Ridhima Gugnani from Everything Dessert (Transcript)

Nicole:                         Welcome to BFF with the Chef. I'm your host Nicole Schwegman. Aloha friends and foodies and welcome back. Today I'm getting the chance to interview Ridhima Gugnani the blogger behind Everything Dessert, a blog that focuses on the sweet treats that she loves to make. Ridhima originally fell in love with baking when she was just 10 years old when her grandmother taught her how to make a sponge cake. A visual communications designer by trade, she fell in love with food photography, which led to her starting her blog in June of 2018. In less than a year, she's gained more than 5,000 followers and her account continues to grow daily as she shares the delightful treats that come out of her kitchen. Hey Ridhima, welcome to the show.

Ridhima Gugnani:         Hi. Thank you for having me.

Nicole:                         I am super excited. I hope I didn't butcher your name, did I butcher your name?

Ridhima Gugnani:         No. It's fine, you got it right.

Nicole:                         Thank goodness, people know that when they listen to my podcast I got a name and then I got like a knife and I love to just chop it up. Well, I'm excited to have on the show, but your blog and your Instagram, it's so beautiful.

Ridhima Gugnani:         Thank you.

Nicole:                         And your desserts looks so tasty and I can't wait to get into just how you make them and the inspirations behind them, but first, as you know, and as most of our listeners out there know, I want to know about what's the last meal that you cooked for yourself?

Ridhima Gugnani:         So the last meal I cooked for myself was actually dinner last night and I made a very simple savory galette, so I love making galettes because they are very, you know, easy to sort of put together and they look so rustic. So it was just very simple, I just put on some pesto, and some parsnips, some mushrooms and some caramelized onions. And the dough is also very simple, it's just flour and butter and salt, and some cold water, and you just sort of put it together. So yeah, it sounds complicated but it's actually a very simple meal that you can put together in about 20, 25 minutes. So yeah.

Nicole:                         That sounds delicious. Now I know what a galette is, but can you explain for those of us who maybe haven't heard of that before, is that like a... It's kind of like a rustic pot pie, can you...

Ridhima Gugnani:         It's sort of like a free-form of pie, so you would make your pastry like you do for a normal pie, but then you just roll it out into a sort of circular shape, and you put your fillings into the center, and then you just fold up, the side.

Nicole:                         Okay. All right. That's a great description. It's a free-form pie. I actually never even thought about it that way myself so. That looks so tasty and the pesto is kind of like the sauce in a way almost like... It feels like it's a slash between a pie and a pizza.

Ridhima Gugnani:         Yeah. So I mean it's just kind of like something I made up with the stuff I had lying in my refrigerator, so you know, just playing around with lots of vegetables and it turned out to be really delicious. So, yeah.

Nicole:                         Yeah, that's really delicious and I love the idea of just being able to use what you have on hand that's so resourceful and something that I know a lot of listeners want to get to that point where they can do that as well. So really cool. Okay. Tell me about a meal that brings you back to your childhood.

Ridhima Gugnani:         So I am from India and one of the meals that I have grown up eating is called Daal Chawal, which is basically rice and lentils and it's just a very comforting sort of meal. And it's something that I've learned to cook very, very recently and now I cook it almost every other day or whenever I get home, so whenever I'm not feeling well, it's just so easy to cook. So it's just, you know, made in a pressure cooker, so you put lentils and water and you can put tomatoes or onions and then you just put some spices like turmeric and chili and you just serve it with fresh coriander. And it's just such a warm and comforting meal. So yeah, that's definitely... And I remember growing up I used to eat so much of it with this mango pickle that my grandmother used to make, it was just... Yeah. So it brings back really happy memories for me.

Nicole:                         A mango pickle?

Ridhima Gugnani:         Yeah. It was amazing.

Nicole:                         Fruit pickles are a thing. Actually, Emily Wilson from season one, she talks about how to make like quick pickles and she talks about how you can use it to make either like vegetable pickles or like a fruit pickle. And I still in my fridge have some pickle cherries, so the idea of a mango pickle. I don't know why I didn't think about making a mango pickle, is the mango ripe or is it still sort of like a green mango?

Ridhima Gugnani:         Yeah, it's like a green raw kind of mango and it's actually very common in India because we love our spicy food. So it's just a very, you know, spicy flavorful kind of pickle. There's actually also a lemon pickle that they do, which is also one of my favorites. It's really nice and spicy and tarty. So yeah.

Nicole:                         Wow. You should put that on your...

Ridhima Gugnani:         On the blog. Yeah, I'm still learning how to make it.

Nicole:                         That sounds so yummy. Well, I hope you do and I will absolutely be making that. All right, and now give me an ingredient you can't live without.

Ridhima Gugnani:         I think I'd have to say chocolate because I'm a baker. I always have a lot of chocolate in my kitchen, you know, because you never know when you're going to need some brownies. So I always like to have some good quality dark chocolate with me.

Nicole:                         Man, spoken like a true [inaudible 00:05:57] blogger you never when you need brownies.

Ridhima Gugnani:         Yeah, that's true.

Nicole:                         You know, I'm telling you I'm like that way except with butter and my husband's always like, why do we have so much butter in the freezer? I'm like, you can never...

Ridhima Gugnani:         Yeah butter [inaudible 00:06:11]

Nicole:                         Can you ever have enough butter? No, you can never have enough butter. At least, four pounds after that [crosstalk 00:06:23]. And he's like how can you use that much butter? But yet do you know I'm down to one pound and I'm kind of panicking about it this week and I've got to go back to Costco.

Ridhima Gugnani:         Yeah, you've got to top up.

Nicole:                         Yeah, do you guys have Costco over in London?

Ridhima Gugnani:         No, we have Tesco.

Nicole:                         Okay. All right. But it's like a big box shop, right?

Ridhima Gugnani:         Yeah.

Nicole:                         Okay. Yeah. Well, here we have Costco, and I know Costco is around the world, I just always wonder like where they are exactly. Someone is screaming in their car right now going, of course, they have Costco in Europe. Like we know, we get it, we're sorry. That's where I buy my butter, I buy it in like super bulk like organic salted butter and Haylie Abele from season one was like, why would you use anything other than salted butter? And I'm like, hard agree Haylie. So I buy it now organic salted butter in bulk from Costco. I'm sure you buy your chocolate in bulk.

Ridhima Gugnani:         Yeah, definitely.

Nicole:                         I could just imagine you just have like cupboards of chocolate. And your kitchen must be like this heavenly place with all these wonderful warm and sweet ingredients inside your cupboards.

Ridhima Gugnani:         Yeah, and I'm like a hoarder I love like just buy ingredients and just... My shopping for ingredients is as much fun for me as it is making something. So, yeah.

Nicole:                         Same. I love a good farmer's market and I love a good shop for... When I see a new kind of baking ingredient, I'm immediately like, I have to have that vanilla, that vanilla.

Ridhima Gugnani:         Yeah exactly, even I'm like that.

Nicole:                         All right. So speaking of desserts, I mean there's all different types of food bloggers out there, but for you, and I know we mentioned it, somewhere in your bio, but why focus on desserts now? So bring me back to... Like you started your blog in June 2018, bring me right up to the point you're like, you know what I'm going to do? I'm going to start a food blog because it's not easy. It's not an easy thing to start, but why desserts and why now?

Ridhima Gugnani:         So I've been baking since I was about 10 years old and my grandmother, basically taught me how to bake. She was an amazing cook and she was an even better baker and at that time, you know, just standing next to her in the kitchen. She used to do all the work but I used to just watch and I kind of fell in love with the whole process of cooking and sharing that meal with people you love and it just brought me so much happiness. And that's when I sort of started baking on my own and doing my little experiments in the kitchen and I think just with a lot of practice I kept getting better and it was always at the back of my mind that I wanted to start a food blog, but I was very hesitant because I always thought that, you know, you need all this fancy equipment and these expensive cameras and all of that.

                                    But then, you know, a few months back, I realized that at some point you just have to put your work out there, you just have to sort of start somewhere. And at that time I was also... Because I went to design school, that's where I sort of started learning things like color and composition and light. And so I just put these things together and made use of what I know, and I still just take pictures from my phone so I feel like if I can do it, anybody can do it. I mean I started my blog in June and then I think it was really on Instagram that I got this sort of reaction from people and everybody was, you know, loving all those pictures and everything and that really motivated me to keep going. And yeah, it's just something that's so exciting and I'm so excited to wake up every day and go to my kitchen and bake new things. It just gives me so much happiness. So yeah.

Nicole:                         That is amazing, that's amazing. First of all, I want to point out a couple of things, so first thing is that I think if anyone goes to your blog site and your Instagram what they're going to realize is one your blog is dead simple, like it's free blog, right? Like you weren't even paying for [inaudible 00:10:40] she's using a WordPress, which is unheard of, and secondly, so all you have is an Instagram and blog, right?

Ridhima Gugnani:         Yeah, that's all.

Nicole:                         And now you just said, I want to go back to you said that you use your phone to take these pictures?

Ridhima Gugnani:         Yes.

Nicole:                         That is incredible. You're the second food blogger who has told me that they've used their phone to take pictures, which proves you're right if you have a phone and a computer well, you can be a food blogger.

Ridhima Gugnani:         Yeah, exactly.

Nicole:                         And I'm telling you, you're beating my account. I only have like 500 followers, right? I got like, you know, an Instagram and like a Twitter and the whole thing, which just goes to show you, you don't need to have a lot just to have this creative outlet and for people to respond to it.

                                    That's pretty amazing, because I had wanted to ask you, what are you using to create these food photos and the fact that you're using your phone and it looks so incredibly gorgeous and so incredibly beautiful. That's just amazing to me. Amazing. So you should feel really proud and anyone out there who's thinking about starting a food blog, you know, there's all of these things out there that will tell you, oh, you need this, and you need that, you need that, just a free account and a phone and you got a food blog. So you are a good inspiration.

Ridhima Gugnani:         Thank you.

Nicole:                         Now that you just blown my mind by knowing that you use your phone, all right, how do you get your desserts to look so amazing? I mean because they are so well lit and the composition is gorgeous. So what's going through your mind when you're deciding I'm going to take a picture of this because I want to dispel this myth where people like snap a picture on Instagram and they're like, oh, you know, it's kind of like the Beyonce. I woke up like this.

                                    It just seems like, oh, this old soup. I just put this together. No, that's like hours of just like painful...

Ridhima Gugnani:         Yeah, it's a lot of work, yeah.

Nicole:                         It's a lot of work, you know, where I'm just satisfied in two seconds, right? And liking it and two seconds later I'm out, right? That's a lot of work and as I've come to like shoot pictures on my own of the recipes that I've gotten a chance to talk about with the other great guests, I've realized just how much incredible work goes into staging those pictures. So the fact that you're using just your phone, what is going into your.... Especially for baking, what is going into your process to create these gorgeous photos?

Ridhima Gugnani:         So I think the first thing is that you should always use natural light so I always shoot next to a window. And if the light is too bright, I'll just defuse it with like a translucent sort of cloth. And then for backgrounds I usually either paint my own backgrounds or they're just, you know, pieces of tiles or wood that I've repurposed. And when I'm planning a shoot, what I do is I like to sit for a minute and think about what is it that I want my picture to communicate? What is the story that I want to sort of communicate through this picture? And that sort of helps me with what colors to use, what props do use. And it's sort of like, you know, a trial and error kind of process because you know, you might put together a scene and when you start taking pictures you realize that, oh this is not working, that is not working, so you keep changing things as you go.

                                    So it's just a process and sometimes you know, you really plan things out before you shoot them, and sometimes I like to, you know, just go with the flow and do whatever feels right at the moment. But even with props I feel like I pretty much use whatever I can find around my house. And yeah, it's more about telling a story and showing the process of how I created that. So if you see my pictures, there will always be you know, lots of spills and lots of flour here and there because, you know, whenever I cook like my kitchen looks like that, it's like a mess. So, yeah...

Nicole:                         No, I love that, I completely love that. And I love the fact that you're like, yeah, there's a lot of spills because kind of, you know, when I'm baking, all of that's happening. And I liked the way that you say you're telling a story through the picture. You're not just like... To you, it's more than just like taking a pretty picture, you're trying to tell a story with that. That's something that I think is... If someone out there who wants to take better food pictures, think about telling a story with the food. It's not just oh, I ate like a burger today. It's like no, what was the process of getting to that burger and what did you do to make it? Or if you were making brownies, like, you know, let me see some melted chocolate and some flours spill, so that's awesome. I want to talk about, because your desserts look so great, I bet not only they look great I bet you they taste great. So I want to first ask you on the site, what is your personal favorite dessert and why?

Ridhima Gugnani:         My personal favorite, I think is a gluten free cake recipe that I have on there, which is a honey and pear cake. I mean when you taste it you really can't that it's gluten free because it's just that good and the best part is that it's not only gluten free, it's also refined sugar free. And it's super simple to put together and I just absolutely love all those flavors together. It's made with almond flour and honey and grated pear. And it's sort of easy recipe to adapt because I've made it with apple as well, so you know, you can sort of change it up according to whatever fruit you like. So yeah. And that's also one of the most popular recipes on my blog.

Nicole:                         Okay. Can you walk us through making it specifically?

Ridhima Gugnani:         Yeah. So basically you need some grated pear, you need some honey, you need eggs and also you need... And this recipe actually uses olive oil instead of butter, yeah.

Nicole:                         So this feels almost like it's a paleo friendly recipe too.

Ridhima Gugnani:         Yeah, it kind of is because I really love that sort of [inaudible 00:17:07] that olive oil has and it works really well in this recipe, so it's just basically you separate the eggs, and then you whip the white. And then with the yolks you add the honey and the pears and then you just put everything together, add in the ground almonds and a bit of baking powder. And that's it. It's quite, easy [crosstalk 00:17:30]

Nicole:                         It sounds very rustic.

Ridhima Gugnani:         Yeah, it looks quite rustic and I like to top my cake off with melon seeds. Yeah, it's quite...

Nicole:                         Wait melon seeds?

Ridhima Gugnani:         Yeah, melon seeds.

Nicole:                         Like from a melon?

Ridhima Gugnani:         Yeah.

Nicole:                         What? Okay, you got to explain that to me like a watermelon or like what kind of melon are you talking about here?

Ridhima Gugnani:         You know, like a cantaloupe? So, you can roast the seeds and you can even do it with watermelon seeds, like you do it with pumpkin seeds.

Nicole:                         I'm sorry, you're blowing my mind right now. I've never heard of that. Okay, time out, you have to walk us through. I'm like what? Okay, walk us through that, you roast cantaloupe seeds like... I mean. Okay. I imagine it would make sense, right? Because I have eaten toasted pepitas which are pumpkin seeds, walk us through this cantaloupe seed thing.

Ridhima Gugnani:         Yeah. So you basically just take out the seeds, you wash them up, and let them dry. And then you just spread them onto a baking sheet and you bake them at a very low temperature for about 10 to 15 minutes until they're nice and golden brown. And then yeah, you can use them on pretty much anything, you can put them in salads, you can put them on top of cakes and they're great.

Nicole:                         You mean this whole time I just thought like cantaloupe seeds were these things that were getting in my way of eating cantaloupe. How do you clean them, because you know, when you scoop out a cantaloupe, it's all that gunk along with the seed can you just like...

Ridhima Gugnani:         Yeah, I mean it's a bit of a process to clean it out and all that. But I think it's worth it, I mean come on.

Nicole:                         You are blowing my mind, I'm going to have to try that now.

Ridhima Gugnani:         Yeah. You should.

Nicole:                         Get out, and they taste... They're not bitter, they're not?

Ridhima Gugnani:         No, they're not bitter at all, they have actually a really nice this sweet kind of flavor and they get really crunchy and toasty. So yeah, I think they add a really nice... And they look great. I mean yeah.

Nicole:                         That was a big surprise. I can't get over it. And you know how many years I've been eating cantaloupe, I've never once considered using the seeds, never. And you said that you can do this with watermelon seeds too?

Ridhima Gugnani:         Yeah.

Nicole:                         No, I don't believe you. Are you kidding? Is it the same thing, so you do the same process?

Ridhima Gugnani:         Yeah, it's the same process like you do with pumpkin seeds, any kind of seeds [crosstalk 00:20:08]

Nicole:                         Whenever I eat a watermelon seed, I guess maybe it's because it's not toasted, if I bite into a watermelon seed, I'm like... It has a bitter taste to it. So is it more bitter?

Ridhima Gugnani:         They all have slightly different kinds of flavors but when you toast them, it develops a really nice toasty, buttery kind of flavor, which works I think really well with cakes and salads.

Nicole:                         Has the rest of the world been keeping this from me? Oh my gosh, I don't know if that's going to be your tip, but that just became mine. That just became one of the most surprising things I've learned that far this year. Okay. I've got to put that recipe up for real. I'm like somebody at me, if you knew this. I did not know this. Okay. All right. You've blown my mind. I've lost my train of thought because I can't get over it. All right. Okay. So we've talked about your favorite recipe and you said that the pear honey cake is one of your most popular. Isn't the most popular or is it one of? What would you say is the most popular?

Ridhima Gugnani:         I think my apple is the most popular recipe on my blog.

Nicole:                         Walk us through that, and what makes your apples pie special?

Ridhima Gugnani:         So I think the crust is really nice and simple, and I think it's very easy to make. And my filling is also actually very easy. I don't put, you know, any fancy kind of things into my filling, it's just apple, cinnamon, a bit of nutmeg. And the thing I find with most apple pies, I've tried it, I find them a bit too sweet. So I put a bit less sugar in my filling and I don't put any sugar in my crust so because I only want the sweetness from the apples to sort of shine. So yeah, it's a very easy, ridiculously simple recipe, but it's like fail proof recipe for me, so it's like my go to recipe for apple pie.

Nicole:                         All right. I like that idea that you're right. I do taste a lot of apple pies because I'm kind of in the pie, I find that what tends to happen, especially like if you're getting a pie recipe off of Instagram, is that, you know, they're trying to up the wow factor. So there's like, oh, let me give you my caramel apple brown sugar streusel topped apple pie and you're like too much. Sometimes too many things, too many sweets can be too much and sometimes simple is better. So I can understand the appeal of having a simpler, less sweet dessert because that way you kind of taste... I often find that the thing that I don't like about apple pie, and I like apple pie, but the thing I don't like about it compared to other pies is that it's too sweet, it's too clean. In fact, I think that's why like people put ice cream on top of their apple pie because they're trying to cool that sweetness down a bit by adding a little creaminess to it.

                                    And I maintain that, if your pie is super good, I mean I like ice cream with pie but shouldn't have to have anything with that pie. You should just have that pie stands on its own. So yeah, I mean now I suppose you're going to be like, oh you don't like ice cream apple pie? Like yes, I do, but I'm just saying. Okay, so what are those tools that you use and I can see that you're probably using very simple tools to make your treats, but what are those tools that you can't live without as a baker in the kitchen?

Ridhima Gugnani:         I think for me, it's my kitchen scale, because when it comes to baking you have to be really precise with your measurements. So yeah, definitely my kitchen scale.

Nicole:                         Okay. So when you talk about being precise, I think that's the one thing that when people say like I'm a good cook but I don't like to bake. It's because of the measuring. So yeah, I think that's what people find to be most frustrating about baking is baking does not allow you to substitute, but are there times when you can substitute a few things and how does one do that when you're baking?

Ridhima Gugnani:         Yeah, definitely, like I think the way to do that is by first familiarizing yourself with the recipe and once you get comfortable with it you can start, you know, sort of tweaking things in it. So I feel like if you're a home cook or if you're just starting out with baking, it's good to follow simple, easy recipes and not focus on very complicated ingredients and complicated recipes. Once you get a hang of how to cook something well, then you can sort of think about, you know, what if I replace this ingredient with this, what if I put a bit less of this and then you can sort of start experimenting and seeing adding a bit of yourself to the recipe. So yeah.

Nicole:                         Okay. So I want to ask you another question about your recipes in general. What are those recipes that you tend to make or bake over and over again? So like there's like your best recipes that perform well on the site, but when you want something comforting and easy to bake, what are those things for you? And I'll tell you, mine, madeleine, it sounds weird, but oh my gosh, I love a good madeleine, it go great with [inaudible 00:25:43] Yeah. But they're what I make for myself, when I want to treat myself, I make myself a pan of madeleines. What is that thing for you?

Ridhima Gugnani:         Chocolate chip cookies

Nicole:                         All right, let's do this, you got to tell me what your... My husband loves chocolate chip cookies.

Ridhima Gugnani:         Yeah, they're the best and I've been baking so many cookies because, I mean it's the holiday season, so everyday I've just been making so many cookies and I've been eating all of them by myself.

Nicole:                         What's funny is like when this comes out, everyone who's listening right now is listening to this in 2019 and we're probably in the midst of like oh I go to, you know, [inaudible 00:26:24] and here you are talking about cookies and they're going to be like... Sorry everybody cookies are a part of a balanced diet. Nobody ever says, you know, Mildred was... She lost those last five pounds before she died. No, Mildred should have eaten the cookie. Eat the cookie Mildred. All right, let's get into like I have a chocolate chip recipe that I feel is bulletproof, but I want to hear what you're doing in your chocolate chip recipe?

Ridhima Gugnani:         So mine I think I love to brown my butter.

Nicole:                         Smart choice, solid choice.

Ridhima Gugnani:         Yeah. So I start by doing that and then some brown sugar, some regular caster sugar, and I add one extra egg yolk because it makes the cookie really the nice and chewy and then flour. And I like to add a few different kinds of chocolate and I like chopping them into larger or smaller chunks, so just so you have some sort of variation and I think it's really important to chill your dough because that gives you that really nice chewy center and crisp outside. And also do not crowd your baking sheet with cookies, place them a bit of distance from each other. I think it works. So yeah, it's very easy recipe but it's amazing.

Nicole:                         That sounds awesome. So your recipe sounds very similar to mine. I also toast my butter and I also like to use both chips and chunks because I liked the variation of it, but I let my dough rest for three days. Like Jesus, it has to rise on the third day, three days because I find... And I didn't come up this technique, I read about it years ago in New York Times, that if you let the dough rest for three days, there's something that magically happens on the third day. I think it's the egg gets to really penetrate your flour until you get that almost pray line type of flavor within your cookie. And I have found that I've tried it like I've made, and then I ate on the first day and then we have the second day and then it's the third day that really changes that flavor of the cookie.

                                    Anything like if you have... There's this concept that Andris Lagsdin from a baking steel he talks about 72 hour pizza dough that now I cannot have pizza dough unless it's been age 72 hours because I'm a snob like that same type of concept, right? It develops a lot more flavor. The longer you let that dough rest. So next time you make cookies it's hard because you know when you want a chocolate cookie you're like I want a chocolate chip cookie now, but you can freeze this dough, like make the dough and then freeze some of it. And then if you want some, you know, let it rest for... And then let me know what you think.

Ridhima Gugnani:         Okay, I will try this.

Nicole:                         Yeah. I'd be interested to see what you think as a fellow baker so that... But your recipe, I'm like, spot on, this girl is for real, she's legit. Soon as she said toast the butter, I was like, she's legit. All right. She's not messing around. All right, so what's that one tip that you have for that home baker, I mean I say for you because you're a baking enthusiasts, what's that one tip that home baker can use today to make better baked goods in their kitchen?

Ridhima Gugnani:         I think the one thing I've learned over the years is to use ingredients that are at room temperature when you start baking especially eggs because a lot of times people will read up recipes and try recipes and they don't turn out looking the way they are on my blog and a lot of times it is because you know, you use eggs that are straight from the fridge really cold and the proteins haven't had a chance to sort of loosen up and break down. So yeah, I think that is one thing that I would recommend.

Nicole:                         That's awesome. You know, you're the second person who's like kind of explain that idea that you need the eggs to have looser protein so that that cake can rise and so that you can make your baked goods kind of match what the recipe writer intended, so that is a great tip. And I really like the idea. Do you have any tips for like let's say, oh, okay, I want to make a cake, put my stuff at room temperature. Do you have any little tricks that you use to get some of that stuff to room temperature faster if you decide like on the fly, I want to make a cake?

Ridhima Gugnani:         Yeah. So with eggs you can put them in a bit of hot water for a few seconds and that usually helps speed up the process and with butter, I haven't tried it myself but I read online that if you heat up a cup in the microwave and then put your butter under it, it's supposed to bring it to room temperature but I have to try it.

Nicole:                         No, I'm going to try it. I'll try it too so that we can both report back. So where can people find you on the Internet?

Ridhima Gugnani:         So you can find me on Instagram and @everything.dessert and you can also find me on WordPress @everythingdesignedatwordpress.com

Nicole:                         And Everything Dessert is all one word for Instagram or is it like everything...

Ridhima Gugnani:         It's everything.desesrt.

Nicole:                         Everything.dessert on Instagram and everythingdessert all in WordPress?

Ridhima Gugnani:         Yeah.

Nicole:                         Okay, fantastic. I'll put links to all of that in the show notes. You have been amazing, I'm so glad that I got to talk to you and I can't wait to try your desserts and just thank you so much for coming on the show today.

Ridhima Gugnani:         Thank you so much for having me. I had a great time.

Nicole:                         Same here. Take care.

Ridhima Gugnani:         Thank you.

Nicole:                         So Ridhima Gugnani from Everything Food is as sweet as the treats she makes, and I'm just so blown away by the fact that she's only been using her phone, a free WordPress blog and an Instagram account, but still has managed to gain over 5,000 followers since she started just last year. And that's really impressive and in fact, I think it goes to show that if you have a passion for something, just do it because even if you don't have a bunch of fancy equipment, it doesn't matter that passion will come through. And I don't know about you, but it was really surprised to learn about the melon seed thing. I mean, look, it makes total sense with pumpkin seeds, but it's still kind of threw me for a loop. And the funny thing is that after I interviewed her, that very same day, I went down to an Asian grocery store, and I saw a watermelon seeds for sale, and I was kind of like... Okay, I never in a million years thought that, you know, I don't know that I would use cantaloupe seeds because I didn't grow up doing that are eating them.

                                    But see, that's one of the reasons why I love talking to other foodies and just other people with different perspectives in life because I always learn something new about, you know, cooking or there's some ingredient that I didn't know about, and I never got to use it. I'll tell you an example, years ago... Actually, when I was in Afghanistan, my friend Morgan Murphy got a care package, and you know, Morgan from season one and in his care package was a jar of pickled watermelon rind. And he gave me some, and it was delicious. I mean, it actually is beyond delicious. I seriously, I eat all of his watermelon rind pickles and Morgan's just that kind of guy who is happy to just introduce somebody to something new, and he's really sweet about it and I felt so bad, but they were so good and so since then watermelon rind pickles have been some of my favorite fruit pickles.

                                    I try to make them in the summer. I purposely buy watermelon to make watermelon rind pickles. They're really delicious. And if you haven't had one you should try one. And if you need a recipe let me know. I have one, I can share it with you. So anyway, you need to definitely check out Ridhima's blog and let me, and her both know if you make something from it, especially that honey cake that sounded so good. I'm definitely going to make that.

                                    You can let me know that you've made something by joining the Facebook group, it's called BFF with the Chef friends, and you can leave a comment or a photo in there or you can tag me in a photo of whatever you make by my Instagram handle @bffwiththechef because if you do, I'm going to re-share it on my account, and of course, I'm to give you full credit and point people back to your account, or you can just shoot me an email if you're shy, however you want to tell me about it. I'll be happy to know, and I'll let Ridhima know too because she will also be thrilled that people are using her recipes. And if you like to show it would mean a lot to me, if you subscribed and told someone else who you think might like the show to subscribe as well. There's always a link to show in my bio on Instagram, and you can also just visit my website at bffwiththechef.com.

                                    So is BFF with the Chef. Wishing you a great week and hoping you've been inspired to go and make something delicious. Goodbye.