Whole Story

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Katy Zandy of Sugarlaws

Each of our six of our finalists for the Food Blogger Budget Recipe Challenge will be featured in a blog post here. Read about them and check out their featured recipe. By posting a comment on their recipe page, you help determine the winner in our Challenge AND you'll be entered in a drawing to win a $500 gift card! Katy Zandy is a 26-year-old full time attorney and part time food blogger.  Her blog focuses on healthy, fresh, seasonal recipes with elegant presentations -- all from a tiny Manhattan kitchen!  Having now posted over a hundred recipes, Katy spends a good portion of her nights, weekends, gym time, and lying-in-bed-trying-to-fall-asleep time filled with imagining new recipes, thinking of twists for classic dishes, or listing the traditionally “challenging” recipes that she can’t wait to try. Don’t lie: what did you have for dinner last night?
Miso Soup, edamame, and vegetable sushi rolls (plus a few pieces of spicy tuna roll off my fiance's plate).  And frozen yogurt with crushed peanut butter cups on top for dessert!
Remember: Don't comment here if you want to support Katy in our contest. You have to comment on her recipe page. We turned comments off to help you remember! Can you give us 3 to 5 of your favorite money-saving tips when it comes to cooking and eating?
1) Buying what's in season is always cheaper -- berries, corn and greens during the summer, and apples, potatoes and winter squash when it's cold. Who wants to pay $7 for a pint of raspberries in December, when they won't taste as good as they did in August anyway? And the summer foods taste better when you've been waiting for them! 2) I go to the grocery store almost every day, and buy what I need for a day or two, rather than doing a big trip once a week and having things spoil by the time I get around to cooking them. 3) I definitely recommend experimenting with frozen vegetables. They're frozen just after being harvested so they're nutritionally comparable to fresh vegetables, and they're great for dishes where you don't have to worry about the texture difference (soups, stews, and frittatas, for example). They're often really inexpensive, and I stock up whenever I see a good deal.
What inspired you to start your blog?
I love to cook, but when I started the blog I was living by myself and it used to drive me crazy that no one but me could see my creations!  So I would photograph them and send them to my poor family, and eventually I decided to stop flooding their email boxes and start just putting up my recipes onto a blog as a way to keep track of everything.  But now it's really taken on a life of it's own!  My favorite thing is when someone tries one of my recipes and taken the time to tell me they like it -- those make my month!
What is your “go-to” weekday meal recipe - the one you pull out in a pinch for yourself that you never get tired of?
I love simple dinners like bread, fruit and cheese, or a salad made with vegetables from the farmer's market and freshly grated parmesan.  In a pinch, I also love to cut up vegetables, toss them with sea salt and olive oil, and quickly roast them.
If you could host a potluck dinner with any three people, who would you invite and what dish would each person bring along?
Ruth Reichl, because I've read all of her books and feel like I practically know her.   Hopefully she would bring leftovers from the Gourmet test kitchen!  Kate Hudson, so that I could ask her to lend me her entire wardrobe.  She wouldn't have to bring food, she could just come with a lot of size seven shoes.   And Ina Garten could bring something incredibly decadent and chocolatey for dessert.
How do you spend your time when you’re not cooking, eating or blogging?
Going to the gym!  I've run two marathons and love to stay active and healthy.  I also love reading, watching tv on the couch with my dogs (particularly scaring myself to death watching cheesy horror movies), and traveling whenever I can. s_bliss12 wrote: Great dish! I made this last night and everyone enjoyed it. Not to mention, it was super easy! The only thing I found was that it didn't take quite as long to cook the farro...maybe only 25 or 30 minutes. Also, I used the 365 Brand low-sodium chicken broth. It made the dish even lower in sodium and still tasty! Comments on Katy’s recipe from her Budget Recipe Challenge page: suegrainsaregood wrote: A dish that can be loved by vegetarians and meat lovers. Packed with healthy grains, greens, and veggies. Very flavorful and rich in ingredients our bodies need. Excellent recipe!! Try it everyone.
Remember: Don't comment here if you want to support Katy in our contest. You have to comment on her recipe page. We turned comments off to help you remember!