I’m a native of the Springfield-Branson area and have been cooking and baking my entire life. My blog is Sugar Plum – a baking website where I create and post original recipes. I would like to attend pastry school in New York City one day and eventually work in the test kitchens of a food magazine or company with recipe development and food styling.
What inspired you to first start writing your blog?
-Three years ago I was baking frequently for friends and family, for holidays and events, and cooking contests. I had all of these recipe ideas swirling around in my head, and I needed to write them down somewhere. Not only did I have recipes churning in my head, but thoughts on life. I had been reading several food blogs at that time, and the writers inspired me to start my own.
What kinds of posts are your favorite to write? What do your readers seem to like the most?
-When I have a really fattening, decadent recipe to share with everyone, I get excited and can’t wait to write about it. I think my readers enjoy those posts too. Who doesn’t like reading about buttery pound cake slathered with whipped cream and candied bacon?
Do you plan a weekly menu? If so, what inspires your menu?
-I don’t have a weekly menu. I bake with whatever is in season or what I’m craving.
What is your favorite kind of food to make?
-I love baking cookies. They’re easy to make and I’m always thinking of a new idea.
What is your favorite recipe posted on your blog?
-I can’t pick a favorite! My most recent favorite recipe is the Peanut Butter Cup-Chocolate Mousse Pie I made. It has an Oreo cookie crust filled with peanut butter chocolate mousse and topped with whipped cream and chopped peanut butter cups.
Will you show us your kitchen? What is your favorite thing about your kitchen?
-I rent a townhouse with my boyfriend. It doesn’t really seem like “my” kitchen. I can’t wait until one day I have the kitchen of my dream! I do like that this kitchen has plenty of space. I really don’t like that the oven doesn’t have a window. It’s a pain in the neck.
What is your best tip for getting dinner on the table?
(I don’t think this question applies to me… right? I only make dinner for myself.)
Where do most of your recipes come from? (Family favorites, you make them up, magazines, cookbooks, etc.)
-I create most of the recipes on my blog. In the future I’d like to post some retro recipes of my mom’s; she makes some tasty tutti fruiti ice cream.
What would you eat as your last supper?
-Fried chicken, baked macaroni and cheese, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, and fried okra. Then I’d probably keel over from a heart attack.
What is your favorite part about blogging?
-I like sharing my life through recipes. I like that years from now I’ll be able to go back and read about what I did on certain days. My blog makes me happy… it gives me something to look forward to every day.
What kind of camera/lens/equipment do you use?
-I use a Nikon D40 with a 60 mm macro lens or an 18-55 mm lens.
Any suggestions or hints to have great food photos?
– Don’t use the flash unless necessary!
– Use natural light, if possible. I know this is difficult for food bloggers in the winter. I’m lucky I can take pictures of my desserts in the daytime.
– Have a steady hand when you take pictures or use a tripod.
– Invest in a light diffuser/reflector. I use my diffuser when there’s too much light coming through my window. (Especially during the summer months.)
What kind of food did you eat growing up? Do you cook the same kinds of things today?
-I think I grew up on some pretty gourmet food! My dad makes homemade pasta and bread. He also grows a lot of asparagus in the garden. Mom makes really good enchiladas and lasagna. I do tend to make the same foods that they make. Except for chili… I really don’t like chili at all.
What was the first dish you ever cooked?
-I remember cooking ramen noodles and those packaged Knorr pasta and rice side dishes when I was around nine. I’m not sure that counts.
When you really want to cheat, what do you eat?
-I’m obsessed with cinnamon rolls. I love them so much and I can’t control myself around them.
If you could travel anywhere in the world – just for the food – where would you go?
I would visit Italy. I love eating pasta, bread and pizza. But before I’d eat any of that, I would have a giant cup of gelato with a side of tiramisu.
What is the best thing you’ve ever eaten? The strangest?
-The best meal I’ve ever eaten was at Daniel in New York City. I still have dreams about the short rib. The strangest thing I’ve ever eaten was actually at that same meal – frog legs. Surprisingly good.
What are your favorite blogs to read?
-I love all food blogs… not necessarily just baking blogs. I love it when the writer of the blog shares stories about themselves and their lives. I feel like I get to know them and I enjoy their blog so much more.
Take us through a typical day of eating in your house.
-I eat oatmeal for breakfast/lunch every day, topped with fruit (strawberries, bananas, blueberries, apples), Greek yogurt, granola and soy milk. For dinner I usually stick with vegetarian food – tofu, beans, eggs, pasta, rice, and fresh vegetables. Then comes dessert when I’m not healthy at all. I love ice cream, cookies, pie and cake.
What is your best tip for saving money on groceries?
-I’m probably the wrong person to give advice on this. I feel like I spend a ton of money at the store! I do think I save money by cooking all my meals myself. I don’t buy a lot of expensive frozen/ready made food. I also save money by rarely buying meat.
What is your best tip to becoming a successful blogger?
-Pick a subject that you’re passionate about.
-Try and make your blog unique and different than others out there.
-Blog because you enjoy it – not to make money.
Thank you Emily! If you want to hear more from Emily, here is where you can find her: