Just in time for Thanksgiving, we had the privilege of interviewing Nikki of Seeded at the Table. She spoke with us about her evolution from working in the corporate world to becoming the author and cook behind a popular blog. She also gave us a great recipe for Thanksgiving, so if you still need to find another dish to complete your Thanksgiving feast, check it out!
So, how did the idea for Seeded at the Table come into fruition? How did you go from the corporate world to a pastor’s wife to a blogging mother?
“I started my original food blog almost eight years ago as Pennies on a Platter. As a newlywed and a wife to a full-time graduate student, we had to cook frugally. I was also just learning how to cook, so it was exciting to share my culinary growth online in a blog format. After six years of Pennies on a Platter, I rebranded to Seeded at the Table since our lives were quite different than when I first began and my passion for pinching pennies was taken over by my passion for family and community gathering together at the table.
During my first few years as Pennies on a Platter, I worked a full time corporate job so making time to write and photograph for the blog was difficult. We lived in the Chicago suburbs, had our first baby, then found ourselves moving to Southern California for a pastoral role where we spent almost two years with the church there. The time that we moved out west, I quit my job and never looked back! Blogging became a full time job for me instead!
We then packed our bags and moved to the deep south of Mississippi, where we have been now for three years. My husband now teaches pastors at Reformed Theological Seminary, and I still blog full time, which is perfect for staying home with my two young sons.”
Were you able to find the time to cook when working in the corporate world? What tips would you offer those who are trying to work full-time and still create quality, home cooked meals?
“The challenge for me wasn’t to find the time to cook, but to find the time to photograph and write about it, especially during the winter months when the dark light sets in very early! Many times I would save leftovers to photograph the next day, do extra recipes specifically for the blog on weekends, and used a DIY lightbox. Now, I’m thankful I do not have a corporate job to work around, but I am much busier for my blogging job than I was back then and have kids to work around. The challenges are the same, yet different. I’m able to send my kids to a Moms Day Out at a local church twice a week which is when I work on the blog, along with writing during some weeknights after they’re in bed. Naptime is sometimes productive time for me, too!”
Has your focus evolved as you began a family and since starting the blog?
“Most definitely! As I stated earlier, my passion is no longer about saving money while cooking (although I do stay mindful of it) but instead I’m now focused on how I can enjoy my family and friends through food and community.”
So, I noticed you have a travel section too. What’s your favorite spot to travel to?
“Nashville, TN, hands down. I attended college in Nashville and then worked there one year after graduation before moving to Chicago. We visit a couple times of year to enjoy the food scene and visit friends.”
What are your plans for Thanksgiving? Is there a traditional recipe that you enjoy making for the holiday?
“As crazy as it sounds, this food blogger (yes, me!) has never made a turkey for Thanksgiving! If I’ve ever hosted a holiday dinner, I have either contributed to the sides, or made an entire Middle Eastern feast (my husband’s maternal side is partly Syrian). This year, we are unable to travel and we won’t see family until Christmas, so it is just us! Guess what that means? I’m attempting my first ever Turkey! (I’m planning for tons of leftovers for turkey sandwiches – my husband’s favorite!)
As far as a traditional recipe we enjoy that I do make every year… we love the Corn Pudding made in a slow cooker (10 PointsPlus). It’s easy to whip together and just forget about, while freeing up the oven.”
Are there any upcoming changes to the blog or in your recipe work?
“Right now, I am just trying to stay afloat with finding time to publish the content I already have photographed and thought out. So, no plans for big changes anytime soon. But, I did recently integrate a newly designed visual Recipe Index. Readers can browse all of my recipes by thumbnail images. I love it and hope they do, too!
Thanks for the interview and Happy Thanksgiving!”