It never ceases to amaze me the sweetness that can exist between brother and sister when they don’t think I’m looking. Now, if only I could witness this between brother and brother. I’d probably pass out.

It is moments like this that keep me grounded and help me keep my perspective. Am I the only one that struggles with this? The ongoing balance of life?

I am so very grateful for this space of mine. This blog. It (and many of you!) have been a part of my life for over 5 1/2 years, which is a long time in blog-speak. But the challenge of balancing blogging with all the other things running through my reality keeps me hopping. No different from any of you managing family and jobs and well, life. It seems that at times the balance comes easily, other times not so much.

So, so much has changed in the food blogging world since I started out 5 1/2 years ago. First and foremost, what used to be a blog that only my mom looked at (hi, mom) has now grown into a spot visited by millions of visitors each month. Kind of knocks me flat when I think of it. What started as a fun little hobby has now turned into a wonderful work-from-home business. It used to be that snapping a quick picture and throwing it up on the web insisting people make it immediately was all it took to share a great recipe. Now, it seems the blogging pressures of the current day are to have the most Facebook followers,Β most pins, most ad revenue, most food props, most witty writing, most beautiful pictures, most sponsors, most traffic, most step-by-step pictures, most everything. While those aren’t necessarily bad things (some would argue they are changes for the greater good), it still makes me want to run far, far away sometimes. It’s hard not to get caught up in all the drama and noise of blogging, not to mention the competition that leaves me questioning my blogging self-worth (I mean, really, gag! Let’s talk about some real problems here!).

But honestly, stick with me here, my whole point in sharing this is that as I look back over the last nearly-six years, I realize that even though times are changing around me, I am still grounded by the same purpose I had when I posted for the first time ever back in December in 2007:Β to share tried-and-true recipes, baby. If that ends up leaving me behind in the swirling dust of the blogosphere, then so be it.

When I get burdened down by the cumbersome pressure of blog/life balance, all it takes is seeing a picture with the intense sweetness like the one above to remind me that at the end of the day, I am a mother first and a blogger second…or more realistically 3rd or 4th or 11th when all the other non-compensated roles come into play. And I really wouldn’t have it any other way. The minute I feel my rowdy, little family needs more mom and less blogger or if I lose sight of my goal (the one where I share recipes that rock my world with you), well, then, that’s when I’ll be calling it quits (not as a mother, as a blogger…jeez!). For now? It’s all about the food! And if anything other than sibling tenderness can restore balance in my life, it is food (dark chocolate food, in particular).

Thanks for listening. Love your guts.

If you’d like to check out past Snapshot Saturdays, click HERE.

186 Responses to Snapshot Saturday: Why I Keep Blogging Even When I Feel Like I Should Quit

  1. Barb Heersink says:

    I hope that you will continue to blog! I have shared your blog with my daughter-in-law because she will never go wrong with your tried and true recipes, and video tutorials. I wish I had had that when I was first married. Lord knows I could have used it, but back in those days we didn’t have computers.

  2. Carolee says:

    I have recently discovered Your blog and it is one of the few food blogs I frequent! And it’s not b/c of the best pics or step by steps or whatever (though you do a fab job with all that too). It’s because of your wonderful, easy, normal (not made with ingredients I have never heard of), delicious recipes! I love it! And so does my family! Thank you!

  3. Kristyn says:


    I LOVE your blog! I have learned how to cook from this site and cook 90% of my family meals from here. Thank you for sharing your amazing talent with the world.

  4. Alicia says:

    Mel! I discovered your blog 2 days ago after putting my 3 month old down for the night……I was searching for recipes to try while on mat leave so I could have an arsenal of tried-and-true family favourites when I return to work in 9 months. Well, let’s just say that I got to bed no earlier than 2am that night not because I was up with my darling 3 month old, but because I started pinning EVERY SINGLE recipe! I have made no less than 4 of your recipes in the past 24 hours and spent every minute either cooking or pinning to my Pinterest boards (all while my little one was nursing, sleeping or amusing herself in her bouncy seat next to me!). Needless to say, I have found my go-to site for everything……i love how witty you are, how you utilize ingredients I already have in my cupboards, and how you obviously value cooking from scratch with real ingredients and fresh produce. You are a life-saver! I am now confident that when I do return to work I will be able to tackle the “what the h*** am i going to make for supper” dilemma head-on. As for taking time with your family, you need to do what feels right for you……..whether that means continuing to post almost daily or reducing that to weekly or even monthly. Your loyal followers will understand……I can tell from reading the comments that they all value their families above all (by wanting to put real food on their tables) just as you do and that is what led them to your blog in the first place. Best of luck in all of your endeavours! A new loyal follower from Nova Scotia!

  5. Rachel says:

    I love how real you are! And I love your perspective on motherhood. I love your food and now that I’m 8 months into the gluten free/ paleo type cooking, I can finally modify your recipes for my Family with allergies. I’m sort excited to trio your quinoa cake!

  6. Abbe says:

    I’m a new(ish) food blogger and have been learning my own lessons this past year and they are similar to yours. I find the blogs that beg for *likes* and *pins* and *followers* are off putting and fake. I absolutely love popping in here, it feels like a lovely natural space with enticing recipes and honest writing. Don’t ever chnage what you’re doing. It’s perfect as it is.

  7. Rachael I says:

    Mel, I adore your blog! I am so grateful that you are an avid blogger of only the best recipes! I got married in August of 2008 and I have been a huge follower since then because I feel the need to impress with my cooking-ha ha! I have never had anything from your blog fail me and I love having that trust in your recipes. I know that when I’m in a pinch for a ward or company party, I can pull up your blog and something will speak to me. I always get the greatest reviews and I am not shy in saying where I got my recipe from. Thanks for the great arsenal of recipes-I look forward to many more!

  8. Katelyn says:

    We love your recipes at our house! I pretty much solely use your website to menu plan and my family and friends go crazy for your food. Your name is so common in my kitchen that when my husband asks what recipe I used all I have to say is, “Mel’s” and he knows exactly who I’m talking about! Thank you again and again for the countless amazing meals!

  9. Shanna says:

    I soooo appreciate all the time you take to do your posts. I read your blog consistantly and truly am grateful for all your insights, recipes, and hints!

  10. Eliza says:

    So glad you keep blogging! It’s my favorite blog! I am on this site WAY more than any others and my family ALWAYS loves your recipes! Your blog comes up over dinner usually a couple nights a week, at least (b/c our dinner usually comes from your site)! You are very talented! Your website is the ONLY recipe site that the recipes turn out for me every time! Thank you!

  11. Jen B says:

    I never comment on blogs/websites like this but I thought I’d give you a quick shout out to say how much we love your recipes. All of our favorites are from you and you are our go to recipe site. Thank you so much for all your work on this! I only have 3 little boys and couldn’t imagine keeping up a blog in the midst of all the craziness.

  12. Atzimba says:

    Oh Melanie! This blog is the best kept secret. But I tell all my friends about it, I cook brown rice your way ALL the time, your baked pasta is a family favorite. That cake with cream cheese and peaches is a winner. Perfect corn on the cob every time. Your recipe for burgers is my favorite. We had a neighborhood cookout the other day and the burgers were stellar. And even today my dear friend was talking to me about chocolate chip cookies and refered her to your blog for added info on your recent experiments.
    So THANK YOU, for keeping it real, simple, and super delicious!

  13. Kensi says:

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog! I tell everyone about it! And your food blog is the ONLY food blog that I read! Your blog is the best, with the BEST recipes so why waste time looking at anyone else’s? I can’t imagine how busy you must be trying to balance it all but I sincerely appreciate it! My family owes you for all of the delicious homemade meals that grace our table. Thanks for the hard work you put into this Mel!!

  14. Laurel says:

    Most of your recipes are part of my rotational meals, and I come back to this blog again and again because I find most of my favorite meals from you. If I can find recipes that my husband, who has certain eating restrictions, from you then I will keep coming back. Thanks so much for your hard work on it. Keep up the good work!

  15. Brooke says:

    I second all of those who say this is their favorite and first choice when they need a recipe. I also wanted to thank you for NOT using the blog as a medium for constantly plugging brands and products, etc. that is such a turn-off because it makes it so much less real and less trustworthy In my eyes. I have stopped visiting several blogs for that very reason. I love that on the rare occasion you do plug something, it’s because you really do use it and love it, not because you got some extra cash to name drop. Thanks for your wholesome recipes and all of your efforts!

  16. Stephanie says:

    Sweet picture and what you said is so true. What is really and truly important is FAMILY. Thanks for reminding me of that and for giving us readers so much of your self a part from your family. You are my favorite recipe site!

  17. Shannon says:

    Since I found your blog several years ago, I have admired your commitment to your original purpose and lack of commercialism. In fact, I so admire it that I when I started my read aloud blog for families, I modeled it after yours. Thanks for staying true AND for continuing to blog even though I don’t know how you do it and keep up with everything else!

  18. Great post! I’ve definitely gone through blogging ruts where I’ve gotten caught up in the comparison trap. But now I tell myself, if I don’t have time to network and comment on everything that it’s ok. Time with family and friends is much more important and all that other will be there when I’m able to get to it.

  19. rachel says:

    your my very favorite! MOST RELIABLE blog…. and now ALL my family checks in with your blog frequently.

  20. JMW says:

    Funny, I was just talking this weekend to my husband about your blog. I had been on some other blogs and was truthfully feeling a little bit **envious** of their lives. I was trying to convince myself that somewhere their life isn’t as perfect as it seems. πŸ™‚ As I was talking/confessing my envy I told my husband that despite all the great blogs I do a quick check of every day, yours is BY FAR my favorite blog. I use more recipes from your blog than I do from my own mother (sorry mom!). When someone asks me for a blog or recipe recommendation…I ALWAYS send them to you because I know they will find something and won’t be disappointed. Thanks for keeping it real and keeping the recipes REAL GOOD!

  21. Amy says:

    Can I just say please pLEaSe PLEASE keep blogging! I can only imagine what the stress feels like on your end sometimes. But I hope you know that there are seriously so many people on this (consumer!!) side who love your recipes, your approach to food and family, and just the JOY you bring to it all :). So thank you. And seriously, if you plan on calling it quits, will you please give some warning. Or I might just have a meltdown.

    P.S. I did something crazy and ordered the planner you recommended – branching out from the one I’ve used since college (for 10+ years). It just came in the mail and I think I’m going to love it too ;).
    P.P.S. just read a fabulous book called Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist and her breakfast cookie recipe is out if this world, in case you were looking for something like that…

  22. JaNae says:

    Can I just tell you how much I LOVE you and your blog! My husband teases that you are my BFF because I refer to your blog so often! πŸ™‚ I am so so so grateful for the recipes you post. MOST of what I cooks comes directly from your blog, so thank you – thank you – thank you! You’re awesome!

  23. Amanda says:

    You’d better not stop posting! πŸ™‚ Even if the recipes are fewer and further between, I hope you’re always able to keep this up! Your blog is BY FAR my favorite. I really think you’re doing great things here–allowing us to improve and enjoy the experience with our families because of your talents and interests. Thanks! (And, if you need to take a blog break because of all you’ve got going, feel free–just PLEASE make sure to come back!)

  24. Jennifer says:

    Hi Mel! I don’t think I’ve ever commented before but I’ve been reading your blog for a while. I just wanted to share with you how much I enjoy it, and this post I made a while back sharing a recipe I made from your blog…

    I actually just made your chicken enchilada pasta and it was very tasty! Thanks so much for all these amazing recipes.

  25. Heather says:

    Just had to let you know that yours is the one and only food blog that I read … and please keep sending your awesome recipes my way because my family was eating the same 4 things over and over until I found this site. But also no pressure – even if you only posted one recipe a month – your archives would keep my family happy for a long long time. Thanks so much!

  26. stephanie says:

    Your tried and true recipes are the reason I come. Your little tidbit about the recipe makes me want to make the food. I could care less about your pinterest stats, facebook page, or page views. I enjoy your blog for the reason you started it. If it comes to a place that you need to quit, please give us enough warning to save our favorite recipes. πŸ™‚
    Even if you only did one recipe once a week I would still come here first when looking for a new recipe or for a tried and true pizza crust (which is delicious) or beef stew (yum), yogurt. Your the reason I have the courage to make yeast doughs more often. I love your broccoli salad.
    Next up one of these days I am going to make your oatmeal pancake recipe.

    Thanks Mel and please no pressure. I appreciate your family first attitude. Your clean humor and tasty recipes. Thank you so much!

  27. Kira says:

    Mel, you are outstanding. Can never thank you enough for your commitment to good food and health! We have learned to trust only you if we don’t want any baking, cooking, or snacking failures around here! Really, if I want to try something I come here and find success every time. You have it all

  28. ashley says:

    i love your blog. if it was legal – i would marry it. its the first place i look when i need a recipe, and i am NEVER sorry that i did. everything i have made has turned out wonderful. don’t ever let the crazy aggressive blogging universe get you down. you have a seriously awesome thing going here and everybody needs a good balance between work and life. find your balance and keep rocking, lady! πŸ™‚

  29. Gillian says:

    When you stay true to yourself and your family, nothing else matters. I’m SO over pinterest and 98% of blogs out there, but a blog that posts real-life recipes in a straight-forward way will never get old. That said, if you decide to move on, I understand…but you would have to at least maintain your post history because it is my cookbook!

  30. Anna says:

    The title of your post scared me a little bit! My first selfish thought was, “oh no! who will teach me how to cook!”
    I have to tell you that when I started following your blog about 1.5 ago it was because ALL of the ladies in my office were following and we all chatted about your recipes and posts as if your blog was a tv series we were all watching!
    Since that time I have discovered a few other blogs I enjoy reading. But I always think of MKC as #1. The focus of your blog is truly the food and that keeps your content hearty and not full of fluff.
    I hope you never stop blogging but when the day comes you will be missed! Thanks for all you do, your really helping a lot of people myself included. Cheers!

  31. Jamie says:

    Mel – I LOVE your guts too and as I’ve mentioned before we have never even met (maybe someday I will be lucky enough to meet you in person). You are an inspiration to me and I am a better mother, cook, sister, friend, and person in general because of YOU – YES YOU. Thanks for your honesty and your great recipes. You are the BEST!!!

  32. Barb says:

    I have commented already, and I agree with everyone about family being the priority. You can see how many people love this blog and how important you are to them (me included). Keep in mind, though, it’s good for you to have something “just for you” and this blog may be that for you. I hope so…so, thank-you for all that you do, and wishing you all the best!

  33. Beth says:

    I’m sad to think that you would ever have doubt– your blog is the absolute best! Hands down. No question. Best recipes. Best photos (and I like that not every recipe has photos of every step and ingredients; it makes it cleaner to read). Best layout. Best commentary. Best blogger. You are always so kind and helpful in response to questions and posts. You are genuine, funny, and smart.
    That being said, we’d still be loyal and love you if you wanted to post less frequently to spend more time with your adorable kids (I’d still be here every day as this is basically my living cookbook, and there are a tonne of recipes here for us already). Or, maybe you could rest on your laurels a bit and publish a cookbook? Those girls at Our Best Bites have made a pretty penny on their books, and I would love to see the same success for you. Notwithstanding that I have printed off dozens of your recipes for my home binder, I would buy a copy and many others for gifts . . . I’m just saying.

  34. Lisa D says:

    Mel, your blog will always be the ONLY blog that matters in my book. Seriously, I love your stuff! Keep up the good work!!

  35. Lisa D says:

    Mel, your blog will always be the ONLY blog that matters in my book. Seriously, I love you stuff! Keep up the good work!!

  36. Jamie says:

    I’ve been making your recipes for years! We just moved to New Zealand and it’s been tricky trying to convert from cups to grams and I can’t always get the same ingredients at the stores but for the most part we’ve managed to have many of your recipes grace our table on the other side of the world. Thanks for sharing and keeping us satisfied all these years πŸ™‚

  37. Xenia says:

    Hi Mel! This is my first time to comment after months of stalking your blog (Aha!) and my first to comment ever on a blog. I’m from Philippines but lives in Brunei and constantly checks on your blog, if not everyday (grins). I am a new mom, with a 4-month baby girl and draws motivation from you for cooking and serving a beautiful family. I bookmarked so many of your recipes and especially love your snapshots Saturdays. I just wanted you to know that I appreciate your blog the most. You go Mel! Smiles from halfway around the world πŸ™‚ God bless you more!

  38. Holly W says:

    Oh Mel. I don’t know how you’ve managed as long as you have. I think you’re truly amazing – juggling those precious kids and husband, church service and your blog. Wow! Like everyone else, I don’t need all the bells and whistles. In fact, one of the reasons I love your blog so much is because you don’t post step-by-step pictures (unless it’s for something a bit tricky) – who needs photos of measuring a tsp of vanilla or lime zest? and because your humor and genuine personality show through in each of your posts. With you there’s no trying to be something you’re not. I love the simpleness of you and your site. I don’t facebook, twitter, or pin – I just check your blog every other day! If you decide to pull back and post less often – I totally understand. I hope you don’t pull the plug all together but if that needs to happen – then at least you’ve posted hundreds of recipes already that I can use over and over and over again! Thanks for all you’ve done for the cooking world – especially my cooking world! And P.S. – that darling photo is priceless – thanks for sharing with all of us.

  39. Michelle Smith says:

    Thanks for keeping it real! It is one of the reasons I love your blog

  40. Michele says:

    Your blog is still my absolute favorite! I like that you make ‘real’ food for real families. Don’t change a thing!! I appreciate all of your hard work and so many of your recipes have now made it to my ‘tried and true’ book. Thanks again!

  41. Emily Marie says:

    Mel you are simply awesome. As everyone on here has aleady said, we come here for the amazing recipes and don’t need all the bells and whistles so many other blogs get obsessed with. I can’t tell you what a breath of fresh air your blog provides everytime I visit. Thank you thank you thank you!!

  42. Melanie says:

    I am a new reader of your blog-within the last five months. I’d heard about it for years from my mother-in-law. I’m not sure why I waited so long to check it out, because I love it! I use it every week when planning my meals. Besides loving your recipes, I love your posts and you. I always think we could be the best of friends (I’m sure thousands of others feel the same way). Your blog is perfect the way it is and I so appreciate the time you spend on it. Thank you!

  43. Michle says:

    Good for you in staying grounded in what really matters, and for finding a hobby that improves peoples lives!

  44. Liz says:

    Hi Mel-Your recipes have changed mine and my family’s life! I always come here when I need a good recipe and I am never disappointed! Some of our favorite meals have come from your site! We used to eat out too much…but your recipes have helped give me the confidence to cook healthy and scrumptious meals for my sweet family and we eat at home mostly now! THANK YOU for ALL your hard work and fabulous recipes!!You are great!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  45. Mel, your blog was one of the very first food blogs I ever stumbled upon, almost five years ago. To this day it is still one of my favorites because of your down to earth personality and approach to food and blogging. Many of your recipes have become our ‘tried and true’ and I am always excited to see what you will post next. Keep up the good work!

  46. Heather says:

    Many things I love about your picture… the brother/sister love. I have two boys 18 months apart and then my sweet little princess who is now almost 9 months. The love her two older brothers show her (in between punching each other) is food for my heart. So I love this picture. I also love his BYU shirt. GO COUGS. And I love your daughters hat. My daughter has the same one. πŸ™‚ But I also love that you posted this on your website because I love your website. It’s my homepage. My husband clicked on a link last night to another food blog site and I very quickly said, “No! What are you doing?” He seemed confused and I explained yours was the only one I wanted to stay with. I didn’t want to even look at any others because then life gets too complicated and why bring something else into my life when I’ve already found the perfect food recipe source?! So to put it simply… yours is the only tried and true recipe blog for me (and I’m sure hundreds of other mothers out there)! And if you have to take a couple of days or weeks off because your little ones need you… we 125% understand! πŸ™‚

  47. Sue E says:

    So glad you are not leaving the blogging world as I LOVE your site – you are my go to place whenever I need a recipe. Everything I’ve made of yours always turns out fabulous. Keep doing what you do – we love it!

  48. Shar says:

    I love your blog & cook from so many of your recipes. I’m glad that you share your time & talents with the rest of us. Don’t worry about changing–we love you the way you are! Happy to take 30th spot, or any other, on your list–keep your family at #1.

  49. Jennifer says:

    The thing that matters most to me in a cooking blog is that I find the best, tastiest, and reliable recipes. I always find them here!

  50. Valerie A. H. says:

    Mel, I think that having millions of visitors each month to you blog says it all! I feel you are the “REAL” deal. Great food and recipes that I can count on to be really good. Not the best pictures did you say? I never noticed that once. I must say that you really are the most witty though. I love your personality and this is another reason why I subscribe to your blog. Let me just say that I can count on 2 hands (actually less than that) the blogs I subscribe to. I’m always thrilled to see what you have cooked up next. Thanks for all you do! I know being a mother of young ones is hard enough but to keep the blog going, church callings and random jobs there, keeping house, etc., can be overwhelming for sure. You need to follow what your heart tells you to do so you don’t start becoming resentful of things that you feel like you need to do. I’ve done that in the past (became resentful) and it’s not a good feeling. Then I would remind myself that something has to give and I really don’t have to do everything. Sending big hugs and thanks your way!

  51. Donna says:

    Hi Mel-
    I wrote My Tasty Treasures Blog for quite a few years. As my children got older, I found I had not enough time to dedicate to it. I miss it. I intend possibly one day to go back to it. Anyway, I wanted to tell you, YOUR blog I CHECK religiously. ADORE your recipes, would miss you terribly if you left, but Id understand. Crossing my fingers you dont however. Many of my family favorites are from you and I love YOUR guts for it, all my best always!! You are wonderful the way you are, no need for all the bells and whistles. XXOO Donna

  52. Katherine M says:

    Just wanted you to know that if I am looking for a common recipe, a new meal idea, or any dessert, I always go to your site. When I am stressed about dinner or having to prepare something for a visitor, I can relax knowing that if you posted it, it is going to taste fantastic. I am very grateful that you spend so much time and energy on your blog.

  53. Kirstin says:


  54. Nicole says:

    I loved reading this post! My blog is just a little baby but I am already feeling a bit overwhelmed by the competitive aspects of blogging. That isn’t really my style so I’m trying to stay focused and just do my thang. Anyway, I loved reading your perspective and super cute brother/sister photo!

  55. Jennifer says:

    Ditto to all! Do what’s best for you Mel. Family first, no regrets.

  56. Leslie says:

    Your recipes are fantastic and so is your blog. I love your about me section the most and appreciate that you’ve emailed me many times with an answer to my questions. Hope you are able to continue blogging bc you are so good at it. I’m sure you’ll know exactly what is best for you and your family!!

  57. Brooke says:

    Mel — I just stumbled across your blog this month and I’ve loved the things I’ve found. I’m going through morning sickness while still trying to feed a family and your recipes have looked simple and delicious (and that’s saying something right now). I appreciate the hard work it must take to keep this going. So thanks from a new follower.

    And ps — if you ever figure out the brother to brother thing… please pass it on!

  58. Amanda says:

    Love this post. Literally describes how I feel about blogging, balance, and motherhood perfectly. I am bookmarking this and reading it whenever I start to question my blogging self worth (it happens).

  59. JanaBananaGirl says:

    I was introduced to your blog by a friend from work (Jennie R., who I believe you knew in college?), and in the year or so that I have been reading, your blog has jumped to the top of my favorite food blogs. (Yes, really.) You are most definitely a girl after my food-loving heart, but more than that, you show me (and everyone else who reads) that life is real and messy and hectic and that it’s okay. Thank you for sharing your food and, by extension, your life with us. You rock!

  60. [email protected] Spady says:


  61. Brooke P. says:

    I have been with you since almost the beginning of your blog and I am a faithful follower and user of your blog. I don’t do all the fancy facebook liking, pinterest pinning, twitter type following but I use your blog on almost a daily basis. That is no lie. I am not sure what I would do without it when it comes to getting food on the table for my family. Oh how I hope you will continue this blog of yours. From my humble blog reading perspective, yours is my FAVORITE! It is the easiest to use, has the most “best” recipes. It is my go to before any other food blog. Yours feels most real and least business-like, and let me tell you a reader can catch onto that and quickly. Thanks for keeping it real, for just posting good recipes that I know if I make they will be good! You are awesome!

  62. I REALLY enjoyed reading this, and everything you said is so true. You just keep on keepin’ on because you’re amazing. And I love that your family comes first, as it should. πŸ™‚

  63. april ki m says:

    Please don’t ever stop blogging. I love your blog not only because the food is fantastic, but because you keep it about the food. I recommend people visit your blog weekly, because you are the best. You keep it real, and you keep crazy moms like me awesome, because the food is always good. My 2 year old always says that she knows I am her mom because I cook and moms cook. I have always loved to cook, my mom instilled that in me, but you help me keep it fun. Thank you!!!!!

  64. Lauren says:

    I just found your blog a couple months ago and you are pretty much my go-to place for recipes so thank you!! Don’t change a thing, you are doing a fabulous job just being you and posting the most delcious recipes to help moms all over get dinner on the table. Thank You!!!

  65. Tiff says:

    Your blog is one of the very few I trust for recipes. I appreciate that your posts are simple, too. I get bogged down scrolling through picture after picture on some sites (really, it get ridiculous when it says “add one egg” and I have to see a picture of the egg, then of it cracking, then of it being added, zzzz…). Thank you for posting the end result and only pictures of the confusing steps if necessary!

  66. Ruth says:

    Mel, I think that you can tell from all the comments r/t this post that there are many, many of us who come to your blog multiple times during each and every week to see what you have posted. The food, the family, the sense of humor—it feeds our soul—literally and figuratively. Thank you for all that you do! I know you don’t need permission, but I encourage you to just take a step back when you need to do so. As I have stated before, and as I have thought to myself, (many, many times) , I DON’T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT! I know I had rather have one blog posting a week or every other week than no blog posting at all. Just know if you have to take a hiatus from time to time, I will be here when you get back. True friends are like that.

  67. Charmaine Puzey says:

    I think you are the MOST that I want to read. I like the pure, simple, grounded. Not the flashy, biggest, brightest. I hope you do keep with it. Your recipes are amazing. I am glad your family comes first, 4,11:) I will wait patiently for any new post knowing you are taking take of little souls.

  68. Emma says:

    You are so talented – I cook something from your blog almost every day. I can’t imagine how busy you are (I have 6 kids and NO blog and life is crazy)! But you make my life a little easier each day at dinner time. Thank you.

  69. Sheila says:

    Karen above said it best: “The impact you have on people’s lives is truly remarkable”. You are such an inspiration to so many (not just your family)! When we view your blog, we see a loving wife, committed mother of five, and a humorous, fun, hard working woman who reaches out and touches the lives of others. And I know Mel, because of the kind of mom you are, you do not instruct your children to “follow the crowd” or “do as everyone else is doing”. You offer the world your unique giftedness and love and through your hard work you bless so many. What a great mentor your children have in you! And you will continue doing the right thing by putting your husband and children first. Thanks for sharing with us such a precious, heartwarming, smile bringing picture. πŸ™‚

  70. Liz says:

    Mel – I will still follow your blog even if you only were to post one recipe a year. You are truly inspirational and I often wonder how you take such wonderful care of your family, cook such wonderful meals, and still have time to blog. Yours is the only website I follow and am so happy I found it when googling chicken and zucchini recipes.

  71. Jennifer says:

    As a mom, I understand that your family comes first. Your spouse and those little ones should be the most important people in your world! Take care of them, and yourself. But please don’t stop blogging! I wouldn’t know what to make for dinner! Lol! In all seriousness, 95% of our dinners come from you. Everything I have made from your blog is delicious, so I know if you post it, I’ll like it. When I make my weekly menus, your site is the first place, and often only place, I go. I don’t need all the bells and whistles. I appreciate that you post good, wholesome food that is family friendly. Thank you for all your hard work! πŸ™‚

  72. Kimiko says:

    Although I can’t quite remember how I found it, your blog was the first blog I started reading, and it opened up to me the world of food blogging. You will always be the first and I always love and trust your recipes. If you ever stopped, I would be disappointed to not have your fabulous recipes to look forward to, but of course I’d understand. But if you ever do, I hope you at least still keep the site up so your recipes are available to access. If not, give me fair warning so I can stock up on ink and printer paper and print out hard copies of all your recipes and never lose them! Yours are the best!

  73. Mel, I love how eloquently you put that. I feel the exact same way about blogging. Sometimes I get waaaay too caught up in all the details of it, and I just need to step back and remember what’s most important in my life. Family and those beautiful kids! (and then there’s laundry…) You were one of the first blogs I read and followed back in the day. Thanks for always being consistently awesome, and a great inspiration to me! πŸ™‚

  74. Melissa says:

    I know how you feel about the whole internet feedback perception. I was only on facebook but I had to leave that in October because I was too caught up in posting THE BEST status updates and then would be disappointed when people who I thought should comment on it didn’t. I even had to stop looking on Pinterest. I’m much happier not having to feel like I have to please an invisible crowd. I read a lot of blogs and see all the wonderful things people do and sometimes feel like I’m not doing anything of worth but I the most important place I can be is at home with my children. I am a total advocate of having a place for moms to have their ‘me’ time whether it is blogging, crafting, exercising, cooking, w.h.y. . Just remember why you started it and keep it simple.

  75. Elizabeth says:

    I checked your blog first thing this morning because I knew you would post today because it is my birthday and friends remember birthdays (sorry for the run-on sentence). Even though we’ve never met (although your husband looks so familiar–did he live at The Riv??) you are a household name around here. My husband knows if there is something new on the table it’s usually compliments of Mel! Thanks for keeping me excited about cooking in a way only ATK/Cooks Illustrated has been able to before. You rock!!

  76. Cammee says:

    I hear you friend. Sometimes we feel pulled in so many directions we feel we can’t give 100% to anything. You are doing an awesome job and I would cry my eyes out if you threw in the towel. My second favorite part of your blog (hello, the food is first!) is that I can get on and it’s not full of sponsored posts and you doing the equivalent of a commercial for a post. I have stopped following several blogs because they just felt like advertisements. I know you miss out on a lot of free goods and probably money, but I appreciate it!

    Love your sweet picture! Those are the best moments.

  77. Mickie says:

    Awe Shucks Mel, I love your guts too. You all ready know that though don’t you Someday we’ll meet and i’ll squeeze your guts out in a big huge hug (which is sayin’ a lot for my 5’2″ self and I should let you know, i’m not much of a hugger either) and our kids will all play while we bake some delightful Chocolate Chip Cookies.. Well, that’s my someday idea anyway. Your blog is my first and foremost favoritest ever ever ever ever. I must say, all my family and friends don’t even ask me for recipes anymore they just ask me the NAME of the recipe since they know where I got it πŸ™‚

  78. Ashlee says:

    Your blog is my favorite. I never make time to write, because I’m always reading and cooking (and being mom as #1). Your recipes have made me such a better cooker/baker and WAY more self confident in that cooking/baking. So thanks for changing my life (and my husbands…he is also grateful for you, and tells me a lot…even though he doesn’t know who you are…)

  79. Jessica says:

    To be honest with you…I hate that everyone is going to step by step pictures and so many ads and pins and blah blah blah…I come to look for recipes , tried and true and yummy, just like you post. I love a picture or two….but I don’t need 70 per post. I love your blog and don’t change a thing ! It is a lot of pressure, and a blog is a TON of work! Keep true to you and your fabulous recipes!

  80. Jamie says:

    Thanks to you and your family for all your hard work. My family loves your recipes!

  81. Karen says:

    I’ve been following you for the last year, and although I know I don’t comment as much as I should, I read all of your entries and I look forward to your blog. You are successful at what you do here, and I’m glad you’re doing it and glad to know you. You make all our lives a little better (my husband and kids included), and I thank you.

  82. Teresa R. says:

    I’ve been reading your blog since day one. My daughters and I use your recipes regularly, almost daily. Your recipes have become my family’s favorite meals. I’ve been cooking for my elderly parents for several years now, and it had become a chore to come up with meals to make for them. Your recipes have made my life much easier because I always know I have your recipes to fall back on when its time to plan meals for my parents. So, thank you. And I love the Saturday snapshots!

  83. Sang says:

    Hi Mel! I am a generally a non-commenter, but I owe you a big ol’ THANK YOU! I could basically say “ditto” to all the other comments. I learned about your blog when a friend had us over for dinner and made your grilled pizza, and when another friend brought us your beef stew and sugar cookies. Everything was so tasty – I had to have the recipes! My sweet mother wasn’t big on cooking, and sadly, I kind of struggle with it a bit myself. Cooking really takes a lot of effort for me, but your blog has made it so, so much easier – I cook with much more variety and am excited (instead of hesitant!) to try new things. I sure appreciate what you share on here. I’m always anxious to see what your next post will be! All the best to you & your sweet family!! P.S. Go Cougars!

  84. Brittany C. says:

    Mel, you were my first foodie blog love and you are honestly still my go-to and favorite!!! I don’t ever see that changing. And honestly, it’s a breath of fresh air to have an amazing food blog that isn’t constantly asking me to follow them and their 10 friends on pinterested/fb/IG etc. I do follow you on all of those little social networks, because I want to, not because it’ll give me a small chance to win a great prize. So, thank you! Keep up the great work, I’ll be here as long as you’re blogging- which I’m hoping is as far as the foreseeable future!

  85. Rebecca says:

    I love love love your blog! I love knowing any recipe you post will use real, everyday ingredients and something my family will eat. My sister in laws and I sit around during family gatherings and list off our newly tried “Mel’s recipes” that the other needs to make! We are big fans and so are our hubbies and kiddos! πŸ˜‰

  86. Antoinette says:

    Your blog and recipes come straight from your heart. That is easy to see. Please know that we love you and don’t need all the bells and whistles. You fill my kitchen with wonderful things. My family and I thank you for that!

  87. Katherine D. says:

    Loved this post and it resonated with me so much!
    I have a (small) food blog that I stopped posting to for 6 months because I really wanted to examine whether my purpose was to grow the blog or grow my kids. I hated being away for 6 months, but I had to prove to myself that I would keep my family #1 and going cold turkey from the blog was how I kept my priorities.
    I am NOT suggesting you stop posting cause then I would come knock on your door and beg you for more recipes and that would be awkward….I am simply relating to your feelings.
    Of all the food blogs out there I love yours the best! Truly. I trust your recipes to be as good as you say they will be. I have never been unhappy with what you post!
    But I also love your blog because you have stayed true to what you started all those years ago. I don’t care for all the “promotions” on the other sites – lots of giveaways and sponsored posts. I understand that they are creating a business, but I prefer to follow the blogs that offer the recipes..not the invitation to link to 36 other blogs to enter a contest to win a spatula πŸ™‚
    Stay true to who you are…’s why we all keep coming back.
    And feel free to post a pb&j if you need to every once in a while so you can give more time to those cutie kiddos!

  88. wendy says:

    Don’t stop what you are doing!!!!! Love your blog and look forward to it everyday. In any job anywhere you will get drama. Ignore it and do what you love. Your passion will guide you and we all will understand when family takes over. We all have family that comes first as it should. So do what you love and be happy. That’s all that matters.

  89. Regina P says:

    I love your blog! I think what you post are real recipes that don’t take rare & expensive items….Just everyday foods i can get at WalMart. And everything that i have tried is SO good πŸ™‚ I hope you never ‘retire’ from blogging! Your posts are the ones i look forward to most in my feed.

  90. Rachel says:

    I hate that your blog stresses you out. You don’t need to try to “keep up with the (blogging) Joneses”, because your food is delicious and your readers love you for you. Thanks for everything!

  91. Brittney says:

    Mel, your blog is my all time favorite! Your recipes are absolutely amazing and I love how you keep it real. Your blog is my go to source when planning meals. I can’t even imagine all the hard work and time you put into it! It doesn’t go unappreciated!

  92. heather bell says:

    I must admit, when I saw ads pop up on your sidebar, I told my husband, “My favorite blogger just started doing ads.” I know, rude of me. But I was afraid! Because once people start doing ads, the blog completely changes. I am so happy to see that yours hasn’t! I know your recipes really are the best and you must work your butt off having the 5 kids and life. Yes, balance is a hilarious word. I have 8, 5, 3, 1 and I know we will have one more. I tried a blog just for fun. I couldn’t keep up and I didn’t even want to. So, I am glad there are great bloggers like you out there who do it for the love of food, not the love of fame!

  93. Melanie M says:

    Your blog is my one and only food blog of choice! I’m here daily looking up all of my favorite recipes that you’ve shared. Thanks for making me a super star in my own kitchen!

  94. Kristy says:

    Just want to say THANKS for all your work. I love your blog and like many others, it is usually my first stop when looking for recipes. I was recently diagnosed with celiac which has thrown my whole baked-good loving world into a tailspin. I’ve been thrilled to find many of your main dish recipes that I can adapt easily to be gluten free. It kind of makes me feel like my best recipe source friend hasn’t abandoned me! πŸ™‚ Just want you to know you are appreciated.

  95. Jennifer says:

    Oh, Mel, it breaks my heart that you suffer from the slightest bit of self-doubt. Your blog single-handedly saved my sanity when I discovered it about 5 months ago. Because I was struggling so much with the after-work sprint to put dinner on the table and try to pay attention to my daughters before bath and bed, I was feeling like a terribly inadequate wife and mother. I have tried at least 20 of your recipes so far, and every one has been declared a keeper. And because your new picture-based index didn’t seem to have everything, I just tonight finished going through EVERY post, page by page, to stock up my recipe box with foods that make me happy to put on the table. I am eternally grateful for the recipes, wholly awed by your ability to do this in addition to clearly being an adoring mother of 5, and I love your writing style and jokes (and your guts!) We would all forgive you if you quit because it no longer suited your family. But you should never doubt your talent or that you “belong” out here in blog land. You are the rock star in my kitchen…I’m just a passable cover band πŸ™‚

  96. Judy says:

    Like what most of the other people have said, 90% of the meals I make for my family come from your blog. Everything I make from you is simply awesome! I know that you only put the best on there.
    What I love most is that there is not a giveaway every other day. I know that is how bloggers make money, but it is a total turn off for me and I have stopped following blogs because they are always trying to plug the next greatest thing. I also love how true your blog voice is. I can read a post from 3 years ago and today and you are still you. And while we have never met in person, I feel like you are truly putting out the real Mel.

    The only way you can ever stop blogging is if you put out a cookbook (or 10) and I would buy every one and find every excuse to give them as presents to everyone I know!

    Thanks so much!

  97. Janssen says:

    Just another voice to say “You are THE food blog I cook from.” If I need a dependable meal, dessert, or bread, you are my one-stop shop. And I just feel like we are pretend friends πŸ™‚

  98. laura h. says:

    I hope the day never comes when this faithful blog comes to an end! But all would surely understand, family comes first! In the meantime, I love your blog! I’m a faithful follower of at least 3 years, maybe more. I always direct family and friends to my latest discovery from your blog. When in need of a specific recipe, I always search your site first. I shudder to think what my family’s meals would look like each week without you! Your pictures are beautiful, but what I like most about the blog is the recipes are so good, so easy (and yes I am willing to consider bread from scratch “easy” if it tastes THAT good!) and so reliable. I think I have tried over 50 recipes from your blog. (REALLY good odds- we only came across 2(!) that we didn’t care for)
    This homage to your yummy food/rocking blog is almost over, just one more thing: you are awesome! πŸ™‚

  99. Veronica says:

    Love that you’re keeping your priorities straight and not falling prey to the pressures! Though you have to admit, your blog is crazy popular and you’re one of the ones that add to the pressure. Ha! Love all the recipes you share and hope you’ll be doing it for a long time. Also love that precious pictures! Aw!

  100. Rachel says:

    Three thoughts:
    1) I LOVE how real you are. Nothing fake, nothing impractical, no judgements, no competition, no saying you like or use something just to make a few bucks. Just you and your sweet family and some amazing food. Thank you!
    2) I LOVE your recipes. We eat something from your site at least weekly! My family has loved everything I’ve made from here. And I’m not sure how you know, but you seem to do the step-by-step thing for just the right recipes, like you’re doing them because you know when I’ll need them! Thank you!
    3) {This one is totally not food related!} I really appreciate your writing style and grammar! I appreciate that you proof-read your posts, check for spelling errors, and use commas where you should. I love that you keep things positive. In this technology age anyone can publish anything, regardless of readability. I’m nowhere close to perfect myself, but I appreciate the effort you put in to make your work easy and fun to read. Thank you!

    Keep up the great work! We love you here!

  101. digrr says:

    Thank you, Mel! I love your blog, your recipes, and your spunk! You are living the life, and it isn’t always pretty, but those beautiful children are our future. Go girl!

  102. Andrea says:

    Your blog is the best.
    Love your recipes and how “you” you are. I love that you are just you and just sharing great recipes.
    Thank you!!

  103. Crystal says:

    Love your blog! I have been a very regular reader since 2009. My sisters and I have used a ton of your recipes and we affectionately call you, “good ol’ Mel” whenever we ask each other where got the recipe.

  104. Chantel says:

    Mel, I wouldn’t know what to cook if you quit telling me what to cook. I’ve never commented before, but I rely on your recipes every week. I make at least 3 a week. One would think I had no brain of my own. You just make it easy to cook real food for my family. I have no interest in searching Pinterest for the latest and the greatest. I just come to you. I also appreciate your, uh, goofiness. I mean that as a compliment, baby! You rock my belly!

  105. Marissa says:

    I am a NON-blog follower. Except for yours. I marvel all the time that you are able to do all that you do. I applaud you for your great values and appreciate all you share with us. I wish we could be neighbors (seriously here, if you are looking for a move again, I want you next door). Thank you, thank you, thank you. If I could send you some dark chocolate wrapped in a hug, I would πŸ™‚

  106. Sista, you speak the truth!
    It’s such a hard balance some days and other days, I’m like “I’m DONE!” But like you said, the kiddos and the husband are first priority and the day that blogging comes in between me and them, it’s over.
    You’re right about the “noise”… sometimes is overwhelming when it comes to blogging. I know I will never have the best pictures, or the snappiest wit, but I do know I love to eat, and I think that’s what people can relate to!

    Keep up the fab work, you’re totally amazing!

  107. Nancy says:

    Hey Mel,

    I have been a lurker/follower of your fantastic blog for several years. It is long overdue for me to say Thank You!. Love your recipes, anecdotes and upbeat attitude. I am at least twenty years older, and still consider my #1 calling being a mother to my three children. I have been cooking a long time, and appreciate the role of good meals in our family life. Two of them are still students, and are home for the summer. I am challenged feeding my husband and two young men, it gets mundane, labor intensive and expensive. I have made many of your recipes, and they are all good! You are a source of inspration, and I enjoy your blog very much. Thank you for all that you do, and I send all best wishes to you and your beautiful family!

  108. Julie says:

    I love your blog too and cook almost exclusively from it:). So many delicious recipes. This week my kids wrote a poem about a “man named Krell, who married a wife that was swell, who did all her cooking from the cafe of Mel!!” Ha!! My family appreciates your recipes too. I’ve never commented before, but thanks for all your wonderful recipes!!

  109. Jessica says:

    Thank you so much for all the work you put in! I use your menu
    And pantry list every day. I check you daily and go through the archives
    On holidays or even just to click around for awhile. This is a great blog. I
    recommend you all the time!

  110. Mame says:

    I feel ya – and I don’t know how you do it but I am SO GRATEFUL that you do! We all love your blog so immensely much, and we all tell our friends about it too. I hope you continue to figure it out the best you can, because really that is all we are doing, relying on the Lord all the way – knowing He can help out with what we miss. Thanks for all you do. (I am tearing up a little here. Is that SO cheesy or what?!)

  111. Bethany says:

    Okay, you don’t even need the BEST pics, or MOST witty writing (but you kinda already have it). Your food is simple, delicious, healthy, inexpensive, family-friendly, and satisfying. That will keep this blog alive and well without any of the extras. And honestly, I think the kind of mom you are (a really great one, it seems) is a huge positive force in your blog. If you put blogging ahead of your family, I honestly think the blog wouldn’t be as good. We all kind of look up to you. πŸ™‚ thanks a million for helping us out in the kitchen and in life.

  112. Thank you! I have thought and listened to those same loud voices in my own head and heart. And I always come back to the same grounded spot to land, I am in this for the pleasure of it all. Sure I would love to share what I do with more folks, but hey it is not really about that. I too enjoy your blog and envy your energy for it all! I do spend significant time away from home (commute and work runs 10 hours a day) but you do amaze me. We now have a flour mill and next is your homemade bread recipe.

  113. Danielle says:

    I trust your blog for amazing recipes. As long as you focus on just that (just like you have been)we will all keep coming back. We don’t need any bells and whistles. Thank you for always having such wonderful content. You have taught me so much! Don’t let the blogger world standards distract you. You are amazing just as you are and I tell everyone about your site! I use your recipes ALL of the time!!! You are the best!

  114. Brittany says:

    This post was awesome and spot on! That’s one if the reasons why I love your blog is that you aren’t caught up in the blog-race. I seriously am on your blog several times a day looking up recipes. Just about everything we’ve tried have been keepers! Thanks so much for sharing such great recipes all these years. I am a better cook for it!

  115. Jen T says:

    We seriously make some recipe of yours almost everyday!!! I agree, you shouldn’t worry about pins, traffic, etc. You just have the best recipes that do rock, so keep it up! You are doing a great job! And that picture is so cute! I have 3 girls and one boy, and I agree, when you see that love (very seldom, but every once in a while) it makes the whole world happy! God bless you for all you do and maintaining that balance. Life is all about balance–in every aspect.

  116. Mel says:

    All the fancy stuff doesn’t matter to me, just the great recipes you share with all of us. I think EVERY recipe I have made from your site has been a keeper! I’m hoping that you stick around…what would I cook without you?
    Another Mel in CA

  117. Shauna says:

    I stopped following most food blogs a little while ago. Yours was one of the two that I kept because I feel like you are just being you with yummy food thrown in. I’m glad you’re still here!

  118. Beth Severens says:

    Just had to let you know what an inspiration your blog and recipes have been to me and my family. Anytime I make something wonderful, my family says in unison, “Mel’s CafΓ©?”~~ If only I had not told them about your blog!!! Thank you so much for your “tried and true” recipes that do not waste my time and always are a hit. Even if you never posted another recipe so you could spend more time with your wonderful family, you would still be a rock star around my house!

  119. tiffany says:

    Your website is great!! And if you need to do less or none at all, family is the most important, than do it! Or even less frequently, you have long list of recipes to try and we love them all! Thanks!

  120. Stephanie says:

    I love your blog way over any of the other food blogs. The main reason is the originality of all your recipes. It seems all the other food blogs just get recipes from all the other food blogs and just re-post them. I love that you retry your recipes until their perfect and delicious. Never been disappointed with one of your recipes. Thanks!

  121. Anna R says:

    Thanks for sharing your perspective today.
    I’ve been following your blog for 4+years now…because you share really awesome family food!! I don’t need/want to read a million food blogs. Just the handful that I’ve come to trust for really good recipes (like yours!) Plus I love your wit/perspective that comes along with the recipes.

  122. Michelle says:

    I follow far too many food blogs and spend far too much time pouring over pinterest… but when I need a great recipe? I come here first, always. You do a great job and my husband thanks you for it!

  123. Liz says:

    Love your pictures, Mel, and especially the little one with brother and sister – so precious and adorable. Have a good weekend!

  124. Abbie says:

    MEL!! I absolutely LOVE your blog. I always come here first for recipes. I swear I print almost everything you post! You are amazing and such a great teacher. Thank you for all the hard work you put in for your blog!!!

  125. Debbie says:

    Hi Mel!! Now that I have recovered from my morning shock, I just need to agree with all of the other comments. I’ve been cooking for my family for 40 years and I was getting tired of trying bad recipes. I found you two years ago and you changed my life. Thank you for all the wonderful recipes and witty humor you add to my day. You’re the best!!

  126. Angela says:

    I enjoy all of the fancy enhancements you’ve put in your blog through the years, but I’m here for the recipes, baby. 90% of my new dinner recipes come from you (and 100% of anything involving bread or cookies!). It’s not for the fancy features, rather because you’ve struck a great balance of family-friendly and budget-friendly recipes…with a much-enjoyed twist of adventure. Our pantries are similar and our tastes are similar, so I love that I can just pop open your site and we’ll have something new for dinner without a trip to the store. And I love that I don’t even have to bother trying something out before trusting that it’ll work for company. I appreciate all you do and have a renewed appreciation that you keep at it with all you juggle. Thank you!!!

  127. Tara says:

    I just wanted to say a BIG Thank You for taking the time to do your amazing blog. I have only made recipes from your site the past 2 weeks and I have never seen my husband be so in love with food before! (I’ve always had an obsession with food.. haha) He and I are ALWAYS so impressed with every recipe I try. I am so grateful because you get me cooking from home and excited about it. Rather than worried at 4 PM- “what am I going to try and make tonight? Or should we just get fast food?” Thank you SO much Mel, I love your blog and I am SOOO glad you take the time to do it! Your food blog is AMAZING! And the BEST!

  128. Brooke says:

    I haven’t commented on here in years but I would just like to say thanks for your blog. I am a mom of five (but in the reverse, 1 boy, 4 girls) and your site helps me feed them! I cook everyday and your blog helps me not get bored and be inspired in my ‘job’ of raising my children. Thank you and even better that its free! I refer people and new moms all the time to your site and really appreciate it. I have abandoned other food blogs over the years (after two or three gross recipes, they get the boot) and yours has always been a keeper. one day I will make the tres leches dessert!

  129. This is exactly what I love about your blog. You bring us real food. You don’t force the rest of it. Blog on!

  130. Susanne says:

    I rarely comment on blogs. I leave it for the wittier writers, but I cannot help myself today. I want to thank you for your delightful blog. You have given me a desire to cook again. I am so grateful for your delicious recipes. It sounds a little silly but I can hardly wait for Monday morning to check to see what you have for us that day, but I completely agree with you our family is our #1 priority. Everything else is a distant 2nd. I think your readers would all agree we don’t need fancier pictures or anything else for that matter. We have grateful hearts for what you have time and are willing to share with us.

  131. Kim R says:

    You have got your priorities in the right order… Families first! But… you have also been give a special gift, talent, platform to present from (that allows you to be with your family) and opportunity. The Bible tells us – to whom much is given, much is expected. Gather your years of talented and flavorful recipes and wisdom and sell them in a book. I would be thrilled to have a great cookbook! You are blessed! Truly We Thank You for All You Do! We all have several feeds and sites we follow. I can honestly say… I actually look for yours-and read it-immediately!

  132. Michelle says:

    Love your blog, please don’t stop and really who cares how many times your recipe is repinned or on Facebook…..I like your foodblog the best as your recipes are easy, fast and even my boys have liked some of them..they are the most pickiest of eaters……..I use your blog extensively and don’t even look at others…..

  133. Heather says:

    Oh girl- no worries about all the “mosts.” Seriously. As a reader/follower of a few popular recipe blogs I don’t pay attention to all of that. Wanna know what I care about? THE FOOD! I don’t care about all the extras- sometimes I find it all a little annoying- follow me here, follow me there, follow me everywhere! Your blog is truly considered one of my cookbooks, and when I need a recipe, I know where to go. Simple as that. My point, keep doing what you were doing from day one and you will have followers. If you post they will come- or rather, make. Don’t worry about keeping up with the blogging Jones’- in the end, all we want is tried and true :0) THANK YOU- you have fed my family many dinners!

  134. connie says:

    The picture of the kiddos holding on to one another is priceless. My boys were always close, and protective of one another, but the real closeness didn’t really show up until they were in their teens. It will come, I promise you.

    As an avid reader of food blogs, you are right about the competition to be the biggest and the best. I, personally, tire of the blogs that always have a contest to win whatever, by pinning, facebooking, etc. .I am here strictly to look at recipes and lovely pictures like the one you posted today.

    Your blog is fantastic, but like the real world, family comes first. You have your priorities in the right order.

  135. Meg says:

    Keep on blogging! As many others have mentioned, yours is the first place I come to look for a sure-to-be-a-hit recipe, and it’s also often when I come to compare your recipe for something to one I might have found elsewhere online. I love that you post a lot of healthy, from scratch recipes (though please keep posting your amazing desserts, too!), and that most of the ingredients are pretty easy to find. Keep it up! Oh, and thanks for all the time and effort you put in. πŸ™‚

  136. Danica says:

    Well you must be doing something right by not getting too caught up in the craziness, because I come here FIRST for every recipe I need, and only look elsewhere if I can’t find it here. For years this has been my #1 go-to spot and I love knowing I can trust the recipes you put up on here! Thanks for being real!

  137. I started blogging a year and a half ago, and the changes the food blogging world experienced are huge, I can only imagine almost six. IΒ΄m all about the recipes too, and I love your blog a lot because of that. Reliable sutff and authenticity is hard to come upon these days, with all the social media numbers. Today is friendΒ΄s day here in argentina, so a big hug to you Mel, one of my favorite blogging `friendsΒ΄!

  138. Erin says:

    Love you! LOVE your recipes/blog. Thank you for you.

  139. Amanda says:

    Hey Mel, your website is my absolute favorite for recipes. Nearly everything I’ve tried has turned out perfectly, and the things that haven’t are probably due to user error. I ALWAYS direct people to your blog for great, family friendly recipes. I love that your recipes are kid-friendly, homemade, without wacky ingredients (unless it’s for a REALLY GOOD REASON), and some of the most delicious food I’ve ever made.

    But the other reason I like your blog is that I feel that you are so genuine when you write. I follow other blogs, but I always feel their blogs are a little forced. From you, I get the feeling you truly love what you do. Basically, I think you and your blog are fabulous!

  140. [email protected] Spady says:

    I love your recipes. I love your blog. I love that your family comes first. I hope you stick around for a long time!! Thank you!!

  141. Karen says:

    You rock! But better than that is that you are REAL! Your food is normal food that tastes AWESOME! I can relate to you and that means a lot in this blogging stuff.
    I too don’t use any of the pinning, tweeting, face booking! I also love that you don’t have all these ads that keep popping up.
    You and your blog are great, just the way you are. Don’t change. Feel free to post less if life gets too stressful….you won’t loose me.
    It’s pretty much you and The Pioneer Woman that are my go to food blogs.

  142. I like your priorities and mine are similar: family first, chocolate second, blog third. πŸ™‚

  143. Amanda Smith says:

    Love ya

  144. Mel, I have been following your blog for about a year and appreciate your deep filled honesty. I am also a blogger, but I am definitely not as consistent as you. Thanks for giving us all the real definition of what a mommy blogger should be. Makes me feel better that I am keeping my priorities straight! Keep doing what you’re doing … you have a great audience that loves you, regardless of the “numbers” involved!

    • Mel says:

      Thanks you guys. Really. I didn’t mean for this to be a pick-me-up post (it was more like a brain dump post) but I’ve been really bolstered up by your comments. It means the world to me. Thank you for your kindness and loyalty!

  145. Samantha S says:

    Mel, you must never speak such blasphemy of potentially quitting your blog again. Your blog taught me how to cook. Almost everything i make comes from your blog. You don’t need to do fancy things to keep up in the blog world, because at the end of the day, people come here for your content. I like knowing that when you say a recipe is good, it’s good, and I don’t have to worry about the recipe not turning out. We love you, keep up the good work.

  146. Cara says:

    just so you know, i loooooooove your blog! probably 85% of the dinners i make come from you, and i know i can trust you! also, i love that you don’t have a gajillion step-by-step pictures on every single post. i hate scrolling through a crazy-long post just to get to the simple recipe at the bottom. keep on keepin’ on, sister! you’re amazing!

  147. I am so glad you posted this. I am not as near as accomplished as you are & my blog is still newer, but I feel lots of pressure too. At first, my blog was about making a portfolio of my culinary creations & recipes for future work opportunities, as I am a stay-at-home mom & needed something as a “resume” for work later. (I am a Culinary Graduate.) I have realized I love food blogging, & I love that I can do it at my own pace & I love that I have made some money off of it. But then it feels as though everyone else that is newer to blog world is having greater success than me. More fans, more sponsors, more giveaways, etc.

    I genuinely want readers that love me for me & my recipes. I really hope that they make my recipes at home & love them. I never post a recipe that doesn’t turn out just so I can have something on the blog. And I have only recently really started working with sponsors & giveaways, & it kind of sucks to be “buying” my fans. I like the organic ones who have stumbled upon my recipes from pinterest & like me because they want to, not because they want the prize I am offering. Anyway, it really is a fun/crazy blogging world to be a part of. And it’s nice to hear more moms feeling the same way. Family is first! And always should be!

  148. Keri says:

    I am new to your blog — just a couple of weeks. I LOVE your recipes and have literally used one everyday since I found you. Thank-you!!

  149. Melanie says:

    Thanks Mel for the honesty. I appreciate how you keep things real, and prioritized. You are a good example to me. I would understand if you pulled the plug on the whole venture, but I am so grateful you haven’t. Thanks the great recipes and the thoroughness in you research. If you every need a helper–or guest, shoot me an email. I would love to help!

  150. Michelle says:

    Mel- just keep it simple, really. I love your blog partly because it isn’t all fancy/hyped up. For me, all I want in a blog is a little interesting commentary, a couple decent pictures, and a fantastic recipe. That’s what you have, and why you remain my favorite food blog! πŸ™‚

  151. Mary says:

    Hi Mel, please don’t worry about the MOST monster which I sometimes feel is not limited to just food blogging but being a mom in general in society and with the internet today (who can have the most cute kiddos, who can make the most healthy, most organic meals, who can do the most adorable Pinterest crafts with their children, who can keep the most clean house and work fulltime etc, etc). I guess what I’m trying to say is a I feel you, but I hope you don’t change a thing. I stumbled upon your blog while on maternity leave with my 2nd baby this past spring and I have never followed one until yours. I simply love it and am slightly obsessed with it. It has helped me find really great recipes with favorites that we already turn to weekly which helps my grocery bill, always makes me feel like I’m for once making yummy meals that I know will be eaten, and most importantly it saves my sanity when it is time to menu plan and actually cook. I’m also trying to convince my husband to move to a rural area, have several more children and buy a kitchen grain mill after seeing you do it:)

  152. aw, Mel, I love this post! This is why I love your blog – you stay out of the competition of it all. You’ve always been my blogging role model for sure πŸ™‚ And it’s kind of amazing how much my blog has already suffered with only one sweet little baby to take care of – I can’t imagine how you get done all that you do.

  153. Melissa says:

    Beautiful post Mel and something I can really relate to! The balance between being a mom and blogging is a handful at times but definitely a great outlet and hobby for me! You are an inspiration!

  154. Tanya says:

    Your blog is my absolute favorite and my go-to. Your loyal readers don’t buy into the hype of giveaways and flashy props. Your blog can rest on its sweet author and wonderful food (isnt that the point of a food blog anyways?) I appreciate all the time and dedication you give to keep this up. I don’t know how you do it. I have two young boys and hardly have time to blink! Keep it up. Youre amazing!

  155. Melanie says:

    Quit blogging??? **gasp**!!! What in the world would my family eat??!!! πŸ™‚ you can’t do that to me Mel!! πŸ™‚

  156. Karalee says:

    Ah that ever elusive balance. I am pretty sure that we only experience brief periods while the seesaw of life is bringing the next up, or down swing.
    It is lovely to eat and share wonderful food through the craziness. Thank you for sticking to your goal. It makes for recipes that are keepers at our house.

  157. Emily says:

    I rarely pin and I never tweet. But I cook your recipes five times a week and on the days I don’t I am always disappointed and say, “I should have just made something from Mel.” I consider us good friends because of the influence you have had on my cooking. Thank you for making mealtime fun. I recommend your recipes to everyone I talk to about cooking. I make some of your recipes again and again which is a real compliment to you because I used to NEVER make the same thing twice.

  158. Barb says:

    I would miss you so much and also your family (and your recipes) if you stopped blogging. It’s a joy to read.

  159. Katie says:

    Mel, your blog is AMAZING just the way it is! I make at least two or three of your meals every week. Thank you for everything you do!

  160. Dianna says:

    Great perspective. As long as you feel the same joy in posting that you did when you began, then I think you’ve managed to succeed. There is a lot of blog pressure out there {says the girl with a barely budding little blog}, but stay true to yourself and the rest will surely follow. Your kiddos are lucky to have a mama with her priorities in check! Keep cookin’! πŸ™‚

  161. Sharon says:

    I just discovered your blog fairly recently. This week all my recipes that I prepared were yours! All big hits and I’m sharing your website with others. Your recipes are consistently great! Family friendly!

  162. Emily F says:

    There are so many blogs that I’ve followed for a while and then stopped following because they filled up with sponsored posts and became less about sharing recipes and more about the authors obviously trying to make more money. I understand people trying to make a little additional cash, but a lot of the sponsored posts aren’t really relevant to the purpose of the blog and just become annoying.

    What I’m trying to say is that I (along with so many other people) keep coming back to your blog because you keep doing what you originally set out to do, share great recipes and help us feed our families well. It is specifically your lack of sponsored posts, competition, blogHer stories, etc. that attracts me to your blog. I don’t identify with that stuff, but I do identify with you and your family and trying to do the best you can with them. And if you need to cut back to one or two posts per week, I don’t think anyone will complain because we know they’ll be great!

  163. Justine says:

    Can I just say your blog is my favorite because it DOESN’T include all the promotions, giveaways and such! I love your food and like that I don’t have to read through other stuff to get to it. It’s like getting recepies from a cookbook instead of a magazine:) and if you miss a week or two or twelve – good. It means you’re enjoying your sweet family.

  164. emily says:

    Thank you for your blog, Mel! Seems unfair that you do all the work finding and then teaching the perfect recipe and I stroll onto your website, simply pull up a recipe that looks awesome and suddenly this girl who had no cooking experience is “a rock star in the kitchen.” You are not just any blogger – you are a teacher! Oh, and I TRUST you that the recipes will turn out just like you say they will – they do every time. Thanks so much for the blog – you are awesome and I really appreciate every thing you do on here!

  165. Nikole says:

    Your blog is HANDS DOWN the best one around . 90 percent of the meals I make come from you! I even tried one of your recipes out ( for the first time) at a family gathering for 25 people, because I knew I could trust the source. Of course, the food rocked my socks ! Thank you for taking time away from your darling family to help the rest of us look like culinary geniuses.:) I , for one, would be devastated if the recipes ever stop coming .

  166. Teresa says:

    I don’t follow pinterest and I am not on facebook- who has time for all of that? When I see people with fancy food props and striped straws, it just makes me wonder about how much money they spend on all of that stuff. Sure, it looks nice in the picture, but this is real life and those things add up. I love your blog because I can relate to you. Your life is more like my life. You are cooking for a husband and several children and want something that will work for little kids as well as their parents. Everything I have made from here has been outstanding! I know if you posted it, it will be good. There are not many blogs I can say that about. Keep doing what you are doing. You being you is not a weakness, it is your greatest strength.

  167. Martha says:

    Thank you, Mel. For all the time you give to us in sharing all of your great recipes. My family enjoys your food. When they are happy with what I have made them, all is right in my world. I love that family is first with you, as it should be. Your family is lucky to have someone who loves them so much. I would be very sad if you stopped but would understand it if you did. Family first. Thank your family, for sharing you with us. You have helped me to enjoy trying new dishes and enjoying them. You have a beautiful family! Enjoy your Saturday! πŸ™‚

  168. Emily Hay says:

    Mel, I found your blog just a couple months ago. Let me just tell you, my family is as happy as I am that I found you! Every.single.recipe I’ve made has been a total hit. Last week I used one of your recipes for every dinner I made. We loved them all. My daughter and husband LOVE the grilled pork chops. I say all that to say THANK YOU! I can’t imagine the amount of time and energy it takes to maintain this blog.

  169. Lindsay says:

    I’ve never commented before, but after all the blood, sweat and tears (and life balance) you’ve put into this blog, I want you to know how much I LOVE and use this site!! It all started when my neighbour brought me a plate of the MOST delicious oatmeal coconut chewies a year and a half ago. When she told me where the recipe came from, i started looking through the site and realized this blog was also where honey lime enchiladas came from!! (A recipe forwarded to me by my SIL about 5 years ago–which quickly became my family’s #1 favorite recipe!! I always make it for company and it has become a favorite of so many friends and family members!) I knew if the baking here was as good as the cooking, this site was a keeper! Now I cook or bake something from here every single week!!!! I feel like my cooking/baking has come a long way the past year, so thank you so much for sharing your talents with all of us!! This is my go to cooking blog! I’m waiting with bated breath to hear your report on baking cookies with silpats. my birthday is coming up and I’m trying to decide if it should go on my wish lost. πŸ™‚

    Sorry for the longest comment ever! Cheers from Canada!

  170. Karen says:

    Yes, yes, what everyone else said. This week alone I’ve made your waffles, cowboy casserole, zucchini lasagna, zucchini bread…in fact if I cooked this week it was one of your recipes. You gave me the confidence and skills to learn to cook. The impact you have on people’s lives is truly remarkable….thank you!!!! PS I don’t think a single one of your readers would care if you took more days with your family here and there.

  171. Deb says:

    Mel – Just wanted to say that you’re the best and first resource I go to when I feed my family and the people I love. I tell all my friends about your site. You have become a cherished friend to me even though we will likely never meet. I want to encourage you that when things are hard, it’s because it’s alot of work to make a difference in the world, but let me assure you that you are making a difference to other people (like me). Thank you for bearing your heart to us and for all the time and effort you put into your blog. Now go be a mom for awhile, that is the highest calling πŸ™‚

  172. Kristi says:

    Nice post! It’s hard to find the balance when you have so many things that you want to get done in the day, but might not always have the time.

  173. Tricia` says:

    I’m a new reader of your blog & I can honestly say that out of around 50 food blogs that I’m involved with, yours is the best in my book. I have been cooking over 50+ years & I’m always looking for new recipes & new ways to cook food. Your recipes are fantastic! I also like your optimistic attitude about life & family. Having raised 3 children & worked at a full-time job I know how difficult & tiring it can be to juggle everything. I agree with Laura who says, ” I don’t care about pins, facebook, props, wittiness, or fabulous pictures – I just love your recipes! (and my family does too) Keep up the good work. :)” Please know that I appreciate all the time you spend on your blog.

  174. Patty says:

    It sounds to me that you have your priority’s right! I have learned over the years not to let myself get caught up in the “noise” of the world. Keep doing what you’re doing!
    BTW…love your recipes!

  175. Carla says:

    Your blog is my first stop when searching for a great recipe. Many of your recipes are now family favorites. No need to worry about competition, just keep up the great recipes!

  176. Melanie says:

    This i why we love your blog..YOU. I am a better cook, mother and person…thank u for sharing your love of cooking and family with us all.

  177. Laura says:

    Dear Mel, I don’t care about pins, facebook, props, wittiness, or fabulous pictures – I just love your recipes! (and my family does too) Keep up the good work. πŸ™‚

  178. Lillie says:

    Mel, I don’t know if you actually make money from your blog, given the lack of ads and endorsements. I suspect it COSTS you money. At any rate, like others stated before me, keep it up. Although the pictures are fabulous and the commentary is first-rate, it’s the dependable, family-friendly recipes that keep me coming back again and again. I cook from your blog regularly. I think I could cook almost exclusively from your blog if forced to choose. Your bread recipes in particular have taught me so much. What I’m trying to say is that you have established yourself in this realm with me and so many others. You could slap a cell phone picture and a recipe up and that would be enough.

  179. Charlotte Moore says:

    Precious picture for sure.

    You are right about your family being first before the blog. So many lose site of that I think.


  180. One of the reasons I’ve loved you for years is because you always seem to do your own thing and never worry about what the latest fad is, what everyone else is saying on twitter, what is trendy, etc. You are just you and you post wonderful recipes and we all love you for it. Anyone who has tried food blogging knows the intense pressure you can feel and the near obsession you can develop with trying to be the best, the latest, the biggest, the first, etc. I’ve always looked to your site as someone who knows who she is (a loving mom with a great sense of humor who makes killer recipes and takes good pics to boot) and doesn’t try to be anything else. Thanks for all the wonderful posts!

  181. Great post, this is why I like your blog so much πŸ™‚ Keep up a great work and family, always first πŸ™‚

  182. Haley says:

    Mel, I love your blog! I’m sure these fabulous recipes you put out take a ton of time, so thanks for your hard work. Of all of the beautiful, witty, famous blogs I follow (and I follow more than I should), I adore your recipes the most. Heck, my husband knows you by your first name because I always say, “It’s one of Mel’s recipes.” If that’s not love, I don’t know what is. πŸ™‚

  183. Your opening comment made me laugh out loud! I have six boys, and until that little girl came along, there was a LOT less love and tenderness going on over here. Just sayin’! Love your blog! Love that you belong to my type of religion πŸ˜‰ Love that you share!

  184. Sue says:

    Mel, I love your blog and cook 90% of my meals from your recipes. keep it simple and because the food is awesome it’ll always be here.

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