Julie Albert And Lisa Gnat: Serving Ease To The Kitchen And Laughs To The Table With Bite Me More
Who says healthy food can’t be delicious and that cooking is no more than a task? Julie Albert and Lisa Gnat, the sisters behind Bite Me More, prove otherwise! In this episode, they join Karen Pulver and the Goddesses to become your new best friends in the kitchen, serving you solutions to all your cooking woes and everything in between. They also tell the story of how Bite Me More started and the steps they took that got them to where they are today. Letting us in on their cookbook, The Bite Me Balance Cookbook, Lisa and Julie share their recipes that are not only delicious but nutritious as well. They talk about a balanced diet and getting quality ingredients while also taking us behind the scenes of their digital presence—from building their brand to social media management. Join in this conversation as Lisa and Julie tell you more about their experiences and insights, serving you ease to the kitchen and laughs to the table!
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Julie Albert And Lisa Gnat: Serving Ease To The Kitchen And Laughs To The Table With Bite Me More
Bite Me, Bite Me More, Lick Your Plate, Bite Me Balance Cookbooks
We are excited to be having Julie Albert and Lisa Gnat. If you’re like me and your kids every night at 6:00 are coming down and saying, “What is for dinner?” You’re scrambling, that’s me. I look in my fridge, my freezer, I’ll take out some frozen chicken, I’ll stick it under hot water, I splash on some tomato sauce and a hunk of mozzarella. That’s the dinner. It wasn’t until my sister-in-law in Toronto gave me a book called Bite Me that I became a rock star in my house. I started to make dishes like puttanesca and coconut-crusted shrimp. All of a sudden, you would think I was the culinary goddess. My kids would come in and say, “What’s for dinner?” and be very excited to enjoy their dinner. It is with that I’m excited to be having our guests.
Julie Albert and Lisa Gnat are the perfectly balanced one sweet the other salty sisters behind the popular blog, Bite Me More Digital Agency, Bite Me Creative and best-selling cookbooks, Bite Me, Bite Me Too, Lick Your Plate, and Bite Me Balance. Julie with her passion for fonts and future perfect is the wordsmith, read wordy sister while Lisa with her bionic palette has the ability to create and cook up consistently delicious and easy crowd-pleasers. Together, these sisters set everyone up for success in the kitchen and at the table making eating, feeding, and entertaining a piece of cake.
You are a goddess. We are happy to be here.
I’m thrilled to be having you because I have to say that you guys are life changers for my family. I was starting to go down this path of making like taco Tuesday, Monday pizza, Wednesday pasta. Not that my kids are like these restaurant connoisseurs but it started to feel like that. I needed help. We all need a little support in the kitchen. Your first book, Bite Me, when I got it for a birthday present, first of all, besides the amazing recipes, the photos were so funny. They were hysterical especially the fork me and all of the different photos that you had and different little quotes. I would love to learn about your journey. Where should we start? Back in the day with the easy bake oven or what do you think?
It has been quite a journey. In order not to put people to sleep, not to make this a bedtime story, we can take you through the steps that have got us to where we are now. The journey started many years ago when Julie was born. I got to be her big sister. We zip our back so you can’t tell I’m the older one. Growing up, our mom was an incredible cook. Lisa was always with her in the kitchen. Me, on the other hand, I was upstairs playing on my Commodore 64. For those of us who are old enough, none of you, any goddesses reading will understand that reference if they’re a ‘70s child. I was upstairs screaming, “What time is dinner?” I had no interest in the kitchen but Lisa followed our mom around. She was learning as she was going.
Fast forward however many years, we each had three kids. My kids were on a steady diet of noodles and butter. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to cook. I turned to her and that was the genesis of our first book, Bite Me. We were inspired to do it because we wanted to be able to do everything together. How we’ve worked and how things have evolved to where they are now, we’ve written the four books, we’ve created a business together, both Bite Me More and Bite Me Digital. How it worked is it speaks to both of our skillsets. Lisa has a bionic palette. She does these little squirrel nibbles and she can tell you what’s in something whereas I’m like, “I got no idea. It tastes good to me.” She taught me how to cook. We have her skillset and mine is more writing and design. That part of what we do comes out of here but I do it to make her laugh. I do everything for her.
We could see the close relationship. Lisa, have you always laughed at your sister?
Always. She never fails to make me laugh.
The key is laugh at your sister. She didn’t say laugh with your sister.
A bit of both. We have a call every morning at 8:30 to start our day off right. We talk about absolutely nothing but we make each other laugh and the day goes on.
People think we’re talking about them and we’re not. We’re talking about our double chins or our chin hairs.
Who’s the salty and who’s the sweet?
Me super salty and puffy from all the salt that I’ve consumed. It’s a little bit puffy. If you cut her open, her blood is chocolate and her veins are fresh. She likes chocolates. We do give off this impression to people that I’m the tougher and bitchier one because I talk more.
I’m a Leo. I’ve got an edge.
What are you?
I’m an Aquarian. It makes perfect sense.
Aquarians are fun and feisty.
She’s feisty and fun.
I like Leo’s a lot.
My sister is a Leo too. I feel like she’s so warm and comforting. You guys definitely have such a presence together and you bounce off each other. We can totally see that in all of your videos and your cookbooks. We’re so excited to dive deeper with you about a lot of the recipes and how you got here. I’d like to invite our Featured Goddesses on now. Another Aquarius is Lara and she’s also Canadian. She is my sister-in-law. We talk often about what’s for dinner. She laughs at my kids when they’re these critics like, “Mom, this tastes shit. You made it five times this week.” I always call Lara. I’m like, “Lara, please give me something.” Lara, what would you like to ask the sisters?
That’s because Karen is a little more edgy and I’m sensitive. I do not like your kids insulting you in the kitchen because you’re working so hard. Enough of that if they’re reading. First of all, I am a fan favorite of your cookbooks. Like Karen, I started off with your first one way back when the kids were younger. It’s your creativity and twists on recipes was exciting and new. I still make some of those from the first cookbook but I’m adoring your latest one, Bite Me Balance. I have been screenshotting pictures of these recipes and sending them to my friends because that granola is the best granola I’ve ever tasted.
Thank you. Enough about the granola, people. She says it’s her favorite recipe on the book.If you're going to eat a cookie, eat the very best cookie, or you will never be satisfied. Click To Tweet
People are very intrigued by adding ginger candy. That was phenomenal and the diet soup I’ve made and cooking with Za’atar has been great, a new spice that I haven’t used before. I wanted to ask you. This is a very nutrition-focused cookbook which I love for clean eating. I see there are also some great treats and foods that aren’t so nutritious. What’s your approach to the nutritional composition of these recipes?
We were honestly super lucky to grow up in a home where our mom was always baking. She baked cookies. If there was a cookie and you felt like a cookie, ate a cookie and you moved on from it. We grew up in an environment that’s nothing was forbidden. We developed, for lack of a better word, a very normal relationship with food, eating, having a balanced dinner, and then enjoying dessert afterwards. If you didn’t feel like it, you did it.
When you look through all of the books, there is that balance. We happen to call it out in the fourth book whereby our recipes are 75% healthy, 25% butter. Our philosophy is if you’re going to eat a cookie, eat the very best cookie you can create or you’re never going to be satisfied. You may as well eat that sleeve of Oreos.
No offense to Oreos.
The idea of quality ingredients of knowing what’s going into everything that you put in your mouth, Lisa makes the recipes extremely accessible. Everything is available at your local grocery store. You don’t have to go on a hunch for a big feast or whatever. You don’t have to have a blow torch though she loves her blow torch and won’t let me touch it. She makes the average Joe, who is myself, can put dinner on the table every night and look like a superhero. When we were asked what started the journey, it was also that we didn’t have a go-to cookbook that would consistently answer the question, “What’s for dinner.” Lisa’s recipes do. She’ll pass them off to me, I’ll test them, and I’ll say, “I don’t understand this stuff or that stuff.”
She’s a great cook now. She won’t say it.
I am amazing now.
She’ll cook for 20 to 30 people, no problem now.
It’s because I now have the recipes that give me confidence. If I am able to churn out success after success, it’s not to say there are some dogs in the bunch. I’ve had a meal or two where I go, “My cooking mojo wasn’t there.” To be able to go in the kitchen and have that confidence and this little one on my shoulder, as I read through the recipes and follow the directions, for no mistake of hers that 95% of the time it’s going to work and 5% of the time I’m distracted or it doesn’t work out. It’s called human error. That’s okay to order a pizza or have a bowl of cereal.
I believe in that theory. You’re right when it comes to the desserts and rich flavor, it does help if you want to have a little slice of cake and then you’re not going back for more. Everything is very colorful too which is appealing when you’re serving dinner. It’s been a great experience. I’m continuing to leave through this.
Our greatest compliment was not greatest but one of my favorite ones and this is going to sound strange is someone told us a while back that someone who had been working with her in her home was no longer working with her. The only thing that went missing was her copy of Bite Me. If someone wants to steal it, we like that. Don’t take the furs and the jewelries, just take the cookbook.
I love how you talk about dessert because when I deprive myself of a good-tasting buttery dessert, I’ll go and take raw cocoa, add Truvia to it, and mix it up. It’s disgusting but it doesn’t satisfy that urge. Learning how to self-regulate, have your kids learn how to self-regulate, and satisfy that craving especially when you’re getting your period and you’re craving chocolate, have that delicious cookie and move on.
We have six kids between us and five daughters. Our girls are young adults. They are inundated with messaging of, “You need to have a waist like this and a bottom like this. You’re not good enough the way you are.” Over the years, we’ve tried to develop this relationship with food and with their perspective of food and their bodies. I feel like we’ve done a pretty good job of it. We’ve had the cake, the cookies around, and they don’t tend to do a face wash every time we see them. They enjoy great flavors, fresh foods, and balanced diets. One of my daughters came home from a university from a break and said, “Mom, of all my friends, me and Lisa’s twin daughters have the most normal relationship with food.” She said, “Eighty percent of my friends have anorexic tendencies, bulimia.” There are a lot of issues because of the messaging they’re constantly getting. That made me feel good knowing that.
I too have two daughters and I see the constant messaging as well. When they do go away and leave the home, how do they treat food? I wanted to introduce Michelle Featured Goddess. Her and I were both from Toronto. She had lived in Chicago. Michelle and I had a dinner group once a month. We decided to partner up and have a Canadian night. We made all the Canadian favorites. The funniest thing was I made a chicken pot pie. We labeled everything. The thing is, “Chicken pot pie is not Canadian, but seal pot pie,” is what we wrote. We thought it would be funny to see if our friends, not to put our American friends down, but honestly, they believed us. They thought, “You eat seal pot pie?”
Moose pot pie is delicious too. We love a good moose pot pie.You have to be tenacious and develop thicker skin. Click To Tweet
We made poutine, maple salmon, and hotdogs with ketchup.
Did you make butter tarts?
No, we didn’t make butter tart. We should’ve, Michelle.
Did we not? We made Nanaimo bars.
Michelle has some questions for you now.
We also painted our nails. We had this artist do our nails in every little iconic Canadian symbol we could come up with. It was amazing. I am an ex-Pat and I do miss Nanaimo bars and butter tarts and all of it. Do you guys have favorite iconic Canadian foods that you love or you’ve made?
I’m a huge fan of maple syrup. That is my thing. I love it as is. I love it in salad dressings. I chug it. I put it in my soups to sweeten my soups. I use it endlessly. That would have to be my Canadian.
I would have to say mine is poutine because I like cheese that makes a sound when I chew it. It’s squeaky cheese, gravy, and fries. To me, there’s nothing wrong with good poutine. If you’re saying salmon is Canadian, I like a good piece of salmon. I’m trying to be like her. I’ve tried to elevate myself a little from the fries, the squeaky cheese, and gravy.
Do you put ketchup on your hotdogs?
I put ketchup, mustard, relish, and chili sometimes.
I don’t know about you guys but I didn’t grow up with poutine. I had fries and gravy but in Toronto, we didn’t grow up with poutine.
Our mother is American so we didn’t grow up with poutine. Our mother is from New York until many years ago, I thought it was LaGuardia. I didn’t know there was an R in LaGuardia. I’m flying into LaGuardia. My then-fiancé said to me, “You’re flying where?” I go, “LaGuadia.” He said, “Where’s the R?” I go, “There’s no R.” Apparently, it’s LaGuardia. We grew up with a New Yorker mom. That might’ve formed some of the things we were eating and the stuff we were doing. We were always visiting our grandparents in New York. We enjoyed Auntie Em’s coconut cupcakes, and U-bet chocolate syrup, all those super fun stuff. We watched MTV when it first came on the air. We’re very advanced.
Is that where you got your Sarah Lee banana cake?
Sarah Lisa over here, she is the master of all things. Baking and that banana cake from book one is killer but the banana cake in book four, there’s a sheet banana cake.
Did you make it?
Is it different than the other one?
A little bit.
I can’t wait to try it. Back to your journey of how you got to where you are, Dena has some questions.
First of all, I want to add my favorite Canadian foods which Karen knows very much. Coffee Crisp candy bars. Karen and I went back and forth on this one. Toffee, we used to keep it. My dad kept it in the freezer and we would break off pieces of it. The red box.
We would get it when we would go over there and thank God for the internet, I can order my Coffee Crisp.Women helping women is the greatest thing. Click To Tweet
I was going to say, Dena, I’ll send you a care package. I’m happy to get a case for you.
Thank you. About your journey, were there any roadblocks or hiccups along the way?
I would say our learning curve was like this. We continue to learn every single day. There was nothing easy about it. When I look back at several years where we started and where we are now, I could never have predicted that we would get to where we are now. At the same time, I look at our journey and one thing I would have loved is a mentor along the way and a female who wanted that to guide us a little. When we started, there wasn’t this spirit of female togetherness and empowerment. It was lacking. We were in the dark finding our way.
Our first book, we self-published. We were the publishers, the distributors, the authors, and the marketers. It was a journey. We took the book across Canada with pots and pans in our suitcases. We were in a TV interview. I looked down at my sister and there was like a grain of rice stucked to her jeans from the suitcase.
It exploded, don’t travel with rice.
I don’t even know why we had to travel with rice. That said, it was hard to cook in a hotel room. We were doing these morning shows and we have to be ready. That was so much fun, it was such a journey, and exciting. In our second book, we decided to leave publishing. We went with a Canadian publisher who we vetted and looked into. We should have realized that first meeting when she drank two bottles of wine and it was at lunch that it might’ve been an issue but we weren’t clued into it. We published our second book with her. Within two months of publishing the book, she went bankrupt. She shuttered overnight. We entered an eighteen-month lawsuit which was challenging. We’re not combative people. “Make love not war,” sort of thing. That was very difficult for us. With each book, we’re very attached. It’s our baby. It’s an extremely personal process. It’s sweat-inducing. It’s a ton of work. It felt like our book got buried. That was very hard for us. We shook our heads and said, “What’s next?”
We ate 3 Musketeers bars. Those are our favorite, the floppy nougat. We picked ourselves up. We started our website, BiteMeMore.com. We went off in a little bit of a different direction. We started doing these parties, entertaining, how to pull it all together from the Dollar Store, and bringing fun to the table every day. That was great but it did take us a little bit away from what is our core and that is cooking, eating, and feeding. In our third book, we did with Random House. We were lucky enough to get ourselves in there.
That is like you’ve got to Oz and you’re looking behind the curtain. That was a great experience. After the book was out, again, we thought we could sit back, watch the sales roll in, and we didn’t have to do much. We had to show up and that wasn’t the case. We then had to understand marketing and enter Bite Me Digital with our fourth book. Bite Me Digital is our agency where we do everything from brand building, branding, and social media management. We have an influencer network of over 350 that we manage across Canada. The idea of how to amplify our message. This fourth book again was with Random House but we were prepared this time.
We continue to hustle. It’s a grind. We’re always working. Sometimes, we go, “When do we get to stop and sit back?” We realized that, “If not us, then who? We can’t.” We keep going. We’re lucky we have each other so that if one is feeling like, “I can’t do this now.” The other one is like, “Come on, girl. We got this.” If we had to do it alone, it would have been a different, not half as enjoyable or satisfying experience.
I’ve had a few businesses and they’ve been with my best friend. I feel the same way. When I don’t want to deal with that day, there’s somebody else to do that. That leads to my next question. With all the stay at home, we’re cooking all the time. My network of friends is sharing recipes. I subscribed. I watched some of your videos. Out of these cookbooks and I know you love them all and they’re all your babies if you’re going to start somewhere, what’s the one to go with or what’s the favorite?
That’s a tough one. Every day it rotates.
One of my four, I’m going to say my dog.
For me, it’s a bit of a combination. The first one holds so many. It was the beginning. It’s very much my go-to when I want that classic yum. It’s where we started. I look at it now and I think the photography is very dated. At the same time, when it came out, it was ahead of its time. People were like, “What’s this? They’re putting little toys with food. Are these girls crazy?” We kind of were and it was funny. Our fourth book, Bite Me Balance, is the result of all of our learnings along the way. It has a photo for every recipe. It has the high young factor but it also has our personalities in it in a way that is different than books past. Lick Your Plate was our third book.
I have all four of them. They are all fantastic books. In the fourth book, you are saying, “I haven’t tried it yet,” but the banana cake is so great.
Don’t forget to make the granola.
I’m out of town and my kids wanted me to make it and bring it here. I didn’t have time but I brought the ginger.
You have a very demanding children. I need to have a word with them.
I have a question about the granola. Lisa, what do you recommend? I could pick something but what do you think is a perfect addition of somebody in my house who doesn’t like the ginger if I want to make a separate batch for my youngest?
With that granola, you can leave out any ingredients. If you want to replace it, you could do any dried fruit in replacement. That would work well. I wasn’t going to say chocolate.
How about Camille’s question and how about adding some?
I had a fun time watching your video where you guys were making cannabutter.What you put out there will come back at some point. Click To Tweet
Camille, thank you for bringing that up. Legalization was coming around in Canada and we thought, “What better way to mark it than to have Lisa experiment in the kitchen a little bit with cannabutter.” She was not herself for a couple of days.
I was done. What I didn’t realize is as you were making the cannabutter, all the fumes you’re taking in are taking in.
She came to dinner and it’s a good lesson to know. She looked at me and she goes, “I’m not well.” I’m like, “I’m not well.”
“Don’t tell mom and dad.”
Everything makes a point of saying to pace yourselves. What strand were you guys cooking with too? I remember one was more talkative and one was more laid back.
One would think it was super talkative because I can’t stop talking all the time. The truth is we work with six other incredible women. I had to turn to one of the young ones and say, “How do I get it?” It wasn’t legal yet. I didn’t know how to acquire grass wheat.
I have a long list of different names for it. I’ve never heard of some of those which was hilarious.
On a serious note, on this topic that everyone has to be very cautious about edibles. It can go bad. I was doing it and I was putting it in food. I didn’t know how much was going in it which makes you realize you have to be careful what goes in and who you’re buying in.
It hinges the strain and the strength of it.
We created this batter and from there, we created these cookies using said batter. If someone were going to try this at home, I would go that route versus the idea of sprinkling some in your brownie batter because you don’t know how it’s being distributed that way. You could end up with some like Lara that had some pretty dim cherished moments.
We have our memory eating the brownies so why even bother baking it in the first place.
Truthfully, we learned a lot doing that. We were quite careful but I wouldn’t say that we’ve gone further down that path. That was a fun experiment. We don’t say no to much other than jello wrestling in bikinis. We would do it in one piece but maybe not bikinis. Camille, we do have that line.
What’s fabulous about all of your books is how we get to know you. What your likes and dislikes are which is funny to read. Camille is going to ask you about it. She had a question that one of your likes resonated with her.
Julie, I read your bio where you said you were wailing in The Color Purple. The Color Purple has a very deep meaning for me. My grandmother was in it. She’s in one of the scenes where they’re singing. It was filmed in my family’s hometown. I was like, “I can’t believe you were singing in it.” I have to ask more about that?
I misspoke there a little bit. That movie came out around ‘86, ‘87?
I didn’t live in America when it came out so I heard about it after.
I sat in the movie theater and I wailed. That’s another expression for crying. I cried so audibly that I was asked to leave the theater because I was disturbing the other patrons. I love that movie so much that it remains to this day. I don’t cry much and it could bring a tear to my eye. I would love to know who your grandmother was singing in that because I will watch it again with a much closer eye and with my tissues in my hand.
I don’t want to do a spoiler alert if you haven’t seen the movie. It’s the scene where she comes back to her father’s church and they’re singing The Lord’s Trying to Tell You Something. My grandmother was one of the churchgoers who claps and is wearing black and white. She’s very obvious.
I’m curious, did the Alex Trebek thing happen?
The color purple thing wasn’t a fib. It’s an interpretation.
The Alex Trebek did happen. I witnessed it.
We were participating in Emmy’s gifting suite with our first book. At that time, it was the beginning of Modern Family so they all came through. It was super fun and Trebek came through. May he rest in peace, he was a delight. We did capture that moment where he went after my neck. There were teeth to neck. There was contact. Maybe because we were fellow Canadians, he felt that was something that could happen.
Noting to do with your book being Bite Me?
No. I looked good that day so it was that or it was my perfume. Maybe I was wearing, “Oh, the donut,” or something I don’t know. It went after me hard.
A Tim Horton donut. Us Canadians, there is something. We like to bite each other. There’s this feeling that we have. Why did you call your book Bite Me by the way?
First of all, we had way naughtier ideas.
She had way naughtier ideas.
She wouldn’t let me use them.
I kept thinking If I could say the name to our grandmother. If I can’t say the name to her, we’re not using it.
We felt bite me as an obvious name for a cookbook. It made perfect sense and being able to say bite me without getting in trouble. I’m the middle child. I’m always getting in trouble. She’s the youngest. She never gets in trouble. I liked the idea that I could say something repeatedly and not get in trouble. I’m still getting in trouble at 50.
You mentioned empowerment, mentorship, and on Grateful Goddesses in many of the interviews, we’re realizing how important it is to help each other and to lift each other up especially with women to put the jealousy out the door and help and support each other. You still see it in young girls. It’s starting there. When we support and lift each other up, it makes the world such a happier place, that and some chocolate. Michelle has some questions about advice.
You talked about mentoring. Now it’s your turn, you can mentor others. What advice you would give especially to women starting out their own business, possibly becoming a chef or a writer or anything?
First of all, we mentor and we continue to do so.
We do not say no to anybody who calls or anything.
We’re happy to share the lessons we’ve learned along the way. That is a gift we can give back in a way. If we can give those shortcuts to people, you may not have thought of this but you should look out for that.
For us, we’ve always been true to ourselves. We are who we are. We’ve never had to work it.
When this meeting is over, we’re going to continue to sit here and talk about whatever we feel like talking about. We are who we are. That’s one of the things that has made it easier for us along the way. I would recommend though it’s harder to do is you have to be tenacious and you have to develop a thicker skin when starting out. You have to stay true to who you are and know that if you’re doing something that you believe in, it will come through. We interviewed Nili Lotan who’s the designer from Israel a little while back. One of the things she said and I know this is a well-known quote. I don’t know who said it other than her, which was, “It took me fifteen years to become an overnight success.”
It’s so rare that something hits and it doesn’t require that type of work, dedication, grind, and constant hustle. Maybe it does work for that 0.1% and that’s the one you hear about. Underestimating the amount of work that goes into things is something that happens a lot and causes people to give up before they should. The idea of surrounding yourself with people who are knowledgeable and smarter than you also helps. Check your ego. It’s not about ego. It’s about how can you all make this work together and put something out there that you can feel proud of.
If you’re passionate about something, it makes it much easier to put in that word. Would you advise getting a mentor? Maybe they don’t agree with what you’re doing but you spoke about that.
We could have avoided many of those curves. Not to say they wouldn’t have happened but we would have been more prepared. We could’ve braced ourselves and seen them coming. Other things, we had to eat our chocolate bars. We gave ourselves twelve hours of moping and then we figured it out the next day. Allowing yourself that time to figure it out. I would have loved to have had a mentor along the way. Women helping women is the greatest thing. When we started out, it wasn’t part of the conversation at all.
You two have each other which is awesome.
It’s the best.
That’s what made it easier. What you guys are doing is important and incredible for building up other women and honoring what has got them to where they are in their journey, it’s hugely important and empowering for others. We applaud you.
I selfishly like to learn but I like to share. That’s what this journey is all about. I’m learning so much. I know that my featured Goddesses are as well. I wanted to ask you about imposter syndrome. I was talking with Lara, my sister-in-law, about that because I’m hearing that a lot. I’m feeling it a little bit sometimes. I’ll be completely raw and honest. I have XYZ degrees. We all have those degrees but then we have life experience. When we’re talking about things, even now, about our journeys, sometimes I get this when it takes you off that path like, “How do know? Who are you? What do you? What are you talking about?” Did you guys experience that at all?
All the time.
Does anyone here wake up and go, “I got it all going on every day?” There are many days where we say, “We’re terrible. What have we done?” If you’re not ever doubting yourself, you’re doing something wrong. You need to constantly be checking on yourself but you also have to somehow be able to close off the noise that is not important. Looking at our YouTube channel, what people will write.
Some people are very complimentary. Others, not so much.
Who do you think they pick on? They call me the big one.
What? They didn’t like the slutty brownies? Your red lipstick? That was awesome.
We make each other laugh. If you Google search them, they’re called slutty brownies. I have now changed them on the site because I was called out by someone. She felt it was tone deaf and everything else. I said, “You’re 100% right. They’re called slutty brownies. It doesn’t make it okay but that’s what they’re called because they’re so insanely decadent, outrageous, and everything else because you throw everything into them.”
Including the sleeve of Oreos.
I changed it to outrageous brownies. Beyond the words by me, our intent is not to offend. It is to have fun with things and to be playful. Would I have made that video now that we did about 3 or 4 years ago the way I did it? Maybe I would have. It’s never done with us in any malice. We’re not trying to take women down a peg. We truly believe in girl power women. We laugh at everything. If we’ve done it, we’ve done it unintentionally and never to offend.You continually learn lessons from people as you go along. Click To Tweet
I didn’t feel like it was but I like how you listened to your audience and you changed a little bit.
My bad. It was like, “We should have thought of that.”
We did say we should have been down that like we should have.
In the cancel culture, I would be quick to change things where I’ve done something wrong.
If our readers want to contact you for recipes, cookbooks, YouTube, your help with perhaps their brand marketing. How can they do that?
We have a website BiteMeMore.com. We also have another one called BiteMeDigital.com. Both speak to each other. You can reach us also if you want to understand a little bit more about what hurdles you might encounter if you’re thinking of writing a cookbook. We’re available and we’re happy to dialogue back with anyone.
I was thinking that I would love to collaborate to write a culinary goddess cookbook. I will not have my children be taste testers.
You can never get past page one at that rate.
I love them dearly but they will have to sit there with their mouths, open watering. What are you going to call your next cookbook?
We’re so knee-deep in promoting this book. We haven’t thought of a next book. We’re not sure what that would look like and whether we would venture off into cooking with kids. Are they little bites? Are they little nibbles? I don’t know.
You’ll have to crack open your easy bake oven. I had one too. I remember making the chocolate with the light bulb.
She stained my yellow shag carpet with chocolate but that’s okay because I sold the cakes on our street.
You made a profit.
One for $0.05 and two for $0.25.
I hope our readers are becoming inspired by this. I know we all are. I cannot wait to make a bunch of the other recipes and to share them with my friends and family. Thank you so much for your inspiration, for inspiring, for empowering us, and for creating such delicious recipes. I truly feel like a rock star goddess when I make your delicious treat. Thank you for joining us on the show.
You are a bunch of goddesses. Thank you.
Welcome everyone to the Favorite Things portion. We’re here with Julie Albert and Lisa Gnat, authors of the many cookbooks, including Bite Me Too, Bite Me, Lick Your Plate, Bite Me Balance. We’re going to talk about our favorite things. Mine is in relation to food. When I was younger, all I would eat every night for dinner is I’d crack open with my can opener the ones that make a lot of noise and spin around the Heinz spaghetti. It’s Canadian spaghetti. I would put ketchup on it as well. I love ketchup on everything. It’s who I am. I loved and still do love pasta. I brought along my strainer which we definitely need. I found out not too long ago that you should add a little pasta water with your pasta because it helps. I’m not sure why. Maybe you guys can help me. I also have my box grater because a real Parmesan shredded on top and be careful not to cut yourself, which I have done. I love some Parmesan. If I could have a dish every night, I would have spaghetti and tomato sauce with cheese. It makes me so happy and I would make that all the time. I want to turn it over to Michelle. What did you bring along?
On that note, tongs. Every single time I cook, I have different sizes and tips. By the way, they’re dirty because I haven’t washed them yet. That tells a little bit about me.
You’re a goddess. I love it. Unapologetic.
Do you know I use those for my preschool to pick up pompoms to help with manual dexterity? I use it to pick up the kids. Lara, what did you bring for our show and tell?
I’m going to start with two things that I didn’t bring physically but I’m going to describe them. They’re in my kitchen. One I shared on an earlier episode, it’s a ladle that my mother used in her kitchen and it has a broken handle. I love using kitchen utensils that were passed down to me. I have my mom’s ladle and a potato masher that is still functioning. It has a blue Teflon handle. I also have my grandmother’s cookie tin. I put the granola that I made from your cookbook in that cookie tin. Those are amazing. They give me such comfort in my kitchen. I brought along physically my acupuncture ball. I love this. I travel with it. I don’t know what the brand is but you can order it on Amazon. I could’ve put it behind my back during this interview. Whatever you’re doing in the day after you cook, you put it wherever you need it under your legs sitting down. It gives a massage. I’m seriously missing a massage during COVID. This is a great piece of equipment or apparatus I highly recommend.
Thank you for sharing. I keep bringing up the Canadian stuff. I can’t help it. When I moved to the States, it was butt, not bum. Camille, what did you bring to share?
I had to bring a set picture of my grandmother from the great family, the color purple. It’s a great film, my best friend and I, we quote it all the time with each other. The clock thing whenever he has to go to the airport, we’ll do that with each other. I found the VHS tape I have with the color purple. I think my daughter is almost at the age but we lost my grandmother in 2020. Anytime I get any moments with her again, being able to talk about the color purple means a lot to me.
Thank you for sharing that. Dena, how about you?
I’m going to try to bring it all back around to our meals and such. There was a show. It’s been a while now. It was called Start the Novogratz which are these design couple and their family. I watched it with my girls. I have three kids. My two daughters and I watched it and we loved it. It went off and we could never find it again. Since then, they came out with some decor line and last time was Hanukkah. My three children bought us a new floor mat and this one says family on it. I’m super excited to put it out and I love it.
I bet they don’t complain about the meals at all.
Karen is an amazing cook and an even better entertainer. You’re an amazing host.
You’re very sweet. I follow good recipes like the girl’s book. You said it, “If you have a good recipe, you can have the confidence.” That’s what you guys gave me. Honest to God. I was lacking in confidence in the kitchen. I’ll never forget when I was dating my husband, I made a veal Parmesan, he came over, and ate it. My brother came home and he was like, “This is horrible.” It runs in the family.
It was because he was used to my mom’s veal Parmesan that was smothered in thick layers of mozzarella. By the way, I’m going to share, I’ve turned that into fish Parmesan. I make it with white fish. It was the way I got my son to start eating fish smothered in tomato sauce and cheese.
I used to do that with broccoli. Let’s move on to our guests. What did you guys bring for your favorite things?
I brought her but I also have a favorite thing that always goes on me. It’s an evil eye. I feel better when I wear it. The beauty of this one is there is also a little one that goes behind my neck so that it’s getting people from the front and the back. If they’re giving me the evil eye in the back, I’m protected, and in the front, I’m protected.
Did someone give it to you or you bought it somewhere for yourself?
I bought it for myself. I take it off to go to sleep because I don’t sleep in it, but I wear it every day and have been for a few years now. It’s my favorite. It makes me feel protected. I’m a little superstitious like that. I have the red string that my daughter tied on my wrist a few years ago in Israel. Until it falls off, I won’t take it off. It’s on its last legs at the moment. It looks like it wants to come off.
Be careful it doesn’t come into a cookie when you’re eating.
That could happen because I do that quite a bit but she’s my favorite thing if I’m allowed to say her.
I would say the same about her. If I had to pick a kitchen appliance that is my truly favorite thing, it would be my mini food processor. I use it all the time. I use it for dressings, cut-up nuts, or any fresh herbs. I always have a backup one because I don’t want it to ever die and not have a backup.
Another thing we love in the kitchen is the immersion blender. It costs next to nothing. You stick it in the pot when you’re making sauces or soups that you need to puree. You avoid that transferring of hot liquids into a blender, the splashing, and the ouch especially when you’re cooking in a T-shirt. That is one of the lifesavers of all time. Cheap, cheerful, and got to have it. In the sense of your grater, we use the Microplane grater a lot. Those for zesting, for chocolate, and for Parmesan. Amazing, easy, and fit right in the dishwasher. They’re flat, long, and great.
I got my first immersion blender. My friend sent me a potato leek recipe. I called her and I’m like, “Do I need this to make the soup?” She goes, “A 100%.” I get on Amazon, push the soup for a couple of days, and I got it. I didn’t know what to do with it. I don’t know how to do it. I don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s a game-changer. I’m making soup a lot.
The Microplane is a game-changer for garlic.
I have trouble cleaning the immersion.
It should separate the bottom half in the dishwasher.
Freshen up on that one. I’m going to send you a gift. Send me your address. You are a goddess and you should make your life easier. A lot of it is in the tools too that you use, a good chef’s knife. Making sure that you have that knife that you love and is properly sharpened. She said to me, “Your knife needs sharpening.”
I came over. I was trying to cut something.
Can you tell us why the pasta water is so important?
It brings the sauce together so it makes a smoother sauce. It makes a velvety texture of your sauce. When you’re making the pasture before you drain it, take out like half a cup. You’re not going to end up using half a cup but when you’re heating the pasta with whatever sauce you’re doing, you add a little bit of water.
It would be nice for those of us who are not good in the kitchen.
Tell us the problem, Camille.
He’s insatiable. He could eat from the moment he wakes up to the moment he falls asleep. He’s always hungry. He works at a non-stop cardio job. He’s a UPS driver. It’s impossible. I try to eat healthier because I’ve been on a diet since I was twelve.
Don’t do it.
It was because my parents were vegetarian. Not was I on a diet but limitations, I should say.
How do you find that confidence? It is the tools but what other things would you suggest to help spice up food easily that would make those box dinners taste more gourmet or step it up a notch.
The one thing you have to know is you have to have confidence that you’re never making a mistake so try to add a new spice.
That’s easy for her to say. If she said to me on a new spice, I’m like, “What are you talking about? I don’t know how to add a new spice.”
For example, take any soup you ever make. If you add a little bit of lemon juice at the end of it, it brings up the flavor.
That’s not going to make someone a great cook.
What would make them a great cook?
What would make them a great cook and I know this sounds self-serving but it’s true because I started at nothing. I was to follow her recipes because they work. I would cook smarter, not harder. I would go for a big batch of soup and I put half of it in the freezer, half of it in the fridge, and let’s all eat it up. I know in my head that I have something to pull out for next week. Sometimes, I run out of hours in the day and I don’t feel like eating cereal and toast for dinner.
With COVID, the freezer has become a new thing for me. I never froze anything before.
She was always buying fresh the day out.
I shopped every single day and I would cook fresh. I find the freezer is helpful. If I’m making one lasagna, I’m making two lasagnas and I’m freezing one. It’s so great to have that to pull out.
I keep a binder of meal plans. Whatever I’m making for the week, unlike her, I can’t go grocery shopping every day. I want to go once on Sunday and get everything for the week that I’m going to be cooking. I write out the four things that I’m going to cook that week then I keep those sheets of paper in a binder. Every time I go to figure out my menu for the week, I don’t always have to reinvent the wheel. I don’t have to think about what’s going to go with this and how am I going to bring the balance to the whole week? I don’t want to make four chicken dishes in a week. What can I throw in there? It takes a little bit of thinking out of it.
One of the things we’re thinking of doing or I haven’t told her yet is making a PDF of meal plans based on all of the Bite Me books and recipes. It would be a game-changer for people because to be able to take four books and get 200 meals out of it, if I never had to think again about what goes with what, it would be a game-changer for me. You know it here first.
That’s fantastic because all of the moms here were making three meals a day.
Camille, you do have to try the recipes from their book because they’re so easy to follow. I made the sheet pan chicken. It was so good.
Camille, if you go on the website, we have over 350 to 400 recipes on the site.
Thank you, Julie and Lisa, for sharing your favorite things and for joining us on the show.
Thank you for having us.
- Julie Albert – LinkedIn
- Lisa Gnat – LinkedIn
- Bite Me Creative
- Bite Me More
- Bite Me Digital
- Bite Me Too
- Bite Me
- Lick Your Plate
- Bite Me Balance
- Nili Lotan – Bite Me More Episode
About Julie Albert and Lisa Gnat
Julie Albert & Lisa Gnat are the perfectly balanced (one’s sweet, the other salty) sisters behind the popular blog Bite Me More, digital agency Bite Me Creative, and bestselling cookbooks Bite Me, Bite Me Too, Lick Your Plate, and the recently released Bite Me Balance Cookbook. Julie, with her passion for fonts and future perfect is the wordsmith (read: wordy) sister, while Lisa, with her bionic palate, has the ability to create and cook up consistently delicious and easy crowd pleasers. Together, these sisters set everyone up for success in the kitchen and at the table, making eating, feeding, and entertaining a piece of cake.