Once in a while you will come across a blog that is simple yet sophisticated, engaging and well presented that you definitely want to know the brains behind it. One such blog is The Blenderist by Jasmine Lukuku (37). Jasmine was born in Zambia and raised in Canada, Vancouver British Columbia to be precise. She blogs about something close to my heart, food. There is an art to cooking, and like every art there are masters and amateurs. Jasmine possesses a quality that few have and many wish they had. She can cook and shows us mere mortals how to do it, in her blog.
Do not mistake the blog name for a villain in one of the Marvel comics. The name The Blenderist is from what Jasmine had initially intended the blog to be about. “When I first started I focussed on making recipes using a blender especially smoothies,” she says. However, the blog evolved to include other recipes that did not involve a blender, but she kept the name nonetheless because a blender mixes things and that is what she hoped would happen with her recipes. A visit to the site I was welcomed by crusty, chocolate chip and raisin cookies temptingly placed on a saucer. The site’s white background only enhances these baked goodies. I am already hungry writing about them. Scrolling further it is hard to ignore the oriental influence in her recipes which includes, noodles, coconut, curry among some of the ingredients used. Jasmine was quick to remind me that she is not defined by one style of cooking rather she loves mixing up cuisines. Do not be surprised if she served you Chinese food with a touch to Vietnamese ingredients.
It is very easy to assume that managing a blog such as The Blenderist is easy, yet this would be oversimplifying the truth. For the self-taught food enthusiast, it takes hours of perusing cookbooks for inspiration, conceptualising and developing a recipe to electrify the taste buds, and not forgetting the countless photographs that are discarded because of poor lighting or wrong angle. It can be said that Jasmine’s labour of love is self evident by what she chooses to share with the rest of the world. The recipes are well outlined and the instructions are easy to follow that you have to deliberately choose to get them wrong, add a mouth-watering picture that makes you wish you could dine in Jasmine’s kitchen every day and it is complete.
There are many blogs where you would expect to find your haters and critics, a food blog would not be on top of that list. Jasmine does admit that it is not all sunshine and dances in her food blogging journey. A reader once told her that she hated the drink recipe she created and this was despite countless other readers informing her otherwise and stating that they loved the recipe. Jasmine has learnt to reconcile this dilemma by accepting that she cannot please everyone. Despite the hurdles, potholes and rude readers, Jasmine says, “I am happy every time someone makes one of my recipes and shares it on social media saying how much they loved it.”
Jasmine’s future plans for The Blenderist are not for it to grow beyond what it already is. She is of the view that a bigger blog would require more attention and would then result in it being a full-time job which she does not want it to be. She is more than satisfied with the level that the blog has reached. It allows her to be creative and play with various ideas. I am sure her readers will not mind too much as long as the recipes keep flowing.
Aside from The Blenderist, Jasmine and her boyfriend also run a website called ChocolateCodex.com. She believes that consumers expect chocolate to be a cheap treat when it should be a premium product so that farmers that grow cocoa can be compensated properly. Among the recipe experimentations, blog postings and precision photography, Jasmine is also a commercial actor. She has featured in TV commercials and is adamant that she has no plans to venture into film.
For a person who bakes to unwind, “As if you could kill time without injuring eternity,” by Henry David Thoreau is her favourite quote, finds companies who request her to create free content annoying or if given a chance to prepare dinner for the President the menu would include a simple coconut curry with pumpkin served with flatbread, it is hopeless to attempt to pigeon hole The Blenderist. The Blenderist may not be Jasmine’s superhero name but who are am I kidding, we all now know what superpowers she possesses.
P.S. This piece would not be complete without a recipe from The Blenderist, would it now?
Chocolate Cardamom Pots de Creme
• 8 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
• 3 eggs (room temperature)
• 1 tsp vanilla
• ¼ tsp ground cardamom
• Pinch of salt
• 5 oz hot coffee or espresso
1. Combine the chocolate chips, eggs, vanilla and ground cardamom in the blender on medium-high speed until fully combined.
2. While the blender is still running, remove the funnel cap from the top and pour the hot coffee in to the mixture slowly. The coffee must be very hot for the mixture to set.
3. Mix for approximately 1 minute until smooth.
4. Divide the mixture in to 4 small cups or ramekins.
5. Cool in the fridge until set, approximately 4 hours.