Welcome to Meet the Neighbors! 🙂 Each week we highlight a different food blogger and learn some new recipes! 🙂 I just love it. And today it is my pleasure to introduce to you the lovely and talented Jessica Noelle Konrad, who blogs over at Noelle’s Nest. She specializes in gluten free cooking that avoids artificial colors and flavors, which makes her food perfect for those on specialized diets for health reasons. I often cook gluten free for family and friends, and I was delighted to find this beautiful blog that specializes in making comfort food achievable under any dietary constraints. I also love the name Noelle (my daughter’s name is Noelle! 🙂 and I think that her blog name is adorable. I just can’t wait for you to meet her– let’s pull up a chair and have a chat! 🙂
What is your name, and where are you located? (Hint: if you live in Hawaii, I am packing my bags as we speak 😉
My name is Jessica Noelle Konrad, but most times I go by my middle name. A year ago I married the man of my dreams, and we bought a small house in his hometown of Auburn, California.
Tell us a little bit about yourself– what is the name of your blog, and how did you get started?
The name of my blog is Noelle’s Nest. I got the desire to start a blog after a trip Tokyo, Japan for Christmas last year. I have a gluten sensitivity and realized that it can be hard to find foods that fit your diet when you are traveling. It can be especially hard when traveling internationally with a language barrier. I wanted to share my experiences seeing the world and eating all kinds of amazing foods. Even though many have the same dietary restrictions as I do, we do not have to miss out on anything the world has to offer. I also wanted to teach newlywed wives how to cook for their husbands. My husband is not gluten free, but he eats that way with me 90% of the time. I am blessed not to have Celiac’s Disease, so we can share a toaster, and I can make him the sandwiches he likes. However, Martha Stewart sets the bar high for a homemaker and most of us (if you’re at all like me) work full time jobs. I wanted to show how it is possible to be creative as well as career oriented when you work 9 to 5. It is not an easy task, but is totally doable with the right attitude and a passion for it.
What is your favorite food? And what is your least favorite food?
Ironically, my favorite food is bread and butter. Being gluten free just means that most of the time I have to either make it or find the brands I like through trial and error. It is totally worth it though…YUM! I also really like cake. I had to throw that one in there. My least favorite food is tomatoes. I hate tomatoes! I love the color and how they look on a plate or in salsa or marinara, but raw tomatoes are yucky!
What advice would you give someone who is just starting to cook?
My advice would be to take your time and love yourself. This is art you are making, and I cannot tell you how many times I have exploded my cupcakes or left the burner on over night. Give yourself a little credit– half the time your food will taste good, even if it doesn’t look good.
What keeps you going, every day? Who are your greatest cheerleaders/supporters?
Fellow bloggers and writers keep me going. I love going on Instagram and looking at all of their recipes or finding exactly what I need on Pinterest. Whenever my motivation diminishes I check out what my fellow bloggers are doing, and it inspires me every time. My husband inspires me, as well. Every time I make a meal and he says “yum!” it makes me smile, and I just want to do it again and again.
Jessica was kind enough to share a delicious recipe with us. Just take a moment and look at that cake. Look at it . . . look how Beauuuuutiful it is! Can you BELIEVE that this gorgeous little beauty is also gluten free? Ummm yumm yummmmm!
Jessica tells us that this was her favorite birthday cake, growing up, and I can see why– it looks amazing! And if you’ve ever tried to bake gluten free, you know that it can be a challenge to make baked goods rise light and fluffy without gluten. But this cake certainly looks like it is “A OK” in that department. I can’t wait to taste it, and you should give it a try, too! 🙂 Check out the recipe for this Perfect Strawberry Birthday Cake on Noelle’s Nest, here.
Thanks again, Jessica Noelle Konrad, for spending some time with us here on Cookies for England. I can’t wait to see more delicious recipes on your beautiful blog! 🙂
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which just means that we get a few pennies if you purchase through our link. I never recommend products that I don't personally use and love. Thanks!