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I have another fairly new to me blog as today’s Blogger Spotlight today – Caroline Edwards from Chocolate and Carrots. I came across Caroline’s blog a little while back, and have been hooked ever since! Gorgeous photos and foods made a little bit better for you – what else do you need? :) I’m so happy Caroline is sharing here with us today!

I’m Caroline — a food blogger and photographer from South Carolina. I’m 25 years old, married my high school sweet heart and we’re expecting our first child in May 2012.

 

I graduated from the College of Charleston in Mathematics and Computer Science and was unsuccessful at finding a ‘career’. Discovering my true passion for baking while in college, it was too late to stop and go to culinary school. My amazing husband suggested I start a food blog. It was the best thing that ever happened to me. I run chocolate & carrots where I primarily focus on healthier baking!

 

What inspired you to first start writing your blog?
Well, really the inspiration was all my husband, Logan. Like I said in my about blurb, he got the idea rolling in my head (and set it up for me). To tell you the truth, I was against it at first. I’m so glad I kept at it, because I love what I do.Here’s my first post, if you want to read!
 

What kinds of posts are your favorite to write?
Desserts. I typically have the most creative juices flowing while I drool at the dessert photographs. Since my style of writing is very conversational, it’s just easier for me to relate to everyone with desserts. There aren’t too many folks who don’t enjoy a good slice of cake or a cookie!

Can you say cake? This is the owl cake I made for my sister’s 18th birthday.

Where do most of your recipes come from?
I primarily adapt recipes that I find online. However, during the holiday season, it’s all about the family recipes. Actually, here’s a series that I did called the 12 Decadent Days of Christmas that focuses on some of my family’s all time favorites!



What is your favorite kind of food to make?
Dessert! I just love that feeling when you serve a dessert and you get these, almost pornographic looks on people’s faces, of ‘oh my goodness, this is heaven’. It’s the best!

What is your favorite recipe posted on your blog?
Woah…that’s a tall order. A favorite? Just one!?!? Well, if I must choose, I’d pick my {Secret Ingredient} Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake. I absolutely love being sneaky with my desserts. In this cake there’s a special secret ingredient that you’ll just have to go see!




P.S. There’s a cupcake version too:



Will you show us your kitchen?  What is your favorite thing about your kitchen?
Tada! This is my kitchen. 

My favorite part about my kitchen is the refrigerator. We splurged on it when we bought this house (our first house) and I just love the amount of space that it provides. In my next kitchen though, I’m going to have so much natural light it’ll make you puke. Just kidding. It’s just that any time I want to take a food photograph, I have to take all of my props and photography equipment outside. No fun in the cold, hot, or rain. ;-)

What is your favorite kitchen tool/appliance?
Surprisingly, it’s my chef’s knife and Boos kitchen block. I use it every single day, from chopping my daily salad ingredients to chopping butt-loads of chocolate!



What would you eat as your last supper?
Does chocolate cake count? If so, I’d have a dark chocolate cake. Crazy amounts of chocolate…but it has to be served cold with a scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt on the side.

What kind of camera/lens/equipment do you use?
I use a Canon EOS 7D and a 50mm f1.4 lens.

Any suggestions or hints to have great food photos?
Use natural light. I’m always seem to do less ‘meal-time’ posts during the winter since it is pitch-black dark out when I get dinner ready. Shooting the food with the light of my kitchen just doesn’t cut it. Can you say, ‘hello shadows!’?

What kind of food did you eat growing up?  Do you cook the same kinds of things today?
I grew up with home-cooked meals. It was usually the same 15-20 recipes that my mom would circulate through, but I’m pretty sure that’s because having 4 girls makes life hectic and we were all picky in our own way.
I cook similar foods, but I make them all a little bit healthier (in fat/calorie/sodium content and adding whole grains and veggies when I can). I love to bring back memories of the dinners that my mom would make. But having a food blog, allows me to challenge myself quite often to make things that I wouldn’t have dared to try otherwise. It’s great!

Is there a dish that you are known for?
Does dessert count? My family/friends who come over for a meal always know that there will be some kind of awesome dessert to follow dinner. :D

When you really want to cheat, what do you eat?
Chocolate…especially in cake form.

If you could travel anywhere in the world – just for the food – where would you go?
I would go to Italy. I’ve never been to Europe, but I think I would go ga-ga over every food I could get in Italy. Just think, you’ll be up to your eye balls in gelato, chocolate, espresso, pasta, wine…how could it get any better?!?!?

I’d like to think I have my own slice of Italy by being able to make espresso, cappuccinos, lattes, and affogatos in our little cafe section of the kitchen:



Is there anything you would not ever eat?
Well, pre-pregnancy, I would never eat beef and only occasionally eat pork, but baby wants, what baby wants, right? I actually don’t think I ever had steak before (up until a couple of weeks ago when I made beef stir fry). I’m weird.

What are your favorite blogs to read?
Oh geeze. There are so many! You should see my google reader list!

If I had to narrow it down, based on who I look up to, it’d be:

Take us through a typical day of eating in your house.
5:00am Wake up and make the french press coffee (for my husband) and green monsters.


6:00am I send my husband off to work with his lunch and get started on my day.
8:30am I’ll have something small like a pancake or a half of a bagel or something.
11:00am I have a salad (I try to fit one salad into my life everyday).
1:00pm I’ll usually take some bites of whatever goody I have made for the blog that morning for it’s food photoshoot. Someone’s gotta taste it…notice the bite taken out?!? ;-) Hard work being a food blogger. ;-)
3:00pm I’ll have another something small…maybe an apple with some almond butter or some leftovers from the night before.
5:30pm My husband gets home and that’s when we’ll have dinner.
7:30pm I’m starving again and I’ll munch on some berries or make a banana soft serve smoothie with chocolate!

What is your favorite part about blogging?
Being a homemaker (without a car or friends in Columbia), I started to get lonely. But, with food blogging, I feel a great sense of community. I’ve made friends (virtually), but when you’re lucky, you get to meet their beautiful faces at conferences or on trips! I have a purpose every day. I makes me feel like I’m touching lives out there…one piece of cake at a time.

What is your best tip to becoming a successful blogger?
Well, successful is in the eye of the beholder, and in my humble eye, I’m still reaching for the stars and am still progressing and learning just like the rest of you. But, if I had to pick one thing that I’m always doing, it’s practicing. I’m constantly baking/cooking, (and yes, there are mistakes made, but you learn from them), photographing, and writing. Keep at it and learn as much as you can! 

————————

Thanks, Caroline!  I loved learning more about you!  If you want to see more from Caroline, here is where you can find her:

Blog:  Chocolate and Carrots
Facebook: Chocolate and Carrots
Twitter:@chocandcarrots
Pinterest: Caroline Edwards | Chocolate and Carrots

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12 Responses to Chocolate and Carrots {Blogger Spotlight}

  1. Katrina says:

    This was so fun to read! I love Caroline’s blog! What a kitchen!!

  2. Jessica says:

    Beautiful kitchen! The blogger spotlights are so interesting, and I am definitely making that chocolate peanut butter cake, yumm!

  3. Cassie says:

    LOVE Caroline! This is great and what a beautiful kitchen! Can’t wait to check out that owl cake!

  4. Jennifer | Mother Thyme says:

    What a beautiful spotlight! That Owl Cake is fabulous! Gorgeous photography! And I love that refrigerator too!

  5. Great feature! Caroline is one of my favorite bloggers and I want to eat almost everything she posts.

  6. I’ve loved getting to know both of you ladies better this year…and Instagram has been another fun way to do that :)

  7. Both cakes are gorgeous and awesome in their own ways. Such a fun way to learn more about someone. Thanks for this series. :)

  8. Chels R. says:

    I’m definitely going to check out her blog!

  9. Joanne says:

    Caroline seems like such a sweetie! And those cakes of hers…amazing. I can’t believe I’ve never stumbled across her blog before!

  10. I loved reading this, and definitely have to read this blog now! Love the blogger spotlights and the questions you ask :)

  11. Emily says:

    Can’t wait to check out Chocolate and Carrots!

    I loved all of the waffle recipes you posted. Yum. I hope you do waffle week next year too.

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