{a day in the life} NoshOn.It

Today’s “a day in the life” is the friendly, extremely talented Vijay of NoshOn.It. Vijay is one of the hardest workers I know and I’m so happy to shine the spotlight on him today! Make sure you check out his awesome site. His hard work is evident in the quality of the content produced.

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NoshOnIt-Logo--300x300

Tell me about yourself and how you started food blogging.

Food and cooking has been an important part of my life for as long as I can remember. Fun fact: I even started a Cooking Club in high school and we had the best pre-prom mocktail party. But professionally as well, I’ve always worked in and around food, including a stint attending culinary school, cooking professionally, helping to open a winery, and being a catering and event planner. After being long-time readers of blogs and having the itch to start our own business, my co-founder Alex and I started NoshOn.It just over a year ago with the idea of being a place where we could showcase and support the work of bloggers who we thought were doing amazing work. When we started, we had a really simple idea – every day in an email and on our website, we would feature one recipe from one amazing blogger (like Rachel and many others you’ve met here) along with one cooking tip to help you step up your game in the kitchen. For the first 8 months of our existence, it was just Alex (my co-founder) and I doing pretty much everything, with me doing most of the writing for our daily features and on our blog. As we got more into it and met more bloggers, a few like Rachel were nice enough to invite me to guest post and at the same time, I started to create more recipes for our own blog. So, I guess I kind of fell into being a blogger myself! I seriously have the best job in the world. I get to meeting amazing new people, make foodie friends across the globe, and stare at pretty pictures of food all day. It really doesn’t get much better.

Take me through your day.Vijay Headshot

7:30 AM: Alarm goes off. Hit snooze obsessively

7:45 – 8:00 AM: Get up. Sometimes a little earlier, sometimes a little later. I can unabashedly say that I’m more of a night owl than a morning person! All of you guys who get up at the crack of dawn are crazy! Check email on phone and delete anything that doesn’t require my attention (Note to self: I really need to stop doing this).

8:00 – 8:30 AM: Brush teeth, shower, and make a cup of pourover coffee (more on that below)…it takes 15 minutes and I love every minute. Make one for Doctor-lady (my fiance).

8:45: Power up the computer. Turn on some music (usually on Songza so I don’t have to think about it…Afro Cuban is a great upbeat morning-starter). Check Twitter and FB to see what new posts people have published. Rapidly power through e-mail, responding as quick as possible to get it off my plate.

9:00 AM: Create my to-do list for the day. This is something I’ve been doing lately and it’s been really helpful. I separate it into “work” and “personal,” only a few things in each, and never spend more than 5 minutes on it. That way, I can be sure to actually cross everything off…which is a wishful thought since it rarely ever happens!

9:04 AM: Back to social media to respond to some tweets, schedule a few things for the morning, and make sure I don’t have anything in my teeth.

9:15 AM: Morning video check-in call with my co-founder Alex. Since I recently moved to Philadelphia to be with my fiance and Alex and the rest of our team is still in Boston, it’s important for us to get some face-time every morning and go over what we’re working on that day, check-in about life, and go over anything important.

9:30 AM: Take a quick break and make some breakfast. Usually oatmeal, granola/yogurt/fruit, or 2 over easy eggs with toast. If I eat too early, I’m hungry by 11am and feel guilty about having 2 lunches.

10:00 AM – Noon: If I’m behind, work on getting the day’s feature ready to go. Otherwise, respond to our clients, things our interns are working on, or search for new bloggers and recipe to feature in the future. Or, if I’m working on a photoshoot, I like to do it at this time, when the light is best. I wish I could stay away, but let’s be real, I’m also on Twitter and FB in between all of these things.

12:30 PM: Hangry. Eat lunch, usually leftovers from the night before.

1:00 – 1:05 PM PM: Anxiously await our daily e-mail going out to make sure everything works (even though we’ve tested it). Even after hundreds of emails, I still get nervous.

1:05 – 4:00 PM: More work with our interns, finding new recipes, social media, or putting together features for the next few days. Mini-happy dance when something actually gets crossed off the to-do list.

4:00 PM – 5:30 PM: Since I recently moved and got a bike, I like to take this time to get a little adventuring in while the light is still out. I’ll hop on the bike with my backpack and go explore a new neighborhood, coffee shop, or cafe. On the way back, I’ll swing by the Italian Market (a daily outdoor produce market) or the grocery store and pick up a few things for dinner. I like buying small amounts of things on an as-needed basis. It keeps our meals interesting and forces me to get out of the house!

6:00 PM: Start dinner. I don’t mind making time-consuming things even on weekdays so I like to get started early if it needs to cook for a while. In the meantime, I’m back on the computer doing more work or taking care of personal things…which right now means finding furniture for our new place!

7:30 PM: Turn on the TV and leave it on in the background, often with a show that I won’t admit I watch…or football.

8:00 PM: Eat dinner, hang with Doctor-lady if she’s back already or by myself with a good show! If there’s an interesting foodie event going on in Philly (e.g. a cool brewery at a bar), I’ll slip out in the neighborhood to check it out!

10:00 PM: Back on the computer. I do my best writing and find my greatest moments of focus at night. Write new posts, edit photos, work on more involved projects. Or, on the nights when Doctor-lady is working a late shift, I’ll head out and pick her up from work so she doesn’t have to take the train back.

1:00 AM: Get deliriously sleepy, lights out!

What is your one must-have kitchen tool or gadget?

A very big and very sharp chef’s knife. I like my fingers too much! Even though I went to culinary school in the past, I’ve never believed in having a huge arsenal of knives. Give me one good knife and I’m a happy man. (Followed in a close second by a set of tongs. The ones with the rubber on the handles and the tab so they can store away in the closed position…you know the one I’m talking about.)

What is the most important part of your day? Why?

My morning coffee and more specifically, the routine around making that cup. I use one of those filter cones and make an individual pour-over cup (usually with beans from my friends at Craft Coffee or OQ Coffee), grinding the beans every morning, and pouring the water over at precise intervals. Neurotic? Definitely. Time consuming? For sure. There’s something therapeutic about how meticulous you have to be to get the perfect cup. And yes, if you’re wondering, there is an app for that!

Since I’m usually moving a million miles a minute and working on 10 things at once, this is the one time in my day when I’m forced to slow down, concentrate, and actually take some time for myself.  I don’t guzzle coffee all day but in the morning, I need one good cup or the rest of my day is thrown off.

What is your LEAST favorite part of the day? Why?

Dishes and cleaning the kitchen. I avoid those like the plague and generally make an friendly agreement with whomever I’m cooking for that I’ll cook and they can clean. (Warning: if I ever try to make you shake on this, run far far away. I like to use a lot of dishes…)

If you had to choose one place to travel to every year, where would it be? Why? Have you been there before?

The Tuscan countryside.

Tuscan-Countryside

I’ve lived in the hustle and bustle of big cities for pretty much my entire life but I could see myself becoming an old man in one of those villas. There’s something peaceful yet intense about the culture there. Every town (which may be no more than a few miles away from each other) has their own distinct specialties and culture. Amazing views, great wine everywhere, locally made cheeses and meats, and a love of the simple life. What more could you ask for?

If you could travel anywhere in the world for free, where would you go and how long would you stay?

East and Southeast Asia – China, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand. I’ve never been beyond Singapore and it’s a part of the world that has so much that I know so little about. Plus, real deal street food. None of this food truck stuff =).

What is your favorite cookbook?

The cookbook I’ve probably gotten the most use out of is The San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market Cookbook. When I was living in SF for a few years, I was surrounded by literally the best produce I’ve ever seen and you always wonder, “what should I do with this?” This cookbook has recipes, seasonal information, and storage tips from all of the actual farmers who bring their stuff to the market. It’s simple, organized by season, and really helpful!

The cookbook that means the most to me is Classical Indian Cooking by Julie Sahni, which my (now) fiance gave me to many years ago. It’s more of a textbook than a pretty-picture cookbook but even though I grew up eating Indian food nearly every day of the week, this is the book that really opened my eyes to the why behind Indian cooking. It’s also the first cookbook I literally read cover to cover…ironically, on a long plane ride to India.

What recipe on your blog are you most proud of? 

These Lamb Vindaloo Tacos with Cucumber Raita.  My two favorite foods in the world are Indian and Mexican (probably a result of growing up in an Indian family in Texas!) and if there’s one dish that captures what I love to eat and cook in one bite, this is it. Plus, this recipe is extra special to me because I was invited by one of my blogging heroes (and now friend), Marc of No Recipes, to guest post it on his blog. It was one of my first forays into guest posting and actually developing a recipe from scratch. Plus, Marc is an insanely good photographer so the pressure was on!

Lamb Vindaloo Tacos

What recipe on your blog do your readers seem to most? 

Of the recipes we’ve featured, this Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad Sandwich from Chung-Ah of Damn Delicious is our most popular recipe of all time!

Greek-Yogurt-Chicken-Salad-Sandwic

Of the things we’ve developed ourselves, people love this guide on How to Make Authentic Mexican Horchata. We tested 4 different recipes and came up with our perfect method!

Authentic Mexican Horchata

What is your guilty food pleasure that you’re embarrassed to fess up to? Kraft Mac & Cheese? Spagetti-o’s? Canned cheese? We promise not to judge!

This is an easy one – Cool Ranch Doritos, hands down. None of that Nacho Cheese stuff. Put a bag of that in front of me (or in the car on a road trip) and stand back. I can down an entire bag and not feel one bit guilty!

What have you learned since you began blogging?

#1: Respect. Before I started blogging myself, I was a longtime reader of other blogs. But it wasn’t until I started doing it myself and getting to know a bunch of other bloggers that  I really started to appreciate and respect how much time, effort, skill, and passion goes into making each and every one of those posts. When you stop focusing on yourself and starting supporting others who are doing great work, good things happen. To the other bloggers reading this, thank you for what you do.

#2: Internet friends are real! I’ve met so many amazing people purely through e-mail, Twitter, and Facebook without ever meeting in real life and I’m happy to now call them friends.

Do you have any advice for someone who is interested in cooking or food blogging?

Be open but be yourself. Let yourself be inspired and influenced by what everyone else is doing but let your gut be the final decision maker. And, build relationships not followers. Get to really know people, help them, make friends and be real. When you do those things, you’ll rock it.

Who would you like to see featured here in the future? 

Oh man, this is a toughy – you’ve already featured a bunch of people I love! There are so many people who I think would be great here but here are a few who I think have been really doing some awesome stuff lately (and who you may or may not know already).

Kelli from The Corner Kitchen

Alanna from The Bojon Gourmet

Danguole from 10th Kitchen

Is there anything else you would like to tell the world about yourself?

If anyone is ever in Boston or Philadelphia, please let me know! We always love visitors =).

 

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Can’t wait to check out the blogs you listed, Vijay! Two of them are new to me, I love discovering new blogs. Thanks for taking time to tell us about yourself and your day!  Wish I could be a night owl like you and push back my 10pm bedtime. 

You can find more of Vijay and NoshOn.It on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and Instagram.

And be sure to subscribe to one (or more!) of NoshOn.It’s fabulous newsletters. Always full of great info an fantastic recipes. A great way to get exposed to new bloggers too. I know if you made it to the end of this post, you like meeting new bloggers.

When you make a recipe from my site tag it with #RachelCooks!
I love to see what you're creating!

25 comments

  1. I will fight you for the Cool Ranch Doritos. What is it about those things?! I love this series! Super fun, super interesting, and now I am also craving Lamb Vindaloo Tacos. So thanks for that.

  2. I love this series Rachel! Thanks, as always. It always amazes me how many awesome people I’ve never come across in the blogosphere (though it shouldn’t really, the internet is a big place, haha). Definitely happy to have discovered Vijay and his awesome site. I’m browsing it right now (newly subscribed!) and it’s such a fantastic resource for bloggers and non-bloggers alike! Vijay, I’m going to be stalking that site from now on… awesome source of inspiration. So glad you love what you do as you’re making the world happy, one post at a time :) Definitely agree, like-minded internet friends are some of the most awesome people around!

  3. What a great interview. It was nice to get to know you Vijay even before visiting your site. Now I am hooked. Thanks Rachel for this series.

  4. I will fight you for the Cool Ranch Doritos. What is it about those things?!
    I love this series! Super fun, super interesting, and now I am also craving Lamb Vindaloo Tacos. So thanks for that.

  5. So awesome to “meet” you and learn more about you, Vijay! Going to snoop around your site for a while now, don’t mind me! ;) Thanks for contributing on Rachel’s site today.

  6. I love these interviews, I know I say it every week, but I truly love getting the advice and knowledge from other food bloggers. Thank you!

    I’m going to spend some time over on Vijay’s site now! I need to go find the cookbook he recommended!

  7. Out of all of this — and a it was a great interview — my favorite was the cookbook rec. Totally going to get it. Thanks!

  8. I’ve always loved reading Vijay’s blog and reading this has made me know him even better. Thanks for featuring him, Rachel.

  9. I love this feature today! Definitely saving the lamb taco recipe!

  10. Vijay is awesome and such a nice person, too. Hoping I get to meet him on one of my Philly visits:-)

  11. Love these features! Those tacos look killer! Im going to have to put those on the list!

    • Thanks Alaina – they’re a bit of work but totally worth it! When I came up with the idea, it was one of those “a-ha” moments because it combines two of my favorite types of food!

  12. I love this series!! It is so fun to see how everyone else operates in their day-to-day routine!

  13. Love this feature, Vijay!! So glad to have met you this year. BTW – didn’t realize you were now in Philly!! From one awesome city to another!!

  14. cool ranch doritios–is that a guy thing? my husband and sons love them. I prefer the original.

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