Sites We Love: Running with Tweezers

Gorgeous photos? Check. Engaging writing? Check. Seriously inspiring recipes, tips, and culinary curiosity? Check, check, and check. The best food blogs all seem to have a lot in common—but what separates them out are the strong personalities behind them. In our Sites We Love series, we sit down with some of our favorite bloggers to find out how they do it—and why it's as much fun for them as it is for us.

Tami Hardeman

Today's site we love is Running with Tweezers, where Atlanta-based food stylist Tami Hardeman shares her favorite recipes, with a particular focus on the intersection of aesthetics and gastronomy. Here's what Tami has to say about her site:

Live since: 2005

Posting rate: Ideally, once a week. As of late, with my super busy work schedule, more like every three weeks on average.

Geographic location: Atlanta, Georgia

Why is the site called Running with Tweezers? It's a play on the Augusten Burroughs novel Running with Scissors, but it's also what I do in my day-to-day "real job" as a professional food stylist.

What's been your most popular post? I'd say a post about figs that I did in September 2011—it contained a recipe for fig flatbread, as well as one for fig balsamic ice cream. With the advent of Pinterest, I've seen that post linked to, Tumbl-ed and repinned a many multitude of times.

What's your favorite post? The photo post I did after my trip to New Orleans. NOLA is one of my most favorite places and I think the photos show that. Food-wise, this Seafood Gumbo recipe is one of the best things I've ever made. It's my go-to recipe for gumbo...even the owners of the restaurant found the post and commented on it.

Credit: Tami Hardeman

What's something great that you've learned or that's happened to you since starting your blog? I'm happy that I've met so many great people through my blog—there are several people that have become my friends in real life, and any time you can do that, you're really fortunate. One big thing my blog has taught is writing recipes. Not just the technical way of doing it but that tone and word choice really does matter. I want my recipes to work and I want them to sound like I'm telling it to you. It makes me happy when people tweet or email that they've made something on the blog and that reading my post felt like they were hanging out with me in person.

What's the usual process for developing one of your posts? I wish I could say that I have all this structure, an editorial calendar, etc...but I don't. My blog is craving-driven and usually ties in with things that are happening in my life at the time. There's never really "seasonal" posts or themed items. I make what I want to eat and, most often, there's a reason I'm making it and sharing it.

All of my photos are shot by me and I spend my off days from styling on commercial jobs working on recipes and making the photos. It's a nice, relaxing way for me to be creative, cook what I want, blow off some steam and write a bit—it's all very theraputic for me. I have wonderful light in my house during the days and I like to putter around the house, play some music, get in the kitchen, and it all happens organically from there. I don't always post things right after I make them—a typical post for me take between 4 to 6 hours from the recipe to the writing and the photos.

Credit: Tami Hardeman

What are your favorite ingredients and tools? The recipes on my blog are almost all vegetarian with a little bit of seafood here and there...so vegetables are always my favorite ingredient. Kale is something I cook with a lot—on the blog and in our day to day cooking at home. I know I'm hitting all the food blog buzzwords here but I really do use what's in season and I try to use locally grown ingredients. If it's tomato season, there's likely to be a tomato salad recipe somewhere. As for tools, my [Vitamix](/

Credit: Helene Dujardin

Where else can we find your work? By day, I'm a professional food stylist so you'll see my work lots of places! I do styling for magazine editorials, advertisements, cookbooks—even record covers! Recently, I've done work for Bloomingdale's, Calphalon, and Southern Living Magazine.

What food blogs do you follow? I have about 60 food blogs that I've subscribed to in my RSS reader—even after 7 years of it, I love the food blog world. Some of my favorites are Tartelette, Happyolks, Lemon Fire Brigade, and Sprouted Kitchen. While I wouldn't necessarily call it a "food blog," the Canal House Cooks Lunch feed is pretty great—I've gotten so much inspiration from their daily lunch photos.

Do you know a blog or blogger who deserves to be featured in this space? Email a nomination—including a link to the site and a few sentences on why they're worthy of love—to siteswelove@saveur.com.