CityLine Featured Blogger: The Tasty Gardener’s Heather Lang

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There are so many fabulous bloggers out there, and we want to highlight them on CityLine.ca. We’ll be profiling different lifestyle bloggers from month to month — they might write about food, fashion, beauty, decor, parenting, entertaining, gardening, you get the idea! Our latest featured blogger is Heather Lang, author of The Tasty Gardener: A Budding Gourmet.

Did you know that July 6 is National Fried Chicken Day?

Neither did we, until we checked out The Tasty Gardener.

We received so many letters from fans of Heather Lang’s blog asking that we profile her. When we checked it out we could see why. Though gardening is an element of the blog, it also celebrates food and cooking in a way that’s fun and accessible.

Cooking and gardening have been passions of Heather’s for years, but it was her boyfriend (now fiance) who convinced her to write about them online. The Tasty Gardener went live in May of 2009 and has been going strong since then.

“Aside from playing Solitaire I wasn’t the most tech savvy when it came to computers,” she admits. “It started with him. We played around with names and how it was going to be. He designed it and put it live and I’ve been contributing ever since.”

Writing about National Food Celebrations helped give the blog structure, as well as a bit of whimsy. And Heather doesn’t necessarily pair the day with a recipe that’s exactly the same — on National Fried Chicken Day she provided a healthier baked alternative, for instance. On National Apple Turnover Day she offered up a delectable looking Apple Streusel Muffin.

“When I was thinking about recipes to put up, there’s just so much. Where do you start?,” she muses. “I was at work and there was an article about the history of the potato chip. I thought, ‘It’s one of those cute little things to know. Where did the potato chip come from? Really, where did it come from?’ I started discovering all these national food days.

“It’s mainly in the U.S., Canadians don’t celebrate food as prolifically as Americans do. Every single day of the year is a national food holiday, except one, there’s one lone day in February, February 6, that doesn’t have one. I thought, wow, that’s kind of neat. Everyone loves food, who needs an excuse to celebrate food? Let’s put up the history of the potato chip, let’s put up the history of the popsicle, let’s put up a chocolate cupcake recipe on National Chocolate Cupcake Day.”

Heather agrees that those passionate about food and cooking often share a love of, or at least an appreciation for, gardening. These days she’s working to add a Plant Encyclopedia to her blog.

“In the winter we get cooped up, especially here in Canada. There’s a freshness to gardening that carries over into the food you’re eating in the spring and the summer,” she says. “You’re having salads, nice fruit desserts. That carries into, ‘I want to be outside.’ So let’s be in the garden, planting flowers. It’s that whole feeling of freshness and spring and summer. Those seasons that change our palate but also get us outside.”

As for the recipes, many are Heather’s own, but some have been given to her by family members, and others are ones she’s tweaked over the years.

“I like going to a restaurant and seeing if I can recreate (a dish) at home. I really like trying to make recipes healthy. I’m conscious of low-calorie, low-sugar, everything like that. Nothing too difficult for someone to try,” she says. “I like the step-by-step recipes with photos because I want to help people who are tentative in the kitchen. Especially with baking, I know in baking when you see a recipe that says, ‘Mix until it resembles a coarse crumb.’ Well, what does that look like? So if I can help someone, then I’ve succeeded partly in my goal to help people feel comfortable cooking.”

You can contact Heather here. You can also find her on Twitter.

We want to hear from you! Do you know a blogger we should feature on CityLine.ca? Maybe it’s you! Email us at submissions@cityline.ca  and include “CityLine Featured Blogger” in the subject line. And don’t forget to include a link to the blog! Look forward to hearing from you!