Siri Daly shared her thoughts about being a working mom, how much the Midwestern girl enjoys her new life on Long Island and her new cookbook, Siriously Delicious. Photo Courtesy of Time Inc. Books/Ellen Silverman

Meeting Today show food contributor Siri Daly — who’s also a popular food blogger, mother of three, wife of Carson Daly and now cookbook author — feels like meeting an old friend.

After getting her kids off to school and a stop at the gym, she took a break to chat with the Press at For Five Coffee Roasters near her Manhasset home, before running to Target (yes she is just like us). Over coffee, she shared her thoughts about motherhood, being a working mom, how she had the name Siri before Apple chose the name for its virtual assistant, and how much the Midwestern girl enjoys her new life on Long Island.

Her new cookbook, Siriously Delicious: 100 Nutritious (and Not So Nutritious) Simple Recipes for the Real Home Cook, is due out this month. Her warmth and wit was genuine as she shared her love of bacon and tacos, her family and friends, living a life of balance… And how she’s still trying to get her kids and Today anchor husband to try the Tropical Green Smoothie on page 16 of her book.

Siri Daly’s cookbook is due out April 17.

Long Island Press: How did Siriously Delicious begin?

Siri Daly: I started my blog called “Siriously Delicious” eight years ago after my son was born. I was working in late-night television and I was producing segments. I missed writing, and then I decided to combine that with my love of food. Starting a food blog wasn’t like I was suddenly a foodie, it was more like “Oh my gosh, I am in this domestic situation — how do people do it?” I started to keep track of meals that were working and meals that weren’t and then writing with humor along the way. A lot of feedback I have had over the years is when people tell me that they don’t cook, but I make them want to try. It’s a great compliment because that is my goal, to make cooking seem approachable and fun.

LIP: What is the origin of your name?

SD: My parents named me after a Scandinavian woman they had met. There is a lot of Norwegian in my family. I also heard it can be an Indian name or it can also be an iPhone name. It is not short for anything. It is just Siri. When I was a kid everyone would say, “Ooooh, are you serious?” And I always thought that was annoying and now, of course, I use it in my professional life because it works, except for the iPhone.

LIP: Have you heard every joke?

SD: Yes, people joke all the time. Mostly at Starbuck’s. Every barista has a funny joke. At least they think it is weird. I get a lot of “What’s the weather?” I am like, “Go turn on your TV or look outside.”

LIP: I love your humor throughout the book, and the reference on the cover is so relatable.

SD: I am all about balance. I named the book Siriously Delicious after myself because I feel a lot of the time people take cooking so seriously and it should be more fun and should be more about what you want to eat. Even though I have a green smoothie in the book, I will tell you that my kids won’t eat that. They know I am putting spinach in there. That one was for me.

LIP: I love your humor throughout the book, and the reference on the cover is so relatable.

SD: I am all about balance. I named the book Siriously Delicious after myself because I feel a lot of the time people take cooking so seriously and it should be more fun and should be more about what you want to eat. Even though I have a green smoothie in the book, I will tell you that my kids won’t eat that. They know I am putting spinach in there. That one was for me.

LIP: Does Carson like everything you cook?

SD: Yes, I think so. He loves food. He is not picky. There are certain things he won’t eat, like eggplant and olives. Carson is very inspirational. He has great ideas and he lets me execute them.

LIP: Can you tell me about the picture of your mom and O’mo?

SD: O’mo was Patty, my mother-in-law’s, nickname. It was short for the “Other Mother.” She passed away in September while I was writing the book and six weeks later my father-in-law passed away. I was literally in the thick of writing the book. My book is light and humorous, but when we were going through that difficult time, it was hard to find that humorous voice. Patty was the friendliest, happiest person I have ever known. I almost felt her presence as I was writing the book — she was nudging me along and encouraging me and that is why I dedicated the book to her and my mom. They have been such huge supporters.

Siri Daly with Today show co-host Savannah Guthrie, who wrote the foreword
to Siri’s new book while both were pregnant. (Photo By: Peter Kramer/NBC)

LIP: The foreword written by Savannah Guthrie seemed like she really captured you.

SD: I formed a friendship with Savannah and her husband. We were pregnant at the same time. She is the most down-to-earth, brilliant, funny, sweet, kind friend, so I was honored that she decided to write the foreword. Savannah doesn’t cook so it was fun to get her take on a cookbook.

LIP: How has your experience been on the Today show?

SD: Maybe it’s been two-and-a-half years since I have been a food contributor. I used to watch the Today show when I was a kid, so when I am there I still have to pinch myself. It is an incredible experience.

LIP: I laughed when you wrote that you and your family pretty much think about food all the time. Sounds familiar.

SD: Now it’s a joke. We can be eating breakfast, and then I am about to say it, and Carson is like, “Don’t say it.” And, then I ask, “What are we going to do for lunch? What are we going to do for dinner?” Food brings me so much joy. I want to know what is next. I am a little sad after I am done eating something. I need to know what I am looking forward to next.

LIP: Being a busy mom, how often do you cook?

SD: I probably cook four to five days a week and we will go out twice on the weekends and get takeout once.

LIP: Takeout is not taboo in your house?

SD: No. You have to order a pizza once in a while. We are moms. We need a break. I need someone to serve me sometimes, too.

LIP: You seem like you are in a really good place.

SD: I am really happy. This book was a dream. I still can’t even believe it. I am done with everything now. I have done a cookbook. I don’t need to do anything else (she laughs). Right now the book is available for preorder at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. April 17th is when it is available.

Just a normal day for the Dalys, including Siri, Carson and their kids, Jackson, Etta and London.
Photo Credits: Courtesy of Time Inc. Books. Photographer: Ellen Silverman, Food Stylist: Eugene Jho, Stylist: Karin Olsen, Hair and Makeup Stylist:

LIP: The book is 256 pages. Quite ambitious.

SD: I think there were about maybe 40 recipes that were pre-existing on the blog and the rest of them are all new, even the ones that had already existed. I wrote a new introduction to each recipe and refreshed the recipes. There is a team of amazing food photographers and recipe developers that work with Time Inc. We all worked together. It was a wonderful process. It was about a year. I spent a lot of time at coffee shops. I can’t write at home. I get distracted. I want to empty the dishwasher, organize the kid’s toys.

LIP: Let’s talk breakfast.

SD: The Hash Brown Egg Cups are so easy to make. The sweet potato adds the vitamins and minerals. They are on-the-go friendly and one of my favorites.

LIP: Please tell us about the Brown Sugar Peppered Bacon. We really need to know.

SD: Oh, my gosh. I have a thing for crispy delicious bacon, but that particular recipe has that sweet and savory going on with the brown sugar and pepper. It’s so good.

LIP: And those Grilled Cheese Roll- Up Dippers. Yum!

SD: Anything you can dip, especially for kids, they just love that. It’s a grilled cheese. You press the bread and roll it and that is what makes it stick together and get crispy.

LIP: About Part Three, “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” — Do you ever have time for an adult beverage with kids running amok?

SD: I do from time to time. I am lucky Carson is home by 10 a.m. on a good day because he works in the morning and if he is not doing The Voice he is here to help with the kids and homework, activities. Sometimes the stars align, Carson is here hanging out and we can have a cocktail and cook dinner, and it can be manageable and then the girls start screaming and then you need the cocktail.

LIP: I am still thinking about that Bloody Mary in the book. Is that Carson’s signature drink?

SD: Yes, he has become very famous for them. I think it is the bread-and-butter pickle juice that makes it stand out. It is a little bit of sweet and savory. I make them now but I don’t know what his secret is. Nothing compares. My signature drink, I feel like it would be boring. I love a spicy margarita. 

SIRI’S FAVORITE RECIPE: GREEK NACHOS

Photographer: Caitlin Bensel, Food Stylists: Margaret Monroe Dickey and Karen Shroeder-Rankin, Prop Stylist: Kay E. Clarke

If you make anything from this cookbook, make these Greek Nachos. Right now. Stop everything you’re doing, go buy these ingredients, and make. these. nachos. As you can tell, I am very passionate about how good they are. Not good, outstanding. Epic. I could keep listing synonyms for “tremendous” from the thesaurus, if you’d like? But I won’t, because I know you will agree with me. First, bake up perfectly seasoned, homemade pita chips, top them with creamy crumbled feta cheese, chopped veggies, salty olives and finally drizzle everything with a spicy yogurt sauce. Then, come back to this page and nod in agreement with the magic that is this recipe. Each ingredient merged together creates a unified, delightful appetizer that will make any happy hour even happier.

Serves 8
Hands on time: 20 Minutes
Total time: 35 Minutes

DRESSING
1 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

NACHOS
6 (5-inch) pita rounds
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1⁄2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1⁄2 cups crumbled feta cheese
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium-sized red onion, finely chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
3⁄4 cup sliced kalamata olives
3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh chives

1. Make the Dressing: Whisk together all of the ingredients until smooth.
2. Make the Nachos: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut each pita into 8 wedges. Arrange the pita wedges in a single layer on an aluminum foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Brush the pita wedges with the oil and sprinkle with the paprika and salt. Bake until crisp, 10 to 12 minutes.
3. Remove the pita wedges from the oven. Increase the heat to a high broil. Sprinkle the wedges with the feta, bell pepper, and red onion. Broil until the cheese starts to melt, about 3 minutes. Remove from the oven.
4. Sprinkle with the tomato, olives, and chives. Transfer the dressing to a squeeze bottle, or spoon into a plastic ziptop bag and snip 1 corner to make a small hole. Drizzle the nachos with your desired amount of dressing. Reserve any remaining dressing for another use.

Siriously Mini:
To make this more kid-friendly, top the toasted pita with store-bought hummus, feta, and diced avocado.

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