General Recipe and Cooking:
Can you please include nutrition facts on your recipes?
Due to time, brain power and general bury-my-head-in-the-sand philosophy about wanting to know how many calories are in my cupcake, I won’t be including that info in the foreseeable future; however, there are many nutrition calculators online that can help you out with that.
Can I substitute various ingredients in your recipes?
Please do! That’s the fun of cooking and baking. But I may not be able to respond back to every inquiry as to whether such-and-such will work for a substitution. As a general rule, I try to update the recipe (in the notes section below the recipe title) if I’ve substituted any of the ingredients or varied the recipe in any way so check there first and almost always, the comment thread is a great source of information as to what has worked for other people. Otherwise, go for it and be sure to report back with results!
My bread/rolls/yeast recipe isn’t turning out! Help! What do I do?
While I’m far from a yeast expert, I love to make bread and rolls and here is a great tutorial on working with yeast. And another step-by-step for whole wheat bread. Both of these will help with the majority of questions (especially with subbing in active dry yeast for instant yeast, etc.). Also, I’ve responded to many questions in the comments of all of the yeast bread and roll recipes so you may find useful information there, too.
Can you please tell me your favorite recipes or meals for entertaining?
I have a list of ongoing favorite recipes here. Additionally, I have a menu section here with some great weekly menu plans. As for other special entertaining events, the Recipe Index is a great resource for planning. For serving large groups, slow cooker meals are a great help, as well as pasta (like this manicotti or lasagna which can be made in advance).
How do I cut a pineapple, organize my recipes and/or properly measure flour?
I thought you’d never ask! Here’s a list of my oft-used kitchen tips and tutorials.
Equipment and Cookbooks:
What are the kitchen appliances and tools you can’t live without?
How nice of you to ask about my favorite subject (Brian is shooting you a virtual warning glance about getting me started on this scintillating topic). Here they are!
What cookbooks would you recommend?
To be honest, I don’t own hundreds of cookbooks. But I do own a few that I love, love, love. The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook, The Cook’s Country Cookbook, any of the America’s Test Kitchen books (30-minute Meals, The Best Skillet Recipes, Quick Family Cookbook), The Joy of Cooking, King Arthur Flour’s Baker Companion. Additionally, I subscribe to two cooking magazines: Cook’s Country and Cuisine at Home. Love them both!
What kind of camera/lenses do you use?
Since May of 2010, I’ve used a Nikon D90 (before that I used a Sony Cybershot point-and-shoot). I either use a 50mm/1.8 or 35mm/1.8. I am not a professional photographer. I take hundreds of pictures for each recipe I post. Sometimes I laugh at my pictures because they are funny and terrible. Occasionally I get a good one. My advice for food photography is to take a lot of pictures in natural light. There are times, I have to admit, I make my children stand by the window posing as a chocolate chip cookie in order to practice my food photography. You’d be surprised how well they do at this task.
Can I repost one of your recipes on my blog?
Why, yes! Blogging is all about sharing, in my opinion. All I’d ask is that you include a real, live link back to my website. Thanks!
Can I use one of your photos on my blog?
Unfortunately, I run into sites all.the.time (we’re talking daily) that have ripped off my photos, deleted the watermark, and posted them as their own. It makes me kind of angry (like scream-in-my-pillow-angry) so my overall policy is not to allow the reposting of my photos. However, if you have a reputable, non-spamming site and send me a really nice email asking permission beforehand (and a shipment of dark chocolate helps, too), I’ll probably say yes. It’s the outright stealing that causes me to say bad words in my head.
Can I advertise on your site?
Thanks for the inquiry, but I’m not accepting other advertisers at this time.
Can I send you a great, free product and will you post about it on your blog?
My general policy is that I don’t accept free products. My preference is to talk the guts out of things I’ve loved and bought for myself. Of course, like anyone, I don’t mind receiving something free and if you’d like to send it to me with no strings attached (i.e. no requirements to post about it), awesome, otherwise, my plan is to continue keeping my content streamlined and food-focused.
Can I guest post on your site?
Except for very, very rare instances, I don’t accept guest posts on my site mostly because I like to keep my writing voice consistent throughout my blog posts. If you’d like to get featured on my blog then by all means, send me a recipe. If I make it and love it, I’ll post about it (but chances are I’ll make some changes to it, so if it’s your great-grandma’s special soup and it will sadden you or her if I alter it, you probably better not send it – I can’t leave recipes alone without changing a thing or three!)
How do you find the time to cook/bake so often? Are your children neglected?
If you consider a child with brownie batter slathered on his/her face neglected, then yes, they are. I do the majority of my cooking with my kids. They love to help (which is a blessing and a curse, as you can imagine) and because I’m naturally cooking meals for my family anyway, food blogging is a perfect hobby for me. Of course, as other food blogger’s with children can attest, my kids will probably need therapy later in life for all the minutes they had to stare at the food longingly while I take a million pictures before letting them dig in.
Where do you live?
I live in Northern Minnesota in a tiny, homey little town. However, Brian and I both have roots scattered everywhere from Texas to Utah to Oregon to Montana. Because I have internet paranoia, I don’t publish the exact details of where we live but I do give insights about our way of life in my Snapshot Saturdays.