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TRIBEZA's 10 to Watch 2015 | Jeanine Donoforio

Here at TRIBEZA, we have long turned to the Austin-based blog “Love & Lemons” to find not only a recipe for our next meal, but creative inspiration from the beautiful photography and thoughtful design. Run by Jeanine Donofrio and her husband, Jack, “Love & Lemons” is a superstar in the culinary world, and offers readers healthful recipes that frequently come, you guessed it, with a dash of love and lemon. In March 2016, “Love & Lemons” will jump off of the screen and onto the page with a cookbook from publishing powerhouse Penguin.

Catch us up on your past year:

What year is this? Just kidding. A little over a year ago, my husband Jack and I started working on a cookbook. This past year has been a whirlwind of cooking, styling, shooting, dishwashing, and writing this 320-page monster of a book. We worked through Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Labor Day, you name it. Other than a celebratory vacation to Italy when we were done, this year was a whirlwind to say the least.

Why Austin?

The food of course! I love to travel and I’m always inspired by those experiences — but there’s so much amazing food right outside my doorstep. It’s only natural that most of my cooking inspiration comes from not only amazing restaurants here in town, but also the produce that grows here. I also probably post more taco recipes than any other healthy food blog. People love to say that Austin is all about meat and barbecue, but there’s really so much more than that. Texas has amazing vegetables, folks.

What has been your biggest challenge or obstacle this past year?

Aside from the book, the next largest challenge was really keeping up with it all — the book, the blog, client work associated with the blog, and all the medias that require being social. Internet trends move fast, and keeping up with it all can make a person crazy. I’m supposed to be on something called Snapchat?

What’s one piece of advice you wish someone had given you 5 years ago?

About five years ago, I left a really successful graphic design business that I had built to start a food blog with no ads. Everyone I knew thought I was crazy, but it all ended up working out. So I guess the advice I would give myself would be to trust my instincts.

Who/what/where inspires or drives you?

Our “Love & Lemons” blog readers really keep me going. I’ll often have a bad day — either a recipe or photo session doesn’t work out or I get overly wrapped up in social media. Later, I’ll get an email saying how my recipes have helped someone eat more healthy vegetable-based meals, and I remember why I’m really doing this. Blogging can sometimes feel like it’s all about the likes and numbers, but it’s really about food and community.

How do you get it all done?

I’m still not sure.

How do you relax?

Happy hour. #yeswayrose

What makes you laugh?

My dogs make me laugh. They give me the most ridiculous looks and I’m the crazy person that Instagrams too many pictures of my pets. I always say that a “dog blog” will be my next thing.

What are you proudest of professionally?

That I do what I love every day and figured out how to make it my job.

What helps you get through creative blocks?

I want to say that traveling helps because I love to explore food in new places, but actually just getting back to work and pushing through the tough times helps me the most. It’s not a very romantic answer, but I find it helpful to just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Tell us what to expect from you in 2016:

The Love and Lemons Cookbook: An Apple-to-Zucchini Celebration of Impromptu Cooking comes out March 29th. After that, we’ll see!

CREDITS

Portraits by Bill Sallans | Styling by Ashley Horsley | Hair by Gabrielle van Der Meer | Make up by Bethany Renfro of Lip Service

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