We made it guys…TGIF! I’m happy to continue my #FanGirlFriday series today and introduce you to one of my very best friends. If you missed week 1 or week 2 of this series, be sure to go back and read those posts! Today I’m putting the spotlight on my college housemate, my favorite Chicagoan, one of my very best friends….Jenna Johnson (Blog: The Scrounge)!
Pin this to save for later!
Fan Girl Friday: Jenna, The Scrounge
Question 1: Why did you start your blog?
- “I originally started the Scrounge as a place to write down the recipes I was making so I didn’t forget them. About 4 years ago I was laid off from my job in advertising. It ended up be a blessing in disguise because I was very unhappy there. During my time off, I started to explore cooking. Before that point, I had never really been into cooking. I was a dancer all of my life even through college and during my college dance career I really started to take control of my diet and grew a strong interest in nutrition. I even explored minoring in nutrition, and I still wish I had, however, I was intimidated by the all of the science classes I would have to take, yikes!
That all being said, my passion for nutrition is what inspired me to start cooking during my time off. As I started to create recipes, I wanted to write them down somewhere for myself and to share with others, so I created a blog on Tumblr called, “The Wright Way” (Wright is my maiden name). I kept up with my blog for a little bit, but then I started a new job in advertising and got engaged, something had to give, which unfortunately was my blog. When I stopped posting I had a lot of people ask me why I stopped and that they really liked my recipes. That was super encouraging to hear and it happened all of the time, so because of that I promised myself I would come back to it one day. After my wedding at the end of 2016, I began working on my blog again, behind the scenes. I created a new name, developed a website, created new content, created social media handles, an email etc. I got very hung up on the name of the blog because I really liked my old name, but I didn’t want to have to always explain it since Wright is no longer my last name. “Scrounging” has always been the term my husband and I use when we’re scrounging through our kitchen to see what food we have that we can use to make a meal – we even talked about “Scrounge Sessions” in our wedding vows :). I knew that had to be the name.
Once all of these things were in place, I finally launched The Scrounge in July of 2018. I want The Scrounge to be a place that everyone feels comfortable coming to knowing that they will find healthy meals that aren’t intimidating to make. For most of my recipes if you’re missing an ingredient or mess something up it won’t completely screw up the entire dish! When I began cooking I was always so frustrated by recipes that had a lot of ingredients or steps involved so then I would use recipes as inspiration and make something similar but use what I have at home instead so I don’t have to go to the grocery store and buy a million ingredients. I also have a huge passion for music and I’m also always listening to music while I cook (and just all of the time!) so I have incorporated music into the Scrounge as well. I created a Scrounge Sounds playlist on Spotify and it’s also on my website and I include Scrounge sounds in each one of my social media posts.”
Question 2: Why should people follow along with your blogging adventures?
- “People should follow The Scrounge for a little something different in the food blogging world. The concept of The Scrounge is not to complicate cooking. To help with that, I’ve even listed my routine grocery list on my website of the foods that I always buy. If you follow my grocery list and have these foods on hand, you’ll be able to make most of my recipes. There will be times you may not have every single ingredient, but with my recipes that isn’t a deal breaker. You can do without or substitute with something you do have. I’d also love it for “Scrounging” to be a term that everyone uses when cooking and I’d love for there to be a community of Scroungers! My hope is that my followers get comfortable with Scrounging to the point where they are doing it on their own and that The Scrounge is a place of inspiration for them. Also, don’t forget if you’ll get some killer new tunes if you follow The Scrounge :)”
Question 3: What’s your biggest blog-related accomplishment to date?
- “I would say my biggest accomplishment has been learning photography and editing. I’d see all of these beautiful food photographs on social media and thought well dang, my photos will never look like that because I don’t know anything about food photography. But little did I know it would just take some practice with the camera and editing. I have no experience with photography or editing so it has taken a lot of practice for me to get to where I am today. I’m still working on it all of the time because I’m not perfect by any means. It has been fun but it’s definitely a skill that I’ve learned a greater appreciation for.”
I’d see all of these beautiful food photographs on social media and thought well dang, my photos will never look like that because I don’t know anything about food photography. But little did I know it would just take some practice with the camera and editing.
Question 4: What is your favorite blog post to date?
- “My favorite blog post is probably my most recent post about kicking off 2019. I talk about how on I want The Scrounge to be a place of inspiration, encouragement, creativity and excitement. I also wrote about how on my website I have provided my routine grocery list so that my followers can use that as a guide when grocery shopping.This grocery list will allow you make most of recipes if you have these foods on hand. Happy Scrounging!”
Question 5: What’s the best recipe you’ve made to date?
- “My favorite recipe is my Brussels Sprouts, Sweet Potato, Goat Cheese Medley. It’s such a simple dish but I love it! I created it one night when I had little time on my hands and had to whip something together for dinner. All it is is roasted sweet potatoes, roasted brussel sprouts, crumbled goat cheese and cashews, that’s it! My husband and I were surprised how good it was and filling! If you don’t have brussel sprouts or sweet potatoes you can roast any veggies you have on hand and just add the goat cheese and cashews when your done. Try it out, you won’t regret it!”
Question 6: Name your top 3 Chicago restaurants.
- Monte Verde
- Dove’s Luncheonette (brunch)