Today I’d like to introduce you to Alta. Alta has such a wonderful outlook on life. She makes great food and takes amazing photos of it that you could just eat off the computer screen. Make sure you visit her blog.
Name : Alta Mantsch
Business and or blog name: Tasty Eats At Home
Location: Dallas, Texas (well, Wylie, to be specific)
Favorite quote: Don’t really have one, although right now I’m listening to an audible (for iphone) version of Medium Raw by Anthony Bourdain, and I would love to use quotes from just about any part of that book! It’s awesome.
Focus of blog or business: Gluten and dairy-free food, recipes, living
Social Media I play in: Facebook and Twitter (to a lesser degree)
I started my blog in the month and year: July 2008
Professional organizations I belong to: food-related: Foodbuzz. non-food related: Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists and the Dallas Area Compliance Association.
Training/education I received: none food-related, but I have a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration, and I am a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist
My favorite healthy food: Just one? Can’t decide! I love greens – collards, kale, spinach, chard…yum!
My favorite snack food: Again I’m indecisive. My go-to easy snack is usually some form of nut – almonds, cashews, walnuts, pistachios
My top 3 healthiest foods I love to eat or recommend: greens, coconut, avocado
Childhood ambition: to become a writer, and to sing professionally
My favorite cookbook: Apparently I’m indecisive a lot. It changes all the time. My latest is Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef by Shauna and Danny Ahern, and I frequently turn to The Almond Flour Cookbook by Elana Amsterdam. But I also love Tom Colicchio’s Think Like A Chef, anything by Gordon Ramsay, I love Fergus Henderson’s Nose To Tail At Home, Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Cooking, I’m all about Julia Child and James Beard, Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything, and I think the Culinary Institute of America textbooks are a great read for anyone who wants basic cooking skills on hand. And the list goes on…
Wildest dream: To land a book deal, or two, or three, that are lucrative enough for me to stop this thing called my “real job”.
Favorite activity: Umm, cook? 🙂
Favorite thing to cook: Braises – I love braising lamb, duck, beef short ribs. The whole process takes a while, isn’t rushed, and it just fills the house with a delicious, enticing aroma. And then, when you serve it, it’s love on a plate – melty, tender, umami-bombed meat that is falling off of the bone. I also love to bake cookies, cakes, brownies, just about anything. Baked goods bring a smile to anyone who receives them.
Favorite kitchen tool: cast iron skillet
Biggest risk I’ve taken: In the kitchen? Making croquembouche was the most difficult – although maybe not the most risky. More often, my risks come from “throwing stuff together and see what happens” activities. I’ve failed miserably sometimes with those activities – like trying to bake leftover almond pulp (from making almond milk) into something edible to trying to substitute for eggs in not-so-simple baked goods. Sometimes, though, my improvisation rewards me – I’ve subbed teff flour many times in baked goods and have been delighted, for example.
Favorite exercise: playing soccer
What I you do to treat myself: bake (I think I have an addiction), or allow myself to shop at Central Market (one of the most amazing groceries around here)
What I do to feel at peace: sit outside on my back patio and just gaze into the yard and enjoy the weather
Biggest challenge: balancing work life, home life, and blog life
Favorite vacation spot: I love to explore new places all the time. However, I loved when we visited Fredericksburg, Texas. We stayed in a little cottage built in the 20s on about 300 acres of farmland. Quiet and restorative.
Health concerns I’ve cleared up: Heartburn, fatigue, tingling of hands and feet, high cholesterol levels, low vitamin B12 levels
Books I’ve written: none
I started my blog to: gather and share recipes with family and friends
What I hope the people that visit my blog find: help and inspiration on what to eat on a gluten-free or dairy-free diet, and delicious recipes they can make at home, regardless of food intolerances
Top 3 results people get from visiting my blog: gluten-free and dairy-free recipes for everything from chili to cookies, family-friendly recipes and recipes kids can cook, and tips on gluten-free foods and living
Products and/or services I offer: none
What I love about what I do: I get to cook (and eat), and I get to creatively write and share with other people who are as passionate about food as I am
How am I making a difference in my community: I am showing people that gluten-free doesn’t mean taste free – it’s not a “death sentence”. There are many delicious things you CAN eat.
My greatest success so far: as far as cooking/blogging: Being published in the Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook. Greatest success in overall life? Having a wonderful, loving, supporting family and watching my kids grow and enjoy cooking and expanding their tastes and experiences about food and the world.
In the future I see myself: The future is unwritten, so I don’t want to nail it down too much. I see myself continuing to blog (or modifying the blog into whatever new medium is most desired) and cook, and experience new ways to enjoy and share healthy, delicious foods!
Wow! This was so fun to get a bigger peak into the world of Alta!! 😉 I was fascinated by the fact that she is an Anti Money Laundering Specialist. How did I not know that? Did everyone else already know this interesting tidbit? LOL Thanks for sharing Alta here, Diane! She is such a sweetheart! And I just can feel those book deals coming to that doorstep, Alta! 😉
Diane, thanks so much for featuring me today!
Kim, I think we tend not to talk about our "day jobs" all that much around here in the GF blogosphere – at least, I don't. And actually, since this "interview" with Diane, I acquired more "certifications" – I'm now also a Certified Community Bank Compliance Officer. Woowoo! I am a nerdy bank compliance officer full-time by day. Hence the need to be creative in the kitchen on my own time! And thank you for the kind words. 🙂
Loved reading more about you. 🙂
Alta, you're also a great resource for parents who want to get their kids involved in the kitchen and/or have picky eaters. Your Kids in the Kitchen series shows parents a wonderful way to have their kids learn and want to try new foods at the same time.
I LOVE these rock star posts of yours, Diane. What a great idea. It's like I get to read "People" magazine for foodies when you publish these "up close and personal" accounts of my favorite bloggers.
And isn't Alta about the cutest thing ever! And I'm with you on the "biggest challenges" question, Alta. It's not easy and that might be part of the "heartburn" issue. =) We need to visit those 1920s cabins and lounge on our back decks more often, don't we!?
Great addition to the rock star list.
Awww, thanks Melissa! I agree – I think I need to find a way to permanently live on a back deck or a 1920 cabin!
Yay for Alta. I love these segments because we get to learn a little bit more about amazing people.
Alta is such a cutie! She goes to prove you can't judge a book by its cover, because like Kim, I had no idea she was an anti-money laundering officer or bank compliance officer. It's nice to find out a little bit more about a person and I agree that those types of roles make us crave more creativity elsewhere in our lives. For most of us reading, it's obviously in the kitchen where we get to use our creativity! I love all of Alta's recipes and posts. I am always learning something new, whether it's a method or a new ethnic dish. 🙂 Glad you've found the joy of audio books, Alta! Be sure to listen to Bill Buford's Heat about his time in Mario Batali's kitchen and much more. It's a hoot, and so educational!
Thanks Shirley! I will definitely check out those books. Right now, I'm listening to Buddhism for Busy People – trying to expand my understanding of other philosophies. Very educational and interesting.
Love this, especially since I haven't met Alta yet. Some fun little tidbits. Thanks Diane!
Another great post that allowed us a peek into a fellow blogger's life and personality! Loved reading this. And I, too, am very impressed by the anti-money laundering role! 😀
Love this – so fun! Love these tidbits we get about people's life from your series and yes, another rock star!
Alta, you really rock! I think you’re a good example for your children as like me to be involved with kitchens and foods stuff. And how come studied for a long time with Business Administration and that’s cooking is the best for you. Thanks, I have fun reading your blogs.