The Liebster Award

The Liebster Award // The Speckled Palate

So. I recently received an award recently, and I wanted to share it with y’all this morning, as I’ve now received it MULTIPLE times now, and I clearly need to get my act together.

Kendra from Fashion Stylings by Kendra, Kathy from Up to Date Interiors AND Rachel from The Country Contessa tapped me for the Liebster Award!

Thanks so much for this honor, ladies! And apologies on being so slow to get this posted… but late is better than never. Right? Right.

If you’re unfamiliar with this blogger award, here’s what you need to know…

For the Liebster Award, you need to:

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    • Mention the person who nominated you with a link to their blog.
    • Share 11 facts about yourself.
    • Answer the 11 questions provided by the person who nominated you.
    • Nominate 11 other bloggers with less than 200 followers. (I’m using Bloglovin as my metric here.)
    • Create a new set of 11 questions for your nominees to answer.

    The Liebster Award is a great way to connect your readers with other bloggers you read and love, and I’m so excited to have received this!

    Without further ado, here are the facts about me.

    11 facts about me:

    (1) I could probably eat Veggie Fried Barley weekly, if not daily. So incredibly delicious.

    (2) When I laugh really hard, I sometimes snort. I’ve noticed some people find this endearing while it completely freaks others out. So if you find this endearing? Let’s be friends.

    (3) I have one sister, and she is the best. Our extended daily text message conversations and phone calls have gotten me through so many sticky situations and several boring days.

    (4) One day, I aspire to write a novel.

    (5) And maybe a cookbook, too.

    (6) I really enjoy a good whiskey. (21-year-old me would be cringing if she read this sentence, y’all.) 

    (7) Pop Culture Happy Hour and NPR’s All Songs Considered are my two favorite podcasts. I particularly love how both recommend new pop culture to check out, whether it’s a song, album, book or TV show and how more often than not, I find several new things I adore.

    (8) Along the same lines, I have eight — yes, eight — books on my nightstand from the library. And I am determined to read them all before they’re due back. (2014 yearly goal on books? I’ve already surpassed you by A LOT, and it’s only July! Huzzah.)

    (9) This food blog is solely responsible for one of my current freelance jobs, and I consider that quite cool.

    (10) As a freelancer, I work from home unless I’m on assignment elsewhere. Because of this, my dog knows all the secrets (which are not secrets at all) about my work, as I like to talk throughout the day. She also knows of my penchant for singing at the top of my lungs while I complete certain tasks. Sadly, she’s never impressed.

    (11) If I’m not in the mood to cook, I generally want to eat Thai or Chinese food. So random, but oh-so-delicious.

    And now, get comfy, grab a cup of coffee or tea and let’s get down to the questions I was asked…

    Kendra’s 11 questions answered:

    (1) What is your favorite clothing store in the whole wide world?
    Honestly? Either Anthropologie or J. Crew. I don’t shop a lot, but I love everything from both of those stores.

    (2) Would you rather wear all black or a pop of color?
    A pop of color. Always.

    (3) If you could only wear one or the other, which would you choose? A purse or watch and jewelry?
    A watch and jewelry, simply because those can add such fun brightness and texture to an outfit.

    (4) Favorite celebrity?
    Jennifer Lawrence. She’s pretty fantastic.

    (5) Boots or sneakers?
    Boots for wearing in the world, sneakers for running.

    (6) For a gift, would you rather be given flowers or chocolate?
    Is it greedy if I ask for both? Because while I absolutely adore chocolate, flowers are lovely to have around the house… and they tend to last a lot longer than chocolates…

    (7) Favorite clothing trend of 2013?
    As someone who is absolutely not trendy, I’ve got nothing on this…

    (8) You can only wear one item of make up on your face for a day, which do you choose?

    (9) The Notebook or A Walk to Remember?
    Neither? … I mean, if I had to choose, I suppose I would pick The Notebook. But be forewarned: I’ll cry about it, and that won’t be pretty.

    (10) Favorite brand of make up?
    I feel like the worst girl ever because I don’t really have a favorite brand. I have various products from various brands and like them all.

    (11) Chevron print top or Chambray top?
    Chambray top, por favor.


    Kathy’s 11 questions answered:

    (1) What is the first thing you do in the morning?
    Sadly, I check my e-mail. In an ideal world, I’d like to climb out of bed, chat with my husband over a cup of coffee and a delicious breakfast, then get started with my day. Unfortunately, I do not live in said ideal world, and I am not an early riser. In fact, it basically takes an act of Congress to get me out of bed at a decent hour these days.

    (2) Do you have any quirky talents?
    My elbows are double-jointed, so I can extend my arms in strange ways. Somehow, I don’t think this is a talent.

    (3) What inspired you to start a blog?
    I started blogging anonymously when I was in college, and the idea behind that blog was simply sharing the ridiculous things that happened to me. Because at the time, all kinds of crazy stuff was occurring in my life, and I wanted documentation of it all. When I decided to shift away from that blog and start a food blog years later, I had shared a few recipes at the anonymous blog, and they went over well. Since I loved to cook, I wanted to share what I was making, and it snowballed. 

    (4) What is your favorite hobby (outside of blogging)?
    Does running count? Because I think that’s what I do the most of in my time outside of blogging. If not running, then definitely reading, because I’ve been doing a ton of that, too.

    (5) Do you have any pets?
    Yes! Sweet Lucy Belle, my Border Collie mix pound puppy. She’s fabulous… and this blog is named after her. (Check it out on the FAQ page if you don’t know the story!)

    (6) How many places have you lived?
    Lots and lots of places. If we’re talking physical homes, 17 so far in my 29 years. (Thanks, college.) If we’re talking cities, five.

    (7) Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
    Happy, healthy and with a few babies. I hope I still enjoy cooking and baking and trying new things in life, too!

    (8) If you could have any car, what would it be?
    My answer is boring: A Porsche Cayenne or any Volvo SUV. It’s also incredibly expensive, sooooooooo this dream won’t be happening just yet (or ever?)…

    (9) What is your favorite meal?
    If I’m looking for homemade comfort food, my mom’s spaghetti and meatballs. A pulled pork BBQ sandwich from Corky’s or the Commisary in Memphis if I’m looking for BBQ comfort food. (Because homemade comfort food and BBQ comfort food are different and are equally delicious.)

    (10) Make up or all natural?
    A combination? I hardly ever wear makeup, and when I do, it’s incredibly natural-looking.

    (11) What is your favorite color combination?
    As an LSU grad, I’ve gotta say purple and gold.

    Rachel’s 11 questions answered:

    (1) What’s the most difficult dish you’ve ever made?
    I was really intimidated when I made homemade pasta for the first time. Was it actually a challenge? No. But was I terrified I was going to mess it up? Absolutely. Sometimes, the simplest recipes are the ones that strike fear in my heart because I know the simplicity translates to oh-so-good, and I’m afraid I’ll mess it up. (This is the same reason it took me nearly 5 years to perfect my grandmother’s pie crust. FIVE YEARS, y’all.)

    (2) What’s the hardest part about blogging?
    Creating a schedule and STICKING to it! I’m trying to get better this year at this, but it’s tough. Strangely enough, I have no problem in my professional life following a calendar right down to the minute, but in my personal life? Ha.

    (3) What’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked by a reader?
    Oh, goodness. I get a lot of garbled, they-don’t-make-any-sense questions from random folks who find my site. I don’t have a strange question that stands out in my mind, so that’s good, right?

    (4) What’s your favorite meal?
    See #9 above on Kathryn’s questions.

    (5) Tell me one story about food from your childhood or past.
    When I was a kid, my family baked on holidays. For different holidays, we made different recipes. For July 4th, we baked Tea Cakes and decorated them in patriotic colors and would deliver plates of the cookies to friends, family members and neighbors. For Christmas, it was Peanut Blossoms, Chocolate Crinkles and Potato Chip Cookies, and we’d share them with everyone we knew. Because of this, I bake on holidays and do my best to spread the love with butter and baked goodness accordingly.

    (6) Describe your blog in one sentence.
    The Speckled Palate is all about the kitchen adventures of a girl who has a speckled palate in every sense of the word, loving a little bit of this and that from every culture and trying to share this sense of adventure through recipes. 

    (7) What do you hope people will say about your blog?
    That it’s someplace they come for different and interesting takes on more traditional (and some less traditional) recipes and a place that doesn’t just provide good recipes, but also shares stories.

    (8) If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
    I studied abroad in Tuscany, so I’d love to go back there and live for another summer or longer if I got to bring my husband and pup along for the adventure.

    (9) Name a time that you were embarrassed.
    I used to get embarrassed all the time, and I’m happy to say that the older I’ve gotten, the less embarrassed I get. However, there are still moments where I want to crawl into a hole. Here’s one: When I was in college and working for the student newspaper, I walked into the newsroom to witness a conversation that still makes me cringe. Working in a newspaper is a great way to be exposed to all different kinds of opinions and people, and this experience was no different… but sometimes, you can learn too much about your co-workers.

    (10) What goals do you have for your blog in the next year?
    A more consistent posting schedule. Figuring out a way to work with other bloggers more. Connecting and making more friends in the blogging world, which is growing like crazy and has so many wonderful folks.

    (11) Do you have any hidden talents?
    People who didn’t know me as a teenager probably would not realize I’m actually quite good with music. I took violin lessons for 13+ years, taught myself how to play the guitar with the help of a friend and actually have a decent singing voice. But I don’t think this really counts as a hidden talent…

    My nominees are…

    (1) Laura from Laura’s Mess

    (2) Kelly from Hidden Fruits and Veggies

    (3) Alli from 26 Dishes

    (4) Jayne from Tenacious Tinkering

    (5) Alyssa from The Baking Yogi

    (6) Katherine from Katherine Swims

    (7) Megan from Latte Everyday

    (8) Nancy from Neatly-Packaged

    (9) Natalie from Cooking Quidnunc

    (10) Eileen from Ham Pie Sandwiches

    (11) Erini at Adorkable Me


    My questions for my nominees…

    (1) If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?

    (2) What is your favorite dish to make for yourself? What do you like to cook for company? Are they the same thing?

    (3) What is the most difficult dish you’ve ever cooked?

    (4) When you’ve had a bad day, what’s the first thing you do when you get home?

    (5) When you’re working, what kind of music do you listen to?

    (6) Favorite mindless TV show… go!

    (7) If your life was turned into a movie, who would you want to play you?

    (8) If anyone in the world was going to bring you a dish they cooked specifically for you, who would you want? And what would you like for them to make?

    (9) What is the last book you read? Would you recommend it?

    (10) What is your favorite hobby?

    (11) Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

    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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    1. I actually really love posts like this that serve as in-depth Q&As. I feel like I got to know you a little better! 🙂 Also, we should talk favorite makeups and things sometime.

    2. lol, we are sooooo much alike (apart from the cooking thing!) I loved reading your answers!!! I want some pulled pork BBQ now….

    3. Very neat that you have double-jointed elbows; I have a friend who is double-jointed in her hand, and it’s amazing what she can do. Also Border Collies are so beautiful!

      I think baking together as a family is always good food for memories; my little sister and I used to bake together all the time.

    4. Aw, thank you for the nomination! Man, blog awards really take me back to the halcyon days of Diary-L. 🙂 I agree re the difficulty of keeping a steady posting schedule — I used to do three posts per week, and then 10 per month, but nowadays real life keeps me from posting quite so much. Definitely need to get back on a more structured editorial calendar!

    5. Sorry for my late comment (things are hectic here because of the war), but
      You well deserve it

    6. Howwww did I miss this? Thanks for the nomination! It was fun getting to know you a little better 🙂 I’m pretty jealous that you get to work from home and be a stay-at-home puppy mom. My cats are constantly demanding I be a stay-at-home kitty mom, but it’s just not happening (sadly).

    7. Those are great Erin! You did such a good job showing us all who you are. I love it! I’m jealous about Tuscany. Jealous. But, I’ll try not to hold it against you–and I’d be willing to go with you if you can stuff me in your suitcase.

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