Meet Blogger Courtney from NeighborFood

Good bread. Cheese. Fresh herbs. These ingredients aren’t just staples in blogger Courtney from NeighborFood’s kitchen, they’re ingredients she’ll always splurge on. But when it comes to food blogging, it’s not just about quality ingredients. For Courtney, it’s also about the power food has – the power to bring people from all over the world together. It’s knowing that she’s making and eating the same food that people are serving to their loved ones on tables across the country.

So what inspired Courtney to discover her love of food and blogging in the first place? Read on to find out.


Courtney Rowland. Photo courtesy of Courtney Rowland.

What inspired you to start blogging?

Courtney: “I was a newlywed back in 2009 with just a smidge more than zero cooking experience. I was only working part time at the time, so I started using my free time to pore over food blogs and teach myself how to cook. Much to my surprise, I discovered I LOVED preparing and experimenting with new foods. All the food blogging reading rubbed off on me, and eventually I started a blog of my own to document and share what I was learning.”

Who are some of your favorite food bloggers?

Courtney: Joy the Baker and Annie’s Eats were two of the food blogs that initially made me fall in love with cooking and blogging. These days, I enjoy reading The Food Charlatan‘s hilarious stories, Gotta Get Baked‘s vulnerable and witty posts, and the visually inspiring Two Red Bowls, Foxes Love Lemons, and One Sweet Mess.”

What is your favorite food to eat?

Courtney: “This is an impossible question! It changes every day, depending on the season and my mood. In the summer, it’s probably ice cream. Columbus has some of the best ice creams and some really unique flavors so I never get tired of it. In the winter, I like a big, hearty soup packed with vegetables and herbs and Italian sausage with a hunk of bread for dipping.

What is your favorite food to cook?

Courtney: “My first love was always baking, and I still find baking really enjoyable. I find the measuring and scooping and stirring relaxing. My favorite thing to bake is probably Banana Bread or Crazy Cake. It took me a long time to be able to cook without measuring everything out, but now I love the freedom that you have to experiment with cooking! My favorite thing to cook is probably any kind of Mexican food. I just love the smell of chopping cilantro, limes, and jalapenos!”

What is your favorite kitchen/cooking hack?

Courtney: “If you get a piece of eggshell in your batter or measuring cup, use the cracked half of the egg shell to fish it out. The jagged edge works so much better than your fingers to pierce through the sticky whites and scoop out the shell!”

What is your favorite kitchen gadget?

Courtney: “My Kitchen Aid mixer is a workhorse and a staple on my kitchen counter. I also love my Microplane graters and zesters. I use them almost daily!”


“Perfect Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes.” Photo courtesy of Courtney Rowland.

Have you ever experienced a food fail?

Courtney: “The first time I tried to make homemade pizza dough I tried to peel it off of the parchment paper and onto the flaming hot pizza stone with my hands, not realizing I could just slide the entire piece of parchment paper onto the stone and bake it like that. It made a huge mess and I ended up with a very oddly-shaped pizza with toppings squished on one side and big bubbles of dough on the other.”

What is your favorite recipe that you’ve posted on your blog?

Courtney: “Gosh, another impossible question! I really love my recipe for Perfect Fluffy Pancakes. It took me a long time to find a recipe that lived up to my pancake expectations, so once I did it was a big deal. I’m also really proud of this Roasted Tomatoes and Goat Cheese. It’s a very simple recipe, but I talked honestly in the post about my heartbreak over the events in Ferguson, MO. It’s one of the pieces of writing I am most proud of.”


“Roasted Tomatoes and Goat Cheese.” Photo Courtesy of Courtney Rowland.

What is your food philosophy?

Courtney: “I believe food is so much more than lines scribbled on a notecard or calories and facts printed on a box. Food is about community, gratefulness, hospitality, joy. It’s about nourishing our bodies, our loved ones, and our neighborhoods. It’s about faith in God’s provision and the courage to open our homes and our tables to share with others. I believe our true enjoyment of food comes from sharing it with others. It’s at the table, surrounded by sippy cups and spills, laughter and banter and the occasional tear, that we come to connect, enjoy, and love each other well. Food is the avenue for that connection.”