F.A.Q.

Here are some of the questions I am asked the most often…

BAKING, COOKING & RECIPES

Why do you say that you don’t like cooking?    Truth be told I don’t entirely dislike cooking, I just prefer baking.   I think part of my cooking issue is that I have some VERY picky eaters in my house, that results in a very small variety of food.  While my girls are picky, they both love fruits, veggies, chicken, turkey and fish – so I can’t complain about that – they like healthy foods.   What they don’t like is sauces, foods mixed up, or familiar foods in unfamiliar ways.   My oldest is getting better about trying new things.   I can’t be too hard on her, as her picky eating and avoidance of new foods likely kept her safe in the years before we discovered she had a serious nut allergy.     However at the end of the day, the same plain chicken recipes just get boring, but it’s what they’ll eat.  My other dislike of cooking is that whole need to have four things ready at the same time.   My ADHD makes that a challenge and I always feel like it’s kitchen chaos.  But my slow cooker and I are finding ways to make things better.

You aren’t always exact on some of the measurements in your recipes.  Why?

I look at baking as a very creative endeavor.  Almost like art.   Some things you need to stick to – when I make brownies, I need a certain amount of eggs, flour, sugar, baking powder, butter, things like that.   But aside from those basics that create the perfect chemistry to bake something up, the rest is pure creativity to me.   Add 1/2 a cup of chocolate chips or add two cups.   Add nuts or add sprinkles.   Frost or don’t frost.   Those things won’t change the base product, so HAVE FUN.   If there is one thing I want people to walk away from this blog knowing it’s that you can HAVE FUN AND BE CREATIVE.   It’s not rocket science.  It’s not life or death.  It’s sprinkles and sugar and smiles.   See a recipe for pink velvet cake but you want blue?  Change the food coloring.  Don’t like nuts?  Don’t use them.   Love white chocolate?   Switch out your semi-sweet chips for white.   You aren’t going to break any laws of baking by making things your own.   GO FOR IT!

Can I repost your recipes on my website?

I’m thrilled when anyone makes and enjoys my recipes!  I do ask however that you do not repost complete recipes or step by step instructions from Love From The Oven, and instead provide a link back to the recipe on my website.   If you would like to repost an entire recipe or instructions, please contact me and I would be happy to discuss it.

PHOTOGRAPHY

Can I use your photos on my website?

You are welcome to share up to two photos per post/recipe as long as you clearly indicated that the photos are from Love From The Oven and provide a link to the original post that the photos came from.   If you are interested in using additional photos, or obtaining rights for commercial use, please contact me.

What sort of photography experience / set up / equipment do you use?

I am a Canon girl, and have been ever since my Dad passed his Canon AE1-P when I was a teenager.   For as long as I can remember, I have been in love with photography.  My major in college was photojournalism until the program was put on sabbatical for a year, forcing me over to psychology.   I have always loved everything about photography, and for the past twenty years I’ve always had a camera close by.

Today I use a Canon 7D body with a few different lenses.   My favorite lens is my Canon 50mm 1.4.   It’s a fast, sharp and lovely lens and is on my camera 90% of the time.   A less expensive alternative which is an amazing lens for the price is the Canon 50mm 1.8, known as the Nifty Fifty.  For the price you really can not beat this lens.    I also use a Canon 100mm 2.8 macro.

All of my photos are shot with natural light in my kitchen and dining room.  I have a window over seven feet wide and five feet tall that faces north in my dining room, which helps tremendously.  I have plain white sheers on it to diffuse the sunlight.   I have a kitchen cart that I keep most of my props in, such as plates, napkins, containers and paper for backdrops.   I use plain white foamcore board as a reflector.  It’s a simple set up.  After I take my photos, the boards are slipped behind the cart and props are put back in, and it’s back to just being the dining room.

I also take a lot of photos with my phone, and since most of those photos leave a bit to be desired, I run them through Instagram, which I adore.  It’s amazing how cool your cell phone pics can look once you apply their filters.

My best advice for someone new to photography or looking to improve their photos is to practice, practice, practice.   Use natural light.   Practice some more.  Turn off the automatic setting and shoot manually.    Some great sites and posts to learn more about food photography include…

Kevin & Amanda
White On Rice Couple

Laura Ferroni
Recipe Girl
Love Veggies & Yoga

OTHER BLOGS & WEBSITES

Curious what sites I like to visit?     Check out my links page.

BLOGGING

Do you blog full time?  Is this your day job?    Do I blog 40 hours a week?   Absolutely not.  My full time job right now is being mama to my two girls, B & G.   They keep me extremely busy, and G has a variety of special needs that require my spending a lot of time with her at different therapies and appointments.   Her needs have changed my career path, but I am a big believer that there are no accidents, and many changes turn out to be blessings.

Prior to G, I had a silver jewelry company called Sentimental Silver.   I handmade jewelry using recycled silver and even had some cool celebrity customers like Heidi Klum, Courtney Cox, Renee Baio and Ana Ortiz.   It was a fun business, but required far more time than I could give while giving my little one the special attention she needs.

About the time I closed Sentimental Silver, I started Love From The Oven – a place for me to do some “grown up work stuff” as my daughter would say.  It was started for fun, something to do with my “me” time.   It quickly turned into something a bit more, allowing me to work with brands, develop recipes and most of all connect with readers, bakers and bloggers.  It has been an amazing journey and I love every minute of it.   Spending so much of my time with my girls, especially with a non-verbal little one, I often lack in actual conversations, especially adult ones, and wow – my website, readers, Facebook and Twitter help me feel connected to the outside world.  Thank you to all of you who comment, email and share with me.   I love it!

I do make a modest paycheck through my advertising, which has been a blessing.   The site combines some of my greatest loves – baking, eating, recipes, photography, writing, sharing and social media, all into one place.   I feel extremely blessed that I can share what I love, on my own schedule, allowing me to focus on my girls, while bringing in a few dollars to help pay the therapy bills for the giant cracks that fall between Early Intervention funding and private insurance coverage.   That’s a whole other subject all together, as the parent of any child with developmental delays and disabilities is well aware.

So how much money do you make blogging, and how?  I make enough to pay for my ingredients and cover a few of my daughter’s therapy sessions each month.    How do I make money blogging?  Mainly through the ads that you see running on the right side of my website, as well as through my Amazon Associates Store.    I do write the occasional sponsored post and they are clearly indicated as such. Anything I write is 100% me and my opinion.   I do get free product from time to time, but I only accept products to review if it is a product I know, use, it makes sense for me and my readers and is something I would honestly recommend to my friends and family.   It has to be something I would buy, even if someone is willing to send it for free.  I usually also require that the same product can be given away to one of my readers.   It’s extremely important to me that my readers know that I am genuine and trust my opinions of products.

If I don’t like and wouldn’t use a product, you won’t see it here – plain and simple, it doesn’t matter how many free ones they want to send or how they want to compensate.   On the other hand, you will also see plenty of products on here that I talk about all the time, use and love – that I buy myself.    I rely so heavily on researching other people’s opinions and experiences when I am looking to buy something, and I try and give back by sharing my own opinions.

What do you do when you aren’t baking or blogging?

I recently started a blog about my life outside of the kitchen, called Away From The Oven.  It is where I ramble on about other things.  And ramble, I do.   More than anything, it’s a place for me to process and deal with things, a journal I guess.    Mostly the ups and downs of parenting a child with special needs that come in the form of delays and parenting  a child with special needs that come in the form of being gifted enough to not always fit in with the “norm”.   I also talk about adoption, being a dance mom, loving Diet Coke and trying to keep my ADHD brain somewhat organized.   It’s more personal than Love From The Oven and more nitty gritty.  And I swear, which I try really really hard not to do on LFTO!  :)

Have a question?   Let me know, and I’ll try and answer it!  :)