There are a few FAQs I’ve received ever since starting this blog… so if you’ve got a question? You’ve come to the right place!

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Milkbone Apple Pupcakes // @speckledpalate

Where does the name ‘The Speckled Palate’ come from?

Erin and Lucy Belle // The Speckled Palate

Funny that you should ask because it is not some random phrase that I just pulled from thin air. In fact, it’s a little homage our dog, as well as my husband’s and my taste in food.

I rescued Lucy Belle, a Border Collie mix, from the shelter in Hattiesburg, Miss., in 2008, after moving to town for work and knowing no one.

She made life interesting, encouraged daily laughs and grew into the most loving, gracious family dog I could have ever dreamed. (Not only did she adopt a dad, but she welcomed two human little sisters into the world with tail wags and so many kisses.)

We lost her to osteosarcoma in February 2022 after more than 13 years together, and we miss her smile every day.

Lucy was black, white and pink all over—even in her mouth—and she had a funny-looking speckled palate. In fact, most people who met her noticed this right away since she liked to keep her mouth open at all times in a big puppy smile.

Like Lucy, Winston and I (and now our children) 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 our goal here at The Speckled Palate: to explore new, different and exciting foods in our kitchen. And to not let anything burn down while we’re experimenting.

A close up of a yawning dog\'s mouth

Yes, I basically stuck my phone in my dog’s mouth to snap this photo. You’re welcome, Internet.

Where do you find inspiration?

I watch a lot of cooking shows, which are great for getting the creative food juices running, but I find inspiration everywhere. Sometimes, it’ll come from an afternoon walk or lunch with a friend. Sometimes, it’ll come from reading a book or a magazine. Other times, it will come from simply spending time with a family member or friend and suddenly thinking making a certain dish sounds like perfection in the moment.

Can I use your photo or recipe on my website/blog?

Yes, you may share my recipe on your blog. Please link back to the blog post with proper credit. (Here’s an example: This scrumptious-looking recipe for Andouille Sausage Breakfast Tacos is from Erin Parker, The Speckled Palate.)

If you’re adapting my recipe, awesome! I ask for you to link back to the blog post, like above. However, I ask for the recipe to not be copied and pasted from my site if you do this. Please use your own words and style in your adaptation!

Yes, you may share my photos on your blog, too. However, if you’re going to do this, I ask for you not to use the photo and recipe together in your post unless you have my permission. (Here’s an example: These Homemade Pretzel Buns look delish! {pretzel bun photo} Visit The Speckled Palate for the full recipe to make your own.)

Can I substitute X for Y in one of your recipes and get the same result?

I’m sure you can substitute one ingredient for another… but unless I’ve made a note of having tried this myself, I can’t guarantee the result will taste (or look) as originally intended. 

I wish substitutes worked every time, but the sad truth of the matter is sometimes things don’t translate, and you end up with a disappointing dish after substituting one or several ingredients.

If you choose to substitute ingredients, please let me know how it turned out! But along the same lines, please don’t hold your adaptation against me if it doesn’t turn out as advertised.

Why didn’t this recipe work for me?

I’m not sure, but I want to help you figure this out, as I only share recipes that I love, love here at The Speckled Palate, and it makes me sad when the recipe doesn’t turn out the way it was intended.

Check the comments section of the recipe’s blog post. There is a chance other people have made this recipe and left a comment about their experience with it.

Sometimes, recipes could have a typo or need more clarification, so if you find something that makes you scratch your head, let me know by leaving a comment or shoot me an e-mail so we can sort this out! I try my best to respond to all my comments in a reasonable amount of time, and I’ll do my best to help you figure this out.

What kind of camera do you use?

I’m a Canon girl. Always have been. I currently shoot everything on this blog, minus the few random iPhone photos, with my Canon 5D Mark II. My lenses of choice for food photographer are my trusty 24-70mm 2.8 L series lens and a 50mm 1.8 lens.

How do you edit your photos?

I’m a photojournalist… so I think my editing process is a lot more straightforward than some others. I cull photos in Photo Mechanic, then I edit them in Photoshop. My editing process is simply correcting the color, making sure levels are stable, adding a bit of contrast with curves and maybe, possibly sharpening a bit once the images are downsized for the blog. That’s it!

Do you work with brands to create sponsored content?

I do! I love to promote brands and products that I like here at The Speckled Palate. You can learn more about how to Work With Me here, too.

If you work at a company and are interested in working with me, please send me an e-mail at erin (at) thespeckledpalate (dot) com or you can fill out the form on my contact page.


More questions? Send me an e-mail here, and I’ll be sure to answer them for you.