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Today’s spotlight is Mandy from Gourmet Mom on the Go.

Mandy is a divalicious mom with three small girls and one very hungry husband! Her passions are cooking and music. She has a Masters Degree in Vocal Performance and spent several years as a professional opera singer before she decided to stay home full time with her kids. She still sings every day (usually in the kitchen!). She loves gourmet cooking but in her words, “with a busy family, let’s get real. We usually need things that are simple, fun, and delicious!”

About 3 years ago, Mandy noticed that a lot of families were over-scheduled and rarely sat down to dinner together. She became passionate about “taking back” family meal time and decided to start a blog to inspire families to get in the kitchen together and make some memories. The kitchen is such a great place to bond and she’s always surprised with the information that comes out of her kids’ mouths when they’re cooking together.
Earlier this year, Mandy was chosen with 15 other women (out of 6,000 entries) to participate in a live cookoff in Savannah, GA for Paula Deen and a panel of guest judges. Her proudest moment was when Paula Deen told the live audience, “I don’t know who won this cookoff, but I’m making Mandy’s recipe for my niece’s wedding this fall!”. Mandy did end up winning the $25,000 prize and has been having a great time hosting The Real Women of Philadelphia.

With three small kids Mandy specializes in making food FUN so your picky eaters will be excited to eat! Mandy loves creating fun treats for parties and school. She loves posting her whimsical recipes hoping that her blog readers can be the “fun house—you know, the one all the kids want to visit because you have cool food!” Most important, she always tries to make her kitchen place full of fun, singing, and LOVE! Happy cooking!

What kinds of posts are your favorite to write?  What do your readers seem to like the most?  
I love writing fun treats and really whimsical things.  That’s what people seem to like the most and I love making FUN FOOD!

Do you plan a weekly menu?  If so, what inspires your menu? 
I plan a few meals per week then go freestyle the rest of the week (leftovers, clean out freezer/pantry, etc..) :)

What is your favorite kind of food to make?
Anything I can do with my kids and have fun together.

What is your favorite recipe posted on your blog?

I have so many favorites!!  One favorite is the Penguin Oreos only because my daughter was SO EXCITED when she saw them.  I will never forget the sweet look on her face.  Link: http://www.gourmetmomonthego.com/2010/02/penguin-oreo-valentines.html
 

The one I definitely get the most requests for and emails about is Edible Crayons: http://www.gourmetmomonthego.com/2008/08/runs-with-scissors-and-eats-crayons.html

Will you show us your kitchen?  What is your favorite thing about your kitchen?  

We’re renting a house while we build a new one.  I’ll share my new kitchen when it’s built!  I’ve been having fun planning it.

What is your best tip for getting dinner on the table?  

Prep meats or anything else you can beforehand.  I’ll cook a big batch of meatballs then freeze some for easy dinners. Or, I’ll bread and cook chicken cutlets then freeze to cook quickly later.  Also, when I make soups, i’ll make a huge batch and freeze some in ziploc gallon bags.  So, prep when you can!!  Otherwise, on busy nights you end up in a panic!

Where do most of your recipes come from?  (Family favorites, you make them up, magazines, cookbooks, etc.)  

All over the place. We have some great family recipes but I love reading cookbooks and magazines for fun.  It’s really fun to go to your local library and browse for ideas!
 
What would you eat as your last supper? 
Really great Italian food. Lots of cheese, great sauces, etc…CARBS!!:)

What is your favorite part about blogging?  

When I get an email from someone saying, “I made your ____ for dinner/school/a party and it was sooo great!  Thank you!”  It totally makes my day.

What kind of food did you eat growing up?  Do you cook the same kinds of things today? 
Both my parents are great cooks and we ate all kinds of things.  Today we eat a little more adventurously since there are more international ingredients available (there weren’t as many in the 80′s!:))

What was the first dish you ever cooked? 

Herbed rice. My dad taught me when I was younger, I still remember him showing me how to do it.

When you really want to cheat, what do you eat?  

Really, really good expensive chocolate.  I’m drooling on the keyboard thinking about it.:)
 
If you could travel anywhere in the world – just for the food – where would you go?  
That’s a good question!  We like to travel whenever we can and EAT!  We’ve been lots of good places.  One of my favorite chefs, Nicole Aloni, is hosting a culinary tour to Bali.  I can’t go but would LOVE to!  The flavors from Micronesia are amazing.

What are your favorite blogs to read?  

For foodies, I read so many!  A few are read Picky-Palate (www.picky-palate.com), Recipe Girl (www.recipegirl.com), Bake at 350 (www.bakeat350.com), Bakerella (www.bakerella.com), Little Nummies (www.littlenummies.net), and Meal Makeover Moms (www.mealmakeovermoms.com).  I also have a bunch of “blog friends” or mommy bloggers that I try to visit a couple times a week.

Take us through a typical day of eating in your house. 

Simple breakfast (eggs/toast, waffles/sausage, or cereal).  My kids always get milk at breakfast.  At lunch, Little H and I make up something fun together while her sisters are at school.  In the afternoon we’re often working on fun new recipess or dinner ideas.  Dinner could be ANYTHING!  Luckily, my kids aren’t too picky and my husband and are both adventurous.  So, we eat quite a variety of foods.  Last week the girls tried frog legs and fried alligator (and loved it!).  Every week I try to introduce one new food we’ve never tried before.

What is your best tip for saving money on groceries?  

I use lots of the coupon websites, I love reading Bargain Blessings and Thrifty Mom in Colorado.
What is your best tip to becoming a successful blogger?

Write about what YOU’RE passionate about, not what you think people want to hear.  Update often and try to visit other sites and leave comments when you like something.

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Thank you for sharing Mandy!  Now I need to find out what kind of food there is in Micronesia.  Sounds exotic!  If you want to visit Mandy and say hello – here is where you can find her:

Website:  Gourmet Mom on the Go
Facebook Page
Twitter @GourmetMom

Is there a blogger you’d like to learn more about?  Contact me at tasteandtell @ gmail . com and I will see if they want to participate!

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One Response to Gourmet Mom on the Go {Blogger Spotlight}

  1. Joanne says:

    What a fun interview and I love Mandy's message! definitely write about what YOU want and not about what you think someone else will like!

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