Friday, October 1, 2010
Meet Dallas blogger Kelly Jaggers of Evil Shenanigans
A fine graduate of the Easy-Bake oven school of cooking.
But there's a group of bloggers around Dallas who focus on cooking and recipes, each with a unique point of view, which we're profiling weekly. This week: Kelly Jaggers.
Blog: Evil Shenanigans: "Sometimes it's good to be bad."
Blogger: Jaggers, 32, graduated from Duncanville High School and went to the University of Texas at Arlington on a music scholarship with an eye towards being an opera singer. After she got married, she realized she didn't want to endure the travel expected of an opera singer, and enrolled in the culinary program at El Centro College in 2006. She founded Evil Shenanigans as a way to share what she was learning with friends and family. Like last week's food blogger Natalie Hebert, Jaggers is participating in Project Food Blog. Her blog receives 1200 to 1600 visits a day.
Easy Bake: "My mom is a tremendous cook. She comes from a family of farm cooks from Brenham, Texas. She loved cooking and she passed that along to me. She'd let me play in the kitchen with her. I had an Easy-Bake oven, with the light bulb and the little tray. That's my first memory of baking something myself. I remember making a chocolate cake with that Easy-Bake oven and it was the best thing I ever tasted. I can make a good pie crust, roast a good chicken, make a good pot roast, and I have her to thank."
Creating Recipes: "People started asking for recipes and pictures, and now writing recipes has become my passion. I try to come up with my own from-scratch recipes based on research. I google to see if it exists. If it doesn't, or if it doesn't exist the way I want it to be, I'll come up with my own. I'll make a quarter of the recipe, and if it works out, hooray. I do that a few times, then photograph it and put it on the blog.
"Not everything I think of is going to be a brand new idea. Some things I'll never be able to reinvent. Apple pie, croissants -- those things are classics. But I can put my own spin by adding something or changing something.
"One recipe I created was chocolate mascarpone banana crepes. It's a bittersweet chocolate crepe filled with chocolate mascarpone and bananas. I was having a banana and chocolate craving, and thought, 'Wouldn't it be cool to make chocolate crepes.' I went home and tried it and it fell together. Another was peanut-butter cream pie. If you google 'peanut-butter pie,' you'll find recipes that use cream cheese and whipped cream. But I wanted a vanilla cream with peanut butter. I get a lot of cravings for things. I have an inspiration book I carry with me everywhere I go. If I get an idea, I write it in the book, and then go back and see if it's something I can do."
The Name: "Most food blogs have some kind of food reference in the name. My blog name is about as gimmicky as I get. It's from a movie -- Super Troopers -- about these goofy state troopers in Vermont. They hate this other trooper, and there's a scene where they're talking about how his shenanigans are tragic and cruel. And they say, They're not really shenanigans at all. 'Evil Shenanigans.' I loved that! My kitchen shenanigans. It sets me slightly apart from other blogs."
Blogging in Dallas: "It's only been in the past two years that I've become aware of other Dallas food bloggers. I can totally thank Twitter. I've met so many great people on Twitter. We've got great food bloggers in this city. And having a shared audience can do nothing but benefit us. We all have a slightly different focus and approach. We get together every few months."
The recipe: Banana and Chocolate Mascarpone Crepes