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Melissa's interview

Interview by Lydia Interview by Lydia

We interviewed Melissa!

Visit the blog: You Put "What" in That?.

See profile page and recipes

"Everyone likes to be good at something. Decide what you like about the foods you eat and build a passion around it."

Hello Melissa, so tell us...

When did you begin your blog, and what inspired you to start it?

I started my blog May of this year after being laid-off from my job in March. Before that, I'd been considering re-launching a short-lived cookie dough business which I had to put on pause during the economic down turns in 2010. I didn't like the idea of using my savings to re-launch the business with no income currently coming in. But it was important to me to create a business in order to generate another stream of income. With limited resources, I needed a business that I could sustain and would not break the bank, as the expression goes. Writing or blogging was the logical choice for me. I already had a laptop and internet service so, why not? And a food blog was a no-brainer. I'm a foodie, I've owed food based businesses, and I'm going to be cooking anyway. I'd simply take a picture of my meals before I eat.

What is your earliest food memory?

I was spending another summer at my grandmother's house. She handed me a banana for a snack. I'd eaten bananas many times before this. But for some reason on this occasion when I tasted the banana, I realized I didn't really like the taste. Didn't like it AT ALL! And after that moment, I can remember deliberately tasting food to determine if I liked the taste of it or not.

Are you involved in the blogging community - how do you attract new readers?

I want very much to be involved in the blogging community. I try to reach out to other bloggers on a daily basis through their blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest, etc. Being that my blog is very new I'm utilizing social network mediums as much as I can.

I use Facebook ads to generate page likes and then post content that would encourage subscribers to visit my blog. I post to Twitter at least 3 times a day and also check the "@ Connect" tab regularly so that I can interact with followers and other bloggers.

I'm currently preparing guest blog posts. For a new blog I think guest blogging will be extremely beneficial.

And occasionally I visit Q&A type sites like Yahoo Answers and answer questions in the "Food" category leaving the url to my blog as the source of the information. But, I really have to be careful with this approach so that my post to come across as SPAM.

You have already created one children's cookbook. Are there any others on the horizon?

Yes! I'm really excited about creating more children's cookbook. As a kid, I loved when my mother bought me cookbooks especially for kids...especially for me!

I plan to write at least two more cookbooks for kids. One will be easy baking recipes and the other will be holiday inspired.

What is/are your go to recipe(s) if you’re preparing a last minute dinner or party?

Baked Ziti. Layer ziti noodles, ground beef, spaghetti sauce, Mexican cheese blend and cottage cheese (not ricotta). I mix 2 eggs in the cottage cheese first. Cottage cheese makes the flavor and texture very rich and creamy. I can easily serve 10 people with a ziti.

If you could be a contestant or guest on any cooking show what show would you choose?

I don't know if this show still airs but I would like to help Chef Irvin on Dinner Impossible. So in the event I'm so nervous and I faint, Chef Irvin can give me mouth-to-mouth. ;) And yes, I know mouth-to-mouth is not required when someone faints.

When you get home from a long trip do you have a go to dish you crave?

I don't have a particular dish I crave. However, there have been times when I missed my own cooking. I'll taste a dish like an apple pie for example. Then I can't wait to get home to make the pie exactly how I like to taste it. I feel frustrated when I don't enjoy my food!

Is there any dish, ingredient or type of food you refuse to cook or eat?

I've been stubborn about this before. I finally overcame my stubborn streak and made banana pudding recently, which I posted in my blog. Not a fan of the banana. But on the other hand, I will never, ever, EVER eat octopus EVER AGAIN!

What are your goals for this blog? Where would you like to see it in the next year? Five years?

I would like to build a community around my blog where I can bounce ideas around with readers about all the different secret ingredients that are out there. In the next year and beyond, it would be great to build relationships and collaborate with professional chefs and Food Vloggers.

Anything else you would like to share?

Everyone likes to be good at something. Decide what you like about the foods you eat and build a passion around it.

Thank you Melissa for answering our questions and see you soon!
Published by Lydia - 08/06/2013

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