HalfHourMeals Interview with Featured Member Christine Carlisle

We value our members here at HalfHourMeals.com – after all, without enthusiastic, active members, our site would not exist. We have thousands of talented food enthusiasts who love to share their recipes and ideas with other. At the top of that list is one of our premium members: Christine Carlisle – or ChewNibbleNosh, the alias she uses when adding recipes on the site.

In order to get know Christine a little better, I asked her if she’d take some time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions about her life and her love for food. Luckily, she agreed, and here’s what she had to say:

Ange: Hi Christine! Can you provide a short bio of yourself to help HalfHourMeals members get to know you a little better?

Christine: My name is Christine Carlisle, and I’m a food blogger over at Chew Nibble Nosh. Lately, I’ve been spending a good amount of time in my kitchen. When I’m not there, you can usually find me running around with my two girls, Emily (9) and Avery (5). If I’m not running around with them, I’m running around for them. Isn’t that how it works? I’ve been happily married to my partner in this parenting game, Aaron, for almost 15 years. I was born and raised in the Midwest, but I currently live in Augusta, Georgia, “Home of The Masters”. Just don’t bother asking me about golf. Other than the occasional miniature golf round on vacation, I’ve never played!

Ange: When did you launch ChewNibbleNosh.com and would you say it has changed the way you look at food?

Christine: Chew Nibble Nosh launched in September of 2011. I’d wanted to do something like this for quite a while, but with little ones at home, I just couldn’t find the time. I was determined to start something once my youngest headed off to school full time. Thankfully, I was able to stick with it, and Chew Nibble Nosh was born on September 12, 2011. Being an avid food blogger has completely changed the way I look at food! I’ve always loved to try new recipes, which is evident after seeing my out-of-control cookbook collection, but now I find that trying something new is a daily experience around here. Most of the recipes you see on the blog are almost as new to me as they are to my readers. With the exception of a few posts, most of the recipes are my first try at something. Writing the blog definitely helps keep me out of a food rut. If I made the same thing over and over again, I’d never have anything to share! Thankfully, my family loves to try new things as much as I do.

Ange: What/Who are your inspirations when it comes to cooking?

Christine: I was very, very lucky to have grown up with a mother who is an amazing cook. She taught me how to cook and I fully blame that out-of-control cookbook collection I mentioned on her. She started it, and she has one herself that’s even bigger than mine! She worked full time as I was growing up, but always made sure that we had an amazing meal on the table come dinner time. Family meals were very important to her, and so they’ve stayed important as I’m raising my own family. My husband and my girls inspire me to make satisfying, healthy, delicious meals, even on our busiest days. I think a lot of people are intimidated by the kitchen and think that putting a decent dinner on the table each night takes a lot of time. It doesn’t have to. If you look around, there are plenty of wonderful meals that can be whipped together in no time flat! My mom taught me that, and I’m happy to be able to pass that along to my daughters.

Ange: Do your kids like cooking with you. If so, what are some of their favorite dishes to make?

Christine: My girls love to cook! They are two completely different eaters, though, so what they get excited to make may vary. Emily, my oldest, makes a mean artichoke lasagna. She’s been putting those together on her own since she was three! Avery, on the other hand, wouldn’t touch an artichoke with a ten foot pole. She prefers making cookies and mashing up bananas for banana bread.

Ange: What are 5 ingredients you simply could not live without?

Christine: Extra Virgin Olive Oil, garlic, tomatoes, chocolate, and fresh basil.

Ange: What would you say is the most popular recipe on your website (feel free to leave a link)?

Christine: With the power of social networking sites like Pinterest, it’s fun to see which recipes cause a commotion. The recipe I posted back in January for “Not Fried Pickles” (http://chewnibblenosh.com/2012/01/23/not-fried-pickles/) continues to bring in hit after hit after hit. Every time I think it’s gone away, it pops back up!

Ange: Do you watch any food TV shows or have any celebrity chef role models?

Christine: I do watch my fair share of the shows on The Food Network. I admire chefs who don’t fuss too much, keep it fresh, and enjoy what they’re doing. Some chefs that you see on TV just look grumpy and overworked. In others, you can tell that their food, and sharing what they know, is their passion. They love to make it, cherishing every bit that goes into a dish, and then, they love to eat it. I love watching chefs like Tyler Florence, Giada De Laurentiis, and Alton Brown. They are amazing teachers, but I feel like I could just sit down and share a burger with any one of them and have a perfectly unintimidating conversation.

Ange: And finally – perhaps the most important question of all – Snickers or Mars? 🙂

Christine: Oh, dear. This may be the toughest question of all! I love a good Snickers, but I’ll take an almond over a peanut any day, so I’ll have to say Mars.

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