behind the blog

conifère /kɔ.ni.fɛʁ/ {adj} coniferous, cone-bearing
feuillu /fœ.jy/ {adj} deciduous, leafy

Hello! Bonjour! Namaste! Welcome to conifères & feuillus.

Thank you for your interest in my blog. My name is Annika. I live in Montréal, Canada West Sussex, England with my husband, John, and our three children.

In January 2016, physically exhausted and nearly broken in spirit, I gave up my career of 20 years to become, by default, a full-time, stay-at-home mom to my three children. Shortly afterwards, I became gravely ill (totally a result of being exhausted and nearly broken) and as I lay in bed thinking I was dying, I also thought of such things as “Will John know to add tamarind to the shrimp curry?” and “Does he know that our favourite apple cake is made with parsnips?”

This desire to feed your children, it’s innate. It’s the first bond you make with them and a lifelong one. Even while you lie dying, it consumes your mind. It’s also the fuel behind my blog. When I became well, I opened up a blank Word document with the intention of recording my family’s recipes as a keepsake for my children so that I may feed them even when I can no longer physically do so. Unknown to me at the time was that this Word document would quickly evolve into what is known as a food blog. Where there is food, life is not far behind and vice versa and in between recipes and photos, conifères & feuillus also became home to snippets of my life. Though this is a personal project, what an honour it is to have this tiny blog be nominated for the Digital Media Award for Individual Blog by the IACP (you can read about that here).

I’m not an expert on cooking, baking or nutrition, but I love this space for allowing me to try my hand at all of these things. My approach is simple, seasonable and sensible.  Welcome to my table, welcome to my home.

Annika, xoxo

Got something on your mind? Feel free to get in touch using this form or comment section below.

39 thoughts on “behind the blog

  1. I didn’t realize you have a blog! I would say that you are definitely a photographer and stylist! I thought you lived in Romania or somewhere like that! No idea why…

  2. I always love seeing your enticing photographs and reading your sumptuous words that clothe your recipes in a contextual story. You really have created a unique blog combining your many talents for your readers to enjoy.

  3. Annika, for some time I’ve been admiring your photography on Instagram. Now I see that you are also a beautiful writer! I made this soup today without celery because I didn’t have any, but it is absolutely delicious!

  4. I love your photography style. Dark but vibrant?! I didn’t know that was possible but you present your subjects very beautifully. I found you when I was looking through the comments of Mrs. Twinkle who has “liked” one of my firsts posts and you were saying thank you to her for “liking” one of your firsts a year ago! Seeing your page is inspiring and gives me hope for what I can accomplish ❤

    1. Thank you dear. I just got back from a blogging break and it’s really nice to get back to comments like these. I still remember that day and how elated I felt! Thank you for bringing back such a lovely memory and for leaving such a kind comment.

  5. Bonjour Annika! So glad to have stumbled across your lovely blog.. photos, failed recipes and all 😉 Thanks especially for that last blog post.. taking me back to Montreal (I live 1/2 a world away).. and La Vieille Europe, the Main, Mile End et al. The best parts of the city. I look forward to reading more about your adventures in food ‘n family… A bientot! Amit

    1. Bonjour Amit! Thank you for your lovely comment and I am glad that you enjoyed the post. I still live on the island and visit Mile End every chance I get… it’s still by favourite neighbourhood!

  6. So lovely! Looking forward to looking through your blog in more detail and trying some of your delicious looking recipes. Cheers, from a fellow Montreal blogger 😉

  7. I believe in homemade food too, Annika. Everything from scratch and healthy, wholesome stuff. Which does not mean that I do not give into junk cravings once in a while. I now get the wisdom of my mother all those years ago when she bemoaned my penchant for takeaways and fast food. She is quite amazed to see the change in me 🙂 I am looking forward to culling tips from your blog. Cheers.

  8. Despite the obstacles you say you encounter, I think your blog is beautifully written, full of yummy recipes and gorgeous pictures. I wouldn’t have known you were an amateur photographer if you didn’t say so. Just keep doing what you’re doing, Annika. It’s working. 🙂

    1. Rini, you couldn’t have written this at a better time. Thank you so much for your kind words. I know I am still new at this but I can’t help compare myself to bigger bloggers and I feel so left behind sometimes! Thanks for the encouragement!

      1. I know as females we tend to be hard on ourselves and compare ourselves with others, but it’s not good to do that. It will take some time, but believe me when I say just do what you love to do. Your readership grows every day and it’s not because you have a horrible blog. It’s awesome! 🙂

  9. Lovely blog Annika! I agree that the biggest challenge is to photograph the food before it gets eaten. We have the same problem in my family! So glad to have found your blog.

  10. Hi Annika I loved reading your story about food, family and blogging. Your photos are beautiful and your recipes are so appealing! I look forward to seeing more of your work. Best wishes, Chez

  11. A pork-eating Gujju???? What next? :0)
    What can I say Annika-behn, as a fellow man, pleased to meet you! Bacon is my go-to for anything to be made edible, including baingan bharta! 😉

    1. Lol… Actually, I sway on the side of being vegetarian but all the recipes you will find here are the ones I make for my family, hence the meaty ones. Pleased to meet another fellow Gujarati as well! 🙂

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