A Squared: The Tastemaker Top 10 with Lauren of Lion + Maven

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Tastemaker Top 10 with Lauren of Lion + Maven

Hey everyone! Welcome to the first of my Tastemaker Top 10 guest post series!

The Tastemaker Top 10 is a collection of 10 questions asked by me and answered by some of my favorite bloggers. Here they will tell you a little bit about themselves, their blogs, and of course, their favorite foods and restaurants. Today we're talking to Lauren, author of lifestyle blog Lion + Maven and co-founder of both the Windy City Blogger Collective and Cinq: A Chicago Food, Wine, & Social Club. She's a busy girl, so I'm so happy that she took the time to answer my questions and is my very first featured Tastemaker!

Name: Lauren Folkmann 

Blog: Lion + Maven

Location: Chicago, IL

In a few sentences, tell us a little bit about your blog. Lion + Maven is a lifestyle blog that mainly focuses on food and travel, but I also enjoy throwing in other topics that I really love and I think my readers would enjoy.

Now, tell us about your...

1. Favorite meal, food, or cuisine:
This is such a tough question because there is so much I love! I love a great cut of steak, I love all the aromatic spices in Indian food, and I've never been one to turn down a taco, but when it comes down to it I think that pizza has to be my #1!

2. Least favorite meal, food, or cuisine:
I'm half Greek so most people think it's really odd that I can't stand olives. I've tried on many, many occasions but they're just not for me!

3. Favorite restaurant in your city:
Hands down Bavette's. I'll stop in here and grab a seat at the bar and have a meal all by myself, that's how much I love it! They have great wine and everything I've ever eaten here is fantastic-but I definitely recommend the Shrimp De Jonghe, Shortrib Stroganoff, any of the steaks, and the Chocolate Pie!

4. Favorite restaurant outside of your city:
The Melting Wok in Ubud, Bali. My husband and I were there last summer for our honeymoon and I had the best Chicken with Coconut Curry that you could ever imagine-AND it only cost the US equivalent of $3.50!

5. Favorite guilty pleasure food:
Probably donuts...or cupcakes-specifically Molly's cookie monster cupcake that's stuffed with cookie dough...sweets are my downfall!

6. Favorite ingredient (something you love to cook with, or something you see on a menu and know you have to order): I love short ribs, so anytime I see those on the menu it's pretty safe to say that I'll be trying the dish! I also really love adding bright flavors like cilantro and basil to my cooking whenever I can.

7. Favorite recipe: My favorite recipe is one that's always a crowd pleaser- my Spicy Shrimp Scampi. It was the first dish I ever cooked for my husband over 5 years ago and he still always asks for it!

8. Favorite kitchen tool, utensil, product, etc.:
It's not the most basic of tools but I really love my vegetable spiralizer! Zucchini noodles are a great healthy alternative to pasta and they're just so fun make! Amazon is constantly marking this down, so be sure to keep an eye out and you'll get a great deal. If you need inspiration you can check out Ali's blog, Inspiralized, for tons of great recipes!

9. Favorite thing about blogging: Obviously I love writing and sharing my thoughts and experiences with my readers but I also love all the wonderful people I've met through blogging and the great new friends I've made.

10. Five favorite blogs/blogs that A Squared readers should know about:
I have found so many great blogs lately that it's really hard to pick just 5! My husband and I are visiting Germany this fall so I've been pouring over Casey's blog, We Took The Road Less Traveled, for travel ideas. Whenever I'm in need of a little everyday fashion inspiration I turn to Kelsey's blog, Ladies in Navy, because I'm a big fan of her style. Kailley's Kitchen has some amazing food photography that always has me drooling and Against All Grain is my go-to for Paleo recipes. For beauty advice I always turn to Laurie at 312 Beauty.

Thanks so much for your thoughts, Lauren!

Do you have a blogger that you'd recommend to be featured on the Tastemaker Top 10? Or are you a blogger that would like to participate? Email me at aasquaredblog@gmail.com and let me know!

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