We're switching up our regular Link Love coverage this week to introduce you to a blogger whose recipes made us hungry.
Meet Ashley Rodriguez, the do-it-all blogger behind Not Without Salt. Originally created as a way to share the wedding cakes she was creating as part of a new business venture, her blog now centers on photography, recipe development, and telling the story of life around the table. Here, she talks about using her blog to create a food journal, feeding her family, and how seasonality and simplicity can be the most important components when it comes to creating a new dish (like in the recipe for Rhubarb Fritters that caught our eye this week!).
The blog was my lifeline in those early years of parenting. It kept my mind always buzzing with creativity, new ideas, and I was so eager to share and to continue to participate in the food community. Now, a recipe makes it to the blog if it gets repeated in our house. If I make something and crave it the next day or if the kids start asking for me to make it again, then I will put it up on Not Without Salt. I also use the site as my own personal reference for what is inspiring me in that moment. That makes the blog very seasonal and so fun for me to scroll through the recipe database and remember what was exciting to me through the years. I’ve been blogging for nearly ten years, so there are so many memories tucked into the recipes. It’s such a gift.
My favorite ingredients vary from month to month. Right now we are deep into spring and fresh herbs are crowding my fridge. A quick peek on my blog and you will notice that I have a deep love of rhubarb. In the recipe for Rhubarb Fritters I took two of my favorite things—doughnuts and rhubarb—and combined them. I’m a big fan of apple fritters but had never had a rhubarb fritter and I thought that quintessential tartness would be a lovely match for a sweet dough. I mean, it is hard to go wrong with doughnuts, right?
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Aside from fresh produce my kitchen is never without Parmesan, an assortment of vinegars and pickled things, eggs, lemons, beans, and a cupboard filled with spices. My food tends to be a bit simple so I love using ingredients that pack in a lot of flavor. As an example, last week I had a few people coming over for dinner. I grabbed some asparagus from the market because it called to me and I couldn’t say no. Rather than just serve a simple roasted asparagus, I tucked into my spice drawer and decided to throw on a scattering of caraway, fennel, and nigella seeds along with the salt and olive oil. The result added a lovely fragrant crunch to the dish. I’m continually asking myself how a dish could be better. It sometimes end in a failure but even in the failure I learn something new.