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Food Blogger Interview: Pamela of Kitchen Missus

We're always excited to hear from our community members to learn how they're making their food photography great. Today, we're interviewing Pamela of Kitchen Missus who talks about being a Stay-at-Home-Mum, she cooks every day for her family to ensure that they only eat the freshest, healthiest and best foods. She created Kitchen Missus to share some of her family recipes as well as recipes that she have tried and tested.

What got you into food blogging and what do you hope to accomplish with your blog?

My goals are really simple - I want to reach out to as many people as possible with my site and share my recipes and experiences in the kitchen and as a mum. I love to write and the time of day that I most look forward to is when I've tucked my children in to sleep and I can sit comfortably in front of my laptop to get started on a new post. As such, I try my best to make it a point to blog once a week, at the VERY least, to ensure that I always have new material available on my blog. I also write from the heart and what you read is who I really am, I don't draft my blog posts or do tons of research to include in them (that would make it boring, wouln't it?) because I really just want to share my thoughts and feelings on food and on a mum's (me) usually mundane life that I try every now and then to make more interesting.

Who is your foodie Pamela Koh - Kitchen Missus - recipehero and how do they inspire you?

At the beginning of my cooking journey, I would browse recipes on Simply Recipes, The Pioneer and Rasa Malaysia and over the years, thanks to pinterest, I have found more really awesome food blogs such as Pinch of Yum, Damn Delicious and The Endless Meal for meal inspirations.

I find that I don't visit food blogs that feature Asian recipes much as I am more familiar with that cuisine and on that end, I have my mother and my paternal grandmother to look to for inspiration. With my Cantonese mum's recipes, I get dishes that are light and healthy - a lot of steamed dishes, and double-boiled soups and blanched vegetable dishes. Then, with my Peranakan or straits Chinese grandmother, I have recipes that are very exotic with lots of hearty and savoury gravy dishes that are extremely heavy-handed on the chillies, tamarind and shallots (just to name a few). So with the vast difference in tastes between these two cuisines (Cantonese and Peranakan), and the knowledge that I am armed with on them, I actually spend a lot of time researching possible new recipes that mashes the commonly-used techniques and ingredients of both cuisines. Of course, I also look to these two important women in my life for the role models that they are in always making sure that their children are well-fed by personally cooking for them day after day.

Describe your all-time favorite recipe.

My current all-time favourite recipe is the Tom Yum Squid and Prawns Stir-fry that I shared on my blog about a month back. I love this dish because it tastes delicious (duh!) and also because of the story that was behind it - I had wanted to make the classic thai tom yum soup but forgot that my children couldn't have that soup because it is crazy spicy, and thus I had to make another soup that they could have and making 2 different soups on the same day for the same meal is not the best idea. As such, I was left with tom yum soup ingredients and so I thought I would turn that into kind of a 'reverse'  tom yum soup by stir-frying it instead. It turned out really good, and I even felt a little proud of myself for that recipe.  So that is my all-time favourite recipe, for now.

What's the best food photography tip you've learned in the past year?

Admittedly, I had zero experience photographing food before starting my blog. In fact, my first few recipes and the accompanying photos were really bad, so bad that I kinda want to take them down but at the same time I didn't want to have a recipe with NO photos, but every time I see those photos I cringe. After doing research, lots of reading on food photography and studiously browsing food photo submission sites like foodgawker and tastespotting, I learned that the most important factor in capturing a good photo is the lighting, and that natural lighting is best. There are other great tips such as including props, creating a pretty backdrop, using gorgeous crockery and placemats etc, but all those are nothing if there isn't good lighting. From personal experience, between a photo taken in an artificial light box (which my husband DIY-ed and made for me) and one taken while the sun is still up (early dinner for everyone that day!), the latter is the one that gets accepted to the previously mentioned food photo submission sites, and not the ones taken in artificial light.

If you had to choose a kitchen tool you couldn't live without, what would it be and why?

That would have to be the oven. In Asian cooking, the oven is mostly reserved for making desserts or pastries and if I had been asked this question 5 years ago I definitely would not have given this answer. However, in the past couple of years,  after the PAGES of recipes on Western cuisine and after falling in love with many of these recipes, I find that I simply cannot live without the oven. Last year, my oven suddenly blew a fuse (the socket was wet when I popped it into the power source, apparently) and I had to survive without it for a week! It was terrible, and I pray that won't happen again, but it was really during that time that I realize I simply cannot live without an oven.

Thanks again to Pamela of Kitchen Missus for participating in this interview!

Claypot Tofu

A classic Chinese favourite, this healthy dish consists of a variety of vegetables and seafood braised in a delicious, thick sauce.


Creamy Ricotta and Mushrooms Pasta

This here is a super creamy penne pasta with a ricotta-based sauce and wonderful portobello mushrooms and cherry tomatoes (or as I like to call them - 'CHEERY' tomatoes) that you can easily make and serve in less than 30 minutes!