzas are huge.
Little Sister is an Indonesian spot uptown, they have delicious small sharing plates with so much flavour.
Can I follow you on social media?
I’d love that! I’m super active on Twitter where I share amazing recipes & food content, I also have a public Instagram account @LivingLou where I share daily photos as well as a lot of behind-the-scenes content on Stories. I also do frequent cooking tutorials and share lots of tips. Plus you’ll get a little window into my life.
I’ve recently joined Facebook and would love to see some familiar faces on there. :)
Why did you start a blog?
I started my blog two weeks after my 17th birthday as a creative outlet. I loved to cook, photograph, write and film videos, so it seemed like the perfect hobby. I’ve kept it up as it’s brought me so much joy over the years (and is still the best creative outlet for me)!
I’m thinking of starting a blog, do you have any advice?
Just do it! Don’t start with the idea that you will make a ton of money, but because you love the idea of blogging. A lot goes into running a successful blog and I truly think that you need to fall in love with the process to be able to keep up with the amount of work involved.
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