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It’s my favorite day – Blogger Spotlight day!  I’m so excited for today’s spotlight – Lauren Brennan from Lauren’t Latest.  If you are looking for mouth-watering recipes and gorgeous photography, you need to look no further.  I’m so excited to have Lauren sharing here with us today!

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I’m Lauren – a young wife and mother who lives a happy and big life on a small budget.

Lauren’s Latest is my happy little corner of the foodie blogosphere where I take every day common ingredients and turn them into simple and easy meals that look fancy, taste great and are totally do-able for the home cook. {Every day Ingredients-Extraordinary Food.}

The recipes I post are what my family and I are eating day in and day out. And, of course I only post the good ones that get rave reviews!

 

What inspired you to first start writing your blog?
My husband had a web business class in college where he had to come up with an online business idea and create it. Because he couldn’t think of anything and deadlines were looming, he made me a food blog. Ha! At first it was a casual site that I would occasionally post recipes. Then once I started gaining followers, I officially posted 3 recipes a week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

What kinds of posts are your favorite to write?  What do your readers seem to like the most?
Any recipe that I test and cannot stop eating are the ones I’m most excited to share. The most popular recipes from 2011 were recipes involving bread and cheese or desserts.

Do you plan a weekly menu?  If so, what inspires your menu?
I always try to get a variety of food into our meals. I typically have Mexican, Italian, American and German food once a week as well as meals that I grew up with that don’t fall under any particular category. However, my entire weekly menu could be sabotaged if I happen to come across an amazing idea on Pinterest, Tasty Kitchen of Food Gawker. I am seriously addicted to those sites!! Lots of my recipe ideas are sparked by food I’ve seen on there. Usually, I’ll see a photo of something, think it looks good, and then guess what’s in it or say “that’s a good idea, but I’d like it much better if ______” and change it to my liking.

What is your favorite kind of food to make?
Fast, easy and delicious food. Pizza is one of my favorites because you can make pizza dough in advance and whip it together in 30 minutes or less. Everyone loves pizza!

What is your favorite recipe posted on your blog?


It’s hard to pick just one! Right now I’m loving these Mini Butterscotch Cream Pies but all the recipes I post I love…or else I wouldn’t be posting them!

What is your favorite kitchen tool/appliance?
I adore my kitchenaid mixer. I’ve wanted one for the longest time and finally got one in November! Also, my microplane is a tool I use nearly everyday. It’s awesome.

What is your best tip for getting dinner on the table?
Do prep work ahead of time. You’ll be amazed at how much time you’ll save if you do all your veggie chopping the night before or the morning of.

Where do most of your recipes come from?
The vast majority of recipes I post are all original. If they are not original, I will state the source.

What would you eat as your last supper?
My Grandma’s cucumber salad and potato salad. My Mom’s roast beef, mashed potatoes and fruit flan. Crepes, lemon cake, nutella, chocolate cheesecake. {Guess I won’t be dying hungry!}

If you could invite any 3 people to dinner – living or dead – who would you choose?
My two best friends and an esthetician. Turn it into a girls night! Holla!

What is your favorite part about blogging?
All of the friends I’ve made! The blogging community is one of the friendliest ever! I love supporting others and being supported.

What kind of camera/lens/equipment do you use?
Canon Rebel Xti with 50mm 1.8 lens. Typically I’ll only edit my photos with iphoto, but if they need serious help, then I’ll use photoshop elements.

Any suggestions or hints to have great food photos?
Practice makes perfect!! When I got my dslr, I thought my food blogging problems were solved! {ya right!!} Get to know your camera and figure out how to consistently get the same results time after time. It took me almost a year to figure everything out and like ALL the food photos I take.

What kind of food did you eat growing up?  Do you cook the same kinds of things today?
We ate Hungarian, German, Italian, French and everything in between. Soup & crepes, chili & fresh bread and spaghetti were family favorites that were on the weekly rotation for sure. My mom home cooked every meal. Totally impressive with 6 kids! I’ll cook something I grew up eating once or twice a week I’d say.

What was the first dish you ever cooked?
Rice Krispie Squares. I was 4 and I remember whipping these up with my Mom. I guess that’s not really cooking, but oh well!

When you really want to cheat, what do you eat?
Lots of fresh bread! Or brownies…or some sort of lemon dessert.

If you could travel anywhere in the world – just for the food – where would you go?
ITALY! Hands down.

What is the best thing you’ve ever eaten?  The strangest?
I make these seriously life changing Lemon Cheesecake Creme Brule Bars that are incredible. I’m a self proclaimed lemon FREAK. Anything lemon I love. I’ll be posting this recipe in the next week so stay tuned! The strangest thing would probably be liver. And it was super nasty.

Is there anything you would not ever eat?
Brains, feet, gross stuff.

What are your favorite blogs to read?
Simply Scratch-love all of Laurie’s recipes and photos! Beautiful blogger through and through!
Bev Cooks- omg! So hilarious! Bev always makes me smile with her write ups! (Taste and Tell note – you can see Bev’s Blogger Spotlight HERE!)
How Sweet It Is- Jess is always coming up with crazy amazing recipes. I love her ideas.

Take us through a typical day of eating in your house.
Breakfast is usually cold cereal or oatmeal and fruit. Scrambled eggs and bacon if we’re lucky during the week. Lunch is either leftovers or sandwiches and dinner is usually some new concoction I’m testing.

What is your best tip for saving money on groceries?
Buy what’s on sale and adapt your recipes accordingly. Also, eating a few more vegetarian meals throughout the week can save a ton of money. Meat is expensive!

What is your best tip to becoming a successful blogger?
{1}Give people a reason to want to return to your site and {2}make sure you love what you do. If you love what you do, then that passion will attract followers to you.

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I knew there was a reason I liked you so much, Lauren – I, too, am a lemon freak! Can’t wait for that recipe!! If you want to see more from Lauren, here is where you can find her:

Blog: Lauren’s Latest
Facebook: Lauren’s Latest
Twitter: @laurens_latest
Pinterest: Lauren Brennan

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17 Responses to Lauren’s Latest {Blogger Spotlight}

  1. Katrina says:

    Loved this interview! I’ve been reading Lauren’s blog for a LONG time, and it was fun reading about her. I’m a lemon freak too! :)

  2. Great interview and blogger spotlight. Deborah, you know I love this feature and Lauren, I just got to know you a little better and thanks for sharing all your thoughts.

  3. Rosa says:

    Thanks for sharing! A great interview.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  4. kelley says:

    Yipee, a new to me blogger. Can’t wait to spend some time over at Lauren’s site. Those butterscotch pies looks amazing!!!

  5. I love Lauren!! She’s such a sweetie. Great interview and spotlight :)

  6. Bev Weidner says:

    AWWWW, you love me!? I LOVE YOU!

    Loved this spotlight!

  7. Great spotlight! Love Lauren! :)

  8. I am really enjoying these blogger spotlights! I had never heard of Lauren, so GRACIAS for introducing her. I’m excited to check out her blog. And those Mini Butterscotch Cream Pies made my tummy growl! MMmm!

  9. Kristy says:

    I’m going to have to check Lauren’s blog out. I see her all the time on Tasty Kitchen. And being a lemon freak too – I’m in! :) Love your spotlights. It’s a fun way to discover new blogs.

  10. Kathryn says:

    Such a great spotlight – love Lauren and her blog!

  11. I just recently discovered Lauren’s blog. So I am happy to have learned a little bit more about her in this spotlight!

  12. Jennifer | Mother Thyme says:

    Great spotlight! I love Lauren’s site and it was wonderful to get to know a little more about her from this spotlight!

  13. Natalie says:

    I love Lauren! Great spotlight!

  14. This was a fantastic spotlight. Lauren is a great talent and an absolutely sweetheart to boot. Whenever I am on her site, I find myself bookmarking recipe after recipe because they all look so darn good.

  15. Chels R. says:

    Laura’s and my menus during the day sound exactly the same, haha! I loved this spotlight. I’m going to go check her out now :)

  16. Chels R. says:

    *Lauren’s, excuse me stupid spell check!

  17. Joanne says:

    Lemon freaks unite!

    This was such a fun interview! I really need to spend some time on Lauren’s site!

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