why i blog

So I warned you a couple weeks ago at the onset of this Let’s Talk series that I was going to talk about anything and everything. And today’s schpeel would most likely be considered one of those “anything and everything” posts. If you’re usually here for recipes and tips, this post might not be for you so feel free to check back Monday for the most amazing dessert bars on the planet.

why i blog

But for the rest of you (hi, mom), this Let’s Talk post is up close and personal. And truly, I wish I had you guys right here in my kitchen sitting on the island stools and chatting. Keeping me grounded and laughing.

Lately, I’ve really been thinking about why I blog. The reasons why probably don’t matter a whole lot to anyone else but me. However they actually impact the look and feel and face of my blog quite a bit. So can we say they really affect all of us? Yes, let’s say that.

Eight years ago when I started this blog, I truly had no intentions of still blogging in 2015 – it wasn’t even a thought in my mind. I didn’t know that my blog would start to get comments from random readers across the interwebs or that I would move from mykitchencafe.blogspot.com to www.melskitchencafe.com or that I would go from 10 pageviews a month (again, hi mom) to over 2 million pageviews a month or that I would look back and realize how truly terrible my photography was when at the time, I thought I was a budding food stylist (ha!). I mean, none of that was even on my radar. I really just wanted to make food and share the winners on a real, live food blog instead of boring all my family members by posting them on our family blog (which, by the way, am I the only remaining person on the planet that still has a family blog? just curious).

why i blog

And on a personal level, blogging has seen me through quite a bit: four major moves (from Utah to Wisconsin to Minnesota to Idaho), two new babies, a bout with cancer and subsequent radiation, two major health-related surgeries thrown in there and lots of other personal ups and downs.
why i blog

Through it all,Β this little food blog has grown and morphed and changed beyond my wildest expectations over the last almost decade. When I first started, there were only a handful of food blogs widely known and even then, if you said the word “blog” most people thought you were swearing at them. Now, there are thousands and thousands of food blogs and new ones starting every day.

Entering the food blog world when I did was sweet timing and I’m grateful for it every day; I think it plays a big part into why my blog has grown (new social media avenues don’t hurt either). But as my blog has grown, it’s taken on some new challenges and I’ve had to really stop and ask myself why I blog.

What started out as 100% a hobby (I posted whenever I wanted to with literally no thought to anything except for which really bad picture to choose to post with the recipe) has evolved into something that takes a lot of time. Lots and lots and lots of time. I average about 40-50 hours of work on my blog each week and while this is a choice (no one is forcing me to do it), it definitely sometimes feels overwhelming. As most of you know, I have a large-ish, busy family (+ a cat, a dog, two cows, and 11 chickens if that matters at all).

Hi, guys.
why i blog

These faces are and always will be my first priority. I try my very hardest to avoid the time-sucking computer/social media work while my kids are awake since I don’t work outside the home and several of them aren’t in school full-time yet (and of course during summer, all their blessed souls are home) which means if at all possible, blogging tasks are relegated to afternoon naptimes (when I can structure my older boys’ time for quiet activities while littles nap) and kiddo bedtimes (hence the reason I stay up way.too.late). Although they do get a lot of hands-on chances to help cook in the kitchen (we’ve talked about that before remember) since all the cooking and baking is done during reasonable daylight hours.

why i blog

Blogging is more than just food, though – it’s website functions that break, keeping up with social media (blah, totally a subject for another time), paying hosting fees and putting a lot of money into development and design and fixes, hiring an assistant (my cute sis – she’s awesome!) to help keep up on the hundreds of comments and emails I need to respond to each day and manage the aforementioned social media tools as well as many other projects. It’s the highs of really positive comments and the lows of mean-spirited ones.

And sometimes, you guys, I want to stop. I want to stop blogging and just read novels 40-50 hours a week instead. Or maybe exercise more. Or sew? I think I used to know how to do that. Or wait…sleep. I’d like to sleep.

But every time I have a little crisis (my husband seriously deserves a therapist’s salary for talking me off the ledge each time), I go back to why I started blogging in the first place.
why i blog

To share my tried-and-true favorite recipes with the world.

I know that sounds cheesy and a little trite but it’s so, so true. And every single time it’s what causes me to recenter and realize that even though there are a bajillion other things that go into this blog now that it’s grown, that – THAT is the reason I’m still blogging.

Other food blogs will come and go. Many of them will surpass me in numbers and social media followers and revenue and cookbook deals and sponsorship opportunities and all the other things that come along with blogging. And I’m not going to lie, the overachieving, perfectionist side of me struggles with that sometimes. But every time I decide to go down that route (finally say yes to a publisher, start working with more companies to promote their stuff, burying my face in social media and never resurfacing just to get another “like”), it doesn’t take long (I’m talking mere hours) before I’m completely miserable. It’s not me. It’s not how I blog. To business-savvy, eagle-sharp minds, it’s stupid and naive – I’ve had more than one fellow blogger and family member and acquaintance tell me I’m shooting myself in the foot by blogging the way I do – for not capitalizing on more opportunities and that I’ll never get ahead.

why i blog

Is it bad to admit that I’m ok with that? All I ever wanted, actually more than I ever wanted, in blogging I have right now. Call it unmotivated or unambitious or what you will. I call it staying true to my roots.

I have loyal readers who are so dear to me, it’s unexplainable. Your comments and stories and wittiness and recipes (ah, I love the recipes you send me) make all the endless work of blogging worth it and totally counteract the minor instances of negativity that come through.

And there’s the food. I love food. I love good food. I don’t post a recipe unless it rocks. No filler recipes. No content just because. I only post because if I didn’t, I’d explode from having to keep that ridiculously awesome recipe to myself instead of sharing it.

why i blog

At the end of the day, just like eight years ago, it’s still about the food. But amazingly and kind of crazily, it’s also about the people who come here – you’ve made this a community. Maybe just to me, I don’t know, but as awkward and socially problematic as it sounds, you are a very bright spot in my day and have become some of my dearest friends (even though I haven’t met many of you) and I look forward to hearing from each and every one of you.

This is not all to say that in the future I won’t decide to take opportunities that come my way or that little bits and pieces of my blog won’t change. There are some exciting things in the works as I speak, in fact, but those aren’t the aspects that drive and motivate me to keep blogging.


No, really, phew!

Thanks for letting me get this off my chest. You certainly deserve some type of reward if you really truly made it to the end of this post. I try to keep super personal, weirdo emotional, blogging-specific things like this out of daily posts because for the most part, I know you come here for great food. And I’m totally ok with that. I love it and don’t intend to vomit up all my feelings all of the time.

But I guess today I just wanted to make it known, even though I hope you know it just from being here day after day, that I value sincerity and realness and that’s what I hope to convey through blogging. I don’t have ulterior motives. Sometimes I don’t even know what tomorrow holds for blogging let alone the next five years.

I just blog.

And I’m so happy you are still around.

405 Responses to Let’s Talk: This Is Why I Blog

  1. Sandra Roberts says:

    Dearest Mel I hate to be the one to break it to you but……..YOU ALREADY ARE A SUCCESS!!!! It isn’t $ that motivate you, it’s LOVE!! How could anyone ever be unsuccessful in life when they are Loved and Love the way you are/do?? Money cannot give you happiness (all I ever had to do was look at my father to know that was true, he was a miserable BLEEP because all that mattered was getting richer) You are a Fabulous Cooking Instructor to any who try your recipes Believe me there are so many people now a days who don’t know a turnip from a potato and YOU make it possible for so many to feed there families HEALTHY (most the time) and Delicious (all the time) meals. Your a wonderful Mom and Wife. I have no idea how you get this blog done at all with your brood….lol (RESPECT) I doubt even 1% of your readers could!! I know I couldn’t I have done it!! Heck mine are all but grown now and I still couldn’t do it!! I faced cancer (Thyroid) in 96 they said I wouldn’t survive the surgery (Boy were they wrong) Life throws a lot in our paths it is the direction we choose to face at those moments in time You my friend just keep facing the sun, keep your face to the light and turn your back on the dark. And for heaven sake take sometime for you!! Those of us who fallow you won’t stop if you don’t post for a month. Just tell us your taking a break we’ll still be haunting your recipes (but we won’t worry somethings wrong). You deserve time to

  2. Tara says:

    Whew! I sure had to scroll down forever to leave a comment! πŸ™‚ I have never left a comment but just wanted to tell you thanks for your blog. I feel like I can relate to you- I have 3 boys and a girl and we’re a busy LDS family. I love your recipes and I love your sense of humor!

  3. Elizabeth says:


    Thank you for blogging! Your recipes actually work! Before I search the internet for recipes, I search your blog! Please keep posting!

    I’d love to know what yummy veggie-based recipes you’ve tried!

    Much love and support,


  4. Lisa Cuba says:

    I love that you don’t just post a recipe, you share your life! You make feeding a family well sound fun and doable. Also, I so appreciate that you’re not into reviewing products for manufacturers’ sakes; some beauty blogs I’ve followed have gone down that route. Once the writers are not sharing products they truly love anymore, I’m not interested, somehow; their blogs then just sort’ve seem to become big advertisements. Reading advertisements is a waste of my time, so I quit following.

    Thanks for staying small-ish & sincere!
    Lisa Cuba

  5. Kamber Bishop says:

    I am pretty sure I read this post right after you wrote it. And now, this morning I just read it again. I love it! I hope you read it over every now and then. And, I also hope you give in and publish a cookbook someday soon.:) I guess I already treat your blog like my own personal virtual cookbook. But I’d love to have all your best-evers in print! πŸ™‚ Keep ’em coming, and keep your balance as needed! Thanks so much for sharing your talent for writing and cooking!!

  6. Ketz says:

    Mel, I just came over your blog at the beginning of the year and am so so pleased I have. Since then, I’ve been reading you every day and have tried quite a few of your amazing recipes (all absolutely Delicious I have to say !)
    I have been wondering how you manage to post all these tips and recipes nearly every day…I really seriously admire you and want to thank you for all you do !
    Take care !

  7. JoAnn says:

    Wow, wow, wow! Was just introduced to you and your amazing blog via “Dessert for Two” Christina.. Thank you for sharing your talent with all of us!

  8. Alice Marie says:

    I’m glad you’re still here! You seem to be doing a great job sticking to your core values–your family, and good food to feed them. Thanks for the many tried and true recipes and your easy-going, candid way of sharing them.

  9. Layangi says:

    Hi Mel,

    I think you are truly inspirational. To manage five kids and a home, and still find time to do something for the good of others. That’s amazing.

    We keep returning to your blog, not only for the recipes. But for your honesty and your realness, your practicality, your planning, your tips. But mostly for the fact that your blog is about family and food, not about ‘testing’ recipes to post, or finding a way to use up 5kg of butter in a week (which I read about) but about sharing – about true generosity.

    May you and your family always be blessed!

  10. Avalon says:

    Thank you so much for blogging. This is my go to place to find anything to make and I would venture that about 85-90% of my go to meals, treats, etc. come from this blog. Since I started following your blog, I have grown to love cooking and seriously do feel like a rock star in the kitchen! That’s because of you, so thank you!

  11. Lisa Washburn says:

    Looks like mine is the 395th comment! I’ve never commented on your site before now, but it’s high time. I’m an LDS fan living in Indianapolis, IN (love our new temple!!) with 4 kids and an insatiable need for great recipes. I found your blog at my twin sister’s recommendation, and it was love at first sight! I have about 10-15 recipes of yours on my kitchen tablet that I use oh-so-frequently. Your creamy white chili is an all-time fav at our house, and guests are always wonderfully mystified at how good it tastes. For my daughter’s fifth birthday, I decided to make her a fruit pizza since she doesn’t like cake (not sure where she came from!). I found a crust recipe on your blog and used it for her party–without even testing it out first! I trust your recipes that much! My 8-year-old son’s favorite cookies are your chocolate chip oatmeal cookie bars (so quick and easy, they’re also great for when I’m taking someone else a meal), and I have become 100% converted to your best-ever chocolate chip cookie recipe (Shhh! Don’t tell my mom!!) There are a lot more recipes I could talk about, but you get the idea. Thank you for sharing with us all your treasure trove of deliciousness in a fun and down-to-earth way. Also, I love your prose. I usually skip the long explanations that precede recipes from other cooking blogs, but never yours. They’re too much fun! I love to write and read good writing, and your writing makes the former English major in me sing. Keep up the great work blogging… And keep being a great mom to those cute kiddos! πŸ™‚

  12. Jason says:

    I may be the only male here, but I doubt it, and if I am, then other food-loving males truly don’t know what they’re missing. I’ve been visiting your blog for about 4 years now and have prepared countless dishes from this site. From your aunt’s lasagna, which is easily my favorite lasagna recipe, to the chocolate thumbprint cookies, which have evolved into a holiday tradition in my family. In fact, when I want to try a new dish, I come here first. So, thanks for your dedication and, please, don’t stop blogging!

  13. Annie Carbutt says:

    …and one more thing–whenever I’m depressed, I just type in melsk… in my browser (auto fill does the rest) and then my day is instantly better for so many reasons.

  14. Annie Carbutt says:

    I read the whole post because I wanted to, not because I had to. You’re awesome and I’m glad you’ve stayed true to your roots. I won’t lie, there have been many times that I’ve wondered why you don’t have a whole shelf of cookbooks out, but I admire you for your authenticity and integrity–and I LOVE your food. Amen and Amen.

  15. Stacie A. says:

    I love you and your blog Mel. Thank you for all your hard work. My family has benefited for years because of your amazingness!!

  16. Carol says:

    Hey Mel- it’s my first time posting a comment to anything (except on facebook) but wanted to say thank you for doing what you do for all of us out here on the Internets! Your recipes really are tried and true and delicious! So thank you.

    And just so you know…your site is the only website pinned to the home screen on my iPhone so that I can get to it as quickly as I possibly can. I do read other food blogs too, but only yours has made it to my home screen!

  17. Natalie says:

    Thanks for sharing! I am so grateful you post your recipes. They have inspired my cooking many, many times. Whenever a new dish is brought to an extended family gathering, all we have to say is, “This is Mel-Proof” and we all know it will be amazing. We know your recipes are no-fail. We can try something totally new and get amazing results. It helps us full-time working moms in so many ways. Thank you for everything!

  18. Jennifer says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I agree with many others who have commented that I love the authentic, non-commercial feel of your website. And, of course, your recipes are amazing. I don’t know how you do it all, but I appreciate all you do!

  19. Rachael says:

    Your name has pretty much become a synonym for delicious around here.
    Me: “Is it Mel’s?”
    Them: “No.”
    Me: “:( Don’t want it.”

    We love you! Just keep being who you are – wherever life takes you. πŸ™‚

  20. Deborah says:

    Oh, Mel…. You, my dear, are exactly what I aspire to be every day as a blogger. The one thing I have always felt is missing from my blog – that you score a perfect 10 in – is have that loyal, personal following. I feel like my readers come and go, but they don’t really stick around. But if you have read Mel’s Kitchen Cafe – you will be back. If you have made one of Mel’s recipes, you’ll be back to make another. You are one of only maybe 2 or 3 blogs that I will recommend to my family and friends as a blog where every. single. recipe is a winner. So thank you for always being you and for blogging the way you do. πŸ™‚

  21. Lauren says:

    Hi Mel,
    Thanks so much for your awesome blog! You’ve gotten me through my first year of marriage and cooking so well for my husband– AND I share your recipes like CRAZY with all my other 20-something friends. You chicken and vegetable dumplings, foolproof pizza dough, buttermilk drop biscuits, and sausage tortellini soup are in constant rotation and I can’t say thank you enough. I live far away from my own mother, so reading your blog feels like constant guidance. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!

  22. Tessa says:

    I have just discovered your blog and I am so glad I did! I am a new(ish) wife and soon to be new mom so I am attempting to try and learn a thing or two about the kitchen. What I love so much is that I still need to learn foundational skills(like when to use melted/softened/cold butter for example) and that is what I am learning here. Thanks for dedicating your time, energies, and talents to this blog!

  23. Stacie says:

    You are the sole reason I even know how to cook, I would be lost without your blog! I started following 6 years ago, which was a few months after I got married. I was completely clueless when it came to cooking, we were literally eating StoveTop for dinner. . . on a regular basis (cue the hands over face emoji haha!) I was always so intimidated by the kitchen until I found your blog and you are just so genuine, and nice, and hilarious, that I figured I had to give cooking and your recipes a shot. Now I feel like cooking is one of my strengths and we literally eat “Mel’s” 4-5 times a week. You have been an inspiration and a life saver to me. I can only imagine the amount of time and effort it takes to keep this rolling, and it is so appreciated by SO MANY people. You really are the original rockstar in the kitchen! Thank you from the bottom of my heart, I love your guts!!

  24. nancy says:

    I follow a LOT of food blogs–and yours is the best–I totally trust your recipes. You can tell there is no “filler.” Everything that comes through your blog is legit. Thanks for all you do!!!

  25. Sarah D. says:

    I have to echo what everyone else is saying. Your blog is amazing. My sister and I are die hard fans. We both know that any time we try a recipe from your site it will be amazing. Every.Single.Time. Last Thanksgiving, I think almost every dish was from your site. I can’t imagine all of the time and effort that you put into this blog, but we appreciate it more than you will ever know!!

  26. Heather Baird says:

    Mel, I just read this post and wanted to add something. A couple of years ago, my sister-in-law brought a fabulous salad (cous cous summer salad, to be precise) to a family gathering. When I begged for the recipe, she told me about your site and said “Mel is THE cook.” I now have your blog as my home page. I love making your food, I enjoy your comments, I will be forever in your debt for finally giving me a good pizza crust recipe, and even when I just stick to throwing frozen food in the microwave instead of cooking that night, I have happy feelings seeing the yummy photos that appear on my computer screen. I know how life goes, and there may be a time when you have more important things to focus on–and that’s great, too–but thanks for giving of yourself the way you have. You have friends you don’t even know about! πŸ™‚

  27. Stephanie says:

    Late to this post….I am not an every day reader, but your blog was one of the first food blogs I ever came across 4 years ago. I love the down to earth realness of your blog. I love the fact that you haven’t let sponsors and opportunities change why you blog. It is the reason I come here first for a recipe, or to spend some time staring at pictures of food. I deeply respect you staying true to the reason why you blog. I wish more bloggers had the nerves to do that.
    Yeah, a cookbook would be great, but you know what, I would rather just read your paragraphs about why this food needs to be eaten now, print out the recipe, and file it away for me to use over and over again, then have you change how or why you blog>
    Keep up the great work Mel, and if there does come a time you have to give it up, then please put all these recipes into a cookbook or 10. πŸ™‚

  28. Joan says:

    Love hearing about your family/life as much as the great recipes you post. I am a mother of 9, grandmother of 20, still cooking infrequently. We have a sweets gene inherited by all of us! Keep up the good work. A big shout out to Susan R. for a year of many meals to someone in great need! So many wonderful people in this world!

  29. Naomi says:

    I just love you and your recipes. You are my go-to place for recipes and you taught me how to make bread! I tell everyone about your site. Tried and true baby. And homemade! I love it. Your wittiness and sarcasm helps quite a bit too! Thanks for doing what you do.

  30. Michele says:

    Mel, I love your blog. Many of your recipes are family faves now. And I know I can always peruse your site for inspiration when I need it. Thanks for doing what you do! With your help, my family meals and the resulting community are that much better. That is priceless.

  31. Mickie says:

    Hi Mel, just checking in.
    I am glad you are you, I am glad we are friends.
    I am looking for a recipe to make for dinner tonight and I know you always have just what I want. Thanks for being the best.
    I heart MelsKitchenCafe (that should be a bumper sticker)

  32. Becky says:

    Loved this post and all that you share and do! I do recognize your old banners and remember your old site. Keep being you! And thank you for freely sharing such wonderful recipes, gift ideas, etc….

  33. Rachael says:

    I first discovered your blog in January while browsing the web for a good black bean recipe. I instantly felt at home. Your recipes are simple, delicious, family friendly and solid. I have never been confident in dinner (cookies and muffins were my forte), but you have changed that. Thank you for sharing your time and great recipes.

    P.S. I also greatly appreciate your desire to stay true to your reasons for blogging. Your blog is refreshing for those exact reasons. Thank you, thank you.

  34. Jennifer says:

    Just wanted to add one more thank you for your website! You have one of the most genuine voices in blogging and it is clear that you put a lot of love into your site. And thanks for lots of great recipes to try! The ham and quinoa bites are a super favorite in our house.

  35. Sarah says:

    I’m so, so thankful for all of the work you put in and all of the amazing recipes you share. Ninety-eight percent of my recipes are YOURS. The other two percent are sucky and I should never make them again. Anyway, I think you’re great, amazing, wonderful — the best!!!

  36. Vicky says:

    I love your blog, Mel. I’ve been a long time reader (seldom commenter–I’m lazy) and lover of the recipes you share. And I looove that you don’t do sponsored posts. Love it. I feel like we have super similar tastes and styles (obviously, since I come to your website nearly every day), but you are definitely way cooler! Just wanted to throw that out there. Thanks for all you do!

  37. Torrie says:

    I, for one, am so grateful for your blog and all the work you put into it. If you ever ask for donations from readers so that you can continue to post delicious recipes, I’d be the first to put some money in! I regularly check your blog whenever I’m looking for new recipes, and I just did a baby shower where almost every recipe used was from your site. Yours is the only food blog I subscribe to (after trying SEVERAL) because I know that I can absolutely trust that you will always post delicious recipes that aren’t too difficult to try. Seriously, you’re a lifesaver. Thanks for brightening up the Internet with your recipes, your upbeat writing style, and your goodness. You’re amazing!

  38. Krys says:

    You have an adorable group of munchkins <3
    – Krys

  39. Deborah says:

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this post, this is why we all love you and come back day in and day out to get your amazing recipes, and read your awesome posts. You are amazing, and your blog is my all time favorite. I don’t have a lot of time to spend on the internet as my life is FULL of things that are more important to me but good, healthy, family friendly food is an essential thing for me and my family so when I get on your blog it’s always worth my time. Thank you for always staying true to yourself and taking the time to share with us the most amazing recipes (I sense the huge sacrifice it is). I have been a follower of yours for so many years and made so many of your recipes and every single one was delicious and worth my time. Thanks Mel for all your amazingness (if that’s even a word)!

  40. Armyof7 says:

    I’ve been trying your recipes for over 3 years now & this is my go to stop each & every week to meal plan!! ❀️

  41. Joan says:

    Mel, you rock!!! I love, love, love reading your blog and trying your awesome recipes!!! Thank you for sharing with us your love of food and for changing the way we cook one recipe at a time. Believe it or not, I am a rock star in my kitchen because of you. May God continue to richly bless you!

  42. Natalie says:

    I loved this post. I first discovered your blog in 2010 with the Red Berry Risotto Oatmeal recipe. I have been a loyal follower ever since. I appreciate your genuine voice and writing style. I’m so grateful for your phenomenal recipes that are delicious and practical for big and busy families. I admire that you stick to what you love. I applaud your success. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for saving many a dinnertime in my household!!

  43. valerie says:

    Aww Mel – I agree with the comments above. I have hardly ever commented in the four years I have been reading your blog. Your love of food and family comes through with each post. That is one reason that I love reading your posts and trying your recipes – your genuine spirit comes through. You never have to apologize for that – it is enough that you share a part of you with us along with good food.

  44. Melissa B says:

    Was looking for info on chilling cookie dough and came across your website. Glad I did! Great writing – very funny and honest – I appreciate that. And the recipes look pretty fab too. I’ll be back!

  45. Melissa B says:


  46. Amy says:

    I think it’s already been said hundreds of times, but I have to add mine in too. I never comment either, and hardly ever read the personal stuff, but today I did and I’m glad! Your blog is the one and only source I go to for a recipe every single day!! And I tell all my friends about it! I would be lost in the kitchen without you! You are a genius! And my husband and family is grateful you taught me to cook! So thank you for doing it even with your busy family! I love your food, and don’t think I’ve ever made something I didn’t like (and I’ve tried a lot of them!), but I like you and your down-to-earth sincerity a lot too! Thank you!!

  47. Melissa says:

    I absolutely LOVE your blog. I don’t hardly comment – but you are my go-to blog whenever I need a recipe. Thank you for doing it. And thank you for your post. You’re awesome.

  48. Deb says:

    oh and — glad your kids and husband come first! good job!

  49. Deb says:

    oh I do love your blog and recipes but mostly your fun personality! no pressure here but please oh please do a cookbook!!! how fun would that be (for all of us – maybe not you)

  50. Risa says:

    This is why I continue to follow your blog when I have given up on others. I love that it is about you and your family and FOOD. Another food blog (that shall remain nameless) started doing constant product promotion over the past year and I have completely stopped following it. Keep doing what you love.

  51. Lauren says:

    PS. Thank you also for not posting ridiculous pictures of every.single.step of a recipe. I’m pretty sure we all know what putting a teaspoon of salt in a bowl looks like.

  52. Lauren says:

    Hi Mel. Thank you so much for all the time, energy, and effort you put into making this blog so great. Every week when I’m preparing my shopping list I check the Kroger website for the sale ad and your website for the new recipes. Yours is the only food blog I read, and your recipes are many of our family favorites. Thanks for sharing your recipes with the world and keeping it real with your fun personality.

  53. Roberta says:

    I’m so glad you blog because yours has my favorite recipes, hands down!!!

  54. Leslie says:

    Are there other cooking blogs besides yours? As far as I’m concerned…no. πŸ™‚ You’re my fave! When I’m trying to think of what to make for dinner or want to try a new recipe, I rarely turn anywhere else but here. Keep ’em coming!!

  55. Stephanie says:

    I love your blog! When I’m stumped for dinner ideas, you are my go-to for inspiration and a recipe I know will be a hit. Like so many other commenters, my husband knows exactly what I mean when I tell him “its from Mel, you’ll love it”.

  56. Karen says:

    THANK YOU for your blog. I just keep following it after several years because I know your recipes will ALWAYS be wholesome, genuine, delicious, approachable, not expensive or impossible, and healthy and yummy for families. You might be told you’re “shooting yourself in the foot” by not taking cookbook deals, promotions, etc. but I will ALWAYS come to your blog because you ARE so true to your roots!! I’ve stopped following too many other food blogs that lose focus and their recipes get weird/yucky/expensive/boring, etc. Thanks for being so professional and yet so real and approachable. Keep it up for all of our sakes!!

  57. Mary McG says:

    My sister introduced me to your website. I love that you don’t used processed food and it always turns out. I have tried so many of your recipes. They are well written and delicious. When I look for a recipe for something I always go to your site first. Thank your for your work. You make fancy food accessible to those who are learning on their own.

  58. ellevee says:

    Hi Mel, what can I possibly say that hasn’t already been said?

    I heard about your blog from my sister who frequently used your recipes in her day-to-day cooking. And as much as I’m drawn to your website for the great recipes, I also love to read your little updates, anecdotes, stories, what-have-you. You seem so down to earth and that’s why you have so many loyal followers. I love your sense of humor that is weaved throughout your blog too. You really
    have a way with words. Thank you for all you do and for opening up your life and recipes to the rest of us!

  59. Karin B says:

    Your blog is one of my few favorites. I know I can trust your recipes and that means a lot. I did not know how much time it took though so now I appreciate it even more!

  60. Angela says:

    This is why you are my favorite blogger! Keepin’ it real.

  61. Michael says:

    “To share my tried-and-true favorite recipes with the world.”

    And this is why you are my #1 Go-To site for recipes (and for most of my extended family, ha ha.) Not only do you come across as a truly wonderful person, but you really showcase some of the best of what the culinary world has to offer. There’s waaay too much information available any more and having a site like this that cuts out the ‘fat’ and gets right down to the ‘meat’ (intentional food puns) is awesome. I don’t think I’ve commented all that much before though I’ve followed along for years – but Mel, you certainly have impacted my life for the better, and I can’t thank you enough for sharing your words.

  62. Tanya says:

    I get it. I have 4 soon to be 5 kids myself….. but I LOVE your blog. LOVE IT. I get all my ideas from your blog. Seriously use it every day to plan dinner and when we need a dessert I come here too. Everything is good and the recipes are easy and so family friendly. Thank you for taking the stress out of meal planning and dinner.

  63. Liza says:

    I frequent your site (uh… sometimes more than once a day) but don’t comment much. I love the way you blog and I tell everyone about my favorite food blogger who just ran a half marathon and maybe I could do that too. Anyway… I can name three people (Christina, Linda, and KC) who I randomly brought up your blog too and they know and love it too! It’s funny that because of your blog those friends and I have a special bond now. So yeah, I think your blog creates a community. Life is just crazy busy and I don’t want to sacrifice food quality. Or health. Cooking at home and eating as a family is a huge factor in health. My bachelors degree is in nutritional science and I really feel like cooking makes a huge difference for health. The way you blog shows real food that real people can make and love. Many food blogs are fun to visit but oh man… I don’t have two days to prep one meal… you know? I’ve got two little boys. Thank you so much for what you do!

  64. Elaine says:

    I was introduced to your blog 6 years ago when I moved to Arizona (from Utah) and let’s just say you have become a household name that has expanded to my sisters, cousins, mom and friends as I have shared your blog with them. We have family functions and someone says, “This is delicious!” and the cook says, “It’s from Mel’s.” We were all pretty good cooks before but you have definitely raised the bar.
    I feel like you are an old friend as our kids are similar ages and some of our life experiences and places we have moved (I moved to Idaho last summer also). So dear friend, thank YOU for your time and effort to creating a place I know I can always go to find something good! I don’t know how you do it, but I am glad you do!

  65. Jolie says:

    That was such a great blog post, Mel! I think I’ve been reading your blog for 7 years, and I have to say that it’s got to be the fact that you like to blog, and that the other “stuff” just isn’t your thing (and maybe if it does become your thing some day I will grow along with you and really like that other “stuff”, too) that keeps me coming back. BESIDES your food. Lol! My recipe blog favorite list has dwindled to a tiny handful because I just don’t like the other “stuff”. Your recipes are you, your writing is you, and I appreciate that so much. Now, off to stuff another strawberry shortcake bar in my mouth. It will give me energy when I run tomorrow, right??!!
    –Jolie, still running (&eating!) in Cincinnati

  66. Sarah says:

    I’ve been with you for such a wonderful, long time. I check you first, rely on you unwaveringly. Your recipes are my “go to”… your rolls, your chicken, everything. You’ve been an integral part of my life, the life of how my family eats. Thank you!

  67. Erin says:

    Love your blog! I love your recipes so much and I enjoy the occasional glimpse into your real life and your family.
    Your blog is my number one food blog, you never let me down

  68. Nancy says:

    I’ve been thinking about this post of yours a lot, and I just want you to know that I absolutely LOVE how genuine you are. You blog is one of the very, very, very few that I read every single last word you write. I am drawn to your blog exactly because of the reasons you blog, and it definitely shows through. I am so thankful for all the work you do! Such a great benefit for me and for my family. You do much good in the world by sharing your fantastic recipes. Thank you for not being pulled by all the things that might make you “rich and famous”… thanks for being true to yourself. That’s what keeps me coming back!

  69. Julie B. says:

    Hi Mel,
    I know I don’t comment much, but I want you to know that I love your blog. Most of the recipes I make now are from you and you inspire me everyday! Thank you for sharing your thoughts, your recipes and your real self with all of us! Please keep blogging, I like you and your blog just the way it is!!!! xoxo

  70. Susan Rasmussen says:

    Hi Mel – Susan here in SLC. Just want you to know how much I LOVE your blog. I am a 68 year old granny of 22, mom of 7, stage 3 breast cancer survivor of 12 years. I have over 300 cookbooks. Sometimes I read them. Like novels. I take dinner to a young friend with a terminally ill son. She has two other little ones. And she’s pregnant. Natch. Since last July I have taken her a large dinner (for three meals) once a week. I’m up to my one year anniversary. It didn’t take too many months to run through my old favorite recipes and look for new ideas. It takes a certain kind of recipe to transport well. I look at your blog every day and have used many of your recipes for my friend and also for my own family. Thank you so much for doing this. You have many more readers than you know. You are loved and appreciated, even though I haven’t met and may never meet you. Bless you for this good work you do. P.S. if you ever want to start a section for meals to share with those in need. . . that transport well. . . and taste good (!) . . . I’m sure there would be many people that would be interested. Taking dinner to my friend on Friday and I’m sure she will love your strawberry bars. (Maybe I’ll sneak a little bite — they look divine!) Good food is something, one of the few things, that unites us all. God bless you and your precious family. Enjoy them. These are the best years of your life.

  71. Brianna says:

    I LOVE that you have a normal food blog. I used to look at many, and while I still occasionally go check them out, I am so sick of the ads for their products and cookbooks. I love that I can come here and just get recipes. Good recipes. Thank you!!

  72. Crystal A. says:

    I love your blog for so many reasons. Your recipes are wonderful, I love your writing style and honestly you feel like a family friend. I do feel like when I read your blog that I’m sitting at your kitchen island chatting with you. Your blog is refreshing and friendly and don’t ever stop! Nothing better than being yourself πŸ™‚

  73. Mel says:

    P.S. Thank you again/still for all the sweetness you have poured out in the comments of this post. I have read all of your notes multiple times and you have really brightened my spirits in immeasurable ways. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  74. Mel says:

    You guys are hilarious about the S’mores cupcakes! I made them probably 18 months ago and the pictures have been sitting on my computer getting lonely. It’s not like they weren’t yummy – they just weren’t anything super special, if you know what I mean. Knowing I wasn’t going to post the recipe, I pulled one of them to use for this post because I wanted something that looked delicious. If you want to try them, I’m pretty sure I used the chocolate cupcake recipe from these Andes Mint Cupcakes, a marshmallow frosting from my King Arthur Flour cookbook (or just google 7-minute marshmallow frosting) and then after piping on the frosting, I torched it lightly with my cooking torch and popped in a piece of Hershey’s chocolate and a little wedge of graham cracker.

  75. Karen says:

    I love your blog! But will you PLEASE post the recipe for the smores cupcakes!!!

  76. Jennifer Watkins says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this with us, Mel! Much love to you and your family!

  77. Tana C says:

    I don’t normally comment, but I do look at your blog a few times during the week. you’re my goto blogger when I’m looking for a recipe for dinner or a dessert. Like right now, I’m sitting down menu planning for the week and I love your stuff. I know anything I make from your blog will taste amazing. I love food so much!!
    I use to visit ourbestbites, but they have changed alot. I feel their stuff is more becoming a brand and selling products than about good food. You have stayed consistent with good food and I love the let’s talk posts you have started and the little things you say about your family. Thank you for taking the time to blog! .

  78. Emilee says:

    I read a few different food blogs, and yours is my absolute favorite. I always start here in looking for a recipe. Yours is the blog I recommend to people. And I’ve had it recommended to me multiple times by other people.

    Growing up my family was the open a can and heat it up kind of cooks. I’ve taught myself to cook over the years, but it’s always made me a little sad not to have family recipes handed down to me like my husband has from his family. Well, you’re my source for tried and true recipes that my family loves and I will pass on to my children.

    Thank you for all you do. For the time and passion and the delicious food my family eats because of you.

  79. Suzanne says:

    Two years ago my New Years resolution was to get out of my cooking rut. My poor family had been eating the same 10 recipes for who knows how long. Thankfully I found your website. You have absolutely changed the way I cook. Every one of your recipes we have tried have been hits. I think my daughter would eat chicken pillows everyday for the rest of her life! Family fondue nights are a new tradition too. :). Thank you for sharing food that is tasty and easy to prepare even after a busy day at work!

  80. Cathy says:

    Hi mel! I love your blog! Your oatmeal choco chip recipe was the first recipe I tried the first time I baked. You are
    truly an inspiration to many of us.

  81. Rosalee says:

    I adore you and your blog! Pretty much all that I know about cooking and baking I’ve learned right here. You are amazing and I truly thank you with all my heart for helping me find confidence in my own cooking/baking skills.

  82. Kelli says:

    I have followed your blog for the past 6 years and am so grateful I found it when I did! I found it just as I was getting married and it has saved so many dinners, lunches, desserts (especially in a crunch for time), and parties! And you’ve kept me enjoying cooking when I probably would have given up! Almost any dinner that doesn’t consist of cold cereal or noodles with cheese my husband says, “another Mels?” πŸ™‚ Yes. And I love that! I tell everyone I know about you anytime they want to know what to have for dinner. Your blog is my number one go-to. Seriously. I’ve looked at your blog so many times I have almost memorized where I need to go to find the recipes I use on a regular basis (some I’ve memorized- thank you for such wonderful recipes!) and I always look forward to the new ones. Some days I’ve seriously considered starting at the very beginning and trying all the recipes you’ve posted (most, honestly, I have tried!). My two young kids, who are very picky, will eat almost anytime I say, “try it, it’s from Mel” (I’m convinced they think you’re related and we’ve just never met πŸ™‚ ). You have inspired me in the kitchen and I always look on your blog for recipes, tips, and tricks before I look anywhere else. I often don’t comment because I know you have a zillion other comments to read, but some days I imagine you and me sitting or running together after enjoying one of your great desserts (thanks for getting me to run again) being best friends- cause why not?! You’re so good. You’re a blessing for me. And I wish I could tell you in person and give you a big hug. Thank you for your dedication to your family and to your blog. I have told Heavenly Father thank you many times for you. Please never stop blogging!

  83. Carlie says:

    Let’s talk about the s’more cupcakes.

  84. Rachel Russell says:

    I am so so so glad you are still blogging or I could not be still cooking. We have turfed all our other cookbooks and rely 100% on your brilliant recipes as they are fab- and best of all, both kids eat anything you post- which is still amazing to us! We cook and bake exclusively only anything you have endorsed and every one of our family and friends make fun of us. . and then log on to print out the recipe they just ate! Your strawberry lime cake was the HIT of my mom’s bday this weekend- and is magazine worthy gorgeous and kids loved it, even though it had no chocolate. LOVE YOU MEL!!

  85. Oh Mel, this is so you! (even though I don’t know you!!) You’re such a special person/blogger/mother and it comes through in every word, and every recipe. I won’t miss a Let’s talk post from now on! I have been buried in work for the last year and a half, and my blogging has taken such a backseat, and it’s fine, it’s a hobby. But I miss interacting with persons like you!. Have a great week my friend! (And that cute little girl is getting cuter by the nanosecond!).

  86. Tanya says:

    All I can say is thank you for your devotion to sharing your recipes. My world is better because of you.

  87. Jennifer Kelly says:

    I can’t tell you enough how much I LOVE your blog. It has changed the way my family eats and how I cook. I tell everyone that asks me about what I cook where I get my recipes and any time the topic of cooking or food comes up I tell them to go to your blog. Thank you for not giving up on your blog and for sharing your delicious and amazing recipes with us!

  88. CarrieB4 says:

    Mel, I’m another huge fan! I second the above comments. You always put a smile on my face with your stories and I love reading your blog when it’s tea time. It’s pure comfort time. I haven’t had a failed recipe yet and I pass the recipes on to our daughter who will check out your recipes when they are planning their menu for the week. I also followed your “recipe organization”. I had always kept them in binders but after reading your way of organizing the binders it took them to another level and they look so much nicer. Thank you for taking the time and love it takes to write your blog.

  89. Keri says:

    Hey Mel- I so appreciate your wit, fun loving, seriously delicious recipes, etc. I could go on and on. You are my go to blog for recipes that I know will turn out delicious every time! I have been following you for about 7 years now. I have loved everything and I am not one to comment very often so I just wanted to tell you Thank you for being you and all you do for us!

  90. Kim says:

    Thanks Mel, this is why I love your blog, it has not morphed into a business where you are promoting a bunch of stuff you get a cut on! (Cue where I quit following there blog, they forget to share great food). Love your recipes, pics and inspiration ! Kim

  91. Tanya says:

    Love all of this! I found your blog years ago and I love your recipes. a bunch of them are on a monthly rotation in my house. Meatball subs? Kids devour them. Chicken pillows? Not a crumb left. Thank you for putting so much time and effort into all of this.

  92. Deb K says:

    Hi Mel,

    Your Let’s Talk feature resonated with me. I don’t blog, I’m a sixth grade teacher, but your concerns/frustrations/questions resonated with me. My work week seems to never end…most evenings I’m working until 9 or 10, my husband and I battle over the work required for the job, I feel inadequate because I have parents complain about their child’s test grades or lack of progress, I can’t sleep because I worry about my students and how to continually do a better job, and overall I cannot teach what I need to because of required testing, and test prep, etc, etc. It’s exhausting and I, like you, often wonder, why am I doing this? Why does it take me one whole month of summer “vacation” to be able to sleep the night through until 6:30 AM like a normal person? For me, it all boils down to the kids. I love them, I love teaching them and providing them new opportunities for growth and learning. Much like you, I have to learn to ignore all the other “stuff” that fills my day and takes me away from my original purpose. So hang in there and remember why you started blogging. Your recipes are awesome, you provide so many people with healthy, great tasting menu ideas, and you’ve made so many new “friends” in the process. I too will hang in there, beause my students become my own “kids” and my connection with them is what is important. All that other stuff…well, I continue to try to rise above it. Happy Tuesday!

  93. Janelle says:

    I love your blog! It has turned me into a good cook. Thank you so much for all the recipes. I would be lost in the kitchen without you:)

  94. Andria says:

    Mel — Thank you for sharing! Your blog has been such a huge part of my life in the kitchen for so many years! I really can’t thank you enough for all your amazing recipes and fun stories of your cute family. I have four boys (8 months, 2, 4, and 6) so I love coming here to find recipes they will love as well. And let me tell you… the Southwest Chicken wraps, Freezer burritos, and Banh Mi sandwiches have been life changing for me!! Seriously.
    If the right opportunity comes along for you to publish a cookbook, I’ll be the first in line!

  95. Michaela H says:

    I’m not one to comment on blogs, but felt inspired to comment here. I’m a full time over worked, working mom. I ready your blog often and am always happy I did. I have little free time, so your blog is my ‘go to’ spot. I always know I’ll get a smile ‘catching up with you’. I love your friendly writing style. And yes, there’s the recipes…your recipes are truly delicious! Often if I bring make or bring one to a party, friends are asking for the recipe. I’ve pointed many friends your way. So I hope you find your balance, and continue to share with the rest of us, who so enjoy your slice of life! Thank you!

  96. Jill F says:

    Mel, I absolutely love, love, love your blog. I don’t mind cooking and I love to bake but I am definitely not the type to create a recipe out of thin air so your blog has been a huge blessing to me and my family. Every recipe I have tried has been successful and tastes great. What I love most is that your recipes are simple and made with ingredients that real people keep in their kitchens. Even my 4 college aged kids are using your recipes and cooking real food. Their roommates and friends love it! Thank you!

  97. Sarah says:

    I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your time. I have learned to make bread from you, and I can’t tell you how much it has blessed my family. Aside from the startup cost (wheat grinder and bread pans), it has saved us so much money in bread! And I have started helping our neighbors, who have no money and are supporting their expecting daughter and deadbeat husband. I make 5 loaves of bread a week, and take two over to them. We eat about two a week. We don’t make a lot of money, and without your help, I wouldn’t be able to help. Also, I have a reputation of the best cinnamon rolls in the ward, and am called upon frequently to make them (I am always sure to tell people where I get the recipe and how awesome you are.) So thank you, for taking your time to post these. Your efforts are blessing people, even people who don’t read your blog.

    P.S, I really wish you would say “yes” to a publisher, even though I understand why you don’t. I could junk all the rest of my cookbooks if you did that…

  98. Debby says:

    I absolutely love your blog. And my hubby knows that if a new recipe came from you, that it is going to be good. I have also loved that I can come to your site and not be bombarded with the “advertisements” that many blog posts have become on many other sites. It is just one recipe after another featuring someone’s product that they are trying to promote. And it is hard to know when someone really really really likes a product or that they were paid enough to endorse it. Knowing that this is not why you blog makes it easier to fully trust your recipes and recommendations. And it keeps me coming back. I love that you keep it real. This is the type of blogging that I enjoy and appreciate.

  99. Kristy says:

    I just wanted to say thank you! I love your recipes, your humor, and your honesty. I love that I can come here for a tried and true recipes, with your positive, fun touch added! You’re inspiring!

  100. Jen M says:

    I just have to say that I would cry for days if you stopped sharing all your delectable recipes with us! This is the first place I come when I need a recipe for any reason. Your recipes are the best and never disappoint! Thanks for all your hard work so that I can look like a rock star in the kitchen instead if the average cook I really am! You rock!

  101. Jolene P says:

    Thank you so much for all the work you put into this blog. I had no idea it consumed that much of your precious time – it’s totally appreciated by me (& my family!). I’ve referred many family members & friends your way over the years and your recipes continue to brighten my inbox. If you ever do put out a cookbook, I definitely would buy it! I have so many of your recipes printed out, it’s really a cookbook already :). Thanks again for keeping your blog real!

  102. Tanya M. says:

    Well I’m super glad you blog!! … and I hope my clicks on your pages when I’m snooping around for a yummy recipe help contribute to a reward/paycheck/compensation… because lady, you’ve earned it!! πŸ™‚
    I can’t imagine the amount of work involved in this blog.. but I do know very well the amount of work in raising 5 kiddos (whoa!!) … so doing this blog on top of that.. kudos to you!!

    Just have to share…. We were at a church summer BBQ last week and my husband and I were visiting with two other couple friends. One friend mentioned something about your blog to me .. and the other lady had the look like, huh? My HUSBAND said, “what, you don’t know Mels Kitchen Cafe??” Then he leaned over to her husband and said, “you need to hook her up with Mel, she has really good food!” haha! My hubby knows that if its coming from your blog, its gonna be good!

    Thank you for all your hard work and effort to keep this blog up! Our kids tummies thank you too!

    And, I just gotta ask: Are you still running??? πŸ™‚ ( I loved the running updates!)

  103. Kensi says:

    I love your blog!! I am so thankful that you take the time to blog! You’re famous in our house Mel!!

  104. Lisa D says:

    I still lovingly refer to your site as “the only blog that matters”, and even through the .com change, you still will always be the only blog/.com that matters!! I love everything you post here! Never had a recipe fail and never eaten better in my whole life! You saved my cooking life and I hope you never stop posting! Your humor, true to life experiences, and amazing food have kept me coming here for years. I seriously owe you for all your time and dedication! Thank you, THANK YOU!

  105. Abby says:

    I feel like everything I was going to say has been echoed 100x over, but I just wanted you to know that I have 6 girls (all of whom, love good food) and we all think you rock! We have loved everything and I love knowing I have a go to place besides CI and CC to get great recipes (and often yours are faster and easier for “those” nights). I can’t tell you the number of people I have referred to your sight, so keep up the good work. You are my first stop for weekly menu planning. We all appreciate your hard work, your cooking from scratch and whole wheat flour.

  106. Loni H says:

    Just piping in to say that even tho I don’t comment much I love you and your blog β™₯️β™₯️β™₯️

  107. Maxine says:

    And Mel, the #1 reason why I come to your blog is for the food. So I would say you are 100% successful! (Your blog is always my first go-to when I am planning the weeks’ menus). So, thanks for keeping it delicious πŸ™‚

  108. Misty Smith says:

    I love your blog, Mel! I love it for the reasons you listed, mainly your sincerity. I know that if I need a tried & true recipe, yours will never fail. You share great recipes with real ingredients that are available to all of us & not crazy expensive. These little personal snippets are a nice break every now & then. Keep up the excellent work & stay true to yourself!

  109. Soonhee says:

    Mel, your blog has literally been life-changing for my family. Because of you, I have stopped using canned soups in cooking, made bread more, made cheesecake for the first time, used vanilla beans for the first time, cooked tilapia for the first time, and……I could go on and on. I’ve learned about new kitchen gadgets and other fun things for the home. Our family started reading a Christmas book every night in December after reading your idea. I LOVE your blog and am so glad that you have kept doing it. And not only do you share great ideas and recipes, your writing is fun and entertaining. You make me feel like I can try anything new! So thank you, thank you, thank you for still sharing.

  110. Nicole says:

    You’re amazing, Mel! Your recipes are a staple here at our house. That being said, I hope that you do keep blogging out of love of food, and not out of pressure! For me, you could stop blogging tomorrow, and there would still be a literal treasure trove of deliciousness that I could keep pulling from for.ev.er. As long as you don’t flee the internet with all your recipes, I could be set. To be clear: I don’t WANT you to stop, because you and your recipes are fantastic, but I also want you to know that, if it ever got to be too much, you’ve definitely gifted us all with PLENTY! Thanks for all the work you put in, and effort (both on the blog and behind the scenes). I (and all my dinner guests…ever) really appreciate it!

  111. Sonia says:

    Hi Mel,
    Thank you for your tried and true recipes. I love your blog because in this crazy world of overwhelming news and over-the-top personalities, your blog places feeding your family healthy and delicious meals as a priority. Your blog grounds me and helps me keep my priorities in check.
    These days, with kids’ activities, work, and other life obligations, I feel like there is no time to go next door and talk to my neighbor or friend about everyday things. Your blog keeps this very important communication alive. You and your blog are like a very special and trusted friend who we can go to when we need advice, a laugh, or a delicious recipe! Thank you so much for sharing.

  112. Melissa says:

    I loved reading this post! Several years ago, my daughter in law told me about your great recipes. We shared your gold mine with the rest of the family and you quickly became the “go to” authority for all our recipes and cooking questions! (like Julia Child, without the wine, impossible ingredients, and complicated instructions!)
    We think of you as our BFF, not only because you share the BEST.RECIPES.EVER. …but also because you have shared your life with us; the ups and downs of nurturing your family; the reality of trying to do it all and sometimes falling short… as well as your successes! Thank you for being genuine… your openness and honesty are inspiring! Hope you are feelin’ the love!!

  113. Christine says:

    You rock! And let me tell you thank you for not being like the other cheesy bloggers that write very artificial sounding posts on sponsored products. You have no succumbed! Good job. Great food.

  114. Mel says:

    You are my favorite blog in the world. Thank you for doing what you do and for evaluating along the way whether it’s something you can keep doing. It’s a good example to us all.

  115. Katie says:

    So, I don’t usually comment on blogs. But you must know that I love your blog. My family loves your blog. I have three sisters and we all love your blog. I think we all feel like you are another sister. We talk about you and your recipes like they are part of the family (sorry, that sounds creepy). Your blog is the first one I go to when I want to make something new. I know that when its on your blog, its safe to try. It will be good and it will be a success. I too love food, My sisters and my mom all love food. And we love making good food! Thank you for staying true to your roots and to who you want to be. It is so refreshing! Keep up the AMAZING work. And squeeze in a nap every once in awhile. You deserve it!

  116. Mamalala says:

    Just wanted to raise my hand and let you know that I’m one of your loyal readers in Idaho. Funny, but I just found out that I’m also friends with one of your Kiddos teachers too. I was sharing my love for your blog and she said “I think she’s one of my students parents”. Sure enough (small world) it was you. Can’t tell you how many recipes I’ve made that are yours, because there’s not enough digits on both hands and feet. I check your blog every other day and it meant the world to me that you posted one of my pictures of your broccoli recipe. God bless you Mel!

  117. Jenny Richardson says:

    We all use your blog in the extended Montague family and are glad you were roommates with Kate once upon a time. You’ve made us all better cooks and we know to come to you for a good solid win in the recipe department. My boys spell “love” F-o-o-d…so thank you for helping me love my family better. We appreciate it.

  118. Dear Mel,

    I love you for all the things you have to say about blogging. Blogging is a daily struggle for me. I love it. I can’t believe I make money doing it. I have to do it. I’m supporting my family by myself right now with it. And that is freaking amazing. But it is a ’round-the-clock’ job if you let it be. I’m trying to pull back, but there is guilt associated with that. Anyway, keep being you, Mel. We all love you!


  119. Leslie says:

    Well I have to say that your recipes are fantastic!! I have four young boys and cook constantly so I’m a pretty reliable source!! Seriously none have failed me yet and I’ve tried I bet half of them!

  120. Kimber says:

    You are the best. I love your blog and have told you before. YOU and this blog is my number one go to when I’m thinking of a recipe before anything else in this world. I tell all my friends THIS is the one and only food blog they need in their lives, seriously! I tell everyone to go to this site for recipes and that you will never fail them. THANK YOU a t on over for taking the time to blog. I’m a 24 year old mother to 3 boys under 3 and YOU have made me a confident cooke in the kitchen, I can’t thank you enough!

  121. Stephanie says:

    My family and I appreciate you and your blog so much. You are a household name, I’ve been using your blog pretty near daily for the last 2 years. Thank you for everything you do and I look forward to many more years of Mel recipes!

  122. Natalie says:

    THIS is why you’re my favorite blogger ever. Sometimes I feel like you’re the “other woman” because your recipes are so frequently used in my kitchen. Thanks for inspiring me to get in the kitchen and make something delicious for my family to enjoy together.

  123. Kelsey Booth says:

    I love your blog! Thank you for all of your time, it blesses my family and all those I take treats to πŸ™‚

  124. Teresa says:

    I was on vacation last week and came back to this wonderful post. You are truly the best out there. While I love all the outstanding recipes, and make many of them, your easy, breezy style and adorable personality are what shine through, too. It’s the highlight of my day to read one of your posts. So happy to have found your fabulous blog and to have gotten to know you as well. You are just the sweetest, and despite all the work it takes, I hope you keep blogging forever!!!

  125. Nicole says:

    THANK YOU for all the work you put into your blog–I am among the many who love your recipes. I always stop here first when I’m looking for a recipe for great food–I know I can count on you! I also love these honest glimpses into your life because otherwise I would be drowning in tears of inadequacy because how do you do it all??? I’ve been reading your blog for a few years now–stumbled upon it completely by accident when I found your oatmeal pancake mix recipe (which we make and love). Thanks so much for all you do! πŸ™‚

  126. Laura M says:

    No, Mel. You rock!!!

  127. Barbara says:

    And that is why I am happy that You are still around! Thank you.

  128. Stacie D. says:

    And those are the reasons I read your blog! You are real and genuine and your food is awesome. I know these aren’t filler recipes, so I know they will be good. I wonder all the time how you do what you do, so I just wanted to say thanks! And also to say that if you ever come to a point where you decide you are done, you’ll still be my favorite. (Plus, I have lots of recipes I still need to try!) I would totally respect and understand that decision. Whatever you decide to do, I’m along for the ride. πŸ™‚

  129. Hailey says:

    After a few years of hearing about this mel’s kitchen something blog I finally stopped by last fall. I perused your blog for HOURS the first time (the kids were in bed, I’m sure you can relate). Well, I’m sure glad I did and you’re one of my top stops. Thanks for all the recipes and great cooking ideas!
    On a side note, I live in SW Idaho- Boise specifically and have thought, ‘man, I would be super nerdy if I ran into her!’

  130. Becky says:

    I came across your blog about 11 years ago when I was first married. Thanks for posting the best recipes! Your website is my go to for 90% of my cooking. I love that I can make something and everyone loves it!

  131. Allie says:

    I am a new reader of your blog and discovering it gave me new inspiration to cook yummy things for my family! Your detail and enthusiasm are much appreciated. I joke when we cook for friends now that my recipes came from my new ‘friend’ in Idaho! It’s so nice to have a place to go for recipes that I know will be good, no trial needed. Thank you so much for sharing with all of us out here!

  132. Megan K says:

    I love your blog and your food. It’s saved my family from bland and boring meals. Eating is so much more than just putting food in your body, it’s an experience. And those experiences turn family time into memories. Thank you for all your effort!

  133. Gen says:

    Hi Mel,
    Thank you for posting great recipes. What really sets you apart is your sincerity. You are real and genuine. When you respond to your readers, you do so with kindness and appreciation. I’m sure it can be annoying to have a reader ask if you can freeze the dish or sub some crazy ingredient. You respond with a sincere, “I’m not sure, but let me know how it turns out!” Everything I’ve made from your site has been fantastic. In the last week alone, I’ve made the Orange Meatballs and the Blueberry Cheesecake Pie. Thanks so much!

  134. Jessica says:

    Thank you for all the time you spending bringing us delicious recipes. For quite awhile my husband would refer to anything yummy and new I made as being from “that blog” – because there was (and is) only one place I can consistently find the best recipes. The work you put into tweaking everything until perfection shows. I love trying new recipes but hate messing with flops so your blog is the best. It is fun hearing about your cute little family’s food adventures. (Little in size not number – I’ve got the same number just bigger kids.) I have been inspired to let mine help out in the kitchen a bit more. It would be a shame to send them out into the world unprepared, but at least I could count on them coming back if they are hungry, right? πŸ˜‰ Over the years you’ve brought lots of delicious meals and treats into our home. I totally think you deserve to “cash in” on your hard work, but if it is stressful, it is so not worth it. I personally hate sponsored posts – but ads are fine. Do whatever works for you. We are happy on this end. Anyway – you’re the best!

  135. Jessica says:

    Love you and your real-ness (new word for ya). I pretend like we are best friends and that you and I can cook delicious foods to our hearts content, even if our kids and husbands will not touch the things we make. Thanks for doing all that you do Mel! <3

  136. Melissa H. says:

    A big THANK YOU, Mel! Your recipes are so delicious, and they’ve helped to me branch out and try so many new things! My family now knows and trusts your recipes! We’ve yet to make something that wasn’t great. Thank you again for sharing with all of us from your kitchen (and life!)!

  137. Emily W says:

    Loved this. So great to get a glimpse into who you are. Your blog is my go-to for “hey I have _____ ingredient, what should I make tonight?” or “I need a an enchilada/lasagna/chicken/etc recipe I can trust”. So thanks.

  138. Krysten says:

    Just want to add my word of thanks. Your blog is my favorite and I have never made anything we didn’t like. My children know you by name. As someone who makes a homemade meal every night, you have made a big impact on our family. Thank you!

  139. Heather Curtis says:

    You can tell you blog from the heart and not to get re posts,likes,etc. You always have the perfect mix of delicious-ness and personal life. I have yet to make a recipe I don’t love. Keep doing what your doing for the right reasons because it is perfect and I appreciate all your hard work. Thanks Mel!

  140. Kristine says:

    My daughter’s and I love your blog and recipes (and have for years). I never comment or give you virtual pat on the back, but I’m a loyal reader and my family eats well because of you! Good job πŸ˜‰

  141. Nikki says:

    I have followed you from the beginning, along with many other food blogs. I never look at those anymore, yours is the one I keep coming back to! Thank you for all your hard work to make my life a little simpler. I’ve turned so many people to your blog, everyone knows when I make something delicious it’s from “Mel’s” πŸ™‚

  142. Michelle says:

    Loyal reader here and I have turned many friends onto your blog. I am also a mom of 5 and stayed home with them for 17 yrs. Each one needs you in that special way only for a short amount of time. But… if you ever decide to write a cookbook I am totally buying it! Keep up the good work!

  143. Kate says:

    Not the best recipe I’ve ever made? Lemonies. Were more like like dry cakies with delicious lemon icing. I even undercooked them on a lower heat for less time. Not great!

  144. s says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have no idea how you keep up with it all, and I hope if it ever gets to be too much you reduce your posts vs stop altogether. My family loves any recipe I have made from your site. And three cheers for your strive for balance. I realized a long time ago that I had to let go of many career aspirations…which was fine since I really wanted to stay at home but we needed my income. It is more important for me to be there for my kids than working on some snazzy project. I just finished Pam Anderson’s book (the cooking Pam A lol not the Baywatch Pam A) with her two daughters and she talks about stepping away from her high profile cooking job to be with her daughters and the path her career then took. Being there for family is priceless…and with your blog you have helped countless others feed their families and establish memories – thank you!

  145. Jana says:

    Mel, I just want to say thank you. Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes despite all you have going on with your family and personal life. You honestly make my life so much easier and I trust your site more than any other! I’m so glad you are true to yourself and how you feel you should do things. I think you seem to be balancing your life very well, and you give me hope that I can do the same with my growing family! Thanks again πŸ™‚

  146. Lisa S says:

    I followed you over from your first blog. Yours is one of the few food blogs remaining on my bookmarked list. I seem to find the most recipes that I use more than once. Please don’t quite …pretty please. πŸ™‚

  147. Missy says:

    Thank you for the countless hours of work you have put into this blog.
    You have literally helped me become a rockstar in the kitchen through the recipes I have made from your posts. Love Gloria’s Perfect Cinnamon Rolls!!
    As long as you still love it, keep doing what is vitally important to keeping this great blog and community going: make awesome recipes and post them. Delegate the rest of the work away to a savvy tech & social media person! Save your family time and sanity! πŸ™‚

  148. Launi says:

    Mel, I love your genuineness. Is that a word? I truly love your blog. The recipes are awesome and most of my family (and personal) favorites come from here, but it’s the person behind them that keeps me coming back. Your personality is all over it, and even never having met you I can tell that we would be friends in real life. So keep up the good work, and feel free to “vomit up feelings” sometimes too! We all love the humor and the personal touch!

  149. Jennifer says:

    I love your blog! It’s the only one I check regularly any more. You are so relatable to me. I, too, have lots of little boys and only one girl. The fact that you cook all these things for your kids and that they EAT it is what makes me come back for more. I know I can get simple food (and quick when I need it to be) that my kids will actually eat. And if you can make it with five kids hounding you, I can certainly make it with four hounding me. Your blog motivates me to at least ATTEMPT to menu plan – even though I hate it and fail miserably most of the time. You make me want to keep trying at it. I love that your blog has been around so long and that you are so real and personal. I feel like we are friends too, even though I don’t comment a whole lot so you probably don’t actually know me. I feel like we would be good friends if we knew each other in real life. Thanks for all you do and all the work you put in here and all the late, late nights you spend working away for us!

  150. totally understand where you’re coming from! my little blog definitely gets neglected because life is more important, but when I do show it some love, it’s because of my love of good food and cooking at home. πŸ™‚

  151. melissa says:

    mel oh mel…
    you are loved and admired..i am so glad you blog and cook and bake and are present on this planet sharing you life with everyone!

    you have a beautiful family and are a wonderful spirit..i love your blog !

    your efforts are so appreciated.

  152. Rebecca says:

    And this is why I love your blog! You are a wife and a mom with a passion to feed your family and friends well and want to share that with us! My sister-in-laws and I have conversations and texts talking about “Mel’s recipe” we recently tried. We reference you as though you’re a close real life friend! I love it!! Keep doing what you’re doing!

  153. Toni says:

    Thank you πŸ™‚

  154. Lauren says:

    I’ve never commented before, but just wanted to say thank you for keeping up with the blog. I use your recipes ALL the time and have for several years now. You have a gift and my family eats better because of it! So thank you!

  155. Julie says:

    Love, love, love your blog. I’ve cancelled most of my food blog subscriptions this year because I’m so tired of their endlessly promoting their sponsors, but I cannot get enough of yours!! I can’t count how many of your recipes we make on a regular basis! And it’s obvious that you rework recipes until they’re perfect. I’m sure there are days you want to walk away from it, but I just wanted to say what a huge fan I am! Thank you, thank you….

  156. Kathy Gardner says:

    Oh, my! Is that sneak peak a recipe like a mazurka bar from Great Harvest?! I lay in bed last night thinking… I wish Mel would find a way to make something like those bars. They are my favorite dessert almost ever and that says so much because I love chocolate and hundreds of other sweets I’ve made from your blog. But that little berry bar from Great Harvest is frozen before Christmas and finds its way into my stocking and my husbands. Thats how much I love them. I am dying for Monday morning to come! Thanks for all your hard work. You are a household name around our house. I make your recipes almost daily. Our family and neighbors will forever be thankful for you!

  157. Karen King says:

    Hi Mel,

    I just wanted to say that I think the more you stay true to your heart, the more successful you will are and will be (whatever that may look like!). I think we all should just walk one day at a time as He orders our steps. Blessings to you!

  158. Laurie says:

    I found your blog through Pinterest, where I used to waste hours of my life searching for recipes. But then I realized I really just needed Mel’s Kitchen Cafe, where I KNOW every recipe will turn out well, they won’t be four ingredients (most of which are Campbell’s soup), and plus–you’re funny! πŸ™‚ I haven’t been on Pinterest in months, but I cook from your blog multiple times a week. So thanks!

    PS I still rock our family blog about once/week, but I may well be a dying breed.

  159. Christine says:

    Love love love your blog! I hope that you are earning something from all your hard work! Your blog is one of my first stops when I’m looking for a recipe and my sisters stop here too. If I need a foolproof bread recipe I come here. I’m a vegetarian and I still stop over frequently because I can often alter recipes. I’m also now considered the best cheesecake baker in my extended family when all I’ve done is printed out your recipes. It is so nice to just have so so many vetted recipes to work from. I don’t know how you do everything you do. I hope you at least have some helpers with all the dishes! I will also say that I love how organized your blog is, so easy to navigate. Now off to look for a cookie recipe out of the archives! Thanks again!

  160. Ali says:

    And thank goodness you do blog, or I would have never learned to cook as a newlywed. You make up 90% (or more) of our meals each week. So thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for doing what you do. My husband and two kiddos thank you, too.

  161. Karaline says:

    Thank you for all the work you put into your blog. I look forward to your posts so much and your photography and descriptions make me want to cook everything right away. I know even before I make a recipe that I won’t be disappointed because it is one of yours-and yours are always good. I don’t think I can say that of any other blog. I can tell from your writing,comment replies,and short videos that you are talented,sweet,and real. You inspired me through your running updates to get out there and run too. I could go on and on but I won’t. Thank you again for all you do. Please keep it up!Oh, and I love food so much too!

  162. Marie says:

    Thank you for blogging and sharing yourself with us! I LOVE your recipes, I love the personal glimpses of you- I love my sister and I are on a first name basis with you even though we don’t know you (ex. at family dinners- “this ____ is SO good!” “It’s Mel’s” “of course it is.”) I love that our whole Mother’s Day Meal that we had for our mom was compliments of your recipes πŸ™‚
    Thank you for being real and so generous!

  163. Sophie says:

    Love, love your blog! Adore reading about your family and life. I make several of your recipes each week and have at least 15 recipes book marked to try – a number that grows daily! Thank you for sharing.

  164. Jessica Chamberlain says:

    I loved this post. Thank you. I have followed your blog for several years, but only recently started leaving comments. I find it strange and awesome at the same time that I can feel a connection to a person I have never met, but have only read words written by them on a regular basis. My entire family is on a first name basis with you. My husband can tell when I am making a “Mel” recipe. I just got home from a week long girls camp for church where I was in charge of the food. You saved my bacon!!
    Thanks for the time and effort you put in. I hope you never stop blogging, and next time you are in Utah for another half marathon, I am going to try and come meet you. And even though you didn’t mention it as a reason for blogging, I feel that your dedication to family and goodness shines through your blog, and blesses the lives of those who come across your posts. You bring families together with yummy food that is not too scary to make, and you taught me to made bread! And, I just have to tell a fellow food lover…I checked out some artisan bread books and made my first loaf of homemade sourdough bread from scratch. AND…it worked! Yea!
    Thanks again for everything!

  165. DD says:

    Just wanted to say thanks so much for what you do. I love your blog and will continue to read it for as long as you continue to keep it up.

  166. Melanie says:

    Mel–thank you for this post. It affirmed what I always believed to be true about you, and that is why your blog is the only one that I read and subscribe to. Your recipes are from the heart, and you are genuine. We lost a baby late last year, and part of my healing process began when I decided to try my hand at yeast breads again (I always failed in the past). There is something about being in the kitchen and working with dough that just makes me feel closer to God. 6+ months later, and I am still making almost all of my own breads and buns, thanks to your tips. As you know, cooking is always about much more than the food. Think of all of the lives that are impacted by your recipes, and not just because they taste good?! I can’t imagine what it takes to keep this blog up and running, managing all of the comments, etc. But like others have said, follow your heart, like you have been from the start. Thank you!!

  167. Cathleen says:

    Dear Mel, Therapist Husband, Cute Sis, kiddos,
    Thank you so much for all you do on your website! I love it and my family thanks you for some great eats. In my house, you have made a huge impact.
    I ran across your site a couple of months ago and look at it several times – ok, more than that – a week. When I saw your pic for your Fresh g
    Green Bean Salad with Balsamic Dressing, I actually drooled!
    *Who Does That?*
    Over a vegetable?
    So I’ve made it multiple times, even adding my own little spins. Then made things like Slow Cooker Sweet and Spicy BBQ Pot Roast – killer! – Blueberry Custard Pie with Buttery Pecan Streusel – off the hook! – This would not be a big deal in most people’s lives, but you and browneyedbaker (hello Hummingbird Cake and friends!) have helped literally to lift me out of a rather profound longstanding depression with your positive outlook, great pics, sharing family & friend stories with all the ups and downs and especially encouragement to get into the kitchen again. I had forgotten how much I love baking and cooking then sharing successes with family.
    Just wanted you to know that who you are comes through your blogging and have made a huge difference in our lives here in the (nasty) hot desert. And, no, I don’t share feelings this easily!
    Thank you again!

  168. Abigail says:

    I love your blog! Thanks for putting the time in. And many thanks to your husband and family for their support! The delicious food that comes from your table to mine really adds to our family life – and obviously my rockstar status in the kitchen. πŸ™‚

  169. Sheree L says:

    I have to tell you how much I admire you and love your blog! Pretty much everything I cook comes from your recipes. Your tastes are exactly what we love, and you use ingredients I usually have on hand. But, like others, even if I didn’t cook one thing from your blog, I would read it just for fun; I love your writing style. Plus, you are an inspiration in ALL aspects of life, and your family is just so darned cute! THANK YOU for all you do!

  170. Stephanie says:

    I don’t comment often, but I constantly refer people to your blog. My motto, “If Mel doesn’t make, then I don’t need to either.” I don’t even frequent other food blogs, anymore, because I feel like so much of their content is, like you said, fillers, and has ulterior motives than just sharing food recipes. I love your blog, and I love that you share recipes that are good. Other recipes that I have tried from other blogs, are often flops, leaving me to wonder if they even made the recipe before posting it, hoping to only get more blog views.
    Thank you for what you do! I love your blog and food!

  171. Anjeanette says:

    Thank you for sharing your heart! I love that you have chosen to stay true to your heart and not get caught up in the “opportunities”. That’s one reason, among many, that I love your blog. I know you always share good food and you are not trying to sell me something or only sharing sponsored posts. Your recipes are AMAZING and make up most of what I make for my family. I send people to your blog regularly. THANK YOU for doing what you do and for keeping it REAL!!!

  172. Thora says:

    I really enjoy your blog – for one thing, I also have five kids, and I love knowing that you are cooking for a whole family, with sometimes picky kids included. It makes your recipes seem doable fnor me. I have one food blog that I love to read and drool over, but excepting some desserts have basically never made anything she posts, because her food is so not in the realm of my life or food budget or family. But I love reading your blog, and getting excited over the recipe, and then think, “hey, I could make that, I really could!” and then I do. Not that I have to rate food bloggers, I can just love them all for who they are, but I can be grateful that there is someone posting recipes like you online.

    Also, I don’t mind the personal – one of the things I love about blogs is that they are not just a dry recipe book, but three dimensional people with lives that affects their cooking. Seeing glimpses into your family and life are some of my favorite posts.

  173. Tanae says:

    I am a silent reader of your blog, but after reading this post I wanted to tell you thank you! I love that you are able to do something you love even though it isn’t easy and there are lots of reasons why you could stop. It’s great that you continue to do this for the small and simple reasons. I live in Idaho as well and was excited when you moved to this state. When I don’t know what to make for dinner the first place I look is your website. It works so well for my family and where we are at in our lives. You cook and bake very similar to how I do at home so I love making your recipes. I usually have all of the ingredients and my family enjoys the meals as well. Thanks for keeping true to yourself and keeping your blog about you! So many these days seam to want to win a prize for how many times they can pin their own recipes. I enjoy that your blog and recipes truly read from the heart. So thank you, Keep it up as long as you can and it works for your family. You are using your talents and blessing others. Thank you

  174. Laura K. says:

    I love your blog and have been reading it for years. I am always pinning your delicious recipes, so that others can enjoy your food too. I enjoy reading a blog that is simply about food and family, without all the ads. Thank you for sharing your talents with us!

  175. Kathleen says:

    Mel, thank you for sharing. I have so much respect for what you do. As the mother of two small children, I cannot begin to imagine how you accomplish all you do, do it so well, and best of all, keep it so genuine and authentic. I think that is why we all love you – we feel like we DO know you, or easily could, and would love you and your cooking just as much in person. Thank you for all you do. It is above and beyond. You couldn’t lose us if you tried. πŸ™‚

  176. Mollie says:

    I’m so happy you blog, and keep blogging. Love the honesty of this post. And, even if you do decide to go another direction someday (that’s a lot of hours!) I would understand (although it would be super sad…) but you have already given us so much material to work with! So many yummy recipes I still need to try out, and other ones I keep on making because they are THAT GOOD.

  177. Elisabeth says:

    Love, love, love your blog!!! You (and your darling family) have been a part of every holiday, every celebration, every get together at our home over the past 3 years when I was looking for ‘the best chocolate chip cookie’ recipe. We have enjoyed every recipe!!! I cannot say that about any other recipes that we have tried for over 36 years. I ALWAYS come to your blog when searching for ideas for meals or special occasions or just plain good food. In fact, I look nowhere else. It has to be very difficult to not only raise 5 children but to also provide so much content and make us rock stars in the kitchen as well. Thank you! Thank you for trying to make us shine in the kitchen and sharing about your life and family!!

  178. Mary Lynn says:

    My cousin in Canada shared one your recipes on Facebook. I checked it out and here I am each day checking out what is currently on the blog and what wonderful and delicious treats you have archived. Your tried and true recipes are terrific! Thanks for all the yumminess but especially for being real about being a mom, wife and so much more that women are each day.

  179. Amy says:

    Your blog is my hands down favorite cooking blog! I trust that your recipes will always come out delicious!! Please never stop blogging!! Thank you!!

  180. Carine says:

    Hi Mel,
    When I read your posts, I understand that you give all your heart. And let me say that you bring a piece of sunshine in my french house, every time I cook one of your recipe. Because I don’t stress : recipes always work ! And I love the little story before each recipe, sometimes you make me laugh.
    Thank you to give your time, your heart, your energy, your friendship to us.
    (excuse me : my english is not very good, and I would like to say more things but I don’t have the good words)

  181. Darlene says:

    Mel, I discovered your blog about 2 1/2 years ago when I was searching for “Monkey Bread” recipes at Christmas time! Having got a glimpse into your recipe files and snapshots into your life pulled me in and I’ve been a follower ever since. My family knows you by name and your recipes are the best! Always look forward to your posts!

  182. Emily says:

    First of all I think that it is very smart of you to know what you want out of blogging. You fully understand what is important to you and you family. Its ok to not get caught up in all of the STUFF. Second, I look forward to your post so so much and there has been many a time when I say a bad word when I see your new recipe post because it looks so good.
    Thanks for all you do

  183. Carrie from www.itsdroolworthy.com says:

    Incredible post. Thank you for sharing. p.s. how do you do it all?

  184. ME says:

    Mel, I have followed your blog for years and it is the only one I subscribe to. And the only one I have commented on for that matter. I have made many, many of your recipes (there might have been key lime cheesecake for breakfast). Now it might just be my experiences, but the recipes I have tried from other blogs never seem to taste how they claim. But yours? Yours are amazing. If you state a recipe is decadent, it always is and to the point that you literally swoon. And I do believe your Baked Ziti is my favorite pasta in the world. That really should have best in the title, Mel. Can we take a vote? The kindness, empathy, compassion, wit, humor and the incredible heart and soul that you bless us with is so refreshingly authentic that it would be impossible not to fall in love with you and your blog. And it happens over and over again with each post and each visit. Let`s face it, we all love you and your blog so much that I would bet that yours is the only blog whose readers actually read all your subscribers comments. For me any time I look at another blog I always end up back here. It literally feels like coming home, with that immediate sense of warmth and sigh of satisfaction.

    As far as the sponsor and publishing aspects you spoke of, I do appreciate that your blog isn`t loaded with sponsor ads and pop ups that send my browser into convulsions. I have seen a couple of blogs where they had a couple of sponsor ads that were not intrusive. And then there are the ones that you spoke of where you are bombarded to the point where your browser goes into convulsions or freezes. Also, I used to be corporate sponsorship rep. for non-profit events, so I know the demands and contractual obligations involved. Although I always worked my sponsorships to be event only, with no long term obligation. At the same time I also understand there are financial demands to maintain a blog and maintaining it is a full time job pretty much. So I don’t see a problem with any decision you may consider for compensation. I, for one would love a cookbook (they are like a good novel for me). But this blog is your heart and soul, your blood, sweat and tears. Your baby. You conceived it, birthed it, fawned and fretted over it and nurtured it into the awesome 8 year old that it is. And you have to do what you feel is best for you and your baby. Whatever you decide, I am on board and always will be. Let’s have an auction of a binder your recipes! That’s kind of like what an 8 year olds cookbook would be. *scribbles Best Classic Baked Ziti in crayon* : D
    Congrats on the half marathon, Mel. You rocked it! And thanks for all the smiles and literal laugh out loud laughter. And I`d like to say thanks to all your readers. A great bunch of people who contribute to the smiles and laughter.

  185. Loved this post Mel. I have loved reading your blog and trying as many of your recipes as possible ever since finding it a couple of years ago! Keep blogging – where would I go for recipes if you stopped! πŸ™‚

  186. heather says:

    love your recipes and your blog. thanks for doing what you do! and you do it amazingly well, by the way πŸ™‚

  187. Mel says:

    You guys. I want to respond to every single one of you! And I will. Soon (I just got home after a day that started at 5:45 a.m. making breakfast for 20 youth + leaders followed by taking my kids + my friend’s six kids to the waterpark to use up their free passes they earned through reading before they expire and my kids and their sun-kissed cheeks are finally in bed and I’m sitting here reading through your comments – laughing and crying – when I should be dealing with the messiest house that ever was). Let me just say that I don’t know how a girl like me ended up deserving all this love (and I’m not sure I deserve it but I”m awfully grateful for it tonight). You rock. Every single one of you. I feel like I know you and I love your guts very much. Now. Time to deal with real life.

    • Sheila says:

      I am rejoicing too that I am not alone in loving you for the tremendous influence for good you put into the minds and hearts of your readers. I love reading the comments from your many gracious web followers. You are making such a positive impact in the world. Now I am inspired to get started on the 2nd messiest house that ever was and the mounds of laundry calling my name.

  188. Allison says:

    Loved that you really poured out your heart. You are such a neat person and talented blogger. I look forward to reading your blog everyday and love that you’re willing to share your favorite recipes and a piece of your life with us. Keep on keeping on! πŸ™‚

  189. Marissa says:

    I’ve never commented before, but I have followed your blog for years. I love it. You are my most trusted source for good, good food. In fact, at least 70% of the food I make are recipes from your blog. I get asked frequently for recipes I bring to things and I always say, “Its Mel’s”. Conveniently, at least half the people I say that to already know and follow your website as well! Thank you for the sacrifices you make to share your skill in knowing and cooking good food!

  190. As you can tell by the overwhelming response to this post – people love you because you are genuine. I feel connected to you and I’ve never met you. Every time you write I feel like I could be writing. We think the same way.
    We like really good food. The best thing I’ve done in the last couple of months is hire a VA to do social media stuff that I don’t want to do and that isn’t taking over my voice (the behind the scenes stuff). It’s cheap and takes such a load off so I can enjoy the fun part of blogging.
    I think we will still be doing this when we’re 80! How fun will that be?

  191. Danielle says:

    I also would like to share how much your blog means to me. I sincerely look forward to days you post. I have tried countless recipes from here and still have more that I want to try. When I menu plan I always come here for inspiration to make healthy, delicious meals that never fail me. I am so thankful you do what you do. I didn’t knowwhat a huge time commitment it is to run the blog. Thank you for all your dedication.

  192. Georganna says:

    I love your blog, and go to it it many times each week. Thank you for your hard work. You are an amazing person. I hope you can find the the balance that is right for your family.

  193. mimsie says:

    I haven’t read the other comments so I could probably get away with “ditto”. I did want to say that of our family’s many favorite recipes, most of them came from your blog. Please keep blogging!

  194. Susan says:

    I must add my voice to all the many commenters that your recipes are amazing (meaning, delicious, vetted and ones we make over and over), but it’s so much more thatn that. We all appreciate and admire your hilarious writing, attention to detail, authenticity and FUN! Most of us can’t imagine the time and effort that you put into this, but please know that it has helped many, many of us. You’re like a breath of fresh air! xoxo Susan

  195. Julie says:

    Mel, you are amazing! I have thought to myself so many times, as I make recipe after recipe from your blog, “How does Mel do it all??” I think you have superhuman abilities and strength to manage everything SO WELL! I absolutely love the recipes you post, and I also absolutely love the glimpses into your sweet family life. Your children are beautiful, and Brian is such a supportive husband (I can say that for sure after having met them for a minute after the half marathon). I think we both got a little misty-eyed when I got to meet you and thank you in person for all you do. You inspire me in so many ways! Your posts make me laugh, cry, want to be a better mom, a better wife… and a better cook πŸ™‚ Thank you, thank you!!!

  196. Katrina says:

    I just want to add my voice to the choir of love. You are my favorite blogger, the only one I read regularly and my first place to check for a recipe. I feel as though we’re best of friends (even though we don’t know each other), and I love he little peek into your life and the life of your cute family.
    Thanks for always posting such delicious recipes and being true to the food.

  197. Molly says:

    I’m so glad you blog. I love your blogging personality, your love of your family and your fans, and, of course, I love your recipes. So many of your recipes are favorites of ours, and I love recommending them to other people. When younger women (like newlyweds) come to me wondering what to cook and are confused by how many (bad) recipes are out there, I point them your way and they love me for it. Thanks for being you and doing what you do.

  198. Laura from the Land of Aus says:

    Mel, YOU ROCK!!! Even though I found your blog only a year ago, you have helped me raise my game in the kitchen. I unfortunately have health issues that leave me bedridden for about 90% of my life (and I’m only 45-not fun). On days that I felt ok enough to cook, it was the same things over & over again. Then you came along, with your wonderful recipes that DON’T require a packet mix of this or a can of cream of something soup or a mountain of butter. Your recipes are beautifully easy to cook and taste great! And almost all the ingredients are easy enough to find here in Australia-something that can’t be said for most other North American food blogs. You have even taught my husband to cook-a god send on those days I just can’t make it to the kitchen. My 3 boys (late teens/early 20’s) are loving the change!
    Your bread making tutorials are fabulous, too! I’ve stared making my own bread for the family (with the help of my fab mixer & an old office chair), and all of your recipes rock! In fact, I don’t think you should worry about making a cookbook; I have 2 binders full of recipe printouts and about 80% are yours! πŸ™‚ And they are being added to daily.
    To sum it all up, thank you from the bottom of my heart & the bottom of the planet, THANK YOU for everything you do! <3

  199. Jennifer R says:

    I loved this post and I wanted to say how much I appreciate what you do! I’ve made your recipes for other moms after their babies were born, for guests, and they are weekly staples in our home. Everyone loves them! Most of all I love your honesty, your commentary for your recipes, and seeing your family. I can really relate to your family and I honestly feel like when I read your posts I’m sitting down with a friend chatting. Plus I get great recipe advice! I love your recipes, your blog, and I appreciate you making dinner time a little easier for me (it’s hard enough with two kids under 2) because I know your recipes will always turn out great! Thanks so much for your blog!!!

  200. Anna says:

    I have been addicted to your blog since the very first time I stumbled onto a recipe from Pinterest a couple of years ago.
    Your site absolutely changed the way I cook. I had never cooked with yeast before and avoided making most desserts. Now I make my own pizza dough, rolls, and Lord help my rear end…. COOKIES!!
    All other blogs are measured against Mel’s Kitchen Cafe and I haven’t found one yet that I care about as much.
    Thank you so much for all of the work you put into this. It has really helped me develop a love for cooking and trying new things. Aside from the recipes, I have also loved getting to know you through your personal photos and posts. I look forward to seeing those and always have a ton of questions that I wish I could ask you.
    THANK YOU Mel!

  201. Marcia S. says:

    Mel, yours is one of the blogs I follow that I KNOW when I make something from here, that it will really be good! I have been following for about 5 years now! I love that there aren’t so many darn pop-up ads that slow down my poor computer, but if you did want that, I would still be a reader. Your family is precious, keep up the good work!

  202. Jennie says:

    It’s nice to read a personal post =) My husband and friends and I, we’re all on a first name basis with you. You’re a household name for us. If I get complimented on a dish, my response is usually, “Well, it’s a Mel recipe, so…” And I start many sentences with, “Mel says…” Thank you, thank you, thank you for keeping on keeping on.

  203. Kristin Castleton says:

    I love that your site is all about the delicious food you post every week and not about posting because someone is paying you. That’s why I ALWAYS trust your recipes and make them weekly. In all actuality (my husband can attest) you have made me the awesome cook (my husbands words) I am today! Thanks!!!

  204. Sally says:

    I just LOVE your blog – you have such a “true” voice, and your recipes are really foolproof. I also love how you really respond to reader questions in the comments section. Keep it up!!!!!!

  205. I wish I could talk to you in real life. You are always so approachable in your writing (and the food is amazing, too, of course. I nearly die every time I eat your Butter Chicken recipe.) anyway, I have followed you for years but had no idea of your health struggles. I am recovering from cancer and have had two years of hard health stuff in our family. Hearing your story gives l me courage that we may have a normal, happy life after all this. Wish we could chat about it all.

  206. Kate says:

    Thank you so much for this blog! I have been following since 2012 and this is my first comment. I can honestly say that you have made me into a cook! Your recipes are awesome and have given me confidence to feel comfortable in the kitchen and I cook from your recipes 99% of the time.

  207. Emily B. says:

    Mel, I remember those old logos! And your simple tone without selling out to sponsorships and such has kept me following you for 8 years! (The consistently awesome and tangible recipes doesn’t hurt either!) Keep up the good work. And kudos for you for doing what you love for the right reasons.

  208. Holly says:

    You’re the best Mel. Always inspiring and personally I love this post and you and your cute fam! I wish I’d been able to make it to see you when you were here. Hopefully next time we can finally meet up in person. You’re still one of my favorite people and my favorite blogger for guaranteed recipes!

  209. Maureen says:

    I’ve been a follower for a long time, and check your site every day — your site has a coveted spot in my bookmarks bar. πŸ™‚ I SO appreciate the fact that you don’t post recipes that aren’t fabulous — other sites make you wonder if a recipe should be tried — but here there isn’t any guessing — your recipes match my family’s tastes perfectly. In fact, if I put something down they haven’t seen before, all I have to say is “It’s from my friend Mel.” and they dig right in! πŸ™‚ I’d rather wait a week for a new post from you than have a new recipe everyday that wasn’t up to Mel-quality. πŸ™‚ Thanks for all your hard work — I love everything about your site – pics, recipes, commentary, — it’s all good! <3

  210. meg says:

    Your blog is my favorite because of you, even if that is also weirdo- emotional:) my kids know melskitchencafe by name, and I feel, like probably every single other person that reads your blog, that we would be real life friends if we lived close by:) thanks for keeping it real and taking about the realness. It’s why we would totally click:) (once again, moving into the weirdo- emotional stuff;) you are the best!!!

  211. Melissa says:

    I’ve never been one to follow a blogger, though I love browsing through tons of recipes; but when I accidentally stumbled upon your blog a couple of years ago, I fell in love!!! Not only are your recipes amazing and successful, you bring life into them with your bubbly and humorous (if I might add) personality. I can only imagine how time consuming keeping up with this blog is, but I am to grateful you do. I probably check your page everyday to every other day for new recipes :). I normally do not comment on all the recipes I have tried, but know I have never been disappointed. I am sure you have many more quiet followers like myself; just know we are here, faithfully following :). Thank you for doing what you do!!!

  212. Ann F says:

    I simply love your recipes. I enjoy checking out your blog every single time, it’s like a treat for me to see what is coming next. I have made so many things from your website, my whole family knows your name. And I even have a Silhouette machine thanks to you now! Your chocolate chip cookies (and the giant cookie also) have been made many times. Your family is so sweet, thanks for sharing your gifts. I will keep checking in, I love food almost as much as you do!

  213. Mary Garren says:

    Mel – I’ve never commented on a blog before but I want you to know how much I appreciate what you do. I love that you post yummy recipes. I love how your writing sounds so genuine. I love that I don’t feel like you’re trying to sell me anything. (Recommending something that you like is not the same as trying to sell something.) Anyway, I haven’t read the other 180+ replies that have been posted already today, but I’m guessing they are all saying close to the same thing – thank you for sharing this part of your life with us.

  214. Alisha says:

    You are the only food blog I’ve looked at religiously for the past 4 years and it’s precisely because of the way you blog. It certainly helps that we have very similar opinions about cooking — but other food blogs simply got so big, that I felt completely out of touch with them and lost interest. I love that you’re so real. I refuse to think about how many people feel like your #1 fan – because, quite honestly, you relate to everyone so well we all feel we’re it.

  215. Brenna says:

    We love you Mel! A big heartfelt thank you to you for your selfless hard work and to your family for supporting you through it.

  216. Jenny says:

    You are a joy to read each day! I love that your posts aren’t the same words day after day about each recipe you post. Keep up the awesome recipe sharing – I LOVE IT!! πŸ™‚

  217. Jenny says:

    Hi Mel! (This kinds of sounds like we’re friends, right since I’m calling you Mel? Because you know that all of your blog followers would love to live next door to you and hang out with you every day for lots of reasons besides your food.) Thanks for doing what you do! I have a little blog which I make pennies off of…seriously, but I keep posting because I love it. It’s a habit. It helps me stay sane. It’s a fabulous way to share great food and other things with friends. And it’s a great legacy for your kids! It’s an amazing journal. Thanks again for all you do!

  218. Mandy says:

    Mel, I love all of your posts. You have such a wonderful balance of food and family. I love hearing all of your adventures with running and must say – cried when I read the post about your son sneaking up on you and finishing the long training run with you. I love what you do and someday I hope to get around to sharing a couple of recipes with you for you to perfect!

  219. Gina says:

    I absolutely love your blog. I check it every day or at least every other day. I can say that about only one other blog. I love to read what you write, you are so witty and you are always good for a laugh. Your recipes are the best out there and your name is a household name here. I just say oh’ this is Mel’s. Thank you for all of your hard work and effort. It is very much appreciated. Also, I didn’t know that you were a fellow Utahn. Good to know.

  220. Sherry says:

    ps. I have a family blog too. Handy when you live far from family and makes it really easy to quickly input it into a book at the end of each year for a family journal/ album.

  221. Wendy says:

    Thank you for your dedication to your blog and blog readers. I’ve been the world’s worst cook, but thanks to you and your recipes I’m now able to feed my new husband without worrying about poisoning him! I still have a long ways to go, but your website has been a God-send. You’re truly a God-send in my life!


  222. Laura H. says:

    Thank you for your blog. I never realized what kind of hours and details went into keeping up a blog! (I have a personal family blog, by the way, but I just post whenever I want or to keep my mom happy.) I love your food blog! I check it weekly for new recipes and have been using it to feed my family for years! 6 years, maybe more? I think you have been around longer than that… Anyways, thank you for what you do; my family LOVES your food!

  223. Sam M says:

    I’m loving the new series you started! Thanks for keeping the blog true to what you want it to be. I love your site and it’s usually the first place I go to when I need a trusted recipe or meal inspiration. I love that you make real food and I usually check your site everyday just in case you added an additional post! πŸ˜‰

  224. Gail says:

    Thanks so much for sharing these heartfelt words. I enjoyed learning how your blog evolved. Please know I enjoy your posts just as much as the tasty recipes you highlight. Your realness and sincerity shine through! Something I just realized also, is that I enjoy reading the comments you get as well. Your blog is just a great place to visit!

  225. Roslyn says:

    Mel, I love your blog because YOU are so fun and real. And the food is ALWAYS awesome. I have never been disappointed by a recipe. And you took the time to email me photos of your corner sink when I asked about kitchen design–now that is dedication. I admire the work you’re doing in your family and in your kitchen! My family thanks you–especially my four tween and teen boys. πŸ™‚

  226. Cathryn Johansson says:

    Thank you for sharing your story! I have been following your site for a few years now, and when ever I need a recipe idea, I go to your blog! I also have gotten several other people hooked your tasty, easy, family-friendly cooking. I think its wonderful that you put your family first and let your blog work for you, not the other way around. Thanks again for all the wonderful recipes… keep up the good work! πŸ™‚
    P.S. I still have a personal family blog too, but I must admit I don’t update it as often as I used to!

  227. Sheila says:

    Your blog is about so much more than delicious food with recipes given in an excellent, instructive way with professional looking photos. It is about a wise woman with a huge, giving heart. An excellent wife and mother. An incredibly hard worker. A fun-loving, adventurous person who continually challenges herself in various ways (such as running). A woman of strength who has overcome serious health problems in an incredible way seemingly never missing a beat. A woman of faith. A loyal, steadfast friend. A beautiful woman of integrity, realness, compassion, kindness, common sense who will not allow greed to take control of her life. You inspire all of us to grow in the graces you allow us to see in you through your website. So my journey with you started out so excited over the fabulous recipes until I got to know you and your adorable family. Then I found myself eagerly following to enjoy your humor and insight, to hear about your adventures, to hear about what you have been up to (100 pounds of cherries, chickens), to read of the wonderfulness of your husband (loving actions, support) and the sweetness of your children, etc.

    Having stated these facts and because I am so thankful for the virtual friend you have become, I am truly concerned about the amount of work hours you sacrifice to maintain your site. And I am saddened that it is so costly of an endeavor to you and your family. Shout out to Brian – as much as I would miss the beauty of Mel in my life multiple times a week through her site, please, please, please pull the plug if it gets to be too much. Seriously, 40 to 50 hours a week with much cost seems to be too much giving of herself to others. Did I mention a giving woman with a tender, humble heart?

  228. Michelle says:

    Oh, Mel. You are the best. Your sincerity and humor and feet-on-the-ground voice are all reasons that I love you. Your recipes are an inspiration to me on a weekly basis and my family knows you by name. What, you don’t seek this kind of fame? All the more reason to love you. Thanks for all you do!!

  229. Anne says:

    I have been a devotee for years. I LOVE your recipes and your cute personality. I tell everyone about your blog and say, “I’m to the point where I’d pay Mel to not do a cookbook!” I feel like bloggers that monetize give up on content and yours is always spot on. If you want a $20 let me know!

  230. Jodi F. says:

    I, for one, am really happy that you blog! If I am ever wondering what I should cook for dinner/for company/for dessert, melskitchencafe is the first place I check. Thanks!!!

  231. Janine S says:

    This is exactly why I love you and your blog. I have been following you for years and whenever I need a new recipe yours is the site I visit. I will be forever grateful that I found you. Thanks for all you do!

  232. Kristie says:

    So I was introduced to your blog several years ago when we lived in Wausau Wisconsin. At that time we had some friends that knew you and told me about your blog. Since then I’ve made many of your recipes and I rejoiced when you’ve moved and when you had your baby girl. I’ve laughed at some some of the things your kids have done and my family knows your recipes well. It’s almost like you’re part of our family as much as we are a part of your blog family. I hope you’ll be able to keep blogging, but if it ever ends our family will be forever grateful for all the things that we have found through your blog. Thanks!

    • Kristie says:

      Sorry, it was Wisconsin Rapids, not Wausau. Oops.

    • Maureen says:

      So well said. I think so many of us feel like we know you, I know I do. If I saw you on the street, it would be so fun to strike up a conversation. And I’m 71 yrs old, but sure do share your sense of taste. My hubby and daughter and her family benefit also. Live in South Jordan, UT too, so feel a closeness with you up in that beautiful state of Idaho. Hope you keep on blogging, you are definitely my favorite.

  233. Kandace says:

    I don’t usually post comments but I am always getting recipes from you! I love your blog and family and life lol! I have been using you for new recipes since 2011 and I have never been disappointed. My favorite by far is the super easy alfredo sauce! My family and I love it. Thank you for everything!

  234. Betsy says:

    Thanks for putting out the best.

  235. Kirsten says:

    Hi! I just stumbled upon your blog and I am so grateful. I am a busy mom of 4 kids ages 11 to 5- and life is nuts. I struggle with meal planning… I mean, is it bad to send your 7 year old into the grocery store with $10 for a rotisserie chicken? That’s ok right? I never seem to be prepared for the nightly meal. So, I’ve decided that if I lived in Idaho we’d probably be friends- so you are the new friend who is going to help me navigate this food thing! Thank you for your recipes and your candid commentary! I so enjoy your blog!

  236. Carolyn says:

    Mel, Your site is absolutely amazing and as many other faithful fans have stated – you have changed the way I cook and I will always be grateful for that!!

  237. Lynne says:

    Mel, I appreciate your genuine love for food and people! I love your recipes and am successful every time I try one. You really make me look good in the kitchen! Thank you for sharing your thoughts, time and talents with us and your sweet family!

  238. missy w says:

    I keep coming back to this website because the recipes are easy, don’t have weird hard to find ingredients, and work out for me every single time. keep up the good work!

  239. Angela says:

    OMG you are my favorite blogger…and I really don’t cook much as I live alone! But I love your writing and reading about your sweet family and every now and then I do try a recipe! (I have a couple out to try this weekend when my granddaughter comes over!) I have picked up so many tips over the years. Thank you for being there!!!!

  240. Susan says:

    Thank you so much for doing what you do and continuing to share your wonderful recipes and stories and sweet family with the interwebs! I rarely comment, but have been a reader of your blog for several years and the majority of the food I make for my family comes from your blog because we love it so much.

  241. Jane says:

    I respect your choice. A couple of years ago one of my baking sites began openly endorsing a flour company (not one of the better brands of flour). Reading recipes that call for a specific brand is off-putting, to say the least. I don’t mind that she’s being rewarded financially for the hard work she puts into her site but a little subtlety would be nice.

    I have to say I have never tried one of your recipes that I haven’t liked. I agree with the poster above who lauds your love of curry. Me too.

  242. Heidi says:

    I cannot express enough over the internet how much I truly appreciate all your work. This blog is by far my favorite recipe source ever!!! Your tutorials and step by step pictures have helped me love and learn about cooking! If your blog went away I would die!!!! Seriously. Ok, I would still breathe but my cooking would go back down to mediocre status and then my husband might die lol. I have used your blog since 2010! So, thank you I sure appreciate you!

  243. Jana says:

    So, I just wept… is that weird?! Anyway, thanks for all you do. xo

  244. Lori says:

    Also, I had no idea about your health related issues, especially cancer (not sure if you mentioned it here) but I hope you are in remission and remain that way forever!!

  245. Kim Peterson says:

    Love your blog and check it a couple times a week even though I haven’t ever posted. Keep up the good work!

  246. Heather says:

    You are just ridiculously sweet – and real. I’ve followed and unfollowed dozens of food blogs, and though I don’t make all of your recipes (or many…I’m a chronic recipe-changer), I love following along. You spark my own creativity and really give me the confidence to try things I might otherwise skip (hello bread!). Thank you for doing what you do. But also, if you decide to call it quits someday (though I hope not), I’d understand. Cheers from northern Michigan.

  247. Lori says:

    You are so awesome Mel! Admittedly, I haven’t been cooking much these days, I just can’t find my groove, but I still check our your blog everyday! You are such a genuine person and it shines through your blog.

    Family comes first and maybe, just maybe, when your kids grow up, you can do some of the things you mentioned (if you want!), but raising kids is a HARD job and I don’t know how you even keep us with this blog and raise 5 kids (and animals)! You are a rock star and an inspiration.

  248. Sue says:

    Mel, as the others have said so well…I can just repeat the same. Every day I check your blog because it’s honest, down to earth, funny and totally trustworthy recipe-wise! I LOVE you! and I’ve never even met you! how can that be? I appreciate that you haven’t sold-out for the book deals and network cooking shows…because it changes those who have done just that- IMHO πŸ™‚ Please be encouraged that your hard work and efforts are so appreciated and are helpful to so many people…and how cool is that?? Thank you

  249. Jennifer says:

    Mel, I’m so glad you’re still blogging. I would totally understand if you ever gave it up (gotta do what’s best for your family!) but I would be so sad. At least half of my meals each week come from your blog and your website is the first I check when I’m looking for a specific recipe. Thanks for your hard work!

  250. Megan says:

    Hi Mel,

    I have never commented before but I wanted you to know how much I love your blog!! I appreciate so much the hard work you put into it. I have been following your blog for years. (I recognize both of those old logos!) I found your blog through The Sisters Cafe and have LOVED it ever since. I cook a LOT and people always love the things I make from your blog. I know I can always trust your recipes and I recommend your blog to everyone I know. I too love food and I am so happy to have a blog that I feel like is similar to my taste and cooking style. Thank you for all you do!!!

  251. Leah says:

    You seem like such a sweet and sincere person. I love that those characteristics shine throughout your posts! Feel free to “vomit up” your feelings anytime! It is what connects as humans. Even though I have never met you and rarely get to comment, I have thought so many times, “Man, we could really be friends!” Your words are true and heartfelt, and thank you for that, Mel!

  252. April says:

    I just have to say that I love your website/blog. Love it. I love to cook and I love to experiment and I love your recipes. I have never been disappointed! My mom is a spectacular cook, (She won the Beef Cookoff) and she has taught me so much, but I have learnedso much from you too. Please don’t ever stop! I must miss most the mean comments but i am willing to head up “Mel’s Mafia” for you. I love to read about your sweet family and all your adventures. Thanks for making a real blog, it brings me great joy! Thank you for all your efforts!!!.

  253. Tina says:

    Mel, I don’t comment but I check in and see what’s cooking. I have tried many recipes from your blog that my family loves. You would be missed if you stopped. Thanks for sharing it is appreciated.

  254. MelanieL says:

    I’m a big fan, Mel! You’re genuine, down to earth and much appreciated for the great recipes you provide here. Many of your recipes are used time and time again in my house and for that I thank YOU:)

  255. Heather says:

    I love your blog for this reason. I love that you don’t post fillers. I love that you don’t title things in ridiculous ways (i.e. : She mixed quinoa with chocolate and THIS happened…. ). I love that I can always find the perfect recipe that uses simple ingredients that I usually have. You blog with integrity and honesty in your purpose, and that is why I keep coming back, and why I recommend your blog to everyone.

  256. amy says:

    You are definately spicing up your blog by getting more personal and sharing things other then food . I always loved the Rachael ray show because its not just food. She talks about so many other things. Fashion, hair, makeup. That keeps me coming back. I am so glad your blog is taking a similar avenue. It keeps me coming back. The food is an added bonus. You’re doing awesome! !

  257. Mary Karlee says:

    thanks for sharing your heart. I’ve wondered about a million times how you have the time to make and post the highlights of your recipes, since I can’t even find the time to make the ones that you post! Just hoping you know I’m truly grateful I am for your work. You not only share such awesome food, but you are a like a friend to me. It sort feels like maybe we were roommates at BYU and now just keep in touch via blogs. Even though I don’t say hi as often, I hope you feel my support even if only in a “worldwide web conglomerate” kind of way. I’m 30 of your 2 million hits a month since I’m here looking up some new or favorite recipe at least daily. Thank you for time, and giving up sleep, sharing your cute family and even your running journey!

  258. Wendy says:

    I must second (and third, and fourth) what has already been said so many times. I am so glad that you started and have continued sharing not only your recipes but, your thoughts, your family and yourself with us. Anytime I make something unusually delicious, my family always comments “this must be from Mel’s!” Now, when they cook, you are their first resource as well. Thank you for the sacrifices you and your family make so that we have access to “Mel!” I must agree that the food is awesome, but it is definitely the sweet stories and details you share that have kept me coming back daily. Thanks Mel!

  259. Wendy says:

    I have been reading here and trying your recipes for the longest time. Mel, your food blog is the best – I love your style and your passion for food and serving delicious meals to the people you love. A couple years ago, you had a post about a meat smoker and my husband and I went out and got one and now we have this awesome new hobby together. So glad you are sticking around!!

  260. Teresa says:

    I’m also a long-time reader but this is my first comment. I thank you for this blog. Your recipes are healthy comfort food that my family loves. This week has been a really tough one for my family where we were eating out like crazy and dealing with a lot of stuff. Yesterday, I came to your blog to cook one of the meals that I’ve made before and it gave me back some “normal”. It may seem that something like that can’t have a profound effect but it did. I feel like with that and a couple other things, I see the light at the end of the tunnel. Again, thank you for all you do!

  261. lauren says:

    I love that the favorites come from your kitchen to mine. u r really helping people care for themselves & their loved ones by sharing the goodness. aside from all the breakfasts & suppers I make each week, exclusively from your website. I recently posted your lunch box solutions inside a kitchen cabinet–not for kids’ lunches (they r college age & r home just for vacations) but for my husband’s. he works at least 6 days a week, & that nutritious, yummy lunch I pack each day makes all the difference. plus, your favorites at holiday time make shopping a breeze. I could go on & on; thank u for helping families…thank u for spreading joy~

  262. Jenn says:

    Mel – just had to comment as well. I don’t usually comment on blogs either but in fact, the few times I have commented on one have been on your site! I have been following you for the last 4 years or so since I found you on Pinterest and you are the only one that I come to regularly (99.9% of the time the only one I come to at all!). I absolutely LOVE reading your blog. Not only for the great recipes (and pictures!) but I love “listening” to you – I wish we were neighbors as well! Basically I agree with all the previous commenters: you are real and down to earth and we love reading about your family and seeing pictures and glimpses into your personal life of someone we can relate to on top of all the awesome recipes. You are very inspiring and always give me a smile when I read your post. I cannot even count the number of people I have told about your blog either, usually after eating something that I have made from your site. If I say “Mel” in my house, my husband and three kids know who I am talking about! LOL. I cannot even imagine how much work it is and know that your family has to come first. I wish you success in life, in whatever form you want it in, but to me, you are already successful. Thank you for all the hard work you do!

  263. meghan d says:

    Mel, you’re an absolute peach – vomit your feelings up any ole time. I love hearing about the lady behind all the fabulous, tried-and-true recipes (baby)!

  264. Kathy says:

    Mel, I don’t comment often on your blog but I’m going to comment now to say that I hope you keep on blogging for those of us who enjoy your honest, sweet posts and, most of all, the recipes that we can count on to be fabulous!!! You are my “go to” person when I need a recipe for something good (making your pie crust today!). God bless you for being an amazing blogger on top of the huge job of being a wife and mother. Love ya!

  265. Katrina says:

    Mel, it’s your realness that keeps me coming back. I can feel your sincerity in your posts. Thanks for all you do. I am glad that even though this blog takes so much of your time, that you put your family first! That makes your bog even better to me.

  266. Mel…what a great post! You know I love your blog and I wish I had discovered you at the beginning so I could have experienced this entire journey with you. I love the sincerity of your writing and the truly tried and true recipes that go with it. Yours is only one of a few that I follow consistently and it’s because the love for what you do and the honesty with which you present it shines through with every post. It really resonates with me. I now know what it takes to maintain a food blog and I’m nowhere near your level, so I know that you have far more than I have on my plate. I still don’t know how you do it with all the kids. And then you add in the extra things you do like grind your own flour and train to run marathons! I think you’re amazing on so many fronts, but the most important one to me is your heart and how you support others. I like to think that good things come to good people and I hope that good things keep coming your way πŸ™‚

  267. Cheme' says:

    Your blog has kept my family fed for years. I’ve never had a major fail and my family actually loves the stuff I have made. I don’t know how I would live without your recipes! Your site is the first place I go to when I need a dinner recipe. Thanks for being so awesome.

  268. Reenie says:

    First and foremost I want to thank you so very much for your time and talent. After reading all of the comments I agree wholeheartedly with them all. I am a bit sad to know you were blogging for so long and I had only found you about nine months ago. But what a nine months they have been. I open your emails immediately and go to only your site when a am looking for what to make,or take or bake! I even thought the other day that it is time to donate all of my cookbooks because it is here where I get my recipes. Last night for dinner I made your San Francisco pork chops, baked brown rice and green peas for dinner. I enlisted the help from my 4 and 2 year olds great-nephews. After dinner the 4 year old said “our dinner looked just like the picture!” When I was cleaning up he came running in to the kitchen exclaiming “look what I found!” He went to your site on his own and was looking for the next Mel’s recipe to make. You have another fan. Thank you for all you do!

  269. Linda says:

    Mel, I just want to say that I love your blog! It is my absolute favorite food blog – if I HAD to cancel all but one, YOUR BLOG would be my one! I love how real you are, and love that the recipes are real too. Real food that real people would look forward to eating. Thanks for sharing your heart with us. Have a blessed day.

  270. Sherry says:

    I wanted to chime in and say thank you, too. Almost all of my go-to recipes are from you. They have been since about 2009. Not only do I love your food, but in some weird cyber way, even though we have never met, I feel like you are one of my good, long-time friends. When my 3 little boys overwhelm me, I can escape by reading your blog and I always feel a little better. Like talking to an old friend. Err maybe I need to get out more. πŸ™‚ Anyway, thanks and keep it up!

  271. Rachel says:

    Thank you for all your hours of work! My whole family thanks you because 80 percent of what I cook come from
    here. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve told about your site and who now love it. thank you!

  272. Wendy says:

    Thank you for your blog! I’ve been following you for a few years now after finding you through thesisterscafe. I make your recipes almost daily. You are often the first source I turn to when deciding what to make. I don’t remember if I’ve ever commented, but I really appreciate the down to earth recipes you share and your fun sense of humor that comes through so well in your writing. I look forward to every one of your posts (emotionally filled or not). πŸ™‚ Thank you for the gifts of your time and talents. My family thanks you too! We love Mel!

  273. Misty says:

    Mel- the reasons you just stated are the very reasons this is my very favorite, hands down “go to” blog! I am a busy mom and I also love good food! I have tried hundreds of your recipes and the food is why I come back for more- your food is the food my family loves……and I don’t need a “cookbook” to make it!
    I say Thank you today for your time, talents and efforts with making your fans happy! You are amazing!
    Misty… Your Aunt Jeanette’s neighbor! πŸ™‚

  274. susanne says:

    Mel, my comments are similar to all of those above but I feel like I have to say it anyway. I too have been following you since Wisconsin. I faithfully read the blog and cook from the blog. Cooking has joy for me again because of this delightful blog.
    I have to furnish some meals this week for a friend who is sick. I will be making recipes from your blog because I know they will be delicious! I cannot begin to thank you enough, thank your family enough, for allowing you to do this.

  275. Zoomers says:

    Ok, I’m getting emotional just reading your post and all the lovely comments from people.. So you must be bawling your eyes out! I’ve only been around the past year or so but I recognized your blog as a gem the moment I laid eyes on it (further verified by all the amazing recipes I tried from you with nary a single fail!)If ever I want to impress my husband or my guests, straight to your blog I go. This is my first comment, I’m really not the commenting type *kicks rocks sheepishly*. I’m east African and have no tolerance for bland food..so I’m forever tweaking spice levels of every recipe I ever try..but not yours! So big thumbs up for that! I’ve shared many of your recipes with friends and my husband knows you as “that blog lady Mel” LOL, his stomach thanks u just as much as mine. From your carrot cake to your tuscan chicken pasta to your blueberry angel food cake trifle and beyond .. I even prepare shredded chicken using your method in every recipe that calls for it.. Man, your the best =’) ..and you have a brood of five–mostly boys? Koodos to you! You are highly appreciated for all that you do on here. Love your easy to navigate layout btw. Another reason why your my fave blog.

  276. Auntiepatch says:

    I can’t tell you how many of your recipes I’ve made and enjoyed. I have over 100 saved in Word that I can “tap” into when I need something special/yummy/fast. On behalf of those of us who have been with you for years, we thank you; for your time, your wit, and the window into your charming family. You invited us into your life and we are better for it. Again, thank you.

  277. Jodee says:

    Hey Mel, I want to add my ditto to all that has been said. You really are my go-to blog! It’s obvious you care about your readers and we really appreciate all the hours you put into this blog to help make our lives a little easier by helping us make delicious home cooked meals for our families. I respect you for always putting family first. I will always come here first for any recipe search and will continue to plan my meals around your blog for as long you desire to post all of your fantabulous finds!

  278. Becky says:

    I found your blog from a link on Pioneer Woman and now I visit your blog more than PW. (Don’t tell Ree!) Ha! I seriously consult your blog first if I’m looking for a recipe for something I’ve got in mind. Just Wednesday, I made your Sloppy Joes again. I’ve made so many of your recipes, I cannot keep them straight and more to try!

    My motto: So many recipes; so little time!

  279. Amanda says:

    I have been using your recipes for YEARS–starting back when you were My Kitchen CafΓ©. (And for a while, I couldn’t figure out what had happened to that wonderful blog where I got *insert delicious recipe name* from. It took me a bit to figure out that things had just morphed. I blame it on two major moves and baby #3 (from start to finish) happening within less than a year and a half.)

    ANYWAY–I absolutely LOVE how real this blog is. How you’ve kept your focus and, therefore, kept this blog so personal and relatable. There are actually quite a few food bloggers who have gone a more commercial route and I have stopped following them. I feel like they cannot relate to trying to get dinner on the table for a family of 7, while the baby is screaming and the other kids are underfoot. It seems they have forgotten what that feels like–but you have not. I always tell people that your recipes are manageable for a family in servings, ingredients, and time required.

    Thank you for being authentic and realistic. The world needs so much more of that! You are helping so many of us improve the ways we are able to serve (food-wise and otherwise) our families. Thanks for the hard work!

  280. Shannon says:

    I really enjoy your blog. And I prefer to read the blogs that are genuine and I feel like your blog is just that.

  281. Emily H. says:

    Mel, I have followed you since you lived in UT and I make at least one of your recipes every day. I love to cook and read a LOT of food blogs and you are my absolute favorite, hands down. I know everyone else has said this too, but the reason I love you so much is because your blog is just what you really love and feed to your family and not a giant advertisement. You seem like such a great, genuine, happy person as well, who is raising great kids. Plus, I won an ebelskiver pan from you a few years ago and my family still loves it, so you earn extra points in my book!

  282. Trisha says:

    And this is why I love your blog so so much. I love how real you are. I love all of your posts. I love how positive you are. I love your focus on family. Honestly, your blog has helped me get through some rough times too (as strange as that sounds) – there was a time I had very very little time to myself and things were super stressful. I really looked forward to Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays – the 5 minutes it took to look at your most recent blog post, dream that I had enough time to make all of your recipes. It left me feeling buoyed up and energized by your positive attitude and humor and then I could get back to all of the other most important things in my life with more energy. It was like my hobby to read your blog. πŸ™‚ Thank you so so much for everything you post and mostly for being who you are! I seriously wish we were neighbors. You are just that fun and real. πŸ™‚

  283. Karen O says:

    I love your blog and appreciate the time and dedication you give us. I know when I make one of your recipes, it will work. I look forward to reading your messages, browsing the recipe section and reading your most recent post. I am always looking for better recipes, or to update some old tired ones that I have. Your ideas are just what I am looking for. I have gone elsewhere and often times, the recipes don’t work. As a seasoned cook, I am in my sixties, I do not have time or money to make something that doesn’t come out right. I know what I am doing, so if it doesn’t work, I know something else was wrong. I hope you continue blogging for a long time to come. I will continue trying your “stuff” and pass on the ideas to others. Thanks

  284. Christine says:

    And we are so happy YOU are still around, Mel!!

  285. Miriam says:

    Mel, I do not comment on blogs but just wanted you to know that your post was heartfelt. Your blog with its unique humor, style, and simple but delicious recipes is fantastic. Your blog is one of 2 other blogs that I will not unsubscribe from even though other subscriptions come and go. I have no idea how much time it actually takes to run a blog, along with all the recipe testing, raising kids, etc. but sincerely hope you do not stop. Thank you very much for allowing us into your world of food and family!

  286. Robin says:

    Hi Mel, Since I looked for a curry recipe 2-3 years ago and found your blog and website I have been a subscriber. Yours is the only food blog I subscribe to. I don’t often comment but your blog is my go to site for recipes. I enjoy the fairly simple recipes, the good explanations, trusting that it will taste good and that you are a curry lover. I also enjoy your blog and read it even if I am not interested in the recipe because your enthusiasm and sense of humor shine through and it brightens my day. I know this whole comment is corny but through your blog, you make a positive difference in people’s lives. Thanks for what you do.

  287. Michelle says:

    Hi Mel!
    I found your little space, oh I don’t know, a few years ago perhaps. I rarely comment on any blog, as I’m usually clicking quickly as I get ready for work, or am rushing off to a meeting or commitment.
    I will say though I appreciate your frankness and especially those tried and true recipes! You’re like a breath of fresh air, void of the narcissism and overtly stylized messages that seem to dominate the web waves. Perfection is a pipe dream, and I thank you for just keeping it real.
    So, thank you, for saving me from meal disaster on more than several occasions (!) and for all the time and energy you devote to motivating those of us who are kitchen-challenged!
    Have a wonderful weekend with that beautiful family of yours!

  288. Mel! I am so glad you wrote this post. So, so glad. I’ve only been following your blog since, oh, 2012 or so, so I wasn’t even aware of some of the things you mentioned (cancer!), but I love this blog. I’d say 90% of the new recipes I try come from you. My husband, an equal-opportunity recipe guy, even comes here first when he’s looking for something new. We trust you. You are a household name around here.

    Anyway, I was so happy to read this post because a few weeks ago I stumbled upon the pinchofyum blog and was reading their posts about how much money they make from their blog and where it all comes from. And I couldn’t help but think of you and hope that you were making bank from your blog, too. And I wondered why you haven’t published a cookbook and why you’re so careful to not use affiliate links (much of the time) and why there isn’t more diverse monetizing efforts on your blog and why you aren’t keynote speaker at all kinds of blogging and cooking conferences. Because I love you and want you to make money and be “successful.” I even thought about sending you an email, but decided it’s none of my business, so thank you for sharing here. I totally understand that sometimes it’s all more work than it’s worth, and peace of mind is the most important thing.

    Anyway, super long comment, but know that you are loved and appreciated. And I don’t mind the affiliate links and sponsored posts and ads one bit, because I know they support my fave food blog! Keep doing what you do.

  289. Katie O says:

    Agree with everything said above, you have impeccable taste for what makes a good recipe and I trust your judgment on all recipes. Also wanted to add that I really appreciate the comments on your recipes and it’s one reason I like your blog above all other food blogs. Most commenters post when they’ve actually tried the recipe, with what worked and what didn’t. I appreciate not having to read through hundreds of comments just saying how good something looks, since I prefer to see what others think and have tried. So good job commenters! But it also speaks to you and the type of person you are and the type of people who follow your blog.

  290. You have spoken the words that need to be heard. I don’t read blogs that are nothing more than an ad campaign, filled with just enough fluff, coaxed out of a tired idea, to qualify as a post. Yes we all want our content to be read, because blogging is hard work. But some ideas and concepts don’t take hold with the public. That can be hard on the writer because it was still important to them. Every book written won’t be a best seller, and along that line, every blog written won’t be a hit. Because you have stayed true to your beginning ideal, you continue to improve and inspire. Thank you.

  291. Jennifer says:

    I am so grateful for you and the time you spend blogging. So many of your recipes have become staples at our house (spaghetti sauce, pulled pork, beef & broccoli). I always come to your site for new recipes and appreciate that it isn’t full of filler, but seriously good recipes interspersed with snapshots of your life.

  292. Sherri says:

    Mel, thank you so much for continuing your blog. I started reading 2-4 years ago (I’m not quite sure I remember when, but it was probably a referral from Pinterest). You have a great welcoming blog style, and your recipes are not intimidating. I know that when I make something of yours, it is guaranteed to be good! I also really appreciate that you don’t do filler posts and you hardly ever do sponsored posts. I almost ALWAYS check your blog first when I’m trying to find inspiration or a specific recipe. Thanks for all you do!

  293. Debi says:

    I have never commented on here either but I do come every single day for your recipes. The main reason I love this food blog is because you aren’t writing your fifth cookbook for money and you aren’t sponsored by a million companies. I used to go to “those” food blogs daily too but they are so into making money they no longer really care about those of us who are looking for better recipes and hearing about your beautiful family. Now I seldom get daily recipe emails from the other blogs because they’re just too busy with promotions and writing and selling cookbooks. I’m happy they’re successful if that’s what they want but I just want some simple recipes and you provide that for us so thank you for that.

  294. Pam Gordon says:

    Mel, you are a treasure!!! I’m not exaggerating when I say you’ve changed my world. I no longer fret about what to feed my family and friends. People actually think I’m a great cook now and it’s all because of you. You write so well that I, like most people who read your blog, consider you a close friend. What a talent. Don’t ever change!!!

  295. Mel, I know you already know this, but I’ve been following your blog since you lived in Wisconsin. I know the food is important, but your sweet personality is what originally kept me coming back. And when it comes to food, I’ve had such a high success rate with your recipes. I just can’t say the same about many other blogs. You inspired me to start my own blog, and I was immediately blown away by how much work is involved. You’ve always made it look so easy, Lol! I love blogging too though, so I understand. I hope you find the right balance for you and will always be in your corner. Thanks for all that you do, my friend!

  296. Leigh says:

    I enjoy your blog and am amazed at all the time and energy it takes to make a blog look so awesome. You are doing great and my family sure appreciates you sharing your tried-and-true.

  297. Laura says:

    Wonderful post! I love your blog and it is always the first place I look for a recipe. You have never let me down! My family has loved every recipe that I have made from your blog. Thank you so much for continuing to blog!

  298. Louise says:

    Hi! I can see by all your comments that I am not alone in feeling your a true inspiration and the bravery it took for you to put your feelings out there is both inspiring and eye opening to the “Whole Hearted blogger” you are and for all the right reasons. I am probably twice your age and look to your blog as one I would love to build not in food but in genuineness. Keep up the hard work and be proud because should you choose otherwise you would be missed!

  299. Melina says:

    I for one am so thankful that you blog(and my family is thankful too!;) Your site is my go-to place when a need a great recipe. THANK YOU and keep up the wonderful work you’re doing!!

  300. Alison says:

    Hi Mel,
    I just want to take the opportunity to say that I love your blog. Your writing always feels so personal that even though you’re writing for thousands I always feel like you’re talking just to me — like we are friends even though I live thousands of miles away and we’ve never met. I love your recipes and have made many of them, but sometimes I visit your blog more because I just feel like visiting with you and seeing what friendly, personal thing you’ve shared most recently, and this latest post is a perfect example of that. I enjoy the little window on your life replete with kids and chickens and cat and dog and cows. You’re giving a lot more to your fans than just good meal suggestions. Thank you for sticking with it!

  301. Becky says:

    I’m so glad you blog! You are my favorite food blogger by a long shot and I easily cook from your site more than any other. I also send people here all the time. And, yes, my family knows who Mel is, too πŸ™‚

    I feel like we should all pay Brian in cookies to take him from unpaid therapist to paid πŸ˜‰

  302. Kim says:

    Mel, I’m one who has been reading your blog for years now. There has never been one recipe of your that I’ve tried that we haven’t absolutely loved. Thanks so much for your hard work and your willingness to share with us.

  303. Kat says:

    I love your blog for this exact reason. Thanks for keeping this blog what it is. I love your amazing recipes and that everything is from scratch (I haven’t bought cream of anything soup in years and your green enchilada sauce tops anything you could find in a store). So many blogs now a days seem so business-y and fake. You keep it real and I don’t feel like I’m watching TV commercials. Thanks Mel! You rock

  304. Jill says:

    At the risk of sounding totally ungrateful, where is the post for those gorgeous S’mores cupcakes pictured at the top? You did say it was all about the food! (=

    Oh, and I do love your blog!

  305. Valerie A. H. says:

    Mel! Just wanted to say that I still love and read each post of yours. I not only love your food and posts like the one above, but I love you! Just sayin’!!!!! πŸ™‚ xo

  306. Megan says:

    You are incredible! Thank you for all the work you put into your website! You’re seriously my favorite food blogger ever.

  307. Gina says:

    You are amazing. Few people could accomplish what you do. You provide us with inspiration in the kitchen, and for life in general. Everyone needs to hear that they are wonderful and worthy every so often. You have inspired me to tell the people that I love and rely upon that they are awesome, too. Telepathic hugs and kisses from someone who relies upon you.

  308. Megan says:

    You are the best. If you hadn’t decided to start a blog so long ago, or stopped after a few years, I know the world would be missing out and my table would surely not have as many winners as it does. My very favorite recipes are from your site and I’m always amazed at how much you give to your blog, like the yellow cake that was tried over and over so many times. You are a good wife and mother and your posts brighten my day. I’m so happy I found you probably 7 1/2 years ago. I wish I could remember what I made first. I remember thinking I had died and gone to heaven when I tasted the whipped cream cheese frosting on your banana bars, though I’m sure that wasn’t the first thing I had made. Funny thing, with so many recipes, I had forgotten about that wonderful frosting until a few weeks ago. I digress, just wanted to say thanks for sharing your amazing recipes. Cooking is my favorite hobby, right next to peek a boo with my baby girl, and playing with my 3 boys, and you have helped me immensely. So many other sites have one or two awesome dishes but I love that I can trust literally everything on your site. Thank you for giving up so much of your free time, and I’m happy you found something that worked for you and you have made it work for you, and done so much more. You must be exhausted, so take a nap once in awhile! Thank you a million times over.

  309. Tami says:

    Yours are the recipes I keep coming back to — the ones my hubs loves and always requests. Keep on blogging. I don’t know about all the social media stuff because I don’t tweet, hashtag, instagram, facebook or any of that other stuff. I, too, like good food and love the people who share so I don’t have to recreate the wheel!

  310. I really enjoyed this post! Your blog is my go-to for recipes, since I know everything on here is amazing. I’ve especially gotten so many compliments on your chewy chocolate chip bars and the ginger chicken asparagus stir fry.

    Thank you so much for sharing all these wonderful recipes! Can’t wait to read more.

  311. Jenn A says:

    Thanks for sharing! I enjoy your blog and have read it ever since I first discovered it a few years ago. I have four boys (no girl to go with them-=) and I’m always looking for good, but not too complicated recipes. Your blog is one of my go-to places to find something good to feed my family. I so appreciate that! And your row of little people is beautiful – of course they are your top priority!

  312. Vida says:


    You hit it right on the head: it’s all about priorities, and yours seem to be just right. Kids and family first, then work. There’s nothing wrong with what you’re doing; on the contrary, everyone should be supportive of your goals. If you blogged rather than spent time with your kids, you know you’d be criticized about that, too, so there’s just no winning with some people. Those are the people whose comments you should always ignore.

    Honestly, I’m surprised you blog as often as you do; some bloggers (and ones that view blogging as a full-time, money-making job, not just for fun) don’t post more often than 1-2 times a week, so I think you’re totally fine. If you posted every day, I’d personally wonder if all of the recipes really were as good as you claimed, anyway.

    Keep up the good work!

  313. Helen says:

    Great post Mel!! I could write a comment equally as long as your post about why I read your blog and what it has done for me over the past few years… I promise I won’t. Just like so many of the other commenters here, I love that I feel like you are one of my dearest and closests friends and I often find myself, when reading a post, wishing we were neighbors. That’s what makes me … And … I’d say the majority of your readers keep coming back. Your blog/you make people feel ‘at home’. Your sincerity and ability to connect with your readers is unique and wonderful!!! Everything that you shared in this post is exactly why I’ve always thought you blog .. So it is coming thru in the day to day. I come here day after day (there is never a day that I don’t look at your blog for one reason or another) and as ‘cheesy’ as it sounds it makes my life better and it makes me better. Thanks for being who you are and for staying true to who you are.

  314. Lisa Rose says:

    I adore your blog!! I make “Mel’s” recipes multiple times a week and they are always wonderful! I am never afraid to make one of your recipes for the first time for company because I trust you so much. I love that you share little bits about you and your family, it makes me like you even more because you are so real and relatable. I don’t comment often but I LOVE your blog! Thank you, thank you, thank you for all your hard work to make cooking so much fun and enjoyable for me and my family!

  315. Ryan says:

    Thanks for sharing! I really enjoyed this post.

  316. Melissa G. says:

    After reading this post, like others, I wanted to thank you! I’ve been avidly following your blog for about a year, but haven’t commented before this. Thank you for your hard work! I’m typically on your website daily and get excited when I see one of your emails in my inbox. I’ve always been interested in cooking for my family in a wholesome way, but when my youngest was diagnosed with multiple severe food allergies over a year ago, I’ve have been forced to cook differently. I have to now be cognizant of every single ingredient that I use. This means that highly processed ingredients/products are a “no can do”. My greatest appreciation of your recipes is that you don’t include processed ingredients. Because of this many, many of your recipes I can adapt to meet my son’s allergy needs. This means so much to me! Also, even though you no longer live in the Mid-West, I still appreciate your mid-western values (I’m from Wisconsin). All of my “new” recipes come from your website and my husband will now ask if this is from Mel’s website. Two nights ago, I made your Cheesy Broccoli & Rice Casserole (with added chicken….great suggestion πŸ˜‰ and my 7 year old told me that it was the best thing that I had ever made!!! Anyway, this may be the longest comment ever but again I want you to know how much I appreciate what you do!!!!! Selfishly, I hope that you continue your blog for a long time, but trust that whatever God has in store for your future will be what’s best for you and your family.

  317. Margo says:

    I’ve only commented once before (on those delicious cheesy zucchini bites that constituted my 5-year-old son’s first willingly and happily ingested serving of vegetables in three years…literally), but I adore your blog. It has truly changed my relationship with my kitchen and my family’s relationship with meal times. I have always loved food and, before I had my kids, I really enjoyed cooking. But, learning to balance work, the baby/toddler years, and other obligations really overwhelmed me. I took a break from doing much real cooking for a couple of years. I knew that my kids would never learn to eat a varied, healthy diet if they were only ever served spaghetti and chicken nuggets, but I just couldn’t seem to fit real meal preparation into our lives. Your blog changed all of that. I found it a couple of years ago and I’ve been a menu-planning, cooking, baking machine ever since. Something about your posts just makes me want to get into the kitchen immediately. When I first found your site I spent hours and hours pouring over the archives, trying to decide what to make first. I’ve since tried many, many, many of your recipes — at least one or two every week — and I love them. So does my family. Even my 5-year-old picky-pants has tried and loved a few things that he definitely would not have tried without your blog. I love that most of your recipes are simple and straightforward, and that even those that are more complicated seem doable because of your careful, thorough instructions and, perhaps most importantly, your humor and encouragement. I love that I know that everything I try from your blog will be delicious before I even try it. I am tremendously grateful for all of the time, energy, planning, and hard work that you put into this blog. It is truly an act of service and I cannot thank you enough. Your blog has helped me provide my family with the foundation for what I hope will be a lifetime of healthy eating habits and the joy that comes from sharing real, delicious food with family and friends.

  318. Rayanne says:

    I’m so happy you blog. I’m not exaggerating when I say that your blog and recipes are what took cooking from a chore to a hobby for me. Almost everything I make comes from your site and my family is used to hearing me say “Mel says…” Or “It’s from Mel.” And they know who I’m talking about! My 7 year old said the other day, “You really like Mel don’t you?” Yes I do. So thanks. πŸ™‚

  319. Marisa says:


    I have been following your blog for several years. I appreciate the fact that when I go to your website my computer doesn’t freeze up because of all of the popups, adds, and videos. Your food is fantastic! My family’s #1 favorites are the banana bread, chocolate chip bars, and sweet & sour chicken. I know I can always come here when I need a great recipe. Thanks for all of your hard work!

  320. Mel with a Brian too says:

    Thanks for staying true to who you are Mel! I will follow you to the end but there never will be a true end because your recipes will continue to be made in my home even when the posts cease. You’ve made me a better cook and turned me into a baker, a darn good one at that. B

  321. Angela says:

    I started looking for recipes online after I made steak for my (then) boyfriend and he thought it was a pork chop… Wha wha. Now my aunts, uncles and cousins ask what I brought to family gatherings so they can get some before it is gone. I give credit to you! I know stuff about food. I make good food. I could not have done it without your help. Like so many others I am pretty confident we would be friends in real life (no really, we would). Thanks, Mel. Thanks for selflessly teaching and sharing. You have made mine and, clearly, Mr. Pork chop’s lives better.

  322. Michelle says:

    You’re awesome Mel! Thanks for all your hard work!!

  323. Amy Reeves says:

    As a loyal follower for years, can I just tell you THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart! I love your blog. Your blog taught me how to cook. I got married when I was 20, and had previously survived off of canned soup and cereal. I found your blog, and had this giant resource of recipes I knew would be amazing, and written by someone who I felt like was a friend! People comment all of the time now that I am a great cook, and I always laugh. Because I am still a clueless cook, but a clueless cook with Mel in my back pocket! I think you are so genuine and lovely and hilarious and I would love nothing more than to pull up a stool at your counter and chat and cook with you. Thank you for keeping up your blog and making me smile and making me fall in love with cooking. I’ve always been in love with eating, but now I can make all that delicious food myself. I want to be just like you when I grow up πŸ˜‰ So thank you again for this incredible labor of love you present to the world- It’s changed at least one life! (And tell all of the people who send you rude e-mails to go suck a pinecone)

  324. Kathi says:

    I love your blog, your recipes, and the way you write – I love it all. Many times, I tell my family “It’s one of Mel’s recipes” and they know it will be good. I am amazed at what you can accomplish with your family and all the critters around. I know your life will get busier as the kids grow and with all the activities they (and you) will be involved with. I selfishy hope you will continue your blog forever. As long as you blog, you’ll have followers who greatly appreciate your efforts. Thanks so much!

  325. Tiffany says:

    Along with others I love that this blog isn’t one big advertisement. Thank you for the time you put in. Family comes first so I hope you find a balance that YOU are happy with!

  326. Susan says:

    I’ve never commented here before, but want to add my thank you and appreciation of your blog. All the women in my family use your recipes! I love the way you write, it ususally makes me smile. My daughter has been cooking your recipes for 3 months trying something new each time and her family loves the results! I appreciate not having to fight advertisements as I’m reading your blog. Thank you and keep up the great work!

  327. Nancy C says:

    Love your blog! Thanks for all the hours you spending bringing to us a piece of your life and those great recipes. You are the first blog I think of when trying to get a menu together or
    ways to use certain ingredients. I know when I pick one of your recipes I can count on it to come out tasting fantastic. Please keep up the good work!

  328. Sandy T says:

    umm, I love the blog, and love this one. I love when people talk about hwy they blog…it gives me hope that maybe one day I can do it…when I have more time. I love your recipes also, but sometimes it’s nice to see the real person you know?
    Keep up the great work (with the blog and the family)!

  329. Mishele says:

    I am definitely in the ‘so many recipes, so little time’ class. But what good are all of the recipes, all of the cooking, and all of the eating if you’re not connecting with others at the same time? No one wants to cook and eat alone! So, for what it’s worth, I really appreciate the personal stuff and the opportunity to get to connect with you.

  330. Karen says:

    I absolutely love your blog! I have followed it for so many years, I don’t know when I first saw it. Thanks for all the great recipes (you are the first place I go to). Thanks Mel!!

  331. Heather says:

    Nope, you’re not the only one that still has a family blog. πŸ™‚ My sister kept sharing recipes that she’d found from your site, and then my aunt kept talking about you, and now I refer to you like I’ve known you for years. Thanks for sharing good food with all of us!

  332. Melody says:

    I am so glad I found your blog six or seven years ago! I remember the My Kitchen Cafe! I’ve made several recipes for here, some many times like the Classic Oatmeal Cookies, which I love…but not this time as I put way too much salt in them accidentally! It didn’t stop me from eating two, though. I had to “test” them to make sure I wasn’t imagining. Keep up the great work and we won’t begrudge you a few days rest!

  333. Emily Archibald says:

    Thanks for sharing! I totally feel like I need to give the reasons I blog just on my little family blog all the time. I think I worry that people will judge me like I judge them. But I’ve never judged you. I really love your style and pretty much all the meals I make come from you because you get me through the dinner planning slumps! Keep it up, girl! You rock!

  334. Sharon says:

    Dear Mel,
    I’ve read this blog for many years, but have never commented. However, I’m always impressed by your easy writing style, your sweet family, and of course your perfect recipes. I’m long past the time of having my 3 little ones around; they are all grown-ups! But you remind me of how I *tried* to be as a young stay-home mom. πŸ™‚ <3
    Although I eat a plant-based diet, I still come to your blog first, and save lots of your recipes. Many have become my favorites and some I go back to very often, like those perfect pancakes and hearty chili. Your chocolate caramel pecan pie was the absolute hit of last Thanksgiving!
    I admire your decisions about why you blog. That is the reason so many people are drawn to this place, and you have created a perfect environment that not only shares good good food, but fosters that sense of community. As you certainly know, making money is far from the most important thing in our lives, and you will look back on this time and be thankful that you realize it now.
    I hope you continue to prioritize your family first, and are able to squeeze in time for the blogging that you love. Your writing stands out above the rest of the blogs I read, and you are so generous to share your cooking and writing talents, and your sweet personality, with the world.
    Thank you for giving the time to create Mel's Kitchen Cafe!
    Sharon Pinder

  335. Stephanie says:

    Thanks for sharing the story about why you blog. I have to tell you, we love your recipes! I’d say about 80% of our meals are from you. Your blog is always the first my husband and I check when looking for a new meal for dinner or to take to a potluck. I also enjoy your special posts containing how-to videos and product recommendations. Your blog is perfect, and I can’t think of a thing to change or add! Thanks for all of your hard work to provide such awesome recipes for your readers!

  336. Laurel says:

    I totally remember those beginning labels (those chocolate PB cookies are so good) it’s amazing, it doesn’t even feel that long to me. You know what they say, time goes quick when you’re having fun with those you love. I used to wake up and read 8+ blogs almost everyday. I don’t read anything but you anymore. I just became so sick of “mix cool whip with jello packets and call it good” recipes all so they could get more money from sponsors. Mel keeps it real. That’s what I want. Real. Recipes that are good for my family. You took us from baked chicken covered in a cream of something sauce to all from scratch quick and oh so delicious healthy meals. I’ll never be able to repay you for changing our eating habits and getting my boys to eat good for you foods. thanks a million. You are incredible.

  337. Jill says:

    I sure appreciate all the time you put into blogging! Yours is always the one I read first. I love your down to earth recipes. Btw. If you haven’t made the grandma pizza from cook’s country, you must asap!!

  338. Loretta says:

    You’re known around here as my cooking BFF Mel. My whole family knows you, and we all love your fabulous recipes. Thank you for the incredible amount of work you put into this fun, educational, inspiring blog. You help me help my family, and I am very grateful.

  339. Maria D. says:

    Thanks for sharing the “blogger” behind the blog – I think it’s really good for the the blog readers and the blogger to connect in this fashion – let’s us know why you blog and also reminds you why you blog…lol…if that makes sense…anyway …you have a lovely family and while I’m not a big commentator on the blog itself..I do read the posts on an almost daily basis – love to look at what works for you in the kitchen and what doesn’t

  340. Monique says:

    I just found you this year..cookies for my grandsons;)

    You have a BEAUTIFUL family..those Littles are adorable..
    Keep doing what you are doing..it’s wonderful.

  341. Stacy Cardon says:

    Hi Mel. I’ve followed you for years and years and just have to tell you thank you for making my job as a mom and a food lover so much better! I always know if it’s a recipe you’ve recommended, it will be awesome. I have a great trust for your taste and advice! Thanks for sharing your time, energy, and sanity on our behalf!

  342. Shar says:

    Oh yeah, I remember at least one of your old blog headers! I don’t always comment, but I am here everyday to read your blog & check out your recipes. And I am sooo thankful you share them! I found your blog when I decided to start cooking “clean”–using less processed stuff, like cream of anything soup. I liked what I tried from your recipe stash–it was easy & really good food, and you explained everything so well. I can’t tell you how many of your recipes have become part of OUR family, or how many people who have asked for MY recipe and I direct them to your site. You are my go-to source for any food (take that Betty Crocker!) You are amazing!

  343. Jen T says:

    This was wonderful! Thank you Mel! We love your food so much! We seriously make something of yours almost every day for one meal or dessert or something else. You are a well known name in our family and loved for your delicious food you share. Thank you! You may remember my teenage girl wrote a short English paper about your blog. You mean a lot to our family even though we don’t personally “know” you, but thanks for all you do and for keeping it real and for keeping it the way you want, not what other people think. You truly are a rock star in my book!!!!

  344. Liz says:

    Another huge fan of MKC and you – I feel like I know you and your family and I so appreciate you sharing some of yourself and them.

    MKC is the only blog in my feed reader … all the others have worn out on me and taking a peek on occasion most reminds me why it is MKC that I love!

    And, I have learned so much … me an almost 60 year young scratch cook, i.e. you can teach and old dog … πŸ™‚ !!! Although a fairly new (maybe 2 years) ready, I have gone back and read all of your flour and bread posts and cried for joy the first time I made the fluffy dinner rolls and found the roll/bun recipe of my dreams.

    I know at some point you might choose to cut back or stop so I am grateful every time I see a new recipe. Personally, I am NOT a cookbook fan and would prefer getting recipes online. I do click through on ads of interest – I know that generates the most and I do hope your advertising is adding some $$ to your time investment.

    Thank you for everything!

  345. kayla says:

    Love this post, and am so thankful you choose to keep blogging! Like other commenters, your blog is one I check daily (though, I do save it for last because you set the bar too high for the others!) and can ALWAYS count on for fabulous recipes. When in doubt I always check your recipes for something I need to make for a party or a potluck. Without fail, even if I’ve never made the recipe before, it’s always a hit! (example: tricolor pasta salad-people hadn’t even finished before asking me for the recipe!) Your recipes are staples in our house and I’m so, so thankful that you share them with the internet world! πŸ™‚ You’ve definitely stayed true to your brand story of “tried-and-true” recipes; each time I read a post I feel like you’re sharing a treasured family recipe and we’re being let in on a family secret.
    Also, this may sound weird, but I’ve often told my husband I wish I could text you for advice on what to bring to a party or family gathering! πŸ™‚ Thanks for all you do and for staying true to yourself! We love ya, Mel!

  346. Haley Oakes says:

    You are my very favorite food blogger. Thanks for all of your work and for teaching me so much! I love that you’re all about the food.

  347. Colleen says:

    Mel, I regularly look at maybe 15 recipes blogs almost every day. Yours is one of my two favorites–I like the look, I like the way you write, and I like your recipes. I routinely copy recipes from your blog and my other favorite and very, very few from the others. One thing I like about your blog is that it is so uncluttered! With the others, the blog and recipes get lost among the blaring and glaring advertisements. Thank you!!

  348. Emily says:

    You are the stinking cutest, funniest, most adorable blogger on the planet. I’ve followed your blog for years and laugh with my husband (fellow unpaid therapist) about how hilarious it is that you can convince me to make recipes with ingredients that I don’t even like because when I do I’m never disappointed. Your recipes, tips, advice, wit, humor and personality keep me coming back for more and my growing family and I so appreciate all that you do. Bless your heart sweet Mel. Thank you so very much!

  349. Katrina says:

    Mel….I love your blog and always have. I use so many recipes and look forward to looking at your site! I don’t know what I would do without your entertaining view on food and the recipes of course! I actually do a family blog!! It is private though. No one else sees it at all. I end up printing it into a family journal. I don’t scrapbook!! I also don’t do any social media. I probably sound like a pioneer in this day!! It just isn’t me!! Just want to let you know that you are good to run this blog however it makes you happy!! I am certain there are many readers who would agree! Thanks Mel!!

  350. Sandra says:

    That is why I LOVE your blog. I know I’m not going to get a filler recipe. I’m only going to get something that is really enjoyed by your family, which is like my family full of young picky eaters and a sometimes picky husband. You do what I wish I could do, try new foods, prefect them and then organize them. But since you are doing it so well, I’ll just keep enjoying your blog and hopefully someday cookbook!

  351. Jackie says:

    Love you Mel! Love you for “your sincerity and realness” and for your absolutely amazing food! You are as kind in real life as you seem on your blog too. thanks for all you do! And that day I saw you in Costco, my husband was shocked I said hello to you, I’m usually pretty quiet. I told him he should have been the one to say hello and give you a hug though. He owes you big time! He has gained a lot of weight since I my sweet sister-in-law introduced me to your blog around 5 yrs ago!

  352. Ashlee T says:

    Mel this was an awesome post! If you lived next door Id bring you something delicious! Thanks for being real! I love real! I have a feeling if we lived closer, we’d be buds. And ps.. Your homemade bread recipe is the only on right can make that turns out eatable! Thanks for a sweet post!!! Have a lovely day!

  353. Linda says:

    I love your blog! I love your cooking! Your blog is my old faithful friend. Even if you post a recipe that I know my family would not care for, I still read about it because it is a part of you and I think you are pretty cool! I love your humor. One thing you have done periodically is to bring back forgotten recipes. I like seeing again things I have forgotten about. Thanks Mel for this blog, for not quitting, and I look forward to the next great recipe.

  354. Monica says:

    Great post! I’ve only discovered your blog pretty recently but I can feel the sincerity straight off and I’ve tried a few recipes and enjoyed them immensely. So thank you for doing what you do. It’s great that you are staying true to your roots and being you. I tell you – it surely does come across loud and clear. Thank you for sharing your awesome recipes. It’s amazing you’ve kept on blogging with all your family responsibilities and things that have happened in your life. I just wish you joy and lots of great meals around the table with your loved ones.

  355. Sheila H. says:

    I cook at least one of your recipes per week and when my daughter moved out and wanted recipes, I directed her to your blog. My whole family knows who “Mel” is. Your posts are not filled with affiliate links and they make me laugh and cry (and want to run). I hope that we bring happiness and motivation to your life because that is what you do for us.

  356. Debbie A says:

    Thank you Mel for keeping MKC you. We have never met but I feel we would be the best of friends. Thank you for the long hours you put in all the while raising a family; you are a great teacher. I have been with you a few years now and have never been disappointed in any of your recipes. If I am looking for something specific I go to you and I know I will find what I am looking for. Keep up the great work, I simply love you like a sister.

  357. Melissa B says:

    Love this, love you (I don’t even really know you) & I adore this blog. Keep up the good work!

  358. Carissa says:

    I soooo appreciate your blog! My coworker and I talk about it several times a week (referring to you like we know you), sharing our favorite recipes. 80% of my weekly menus are based off of your recipes, and I get compliments on my food all the time. Your blog makes me look good. πŸ™‚

  359. Jennifer says:

    I love this post and this is why I love your blog! I have been a faithful reader and Mel’s recipe maker for 7 years! Your blog is the only one I am subscribed to, it’s the one I check first. I love that you don’t advertise, I love that you are real, I love that your recipes ROCK and I know they will when I try them! I love that you have encouraged me to cook with my own kids and branch out with my cooking. Your posts about cooking are so informative and have helped me immensely over the years. I am so grateful for all the hard work you put into this blog. Thank You!

  360. Jennifer says:

    I think this is one of my favourite posts ever. The food around here is always amazing, but thanks for sharing your heart!

  361. Heather bell says:

    We’ll I’m happy you do virtual friend and so is my film bc you save dinner a few times a week. I’ve had a writing blog for a long time and not even sure how many views it gets but it really is about the writing, not the likes:) and yes I still have a family blog that will someday be turned into a book. Lol keep at it! And when/if you ever want
    To have a cookbook deal, Julianne and I will be at your Midwest meet and greet:) (I’ll force her to leave her awesome new house)

  362. Katie says:

    This is why you are my #1, most favoritest blogger ever! You are genuine and real and I love the recipes you post and the kind and humorous personality that bubbles through all of your writing! I’ve tried so many of your recipes that sometimes I feel like a broken record as I brag about you and recommend you to so many friends and family. As a mom of 5 myself, I can’t believe the amount of time you put into this blog and still manage to be the amazing mother that you are. You amaze me! Keep up the good work and know how much you are appreciated by me and my little family as we enjoy all of your fabulous recipes!

  363. Catherine says:

    Love you, Mel! Like you said, blogs come and go. I used to have a mile-long list of blogs to check, but now I have two, and yours is top of that short list! Anytime I want to make something new, I always check with you first. If you have a recipe for it, I know it will be great!

    And I love the personal posts! They feed my little fantasy that I actually know you and we are friends in real life! πŸ™‚

  364. Carlie says:

    I am OBSESSED with this blog and I honestly don’t bother looking at others for food. And anytime I make an awesome recipe anyone who knows me will ask “Is that a Mel’s recipe?” Why yes. Yes it is.

  365. Cara says:

    And this, my friend, is why we love you so. Although I say go for all the opportunities, lol!! I’m with ya though, I have never wanted my blog to become a “job”, I just do it so I can remember all the crazy!

  366. Tina says:

    I love how real you are here. Some blogs feel like they are trying to hard or it’s all promoting this product and the othe gadget, or their books. I’m all about the food!

    I’ve thought about food blogging but it almost feels like I’m too late to the party?

  367. Lisa says:

    HI! I discovered your blog about two years ago and I check it daily every since. I’ve always had a passion for baking and cooking but your blog helped me take it to a whole other level! I’ve learned to bake bread, rolls, cinnamon rolls, creme brulee, ice cream and how and why they all work (and when they don’t why they didn’t work). It’s given me a tremendous amount of confidence and sense of adventure. Thank you for continuing to share your recipes but most of all your WISDOM with all of us! PS – I’ve passed on the link to your spaghetti pie to countless friends, family and co-workers! You’re awesome and we are all very grateful to you!

  368. Lindsay says:

    Ready for the longest comment ever? Thank you so, so much for all the hard work you put into your blog! I’ve read it religiously for over 3 years now and don’t express my thanks nearly enough. I mean it when I say you have changed the way I feel about cooking. I have always loved to bake (and actually found your blog via your oatmeal coconut chewies, which are still my favorite cookie!), but I didn’t used to like to cook, and wasn’t very good at it. You’ve helped me branch out from ward cookbook casseroles, and my family thanks you! πŸ˜‰ And of course you’ve also added tons of amazing new baking recipes to my recipe box. I am amazed when I leave a comment or email a question that you actually get back to me at all, and quickly too! I check your blog every morning, and cook from it several times a week. I would probably be embarrassed to know how many page views per month come from me! I’ve introduced my sister and best friend to your blog, and they use your recipes all the time, too. We always say things like, “Oh I’m sure Mel has a good recipe for that.” πŸ™‚ I find you so relatable since we’re in a similar stage of life with young busy families, and you’re funny, too. I joke with my husband about “My friend Mel,” but I do kind of think we’d be friends in real life. I am a fellow perfectionist and overachiever, and running is my favorite hobby. Anyway, I wasn’t joking about the longest comment ever! Thanks again for all your hard work and delicious food, all the way from Alberta, Canada!

  369. Jennifer Agle says:

    I held my breath through the entire post…thinking…”Please don’t say you’re done with blogging!” Whew, I’m so relieved and grateful for ALL of your efforts! I LOVE every recipe…haven’t found one that we didn’t love…and tell everyone I know about your blog! Thank you for the hours spent helping others be better in the kitchen!

    • Jacquie says:

      I was thinking the same thing…phew! I also love your blog. Every recipe I’ve tried from you has been a hit with my friends and family! Thanks for being real and sharing your love for food and family!

  370. Rachael says:

    Your blog is the absolute best! I’ve discontinued following lots of other food blogs but I will always read yours faithfully. I love your recipes and your down-to-earth and friendly way of writing…but I do wish (for your sake) that you could get more out of those 40-50 hours a week other than the undying admiration of far-flung strangers! Here’s hoping that someday you will find a way to monetize it that feels right to you and that helps you stay true to what you want from your blog.

  371. Feliica says:

    Thank you so much for keeping up your blog! I have been a regular reader for about 6 years. Your recipes helped motivate me to be more experimental in my cooking and further my skills in the kitchen. I know blogging takes a lot of time and effort, but thanks so much for doing it!

  372. Kim in MD says:

    Oh, Mel- what a sweet, honest and heartfelt post! Your blog is my absolute favorite food blog, and I have been a follower for most of your eight blogging years. I have always admired that you take the time to share your amazing recipes with the world, especially with your busy life! Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the time and effort you put into this beautiful blog. Selfishly, I hope you continue to blog for many years to come, and if you decide to write a cookbook I would be thrilled to add it to my collection!

  373. sarita says:

    Hands down my favorite cooking blog. You have helped my family eat more healthy, “real” food, and have been very instrumental in giving me a lot of confidence in the kitchen. You are so great, and one day I would like to hear more about your bout with cancer. I have my own little cancer experience and finding out that you had one too just makes me realize that we are totally kindred spirits :). Thanks for everything, Mel!

  374. April says:

    I’ve never commented on any blog before, but I wanted to finally thank you for posting fantastic, never-fail recipes – and doing it with a fun sense of humor. Nearly every time I tell a family member about a great new recipe I’ve tried, they know it came from your blog without even asking. (Your grilled steak and veggie kabobs are an extended family favorite!) Thanks again for sharing your hard work with us – please keep on doing what makes you happy!

  375. Raquel says:

    I love your blog. It is by far my favorite food blog, mostly because the recipes turn out so well when I make them almost every single time. I have not found that to be true with very many other food blogs. I also love reading your posts. There is not another food blog that I’ve visited with such great writing. You are very funny. Not only that, but I really like posts like this one, too. I enjoy hearing personal things from your heart. Is that weird? I hope not. I guess what I’m saying is that I come here for the full package…great recipes, great writing, and a glimpse into the family that we all feel like we know and love. Thank you for enduring the miserable parts of blogging and putting in so much of your time and effort to keep on sharing your tried and true recipes with all of us. We love you, your family, and your recipes.

  376. Keri says:

    I occasionally check other blogs but yours is the only one that I LOVE and the only one with consistently great recipes. Do you think you will ever share your story about cancer?

  377. Holly says:

    I really appreciate all your fabulous recipes! But, more than that I appreciate your down-to-earth, witty writing and your updates on your lovely family. I’ve read your blog for years and turn to you daily for the best recipes to use to feed my own family. And (should I admit this) I have actually had dreams that you moved next door and we were best friends. That would be awesome!

  378. Katie says:

    I love your blog! Thank you for blogging and your awesome recipes. So many of your recipes are now family favorites in our house.

  379. Lissa says:

    I love this! I follow/have followed a handful of other food blogs, but yours is by far my favorite. I use more recipes from you than anywhere else. I love the genuine feel of your blog. I find myself rolling my eyes/feeling irritated with some of the other blogs just because they feel so fake and trite. Yours is real and personal and wonderful! Keep up the good work and know that you are appreciated for being exactly how you are.

  380. Katie P. says:

    I’ve never commented before either, but I just wanted to say that your authenticity is one of the reasons I LOVE your blog! I’ve been paring down the number of blogs I read as they seem to be more and more just one long advertisement, but I have never gotten that sense from yours. I absolutely love every recipe of yours I’ve tried! Thanks for blogging!

  381. Kelly says:

    I, for one, am so happy that you blog! I love that you are always kind and never snarky to your readers. I love the tips and tricks you provide. I love that you use reasonable ingredients, and that your recipes are family friendly and relatively healthy. I use your blog as my go-to resource when I’m looking for a recipe (I know I can always trust a recipe if it comes from MKC or ATK!). So many of your recipes are staples in our house, I can’t imagine my life without them! I appreciate all of the work you put into the blog. Thank you πŸ™‚

  382. Jenn W says:

    Thank you!

  383. S.P.Bowers says:

    While I would totally buy a cookbook from you, you need to do what’s best for you. You need to find your bliss and what makes you, and your family, happy. There’s a time and a place for everything and if you’re enjoying the now, then you’re doing better than most of the people in this world so kudos to you. And I still have a family blog πŸ™‚

  384. Carolyn Stutz says:

    LOL – I came here today to find a bread recipe that I’m just sure you have because well, where else will I find it??
    I can’t tell you how many of your recipes are printed off, sitting in a pretty binder, and used frequently. AND I’ve shared quite a few with my 22-year-old son who lives far, far away from me. He’s a great cook and enjoys all the recipes I share with him.
    I can’t imagine the amount of time you put into baking, cooking, taking pictures, and posting. I love to cook and bake, but clearly not enough to put in those kind of hours. I admire you for all you do.
    You’re incredibly friendly and funny, not to mention beautiful inside and out.
    Thank you for all you do πŸ™‚
    p.s. now I can go look for that recipe…

  385. Christine B says:

    You have so much heart (and of course, AWESOME recipes!) This is why your blog is my favorite cooking blog. God bless you and your family!

  386. Susan says:

    Like the other commenters, I have to say that your website is one of the first places I check every day. I’ve made so many of your recipes and they all turn out fabulous – never a complaint! It boggles my mind that you can do this with five kids but please keep doing what you’re doing – my kitchen table would miss you if you were gone!

  387. Rachael says:

    I’ve never commented before, but THANK YOU! Love, love, love your blog

  388. dmc4042 says:

    I check your blog every single day and use so many of your recipes. I’ve never had one fail or turn out weird. I do suck at leaving comments though so I’ll try to do better with that. The amount of work you put in to your blog is quite evident and if I’m going to participate in the bounty I need to do a better job expressing my appreciation! Thank you for holding firm to your beliefs and principles and not veering towards the bright shiny objects that are project promotion or over the top social media stuff. Your blog reflects you and that is what makes it such a gem. Thank you again.
    San Antonio, TX

  389. Whit says:

    Normally I’m just here for the food, but this was completely worth some extra reading. πŸ˜‰ Thanks for all of your hard work!

  390. Trish says:

    I’m so happy you’re still around! I love your blog and recipes, and I feel like I know you! Thank you so much for all of your hard work and fabulous recipes! I still don’t know how you do it, but I’m glad you do. You’re my go-to gal, and I’m never disappointed!

  391. Lady Susan says:

    Thank you for being one of the last few blogs that isn’t just a cleverly disguised ad. The genuine nature of your blog is one of the reasons I come back to it every day and check it each time I am creating the week’s menu plan. Thank you for all the hard work you put into this little place on the internet. I am not joking that to see it go would be nothing short of tragic.

  392. Amy says:

    I have never left a comment before on your blog but want to ‘share some love’. I am an avoid reader of your blog. I read a lot of cooking blogs and I am convinced your recipes are the best for my growing busy family. Your realistic approach to life and cooking is super helpful. Thank you for all you do!

  393. Melissa says:

    Love this “non recipe” post! I’ve started and quit so many blogs it’s not funny. And my current one I never post anything good on. My family blog by the way hasn’t been updated in almost 2 years(since my son was born which would be a good reason to have the family blog, lol). Thanks for posting all those awesome recipes! This is always my go to site when I need to make a special treat, or need a supper idea. I’m glad you never quit(don’t ever fire your therapist!) and hope you never do!!

  394. Allison C says:

    Great blog post. I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and I really enjoy all of your posts and recipes. Thanks for everything and I’m looking forward to reading your blog posts in the future!

  395. Jared says:

    Love this post, and love your blog. I appreciate all the countless hours you dedicate to this great blog it is much appreciated! We all love Mel in our house!

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