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I first met today’s Blogger Spotlight – Shawn from I Wash…You Dry – last summer at a blogging conference in Park City, UT. She is seriously as sweet as can be. And I totally admire her because she came by herself but was so outgoing and friendly – I wish I was more like that!! Her blog is so much fun with great recipes (like Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites and Easy Shrimp Pad Thai).  I’m so glad that she is here today to give us a glimpse into her blog and into her life!

 
Blogger Spotlight with Shawn from I Wash...You Dry
 
Blogger Spotlight with Shawn from I Wash...You DryMy name is Shawn {I know… it’s a boy’s name, but I love the unique-ness of it!} (thanks Mom!).

I am absolutely obsessed with food! Cleaning up? Now that’s a different story… My main objective here is to create delicious recipes that are easily prepared with as few dishes as possible.

I am still grasping onto my 20′s, and surviving with 4 beautiful children and handsome husband in the dessert of Arizona. I have a weakness for sweets, but it’s gotta be simple. I love fresh fruits and vegetables and serve them gladly to my family. I am always willing to try something at least once. I really enjoy sewing and making fun crafty things, and if I can ever find the time I make a few for you in my Crafty Kitchen posts. But seriously, with 4 kids, I am just trying to juggle what life throws at me, and I’ll be lucky to get a shower today.

So that’s me in a nut-shell. Hope you enjoy reading, cooking, and exploring!

 

What inspired you to first start writing your blog?
I started writing my blog, I Wash You Dry, because a lot of my friends and family would ask me for my recipes. I thought it would be an easy way to share the recipes with everyone. :)

What kinds of posts are your favorite to write? What do your readers seem to like the most?
My favorite posts to write are definitely dessert posts. Sweets always seem to bring a smile to my face, and I love knowing that they bring a smile to other people’s faces too.

Where do most of your recipes come from?
Everywhere! Some of the best recipe posts on my blog are “Copy-Cat” versions of famous restaurants that I tried my best to recreate. I have several family favorites, and some that have come to me in a dream {which I stupidly admitted to on TV, only to make me look like a crazy person even more}. But mostly I am inspired by other bloggers, magazines {Cooking Light is one of my favorites}, and of course Pinterest!

Do you plan a weekly menu? If so, what inspires your menu?
I do plan a weekly menu at home! What usually inspires the menu is what is on sale at the stores that week. With 4 kids, it’s all about budgeting! I sit down once a week and pour over the ads, make a menu and a shopping list at the same time and then head to the store.

What is your favorite kind of food to make?
All time favorite – Mexican Food! I love anything spicy, really.

What is your favorite recipe posted on your blog?
 

Blogger Spotlight with Shawn from I Wash...You DryOreo Birthday Cake Blondies

 
Such a difficult question!! I think a lot of what makes a post a “favorite recipe” to me are the pictures attached to it. I love all of my recipes, otherwise I wouldn’t post them. So I am going to have to go with my Oreo Birthday Cake Blondies. I love these pictures so much that I put the picture of the lit candle on the lock screen of my iPad mini, and the pic of the blown out candle for the home screen. So when you swipe your finger across to unlock the iPad it blows out the candle!! {ok, I am a huge nerd}
 

Blogger Spotlight with Shawn from I Wash...You Dry

 

What was your first post? How do you think your blog has changed since you first started blogging?
 

Blogger Spotlight with Shawn from I Wash...You Dry

 
Eeek! My first post was about how to steam an artichoke. Not too bad, but the pictures are blurry and awful! Looking back on those early posts make me feel like I have come a long way in terms of photography and presentation. That’s still how I steam an artichoke! Haha.

What is your favorite kitchen tool/appliance?
I am always using my KitchenAid knives, so those are probably my favorite tools right now. I always have tons… I mean TONS of cutting boards available too.

What is your best tip for getting dinner on the table?
Plan ahead! It might just be me, but as I am eating breakfast I am thinking about what to prepare for lunch, and when lunchtime rolls around, dinner is on my brain. Make sure you read the recipe all the way through way ahead of time to make sure you leave yourself time for cooking/cooling/processing etc. Being prepared is what helps me to get dinner on the table.

If you could invite any 3 people to dinner – living or dead – who would you choose?
I know a lot of people would say Jesus, and don’t get me wrong… that would be completely awesome. But I am all about laughing and joking around, so I would have to say Kristin Wiig, Tina Fey, and Amy Poehler. {I am a huge SNL fan, if you couldn’t tell}

What kind of camera/lens/equipment do you use?
I use a Sony NEX 5 with an 18-220mm lens. I mainly free hand shoot, but sometimes I will throw it on a tri-pod if I need to.

Any suggestions or hints to have great food photos?
It’s all about lighting. Try to find a place in your house {doesn’t always have to be in the kitchen. I have shot photos in my daughter’s room before} that gets some natural, but indirect light. If all you have is direct light {meaning the sun is shining in} try hanging a white sheet over the window to damper the rays a little. Other than that, try to find a style you love by browsing foodgawker.com or tastespotting.com.

What kind of food did you eat growing up? Do you cook the same kinds of things today?
My Mom was a busy working Mom and she always prepared casseroles in the morning before work so in the evening we would throw them in the oven before dinner. I’m lucky enough to be a stay at home Mom, so I don’t always make casseroles. I love to include fresh veggies with every meal too.
 
Blogger Spotlight with Shawn from I Wash...You Dry
 
What was the first dish you ever cooked?
Does Macaroni and Cheese from the box count? When my husband and I were first married that’s what our dinners consisted of. On occasion I would throw in a Totino’s Pizza. haha

If you could travel anywhere in the world – just for the food – where would you go?

Mexico, without a doubt! Been there several times and I can’t get enough of the authentic Mexican food!

What is the best thing you’ve ever eaten? The strangest?
A lot of things go into having something called “The Best Thing I’ve Ever Eaten.” It’s not always the food that make something the best you have ever eaten, but the people you were with, and the over all experience play a big part in it too. One of my trips to Mexico, my husband and I, along with a group of friends found this little restaurant by the beach in Puerto Nuevo. We all ordered Lobster Burritos. It was served to us family style with a big heaping bowl of freshly steamed lobsters, refried beans, fresh tortillas, and all the classic fix-ins. It was, by far, the best thing I have ever eaten. And it was only $13 per person. Can’t beat that!

What are your favorite blogs to read?
Taste And Tell {of course}, How Sweet It Is, Cookin’ Canuck, Dine and Dish, Confessions of a Cookbook Queen, Budget Gourmet Mom, Crazy for Crust, Buns in My Oven, the list goes on… but those are some of my top reads.

If you could cook alongside any other blogger for a day, who would you choose?

It would definitely be Jessica from How Sweet It Is. She always has delicious recipe coming out of her kitchen and her posts are hilarious. I would love to meet her in person and pick her brain about photography, cooking, baking and just life in general.

Take us through a typical day of eating in your house.
I start my day by getting my kids up and feed them breakfast before they get off to school. While they are eating I make their lunches. Once they are gone I do my workout, then I eat breakfast at about 9:00am. I eat lunch at around 12:00pm with my youngest two daughters (who always opt for a pb&j with strawberries and pretzels). We all have a small snack at around 3pm when my oldest two kids get home from school (usually an apple, banana, orange, or granola bar). Then dinner is on the table between 6:30-7pm. We eat a little later cause my husband doesn’t get home from work until then, and we like to eat as a family. The kids usually beg for dessert after dinner, so I will sometimes give them a little something sweet. Probably boringly typical.

What is your favorite part about blogging?
My favorite part about blogging has got to be all the people I have met, and all the friends I have made. It’s so much more than I knew it was going to be when I first started nearly 3 years ago. I also love the comments. Let’s be honest, bloggers are all about getting praised for their work, otherwise we wouldn’t put it out there. So when I get comments about how much someone loves my recipes or photos, it totally brightens my day!

What is your best tip to becoming a successful blogger?
My best tip to becoming a successful blogger is to stick with it, and be real. Don’t give up, and make sure you let your personality shine in everything you do.

———————–

Thanks so much for sharing today, Shawn! I am now craving a trip to Mexico, complete with lobster burritos on the beach. :)  If you want to see more from Shawn, here is where you can find her:

Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
Instagram

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9 Responses to I Wash You Dry {Blogger Spotlight}

  1. “So when you swipe your finger across to unlock the iPad it blows out the candle!! ” — you need to sell that as an app or something!

    Great interview, Shawn, and loved learning more about you. Your $13 lobster score sounds pretty awesome, too!

  2. Tieghan says:

    Great interview! I loved learning more about Shawn, her family and her blog!

  3. Emily says:

    I love Shawn!!!

  4. Chels R. says:

    Yet again, you’ve introduced me to another blogger who I have to stalk now, lol! I can’t wait to start going through her recipes :)

  5. Kathy says:

    Great interview! I’ve seen her blog a few times, but now want to take the time to really look at it!

  6. Oh I just LOVE Shawn she is the sweetest person ever! Loved reading more about her you sure picked a great blogger to spotlight. I’m craving Mexican food right now :)

  7. Nutmeg Nanny says:

    Her blog is wonderful and her family is adorable :)

  8. Fun spotlight! Shawn is adorable. Those blondies DO look amazing!

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