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Seattle based Rosie Mayes is the author of 'I Heart Soul Food.' The book is packed with 100+ comfort food recipes. (Image: Michael Kartes)

'I Heart Soul Food' - and Seattle blogger's new cookbook will make you Heart It Too

From Lauren Ko and the modern geometric pies she's featuring in 'Pieometry' to Danielle Kartes and her 'Rustic Joyful Food' - there are so many talented cookbook authors who call our area home. Now local internet sensation Rosie Mayes is sharing some of her delicious recipes in 'I Heart Soul Food'. Refined chatted with Mayes recently to get the scoop!

Seattle Refined: Rosie Mayes you are the phenomenal food blogger behind I Heart Recipes and I’m so excited to talk to you because you live right here in Seattle!
Rosie Mayes: Born and raised, born and raised.

Tell me about your new book ...
My grandparents are from Louisiana, so my cooking is soul food and that’s basically what my book [I Heart Soul Food] is. It’s all about some of my soul food recipes, Southern recipes and in between. It’s everything that I love – I should say a little 'Rosie magic' in there.

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So for those people who don’t know what soul food is - how would you describe it?
Soul food is actually cooking from the heart, you use what you have. Let’s say fried chicken, mashed potatoes, collard greens... it definitely has southern influences in it, shrimp and grits, all that good stuff - oxtails. But I like to call it 'Soul Food' because I’m from Seattle.

You also share a lot of cooking tutorials YouTube, and you’re known for calling your readers [and viewers] cousins - is there a story behind that?
Online you know a lot of people say friends. Some people say fans - you know I don’t like the term fans to be completely honest with you. I feel like a lot of my cousins online, as I call them, have been with me so long that they’ve become like - we’re a community, but we’re also like an online family.

I am super into your new cookbook if you can’t tell, but I want to hear how it got it’s start cause it’s a very cool story.
I got really lucky because one of my online ‘cousins’ happened to be someone that is an established author - and that would be Angie Thomas.

What did she write?
'The Hate You Give'. She took time out, she hooked me up with a great agent and I mean, there really aren’t any words for Angie. She’s just an amazing person. Very unselfish.

Why do you think people are just so drawn to your cooking?
I think a lot of my recipes remind them of what they grew up on. They bring back a lot of memories from mom or grandma especially if they have southern roots. A lot of my recipes are authentic. I know we have a lot of soul food recipes out there that we have to - you know they’re good and everything but my stuff is the real deal.

What are some of your faves right now?
I’m glad you said right now because they change all the time. So right now it’s candied yams, macaroni and cheese and fried oysters.

And we can’t forget the dish that you say we should be enjoying all year long.
Yes, it is potato salad. Now I don’t know why everyone things this is just barbecue weather, barbecue cookout food. I’m gonna give you another look. Potato salad goes with everything OK. From a fish fry to a barbecue I serve it during the holidays Easter, Thanksgiving Christmas all year round.

Why does cooking the recipes sharing the recipes and connecting with your cousins bring you so much joy?
You know what - my cousins bring me the joy. I love cooking but at the end of the day, their comments their encouragement they keep me going.

For more about Rosie Mayes, check out her website 'I Love Recipes.' Her book 'I Heart Soul Food' is available now. Rosie also has an free virtual event on October 22nd at via Book Larder, having a conversation with another one of our favorite chefs, bloggers and cookbook authors, Danielle Kartes.