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I am so excited to be introducing a new feature I will be showcasing here every Wednesday afternoon.  I have met so many wonderful bloggers lately and have been introduced to some amazing blogs.  And I figured I couldn’t keep these bloggers to myself!  I figured this would be a great way to get to know some of your favorite bloggers better, or a way to discover some new great blogs!  And since not only food bloggers are obsessed with food, I will be featuring all kinds of bloggers, but of course, the majority of the questions will be about food!

I would like for you all to meet Jessica.  Jessica is the author of the blog Utah Deal Diva.  I was privileged to meet Jessica at the Baking with Betty event, and I’m so happy that she has agreed to be my first spotlight!

Jessica blogs about great deals and coupons you can find, but she also features some great recipes.  Check out her About page to learn even more about her!

What inspired you to first start writing your blog?
 My husband lost his job unexpectedly in 2009. I was stressed beyond belief and needed a distraction! I thought I’d finally put my coupon skills to use and began UtahDealDiva.com. I share tips and ideas on how to live a frugal lifestyle here in Utah.
What kinds of posts are your favorite to write?  What do your readers seem to like the most?
 I love sharing recipes! I think my readers enjoy desserts the most, although I love, love, love bread. I also enjoy doing Utah store reviews- I hope that readers enjoy my perspective on different Utah establishments.
Do you plan a weekly menu?  If so, what inspires your menu?
 I am inspired by 4pm and a full pantry. Sometimes it’s more like 4:30pm….
What is your favorite kind of food to make?
I am a huge fan of homemade bread.  I also love vegetables and flavor. When we go out, I prefer Mexican, but I’m still trying to find a favorite place here in Utah.
What is your favorite recipe posted on your blog.  
 It’s hard to narrow it down to one favorite! I’d say a reader’s favorite is my Homemade Caramel recipe. Yum. http://www.utahdealdiva.com/2009/12/holiday-baking-homemade-caramels.html
Will you show us your kitchen?  What is your favorite thing about your kitchen?  
 Here’s my kitchen right after our house was built. It’s basic, but I love it!
What is your best tip for getting dinner on the table?
 Keep a list of the top 20-30 meals your family enjoys. Try to have most of the ingredients on hand at all times. when the 4 o’clock hour rolls around and you’re out of ideas, it’s nice to be able to have a visual there to help!
Where do most of your recipes come from?  (Family favorites, you make them up, magazines, cookbooks, etc.)  Do you have a favorite cookbook or magazine?
I’d have to say most of my recipes are found on Allrecipes.com, then changed to my liking. I can’t follow a recipe to save my life, I always change things!
What would you eat as your last supper?
An entire loaf of French bread!
What is your favorite part about blogging?
I love the interaction with readers. I am a stay-at-home-mom and if it weren’t for my husband and blogging, I’d likely go days without decent adult interaction!  I also love posting a great find and sharing my excitement about it with others.  
What kind of food did you eat growing up?  Do you cook the same kinds of things today?
I was a bit different than other kids- I always ate lots of vegetables, seafood and other things kids my age thought were “weird.” My siblings requested pizza for their birthday dinners; I requested green chile quiche.
What was the first dish you ever cooked?
Chicken enchiladas. I was a freshman in college and that’s where my love of cooking started. I even took a picture of it!
When you really want to cheat, what do you eat?
Couponing allows me to have a nice stash of chocolate bars in my pantry. My latest fave is Three Musketeers Truffle Crisp bars. Thank heavens for Buy-One-Get-One Free coupons- I love those!
If you could travel anywhere in the world – just for the food – where would you go?
Back to Paris. I had the absolute best smoked salmon there. Oh and you can’t beat pain au chocolate for breakfast!
What are your favorite blogs to read?
My favorites are actually my family’s blogs. I love keeping in touch with others and seeing how their families are growing, etc.
Take us through a typical day of eating in your house.
We like a lot of variety in our house. Breakfast is BIG. My kids usually eat 1-2 bowls of cereal before I come downstairs. Then I fix oatmeal, toast, eggs, or if I have time, pancakes or waffles. Lunch is yogurt, cheese, crackers, fruit, sandwiches, etc. Again- lots of variety. My kids normally get 4-5 small portions of different things for lunch. Dinner is whatever I feel like! I try and start thinking about dinner after breakfast. I’d say about 50% of the time, I have an idea in mind by then. Even if I don’t plan it all out, I usually have different ideas based on what’s in my fridge that needs to be used up. We almost always have dessert too!
What is your best tip for saving money on groceries?
Develop a budget and stick to it. Use coupons to stretch your money farther. Be selective with the coupons you use- don’t buy junk just because you can! Always try and wait for a sale before using coupons! http://www.utahdealdiva.com/2010/01/thrifty-thursday-clipless-method-of.html
What is your best tip to becoming a successful blogger?

Blog about what you’re passionate about! Focus on content and try not to let much else get in the way. If you have great content, readers will come. 

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Thank you Jessica for being our first spotlight!  And if you’d like to visit her and say hello, here is where you can find her:

Website – Utah Deal Diva
Facebook Fan Page
Twitter Page

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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6 Responses to Utah Deal Diva {Blogger Spotlight}

  1. The Comfort of Cooking says:

    Homemade caramels?! Jessica, I think I love you. I also love a good deal, so I can't wait to check out her site. Thanks for sharing this, Deborah, and awesome interview! There's nothing better than supporting your fellow bloggers! You asked some interesting questions, and I'd be happy to provide answers if you are ever interested in featuring me!

  2. Rosa's Yummy Yums says:

    A great interview and lovely new section! I'm going to visit her blog now…

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  3. Abby says:

    I joined a MOPS group, and one of our leaders is HUGE into coupons! I'll have to share this blog with her.

  4. Michelle says:

    I think a lot of us can understand the way blogging helps connect us to other women, especially when we work from home or are with the kids all day.

  5. Susi says:

    Great new feature, looking forward to more like this :o)

  6. Shandra says:

    What a fun idea for your blog! That was great to learn about Jessica and her blog.

    I would LOVE to be featured on your blog and I would love to introduce you to my readers on my blog as well. I live in Utah along with you and I think my blog has a twist that mothers need in today's busy world. Our blog gives readers great recipes that can be made with your food storage. We also help mothers all over the U.S. know where the best deals are at the local grocery stores and help them plan their meals each week. We are having great success and hear great feedback from women who love that Deals to Meals can simplify their lives!

    I would also love to talk to you about advertising on your site or doing a link exchange. I would also love to give you a free membership to Deals to Meals so you can try our service and see what you think.

    Thanks!

    Shandra
    http://www.dealstomeals.com
    http://www.dealstomeals.blogspot.com
    Shandra@dealstomeals.com

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