While there are seemingly hundreds of new food blogs gracing the internet these days, Cheryl Sternman Rule has a voice, perspective and point of view that is truly unique. We love her for her humor, wit and keen sense of observation — if you haven’t yet come across her blog 5 Second Rule, you’re in for a most refreshing treat. In addition to the storytelling Cheryl does online, she’s a widely published food writer, a two-time cookbook author the and mother of two boys. Her first book, "Ripe: A Fresh, Colorful Approach to Fruits and Vegetables" came out in 2012 — a successful and beautiful collaboration with photographer Paulette Phlipot. Her second book, called "Yogurt Culture," takes an in-depth look at one of the world’s creamiest, most healthful and most versatile foods. Look for it in the spring of 2015.
Blogging since: Spring 2008. So it’s 6 years old,
basically a first-grader.
What’s your earliest cooking memory? Mastering the open-faced, under-the-broiler
cheesy toast was a big milestone for me.
How would you characterize or describe
your cooking style today? Clean, color-forward and approachable with a subtle global sensibility, thanks
to my far-flung travels.
What’s your favorite thing to cook at
home? Why? It may sound
like a line, but anything with yogurt. I’m a big dairy eater, so I love the
fresh, tangy taste of plain, whole-milk yogurt. I also use it in sauces, soups,
dips, drinks, marinades for meat, desserts …
What are three things you have in the
pantry at all times? Tuna
in olive oil; olives; homemade jam
What’s your “There’s Nothing in the
Fridge" dinner? The one thing you often whip up with very few ingredients or,
perhaps, very little inspiration? I served in the Peace Corps in my 20s, so I learned quickly how
to make fast, hearty meals with few ingredients and limited equipment. When
time-pressed, I’ll still make pasta with caramelized onions, oil-packed tuna,
capers and a fistful of Italian parsley. Squeeze on some lemon, finish with
more olive oil.
What are some of your kitchen goals — i.e., skills you want to improve on or recipes you want to try or master? I’ve recently dipped my toe into canning,
and I’d love to get more into it. This summer, I’ve preserved lots of stone
fruits (apricots and cherries, in particular), so maybe next summer I’ll wade
into canning tomatoes and pickling things. Marisa McClellan’s books ("Food in Jars" and "Preserving by the Pint") and blog Food
in Jars have been big
How has becoming a mother changed your
experience as a home cook? I’ve got two teenage boys who lead very active lives. I pick them up right before
dinnertime. Being willing and able to improvise is the key to making evenings
relaxed for everyone. Simple meals are my salvation.
Besides other cookbooks or food blogs,
where do you draw inspiration for your cooking? I’m quite color-driven, and my passion
for photography — even though I’m not a professional — has me thinking about
aesthetics while I’m also playing with flavors. I get tons of inspiration these
days from Instagram, from travels and from my wildly talented friends and
colleagues. Good ideas come fastest when I step outside my familiar space.