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Your questions… answered!

Answering 10 of the most popular reader questions from the blog! Everything from how I started this food blog to what cookie to bring to your next party.

Hazelnuts roasting on a tray

I’ve been getting a lot of emails or questions on Facebook from you guys. Some of these really make me laugh! I try my best to respond to each and every one. But I thought it would be easier if I addressed some of them here.

1. Why do you always use dark brown sugar in your recipes? Especially your cookie recipes

Because it’s awesome. Well, actually dark brown sugar has a stronger content of molasses compared to light brown sugar, therefore it’s a tiny bit sweeter. I will often use it in banana bread as I feel that you can use less sugar in the recipe. When I bake cookies I prefer to use brown sugar vs. granulated sugar as it tends to produce a chewier, more flavorful cookie.

2. Do you have any great dessert recipes that my boyfriend will like?

I have come to realize that men love a couple of things: anything with buffalo sauce, chocolate, OR brown butter. Follow that and you are golden. I’ve got an apple crisp recipe coming to you later this month that my guy friend says it’s unbelievable. Watch for it and make it for your man. Baking for boys is a dangerous thing because if you’re really good at it, they’ll probably fall in love with you.

Cake in a pan

3. I’m a single parent and I need easy dinners that are healthy for my kids, what can I make?

Read this: How to Get Kids to Eat Better. Start planning and preparing ahead of time. It will make things a lot easier! I’m not a parent, but I do have a lot of experience working with children. I believe in introducing them to new foods, being creative, and most importantly, having fun!

Two chocolate chip cookies

4. I’m hosting a cookie exchange this year and I want to WOW them! What should I bake?

This is a question that keeps me awake at night. My friends have made my brown butter + sea salt chocolate chip cookies several times for cookie bake-offs. I’m not kidding when I say they win every single time. So get baking!

5. How did you decide that you wanted to start a food blog?

During college I had a pretty serious boyfriend, and I used to cook and bake for him all the time. For Christmas one year he bought me a KitchenAid mixer and the book ProBlogger. I read the book and took notes. I also did a ton of research. Most of all, I wanted to put out content and recipes that I could be proud of!

It took me 6 months to start Ambitious Kitchen, but I found that after I began writing and shooting my photos it became the love of my life. I absolutely love blogging and adore the wonderful community who reads it! You are so special to me!

Beach at sunrise

6. I know someone and I think you two would make the perfect match! Do you have a boyfriend?

I can’t date readers or reader’s sons. It’s against Ambitious Kitchen policy.

7. What do you do for a living?

I blog part-time, partner with companies to develop recipes, and am self-employed providing consulting on social media and brand strategy. Sounds confusing, but I’m so privileged in that I get to work from home and travel frequently. I’m trying to pursue what I love and I work very hard!

8. What goes on in your mind? How do you come up with your recipes?

Too many things are happening in my mind. I can’t even think most days. Grocery shopping relieves my stress. In fact, I find that pacing the aisles back and forth is soothing.

I usually develop a recipe or a concept based on something I’ve seen, or around a specific ingredient. I play and build on the recipe until I’m certain it’s what I want to make. I never want to cook something boring. Often some of my best recipes aren’t photographed, which unfortunately means they don’t end up here.

Glazed salmon on a pan

9. How can I start pursuing my passion and living my dreams? I really want to start a food blog!

Following your passion can be an incredibly difficult thing to do. What most people fail to realize is that there is a lot of struggle involved. It’s setting aside your wants and working hard. I’ve been out of college for almost two years and I’m still figuring out what I’ll end up doing.

Of course, passions change too! I originally started my blog because I just loved food. I had no expectations, but found that I LOVED writing, recipe development, photography, and being involved with a community of people who shared my interests. Soon, I couldn’t wait to post. I didn’t care if I was up until midnight; I absolutely had to cook and write! It made me so happy! Food was the only thing I ever talked about; I think that’s when I knew it was my passion and that I had to do something about it.

My biggest piece of advice? JUST DO IT. It doesn’t have to be pretty or perfect. You’ll learn so much from it, I promise. Do a lot of research, too! And always be yourself, because if you are passionate about what you do, it will show!

Mixing bowls on a counter

10. What’s the best way to contact you?

You can email me at ambitiouskitchen@gmail.com OR leave a comment below!

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