Amber, a transplant from the UK to the Missouri Ozarks, chats with foodsherpa about experimenting, eating naturally, and her blog, Sprinkled With Flour. She was lucky enough to grow up in a house where making food from scratch was the norm, which was mainly due to that fact that there was not an abundance of prepackaged or convenience foods from which to choose from in the UK. Amber comes from a family who has a history of baking, so she is quite the natural when it comes to baking from scratch. Although Amber likes to experiment with foods by adding in healthier ingredients, she knows that food is all about balance and thus doesn't deny herself the occasional 'bad for you food'. Let's not forget to give credit to her beautiful website full of pictures she took herself-impressive! Amber moved back to the United States when she was 18 and has been living here ever since.
F: Your website is stunning! There are so many beautiful pictures to go along with all the delicious recipes. Can you share with us how you went about choosing the overall design of your website?
A: First of all, let me say thank you for honoring me with this interview, and for your kind words about my humble little blog. Now as for my website design, I had a specific "feel" in mind. I knew I wanted something feminine and fresh, with a layout that was simple and easy to navigate. I decided what colors I wanted to use, found a background I loved, then took my "brain-child" to a great blog designer. The rest is history :)
F: Congratulations on your recent 1 year Bloggiversary! Can you tell us a little about your blogging journey and how you feel about having such a successful blog?
A: Thank you! When I first started my blog, it was more of a culinary journal for myself to document recipes I tried - both my own and from others. As I joined the food blogging world, I came into contact with such a great community of like-minded friends, that I became hooked. What started as a very solitary project, turned into an outlet that not only allowed me to share delicious recipes, but introduced me to dear friends. How do I feel about having a successful blog? I guess it depends on how you define success. Success for me was sticking with it and continuing to post a year later, and a bigger success was finding a new love - photography. I'm grateful for how far my blog has progressed since I started it a year ago. I'm grateful to my faithful readers, to those who take time out of their busy lives to stop by and show me some love. Each comment definitely puts a smile on my face at the end of the day :)
F: You say you were raised without (much) access to convenience foods, as well as fast foods. How do you think this helped shape your overall views about food in general?
A:I think it took away the age-old myth that cooking from scratch is too hard and takes too much time. It also shaped my taste buds to know what food is "supposed" to taste like. It's hard to compare fresh, homemade food to pre-packaged processed food. Don't get me wrong, we definitely are not food snobs at our house, there are some guilty pleasures that still find their way into the cabinets. I enjoy having the ability to make things from scratch, a valuable tool I learned from my mother. When you do the math, it really does cut down on expenses. I like to watch the coupon shows that are big right now, but I always think that another way to save money on groceries is to just not buy that stuff in the first place - try making it yourself instead. You never know, you might like your version better :)
F: Do you have an absolute favorite food you like to (occasionally) indulge in?
A: I'm a sucker for Cadbury's Fruit & Nut bars (YUM!). I love having different textures in my food, and adding this to chocolate is just heaven for me!
F: What are some of your most favorite foods to bake? Why?
A: I love making pies. This is one of the treats I remember my mom making most often. She makes such a great pie crust, that her pies were the most requested things by friends. Great memories.
F: Does your son show any interest in becoming a baker himself?
A: Absolutely! He has his own little kitchen that has been the starting point of many concoctions - some edible, some not so much. ;)
F: What words of advice would you give to parents who have a hard time getting their kids to make healthier food selections?
A: First, live by example. There are many things that my son has turned his nose up at, but when he sees Mommy and Daddy eating them, he will actually try it. He may not like it at first, and that's okay, but I keep offering it at different times - sometimes made a little differently. It can take multiple tries before he decides he likes something. Second, make a big deal about the benefits of healthier food. My son is really into superhero's right now, so I tell him that carrots will make him have supervision, spinach will give him muscles like Superman, etc. I also try to stress the word "healthy" as opposed to fattening, and help him view sweets as a treat, but not taboo. Nothing makes you want something more than being told you can't have it. :) My son is so used to being told about healthy foods, that now he will ask me on his own if a certain food is healthy