Behind the Blog Blogger Spotlight: Family Around the Table. I hope you are enjoying the return of blogger spotlights. Last week I told you a little bit more about myself and my blogging journey in my own blogger spotlight. This week we are going to get to know one of my blogging friends. Ellen from Family Around the Table is the one that nudged me into taking over YumGoggle. So she is a big part of the reason we are here today.
She is a great friend to have. Ellen is always helpful and enthusiastic. Like many of us she wears many hats, wife, mom and blogger. Today we are going to get to know a little more about her behind the scenes. I am just sure you are going to love her too.
Family Around the Table FACEBOOK PAGE
Family Around the Table on TWITTER
Family Around the Table on PINTEREST
Family Around the Table on INSTAGRAM
All of Family Around the Table ON YUM GOGGLE
How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
My first post went live in September of 2010 but it was hard to get serious at that time. I was caring for my Mom which took a lot of my time so posts were what I call now, careless. I say careless because I didn’t put much thought into them, didn’t understand the blogging world. I pretty much posted what I wanted to post when I wanted to post it. My photos were, well, let’s just say they need to be retaken from that time. Plus, my boys were younger and needed more done for them. When my Mom passed in May of 2014 I took time to research how to start a blog, learn the ropes better and try to understand what I was getting myself into! I also decided to start my blog because, after 16 years writing for the Tampa Bay Times TASTE section, I decided it was time for a change. It was January 2016 that I officially launched what is Family Around The Table today.
Do you have a secret recipe you aren’t willing to share?
No, not really. Good food was meant to be shared. I will say I was given a recipe from a restaurant owner nearly 12 years ago for a pie that is my favorite at their restaurant. I will not share that in a public forum because that restaurant is still in business, still serving that pie and I just don’t think it would be right. I have made it for guests and it’s been well received but I won’t share it because I don’t feel it’s mine to share at this point.
If you were stranded on a desert island with only one food, what would you choose?
Gosh, that’s hard. Since I always tell my family I could eat steak every day, I’d have to say steak. Hopefully I could have a variety of cuts like flank, roasts, steaks, ground beef, etc. It might not get so boring with that variety. It certainly would be easy to cook as long as there were lots of trees so I could start a fire and grill. Hopefully there would be fruit trees on the island so there would be a plethora of options for sides.
How did you come up with your blog’s name?
Growing up, family dinners were a priority in my home. I wanted the tradition to continue in my family. I’m lucky my husband is on the same page in that respect. Family Around The Table was a natural choice. Unless my husband is traveling we have dinner together every night. When he is out of town, the three of us eat together. So much happens around our table, we talk about school, family vacation ideas, our ancestors and plans for the future.
What are you passionate about besides food?
Hands down, my family. They are the most important thing to me. Scrapbooking would be second to my family. I enjoy preserving the memories we make. I think my kids enjoy seeing my pages and remembering some of our family trips.
What is your favorite food to make?
I love to bake just about anything but my favorite food to make would be any chicken dish. We enjoy chicken and I prepare it often. My Mom also cooked a variety of chicken dishes so I figure I come by it naturally.
What is your favorite thing to order when you are out to eat?
We don’t eat out often. We prefer restaurants that aren’t chains and they are hard to come by in our area. It would also depend on the restaurant. When we do dine out we often choose Italian so I would have to say lasagna or chicken picatta.
Who are some of your favorite bloggers?
There are so many! Carlee of Cooking with Carlee is one of my best blogger friends. She’s so knowledgeable and has taught me a lot with much patience. Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures has also taught me a lot and given me much guidance. She makes the most amazing macarons. I just wish she’d send me some! Shelby from Grumpy’s Honeybunch is a dear friend who has not only given me great advice but been there as a friend when I needed one.
Blogs I visit regularly, in addition to those above, are Jolene’s Recipe Journal which has great, easy recipes for any skill level, Girl Abroad because Sondra’s travel adventures are the things dreams are made of, Soulfully Made because Nikki’s recipes are warm and comforting and just reading them makes you feel good and My Sweet Savings because I’m always looking to save money and Heather shares great deals and ideas.
What are some of your favorite recipes on your blog?
My boys would say Hershey Bar Pie is their favorite. I make it for them for the first day of school and the last day of school. They have even asked for this pie in lieu of birthday cake. My husband’s favorite recipe would have to be the chicken fricassee. He asks me to make it often. For me…that’s a tough one. The rave review coconut cake would be my favorite dessert. Gigi’s baked beans and my hassleback chicken cordon bleu would be the others.
What is your favorite thing about blogging?
There are so many wonderful things about blogging! My family gets involved in what I make, plus they get to try almost all of it. Having a degree in English, I love to write so that’s another fun part for me. I guess I would have to say my favorite thing is the friendships I’ve made with brands and other bloggers. I’ve been fortunate to meet many of my blogger friends in person but those I’ve not met mean just as much to me. It’s a real community when you find like-minded bloggers. The blogger perks are really fun too.