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Meet Monique

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Welcome to Ambitious Kitchen, I’m Monique. I’m incredibly happy you’re here!

The goal of this blog is to provide you with inspiration, whether it’s in your kitchen or in your life. 

My passion for cooking and baking came at an early age while assisting my Puerto Rican Mother in the kitchen, and my Father, a man who made his own pies, pancakes and an incredible yellow cake with chocolate frosting. Thus on this blog you will be sure to find sweet delights, Spanish inspired cuisine, and of course, my flair for healthy eating.

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How did you start your blog?

During my college years I happily studied cookbooks, baked everyone I met a cake, and developed my own famous enchilada recipe. I could think of no other way to share my love for food then to start a blog. At the end of 2011 I launched Ambitious Kitchen. It has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

I’m sure my Dad would be proud of me.

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What’s happened since then?

I won Nordic Ware’s Bundts Across America recipe contest, appeared in a cook-off in Washington D.C., hung alongside Bobby Flay, shared my recipes on the Food Network’s HealthyEats.com, and have been featured on numerous cooking sites. My college even wrote a sweet article on me!

Most importantly blogging has let me to meet incredible friends along the way, plus I’ve learned so much about myself, and the passion I have for food, photography and writing.

Bobby Flay

What will I find on this blog?

Everything! Most of the food I create is geared towards those with active, healthy lifestyles. You’ll find plenty of good-for-you meals to share with your family, friends, and recipes your boyfriend will adore. I like to get creative, using unique ingredients and pairing different flavor combinations. Sometimes I play around with gluten-free and vegan recipes too!

If you’re new, start with these meatballs. And then finish with a truly life-changing cookie.

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Wanna know more?

I live in Minneapolis, MN.

Traveling is one of my favorite things to do and I’m always up for an adventure. I briefly lived in Australia where I learned to surf at some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. I also drank a lot of wine. It was unforgettable.

I shoot all of my own food photos and use a Canon DSLR and sometimes my iPhone. I practice yoga frequently, and try to work out almost everyday. Pumpkin pie is my favorite dessert and I can never get enough peanut butter. I’m obsessed with Mariah Carey but I mostly listen to hippie music. Oh, and eyeballs freak me out.

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Above all I believe in passion. Find something you love and do it! That’s what I’m doing here.

If you are interested in working with me, or pitching a product for review, please contact meMedia kits are available upon request.

Otherwise if you have a question about a recipe or if you’d just like to say hello, feel free to contact me! You can find me via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google or email! I’d love to hear from you. And I really mean that!

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OTHER FAQs:

Can I use your photography/content on my website/blog?

Please do not redistribute my photography or recipes without my permission. All recipes and photography on this website are my own unless otherwise specified, and is subjected to copyright  If you’d like to use a photograph or a recipe, please contact me for permission.

Will you review my product/book/site?

I am available for recipe development, food photography and/or styling, travel/press events, product reviews, brand promotion/ambassador, and sponsored posts. If you are interested in working with me, or if you have a question/comment regarding a recipe or about my blog, please send me an email.

89 Responses to Meet Monique

  • Erik says:

    Really fresh look mo! avoid the tasty skrimps!

  • Taylor says:

    I just found your blog and am so glad I did! I love your writing and your pictures are beautiful. As a fellow Minnesotan (and runner and yogi) I can’t wait to keep following along!

  • Amanda says:

    OMG I LOVE YOUR BLOG!!!! Everything looks amazing, so beautiful and delicious looking!!! I can’t wait to try some of these recipes!!! Already Obsessed!!!!

  • Mindy says:

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! My fiance and I love food. Not just any food…we looove good food, we also have super sweet tooths, but we also try to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Juggling both can be a difficult task to do. So thank you for making this blog! We are parents to a 8 month old, so I don’t have the time to alter recipies that we want to try in order to make them healthy. You’ve made it easy, now all I have to do is hop on here and cook or bake my little heart out! Please continue posting!

    P.s. I really like when you add nutritional information!

    thanks again and I wish you ooodles of success!

  • Erika says:

    Just recently discovered your blog and so glad that I did. You have some amazing looking recipes on here that I can’t wait to try.

  • Jenna says:

    Love reading this page. I think your truly beautiful inside and out. Keep on inspiring, Monique! :)

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  • Monique says:

    Jenna, you are too sweet!

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  • ohshineon says:

    so glad i stumbled past your site :) cue in slow development of a girl crush — no judgments here.

  • Bill says:

    Hi Monique, I just found your blog through a FB friends post. So glad to have checked it out. It’s now at the top of my list of blogs to follow! Can’t wait to spend some time looking through your recipes. I’m a new food blogger (2 months) and am having so much fun seeing what others are doing. Job well done!!

  • karen says:

    My cousin, Sarah Brehm, introduced me to your blog!
    I have tried 2 of your banana breads and love them! (In the chocolate raspberry one I substituted cherries as I had some fresh ones to use up…delicious!)
    I too love to cook and am always looking for healthy ways to do it. With a full time job and family, I don’t always have time to explore options on my own…so I appreciate yours! Hopefully my husband and two young boys will thank me later for keeping them healthy…or at least trying too!
    I too love yoga and working out….my sanity in this crazy life!
    Keep the recipes coming!!!
    smiles,
    karen :)

  • Jennifer R. says:

    I found your recipe via Pinterest.. And since I have a slight, well.. Gigantic obsession with Nutella, I decided to make these cookies. WOW! They are amazing and my husband, mother (well entire family/friends) have proclaimed these cookies as their all time favorite!! Thank you :)

  • Jennifer R. says:

    Oh sorry lol.. I forgot to mention the cookies I made… They were your Nutella- stuffed brown butter and sea salt
    Chocolate chip cookies :)

  • Matt Miller says:

    Definitely going to try the Nutella cookies. I recently discovered Biscoff Cookie Spread…I might try a variation with that and Ghirardelli White Chocolate Bar. My big claim to fame with friends and family is traditional Scottish Shortbread. I’ve been making it in small batches, by hand since 1983. I have finally resorted to using a mixer…the old hands just get too tired too fast these days! This past year has been all about canning…making some tangerine marmalade tonight and tomorrow. I’ll check your recipes for other things to try. My wife is going vegetarian and I see you have a number of vegetarian and “guilt-free” recipes (which I will need after the cookies!). Happy cooking!

  • Hi. I just nominated you for the VERY INSPIRING BLOGGER AWARD. Congratulations!

  • Jessica says:

    Happy New Year Monique! I found your blog right before Christmas through Kevn&Amanda via Pinterest on a cookie quest and I really enjoy it! Got a little distracted and haven’t gotten to the cookies yet but I have already made your Green Monster Smoothies (suprisingly yummy!) Carrot Coconut Whole Grain muffins and even my picky 13-year-old liked them! Today my son and I are going to try the Brown Butter Snickerdoodles before I head back to work and the boys go back to school. I love your blog and can’t wait to try more of your great recipes and to see what is to come in 2013. Thanks! Jessica

  • Paul Durand says:

    It is sure AWESOME to see a Rockford alumni (Class of 2007) having such success! Congratulations. We’re all proud of your entrepreneurial spirit. Best of luck on your business venture(s). Paul Durand Superintendent of Schools – District #883

  • Sofia says:

    Hi Monique, I just came across your blog and its lovely! I just started a food blog too, and its exactly as you say about passion, find something you love and do it! So true!

  • Kristin Byman (Hall) says:

    Oh my gosh! Monique Volz!! From RHS?? Lol!! I found your brown butter cookies from an Instagram post and have been drooling over your recipes. Then I thought I should see if there is anyway to see whose recipes I’m drooling at. So I click on the About tab, and oh my word, I see the name Monique but I’m sure there are many Monique’s in this world. Then I see your picture and think “no way!” Then scroll down again and really realize its you! Small small world! Insane where life takes you! Thanks for this blog, I love to bake/cook for my family and there is nothing better than getting lost in recipes!! I’m still in shock!! Of all the recipe blogs I’ve scoured, I would have never imagined to come across one created by you!! Ok, enough!! But thank you!! :) I can’t wait to start trying these recipes! And good luck, where ever life takes you!! Thank you for sharing your passion with us! Some of us aren’t as creative and we need this support to keep our kitchen lively!!

  • Marie says:

    Came for the Nutella stuffed cookies, and now it’s been an hour already. Your blog is lovely, photos and everything… Keep the passion up !

  • Found your blog through a friend this week and love your recipes! So happy to have found you! Keep up the amazing content!

  • Sofie Bockaert says:

    Nice blog, ausome recepies!!!!! I will come back. but first I have to surprise my kids with the Nutella chocolate chip cookies!!!!

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  • Karen says:

    GREAT blog!! Could you please tell what is the name/recipe for the great looking salad at the top of this page??

  • karen says:

    Thank you so much! I gotta try it:) I lived in Minneapolis (St. Louis Park & Lake Minnetonka area) most of my life and relocated to SoCal (Huntington Beach and Channel Islands Harbor) about 17 years ago.

  • Peggy McNeal says:

    Merry Meet Monique, I am about to try your Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. They look heavenly, I will let you know. You are truly very blessed to be able to do what you love to do. My passion and or dream is to breed cats I just love kittens but there is just not enough income doing that to sustain me financially. But who knows new things and dreams come peoples way everyday maybe mine will to someday. For now got to get baking these cookies. Blessed Be

  • Amanda says:

    Just found your blog today and I’m hooked. Can’t wait to try all of your delicious looking recipes! Check out my blog! Stayhungree.com

  • Just found your blog today June 23rd and like what ive seen so far

  • carol powers says:

    Monique – have you published a cook book? LOVE your recipes! thanks for sharing!

  • Lou B. says:

    great blog! great pics & recipes! can’t wait to make the quinoa and cookies!

  • Laura A. says:

    Monique, I’m here to tell you… you ROCK!! I have found so much inspiration in your recipes, can’t wait to try some more… But first, Confession Time: I got stuck on your dark chocolate chick pea blondies for about a month… I baked them 3 times in a row! When I wasn’t eating one, I was thinking about eating one, and when they weren’t waiting for me in the kitchen, I was thinking about when I was going to bake them next… does that mean I like food too much?? LOL But seriously, I love your blog and sense of humor, great recipes and beautiful photos… keep up the good work, sister!!

  • Lexie says:

    Your blog is one of my favorites!! I have already made so many of your recipes and they never disappoint. The Nutella stuffed cookies are life changing! So many more recipes to try!

  • Emily says:

    I just found your blog and would love to share some of your recipes with my Pampered Chef audience! Credit will of course go to you anytime I would share something. :) I hope you had a good NYE and are enjoying Chicago while your here!

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