Good morning! Today’s food blogger interview is with the super talented Amanda from Amanda’s Cookin’. She has a lot of quick and easy recipes I think you’ll love! She’s sharing some of her favorites with us and be careful because I think you’re going to be craving her Deep Dark Chocolate Cake in a few seconds. :)
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
I worked in finance in Corporate America for quite a few years before quitting to stay home and raise my kids. After my third child was born it was time to stop the daycare madness and focus on family. I got bored pretty quick though, and started a website a few months later. I ran that for ten years and sold it in 2007. Right after that I started blogging. I have four wonderful children, aged 15 through 21 now. I’m glad I was able to stay home with them AND find something to keep my creative brain engaged. :)
Can you tell me a little bit about your blog?
I started blogging in late 2007 because I needed an outlet after owning a website for ten years. I couldn’t just NOT post stuff! I love baking bread and making cake from scratch, but I’m not opposed to doctoring up a cake mix either. I post a lot of dinner recipes too, nothing extravagant, but definitely enjoyable. I love to make pastas and stir fries, so you’ll find a lot of those on my blog.
What do you like most about blogging? What do you NOT like about blogging?
I think what I like most is being able to express myself, AS myself. I don’t have to put on my third-person writer’s hat. I love that my photography has improved and my cooking and baking experience has expanded tremendously.
What do I not like about blogging? Hmm, that’s actually kind of hard because I do love so much about it. Blogging IS my business. My husband was unemployed for 2 years (he’s back to work now) and I was the sole bread winner. That puts a lot of stress and pressure on a person and trying to grow your traffic is often the answer to all things financial. That part I don’t like. I love to blog, but because it is my income, I wish it wasn’t so challenging to grow at a faster pace.
What would be one tip you would give to someone who was thinking about starting a blog?
Gosh. One? Haha. Start on WordPress. Blogger is easy to use, but it’s really limited as far as “extras” go. If you are truly starting a blog that you want to grow, I would say that WordPress is the way to go as there are just so many more automated options than what Blogger provides. If it’s just a hobby and you truly believe it will always be that way, then either platform should suit you just fine.
What are some of your favorite recipes you’ve created?
Oh my goodness, I think one of my all time favorites is this Chicken with Garlic and Parsley – it’s done in under thirty minutes and so easy to throw together.
Other favorites include Farfalle with Green Beans and Pecans in Fire Roasted Tomato Sauce
and this Chicken Scallion Stir Fry.
And for dessert? This Deep Dark Chocolate Cake is one of my all time favorite cake recipes.
Where do you get ideas for your new recipes?
A variety of places really. I have a lot of cookbooks, plus tons of recipes I’ve printed out from the Internet over the years, and of course other food blogs and Pinterest are a great way to find great recipes. For pasta dishes, stir fries and stews, I can easily throw together a recipe from what I have on hand. But I often adapt recipes from other bloggers (with credit of course), websites and cookbooks.
Where do you see you and your blog 5 years from now?
I would hope that by then I’ve been able to grow my blogs (I have a craft blog as well) to a point where I no longer NEED to freelance for additional revenue. My goal is to have my blogs support me so I can spend more time doing the things that I love.. cooking and crafting.
Speed round….first thing that pops into your head!
Favorite cookbook (other than your own if you have one):
Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook
Chocolate or vanilla:
Depends – chocolate for snacking, vanilla for ice cream and cake
Ketchup or mustard:
Coffee or tea:
2 farm fresh eggs and rye toast
Favorite seasoning or herb:
(Photos have been posted with permission. All photos are property of Amanda’s Cookin’)