By Lindsay Valdez
Tell us a little about yourself and your blog!
I’m a self-taught cook and photographer, and my mission is to have fun in the kitchen AND get in and out of it in less than 30 minutes each night! Framed Cooks is my way of sharing recipes that are both easy and interesting – macaroni and cheese pizza, anyone? Because we already know how to make the regular version of mac and cheese.
How did you get started blogging?
I started a food blog by accident! My photography teacher gave me an assignment to shoot still life — something different every day for 2 weeks. I hate photographing still life. I like photographing dogs and babies and teenagers and other things that won’t sit still. I had no idea what on earth I would be able to think of to photograph still-life-wise that could be different every day. And then it dawned on me. Dinner. I decided to use my own recipes and put it up on a blog for a couple of weeks until the assignment was over…that was ten years ago. HA!
Share with us a favorite quote!
“Never give in, never, never, never–never, in nothing, great or small, large or petty–never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.” Winston Churchill. (I try to remember this when I am having all kinds of trouble melting chocolate on the stove.)
What social media tools can you not live without?
View this post on Instagram
This easy recipe for creamy tomato meatball soup is not only a snap to make, it’s also Whole 30 compliant for those of you who are Whole 30-ing. And if you aren’t, it’s still a bowl of delicious, warm and wonderful tomato soup deliciousness! Recipe link in profile and here ~ https://www.framedcooks.com/2018/01/creamy-tomato-meatball-soup.html
What do you focus on most when it comes to creating content?
My recipes have to work for busy families. If something turns out to be too fussy, or takes too long, or in any other way doesn’t feel like it fits my “easy but interesting” rule I regretfully toss it to the side, no matter how long I’ve spent writing the recipe and photographing the process. And of course above all, it has to taste really good! My husband gets the last word on whether something is bloggable or not, and he takes his job seriously!
Share with us any goals you have for 2020.
We are moving from New Jersey to North Carolina this summer (gulp!) and I’m using that to expand the blog a little to include some lifestyle posts. Starting with our housebuilding adventure and including things like kitchen organization, using sustainable goods, starting a cookbook club and so on.
Any tips you want to share with bloggers just starting out?
My two biggest pieces of advice: right at the start, give serious thought to your blog name. I came up with mine on a whim because I honestly didn’t plan for my site to turn into something serious, and now I spend my life explaining it. (Framed Cooks – pictures of food – get it? Sigh.) And second, hang in there and just concentrate on great content. It takes time…don’t get discouraged.
What’s your favorite book?
Charlotte’s Web, by E.B. White. Every word is absolutely perfect.
Where is your favorite place to travel?
My family’s home town of Middletown Springs, Vermont. Peaceful and beautiful and so far, no cell phone service. Ahhhhhhhhh…..
What are your 3 favorite recipes on your site?
My Grandma’s molasses cookies (spicy and sweet and one for each hand)
Slow Cooker Beef Barley Soup (thick and comforting and makes a LOT)
Strawberry Basil Margarita (self-explanatory!)
What are your 3 favorite recipes from other sites?
Simple Roast Chicken from Leite’s Culinaria – the absolute perfect way to roast a chicken.
Citrus Shrimp Avocado Salad from Add A Pinch. Healthy, scrumptious, easy.
Delicious Creamy Mashed Potatoes from The Pioneer Woman. Cream cheese is involved.
What’s the best blogging advice you’ve ever received?
The fabulous blog Gimme Some Oven wrote a post about the food blogger “summer slump” and I have it bookmarked to read every year. It is chock full of comforting advice that I hang on to when traffic dips, as it always does from time to time.
What are the three most popular recipes on your site?
Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole I’m guessing because it’s a delicious way to eat your veggies!
Pastina with Egg And Cheese, Otherwise Known As Comfort Food I get more messages on this recipe than any other, so many telling me their grandma used to make this for them. Warms my heart.
Pasta with Buttered Sour Cream and Bacon Because butter and bacon and pasta?
What are you most looking forward to in 2020?
Moving into our multigenerational house with our daughter and son-in-law (and any little bundles of joy that come along)…I feel so blessed! Among other things, I’ll have that many more folks to cook for, which I love.