Behind the Blog: Frequently Asked Questions

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Happy Thursday, everyone! I’m excited to be sharing some more information with y’all today as we continue this year-long Behind the Blog series!

For the month of August, my fellow bloggers and I are talking about the questions we’re asked frequently. I already have a page on my site dedicated to these… but I wanted to expand upon some and share some others.

Y’all ready?

Let’s dive in…

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    Spaghetti and meatballs on dish and dog licking food on plate

    Dog licking Sweet Potato and Apple Pupcake

    Where Does The Name ‘The Speckled Palate’ Come From?

    The Speckled Palate is actually not some random phrase that I threw together five years ago when I was launching this food blog. It’s actually a homage to my pup, as well as my husband’s and my (and now our daughter’s!) taste in food.

    Lucy Belle is a rescue, adopted from a shelter in Hattiesburg, Miss.. She is a Border Collie mixed with something – we’re thinking rabbit, though we’ve been told various breeds and mixes from different vets, groomers and kennels over the years. Lu has made life interesting every day since the fateful July afternoon when I adopted her in 2008. She also makes me laugh daily.

    Lucy is black, white and pink all over – even in her mouth – and she has a funny-looking speckled palate. In fact, most people who meet her notice this right away since she keeps her mouth open at all times in a big puppy smile.

    Like Lucy, Winston, Lady Baby and I have speckled palates. Not in the physical sense, but in the ‘we have a variety of different tastes in food’ and ‘we will try anything once’ kind of way. And that is my goal here at The Speckled Palate. To explore new, different and exciting foods in our kitchen, for better or worse. And to not let anything burn down while we’re experimenting.

    Where do you find inspiration for your recipes?

    Inspiration comes in all forms, and it occurs all the time. It’s equally ridiculous and wonderful to find inspiration in literally anything.

    I occasionally watch cooking shows, so I have lightbulb moments while sitting in front of the television. Not because I want to make the same things that they’re cooking, but because the host said something that spurred an idea that needs exploration.

    I’m inspired by the grocery store. (This, obviously, is a dangerous one.) I’m a sucker for a good deal, so if I see a bag for, say, hatch chiles for .89 cents, I’m going to toss it in my cart and see what I can whip up with those chiles. (This has also happened with avocados, chicken, mangos, strawberries, and more.)

    I occasionally wake up in the middle of the night with a recipe idea. They also pop into my brain when I’m driving, working out, running errands, showering, and anywhere in between.

    Parmesan cheese sprinkled over a plate of Spaghetti and Meatballs

    Who first taught you how to cook?

    Both my parents are good cooks, so I learned from them. I remember them getting my sister and me a cookbook of our own when we were young, and we tried to cook a meal weekly. Growing older, we experimented in the kitchen more, and I took over the reins occasionally during my high school years. Whenever I cooked, it was baked chicken and noodles. You’re welcome for the super gourmet dinner, family.

    My mom’s spaghetti and meatballs is still one of my comfort foods. I love my dad’s baked steak, too, though I rarely make it. I love making my Bugga’s pie crust. (It took me 5+ years to become proficient at this. I figure in another 50, I’ll be close to Bug’s skill level.) I’ve tried and failed at my Memother’s classic chocolate meringue pie. Someday, I’m going to get it right.

    While my renditions of these family dishes taste different than their original versions, they taste like home, and they make me so happy.

    Do you ever feel like not cooking? What do you do on those days?

    Ha. Yes. Way more than I’d like to admit, quite honestlyHaving a child changes a lot… and one of the things I noticed changing when we were settling into parenthood was I no longer wanted to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Not just because I didn’t feel like cooking, but because I couldn’t devote the same amount of time to it as I had before.

    These days, I try to set a timer and challenge myself to make something tasty that the whole family will like in 30 minutes or less. This is an easy thing to be able to do while my daughter eats a snack or a meal in her high chair.

    But on the nights where I’m really not feeling it, my husband picks up takeout. Thai is one of our perennial faves, as is another Asian fusion restaurant. Or we order pizza. And we give ourselves a break because as wonderful as it would be to have a homemade dinner every night, I like my sanity more than trying to do everything.

    Peanut Blossoms // The Speckled Palate

    Where does your love of baking/cooking come from?

    Every year, my family baked cookies for July 4 and Christmas. My love of baking definitely comes from those hours spent in the kitchen with the whole family. We have traditional recipes for both, and to this day, I still make them. So if you were to end up in my kitchen at the beginning of July, I’d be cooking up some Tea Cakes. If you stopped by in December, chances are, I would be making Chocolate Crinkles, Potato Chip Cookies and Dark Chocolate Peanut Blossoms.

    What would you consider to be your best recipe?

    This is such a tough question… and I don’t really have an answer for it. I’m proud of all my recipes for different reasons, and choosing a favorite would be like choosing a favorite child.

    Yes, I realize this is a cop out answer, but I could say ANY of them.

    Have you ever thought about putting together a cookbook?

    Absolutely! I’d love to put together a cookbook. My only problem is that I have such a wide and varying interest in food that choosing one topic would be a huge challenge. So the idea is shelved for now… until inspiration hits. 😉

    #foodbloggerproblems, amiright?

    Be sure to check out my other posts in the Behind the Blog Series!

    Other posts that go BEHIND THE BLOG and the business of food blogging: Behind the Blog: Top Posts / Behind the Blog: @katiewilliamsen of Twin Stripe Interview / Behind the Blog: Organization, Planning and BalanceBehind the Blog: Social Media TipsBehind the Blog: The WorkspaceBehind the Blog: Behind the PhotographsBehind the Blog: Blogs I LoveBehind the Blog: The Speckled Palate’s Beginning

    Be sure to visit my friends who are sharing their blogger interviews today, too!

    Good Blog Questions {FAQs for bloggers} | The Natural Homeschool

    FAQs About Our Homeschool | The Life of Jennifer Dawn

    What are some of YOUR FAQ’s?

    A woman with dark curly hair wearing a black tank top in front of a white wall

    About the Author:

    Erin Parker is a Southern gal living in Texas with her husband and two daughters. She started The Speckled Palate to share what she was cooking as a newlywed… and over the years, it’s evolved to capture her love for hosting. Specifically, the EASIEST, lowest key entertaining because everyone deserves to see their people and connect over good food. Learn more about her

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