A former pastry chef, Abby Dodge is a widely respected baking expert as well as a popular food writer and instructor. She studied in Paris at La Varenne and is the author of seven cookbooks, including Desserts 4 Today (Taunton Press, 9/2010) and The Weekend Baker, an IACP Cookbook Award Finalist. Her recipes and articles have appeared in more than six dozen cookbooks, publications, blogs and websites. A contributing editor to Fine Cooking magazine, Abby’s recipes have also graced the covers of Bon Appetit magazine. She’s a regular guest on TV and radio and teaches cooking around the country.
What inspired you to first start writing your blog?
When I published my book The Weekend Baker, I started my original website to help folks find out more about me , my books and my appearances. Blogging has sprouted from that initial goal. While I’m hardly a prolific blogger, I do like to share my recipes in this format as it’s a more casual, fun atmosphere and I can offer more tips, hints and variations than in many of my more traditional media outlets.
What kinds of posts are your favorite to write? What do your readers seem to like the most?
Well, my mantra is “baking the world a better place one day at a time”, while evry post isn’t technically baking (some are “no-bakers”) I do try to keep my posts geared toward the sweet side of life.
I try to include lots of flavor variations with each recipe because I like to encourage readers to be adventuresome and make the recipe their own!
What is your favorite recipe posted on your blog?
Oh.. I can’t believe you are asking me to pick a favorite – it’s like picking a favorite child or animal! That said.. I guess I’ll say the Make Ahead Orange chocolate souffles for two – it’s the first post for my brand new, redesigned site!
Will you show us your kitchen? What is your favorite thing about your kitchen?
I would but it’s a terrible day for photos – too cloudy (and potentially too messy)!
What is your best tip for getting dinner on the table?
Planning ahead and sometimes WAY ahead is always my goal. Sometimes, when I know my day is going to be a crazy one, I’ll even prepare dinner before lunchtime.. That way, it’s just a gentle re-heat away from serving.
Where do most of your recipes come from? (Family favorites, you make them up, magazines, cookbooks, etc.)
All my recipes (and photos) – unless otherwise attributed – are of my own creation. Of course, I do include some riffs on my Mom’s recipes too.
What would you eat as your last supper?
Dessert, of course! Probably something chocolate or maybe caramel or maybe coffee-flavored..
What is your favorite part about blogging?
That’s easy.. I love connecting with readers! It’s such a vibrant community of food lovers – it’s an honor to be a small part of it.
What kind of camera/lens/equipment do you use?
Yikes.. I was afraid you were going to ask this. It’s confession time: I’m a terrible photographer! Thankfully (and hopefully) my recipes make up for my lack of photo genius. That said, I have a Sony camera and I thank goodness for iPhoto touch ups!
What kind of food did you eat growing up? Do you cook the same kinds of things today?
My Mom was a good cook, if not an adventurous one. She made all the classics well and we always had fresh vegetables on the plate.
I’ve feed my family in a similar way – 3 square meals with lots of veggies – but I do include lots of different types of foods. Here’s but one example: Pad Thai has been a family fave since the kids were little
What was the first dish you ever cooked?
When I was little, I used to bake at my Mom’s side.. We made everything imaginable including Floating Island with Creme Anglaise and a caramel sauce drizzle. Keep in mind this was looong before I even new what creme angalise was — what I did know was it was a flavor and texture explosion of wonderfulness!
When you really want to cheat, what do you eat?
I don’t believe there’s any such thing as cheating when it comes to food ~ I embrace it all! I like to think I embrace balanced eating.. So If I have a hankering for Java Chip Hagen Dass I go for it.. And the next time I remember to balance it out with a big slice of fresh Citrus terrine or a handful of toasted nuts. Everything in moderation.
If you could travel anywhere in the world – just for the food – where would you go?
I’d love to travel through the Meditarian, Middle East and Northern Africa.. But I think I’ll wait a bit until the area settles down a bit. This area is so rich in culinary history and the flavors a so big.. I’d like to experience it all in person.
What is the best thing you’ve ever eaten? The strangest?
The best? My first bite of seared Fois Gras in Paris.. Many moons ago…
Strangest? I’ll taste anything once.. So I’m not sure I can answer this one.. Though I do recall being a little girl and tasting pure vanilla extract and just not understanding how something that smelled THAT good could taste THAT bad… Now, that was “strange”.
What are your favorite blogs to read?
I have too may to mention. I read everything from food to entertaining to parenting to book reviews and political blogs.. Such a wealth of great information out there!
What is your best tip to becoming a successful blogger?
— still working on that one!
Thank you so much Abby! I loved learning more about you – and I agree that there is no such thing as cheating!! If you want to find out more about Abby, here is where you can find her!