The Liebster Award

Last week I was one of a handful of bloggers to receive the Liebster Award thanks to my nomination by Amanda from Crafty Cooking Mama. What is the Lieberman Award you ask? I don’t really know, but I’m sure it’s something really prestigious given to only the best of the best. No doubt I’ll get a call from Food Network any day now.

It’s actually an award given to bloggers with less than one-thousand followers. When someone receives the Liebster Award they have to answer eleven questions asked by the person giving the award, then add another eleven random facts about themselves. This sounds like fun so thank you Amanda for nominating me. let’s get started!

The Liebster Award


1. I love spicy food! The spicier the better for me. I put really hot stuff like Dave’s Insanity Sauce on a lot of food or diced up habenero peppers. Then somehow I always end up touching one of my eyes and that kind of stings.

2. I was raised by my mother. I grew up with my mother and sister and had mostly female cats. Oddly enough my wife and I have two daughters. The chick life chose me.

3. I’m an athletic person who works out seven days a week, but I don’t follow any sports. I may go to a hockey or baseball game, but never watch it on television. Even with the super bowl I mainly watch the commercials.

4. Speaking of working out, I’ve run a total of 10 marathons. My 10th one was on 10/10/2010. I didn’t run a marathon on 11/11 2011, so I just stopped. My fastest finish time was 2 hours, 51 minutes .

5. I’m a cat person. We do have a dog, Clark our Boxer mix and he’s a good dog, but I’ve just accepted the fact that I like cats better. Our cat Taz (also known as Golden Boy) is just so laid back. He’ll greet me when I come home, but he doesn’t have to jump all over me or go out all the time. If we go on vacation for a week we leave him more food and water and he’s perfectly fine. The dog, we can’t leave alone for more than eight hours.

6. I’m a total bookworm. I read all sorts of books and always have a couple on standby so when I finish a book I’ve already got another one ready.

7. When I was a teenager I faked a learning disorder just to get my parents off my back. I wasn’t very motivated as a teenager.

8. I LOVE roller coasters! The faster or scarier the better. I’m lucky because my wife and both children really like roller coasters, too. We go to Cedar Point in the summer for vacation because we think they have the best roller coaster park.

9. I’m afraid of heights. I’m fine in tall buildings, but a little shaky if I’m on a balcony in a high rise. Going on a ladder to hang Christmas lights really isn’t my favorite thing in the world, but it’s nothing compared to me going up on a roof. I can actually get onto a roof from a ladder without problems, but going from the roof back to the ladder is really bad.

10. I really don’t like big cities. I spent a lot of time in Chicago as a kid and I get kind of moody every time I have to go downtown. I’m a lot more comfortable in the suburbs.

11. When I was a kid my mother told me I could never get a tattoo, motorcycle, or join the military. I have a lot of tattoos, had a couple motorcycles, but never did join the military.


1. What are your earliest cooking inspirations?
My earliest cooking inspiration is my grandmother. When I would visit her we would bake chocolate chip cookies together.

2. Where do you live? What is wonderful about where you call home?
I live in McHenry, Illinois, about an hour and a half from Chicago. Two things come to mind when I think about what’s wonderful about where I live. First, it’s a nice place to raise a family. In my neighborhood both of my children live very close to a lot of friends and it’s a safe place to live. Second, there’s a drive in movie theater in town, which is one of only twelve in the state of Illinois.

3. You can buy a second home (money is no object here) anywhere in the world. Where would you be?
If I could buy a second home and money was no object I would buy a place in Door County Wisconsin. It’s beautiful up there and I spent a lot of time there as a kid. And the food is really good there.

4. What has your proudest accomplishment been in life so far?
My proudest accomplishment so far may not seem like a big deal, but it’s being happily married for almost fifteen years and raising two really good children with my darling wife. Having the closest thing possible to a Brady Bunch family.

5. Think back to being a kid….What did you want to be when you grew up? How does that compare to what you are doing now?
At some point in high school I wanted to be a psychologist because I was interested in human behavior, but it required a lot of school and I wasn’t exactly a ‘great student’. Then I fell in love with cars, mostly how they worked and repairing them. As of right now, I’ve been a dealer auto technician for the last twenty-two years. I should have just done better in school and pursued psychology.

6. Open up your fridge. What do you see most of in there?
I’m looking in my fridge and I see half of a leftover shrimp burrito. It’s my wife’s and I wonder if she’ll notice it missing. Also, how many open ketchup, ranch dressing, and barbeque sauce bottles do we really need?

7. What makes you happy?
I’m happiest when I’m spending time with my beautiful wife and two children. Especially when both children are getting along. That’s a zen moment for me.

8. What is your most treasured possession?
This is a tough one. I can’t think of any physical things that I have. If my house was on fire and my family and all the animals were out of the house I might go back in to get photo albums.

9. You could only eat one type of cuisine for the rest of your life. What would it be?
If I could only eat one cuisine for the rest of my life it would definitely be Mexican. I love spicy food, tacos, burritos, salsa, anything Mexican. I’m getting hungry just thinking about this. I should take a break from writing this blog post and go get a burrito with chile relleno and chicken. And some tacos, too!

10. 30 years from now – where do you see yourself in life?
I can’t even think about that. I think I’ll be the most immature seventy-year old anyone’s ever seen.

11. What inspired you to start blogging and what inspires you to keep blogging?
Well I’ve always enjoyed cooking and baking. One morning toward the end of out Sunday breakfast my youngest daughter said, ‘Daddy, you should have a food blog.’ Her words hit me like a ton of bricks. Later that night, with the help of my wife we had a website up.

That immediate blast of motivation doesn’t last forever. You have to love it, love the process, no matter how hard and discouraging it can be at times. Passion is what gets me out of bed in the morning. That and knowing that I need to follow through on things. If for nothing else but to show my children that nothing in life worth having is easy, and good things come to those who persevere. After all, it’s hard to beat someone who never gives up.

Now, the part I’ve really been looking forward to. I get to nominate five bloggers for the Liebster Award. These are five bloggers that I have had the delight pleasure of getting to know. Five bloggers who I look up to and inspire me. In no particular order I hereby nominate the following blogs:

1. Terminateor Kitchen

2. Belgian Foodie

3. Mom, Can I Have That?

4. Blond Girl Cravings

5. Crafty Dad


1. If you could only eat one vegetable, one protein, and one fruit for the next year what would it be?

2. If somebody made a film about your life, who would play your role?

3. If you got your own show on television, what would be the theme and what would it be called?

4. What is your favorite animal at the zoo?

5. Why did you decide to start a blog?

6. When you’re driving in really hot weather do you open the windows or turn on the air conditioner?

7. If you had move to a different state, any state in the United States, where would you move?

8. If I were to send you on an all expenses paid vacation for you and your family; two weeks anywhere in the world. Where would you go?

9. If you could end world hunger by killing one innocent person would you do it?

10. What is your favorite movie?

11. If you could be any age for a week, what age would you be?

8 Responses to The Liebster Award

  1. Kim @ MomCanIHaveThat June 9, 2015 at 2:00 pm #

    Hi Jim, Congrats on your award. I, too, have never heard of it and it sounds like a great way to introduce great-bloggers-with-little-followers to a wider audience? At the very least, let everyone know some fun details about you! Thank you so much for nominating me. You are a sweetie. Don’t eat your wife’s sandwich, I’m sure she was saving it! Kim

    • James Cutler June 16, 2015 at 5:15 pm #

      Hahaha Thanks Kim; I can’t wait to see what you eat. 🙂

  2. craftycookingamanda June 10, 2015 at 8:38 pm #

    Love it! I’ve had so much fun reading all these and getting to know everyone! Congrats again!

    • James Cutler June 16, 2015 at 5:16 pm #

      Thank you, and thanks again for nominating me. 🙂

  3. Nicole Francis June 12, 2015 at 12:06 pm #

    I can relate to the many open bottles of condiments……..why do I need 12 OPEN bottles of mustard? And they are pretty much all the same. Yep, I am OBSESSED with mustard 🙂

    And you won’t be the only immature 70 year old. There are PLENTY of them out there right now embarrassing their grand kids and their kids!

    • James Cutler June 16, 2015 at 5:17 pm #

      Yeah, I don’t even know the deal with all the condiments. Then we need more when we’re at a fast food place? 🙂

  4. Jeff the Chef June 21, 2015 at 10:52 am #

    Nice post. You’re awesome!

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