Today’s “a day in the life” is Meagan of Scarletta Bakes. Her site is just gorgeous. I love the clean design that lets her awesome photographs really pop off the page. It is a treat for the eyes! Her food is fun, creative and delicious. I mean…avocado blondies? How fun!

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Tell me about yourself and how you started food blogging.

Several years after I moved to Arizona and had started studying southwestern cuisine, I set up my blog as a sort of electronic diary of my work in the kitchen. I was sharing my dishes with friends and family as a sneaky form of soliciting feedback, and the blog was designed to give them a place to offer comments and get a recipe if they were interested. Things just kind of grew from there.

Take me through your day.

4: 45 a.m. Wake up, walk dog (B.), get husband (A.) out the door to work. My mornings aren’t super sexy, but they’re still one of my favorite parts of the day.

6:00 a.m. Breakfast, social media business, checking up on my favorite blogs, recipe and research planning for the day. Not to mention emails, emails, and more EMAILS. I’ll also take a few moments to get the kitchen, and myself, clean, which means doing dishes and a quick shower.

9:00 a.m. I volunteer teaching children’s programming at the local public library, and on days when I’m there, I’ll leave at around this time. If not, I’m getting into the kitchen to test recipes, set up photo shoots, and basically bake and cook my face off.

2:00 p.m. More computer work, writing, photo editing, and EMAILS (can you tell I send a ridiculous amount of emails?).

4:00 p.m. I finally get outside for a run, another favorite part of my day. Being outside is like putting fuel in my tank – it really helps me to clear my head and think happy thoughts.

5:00 p.m. Start thinking about dinner, play with B. until he’s earned his evening treat, make grocery list for tomorrow’s cooking/baking projects.

5:30 p.m. Favorite Part of the Day Alert – A. comes home, dinner is served, phones are shut off, reality TV is turned on. We take a sort of old-fashioned approach to our evenings in the sense that we don’t usually use our computers, phones, or any sort of social media after we come together at the end of the day. We started doing this as a family several years ago and, I have to say, it’s a pretty big relief:  I’m not sitting on the couch until midnight, obsessing over online work. Plus it gives me more time to feed my reality TV addiction.

10:00 p.m. BED.

What is your one must-have kitchen tool or gadget?

This is a hard one:  I’d have to say it’s a tie between my tortilla press and my spice grinder. I toast and grind all of the spices that I use in my kitchen, and having a spice mill makes that not only possible, but simple. My tortilla press gets a work out almost every single day – I’d sleep with it under my pillow if I could.

What is your favorite part of your day? Why?

Meeting up with A. and B. at the end of the day, sharing a good meal, and relaxing into the night.

What is your LEAST favorite part of the day? Why?

Doing the dishes and getting myself ready in the morning, both chores that need to be done before I can get to the fun parts of my day. The irony is that I’m actually a pretty big neat freak, I just don’t like doing the cleaning.

What is your favorite day of the week? Why?

Sunday. It’s my fun day! A. and I will usually work on projects in the kitchen together, like cooking up a huge mixed grill, making an enormous pot of chili, or canning salsas for the week.

If you had to choose one place to travel to every year over and over, where would it be? Why? Have you been there before?

The south side of Kauai. Hands down, every single time. A. and I have been there a number of times since we got married, and the climate, the people, the way of life, and the food just suit us to a ‘T’. Being there is like being permanently planted in our Zen place.

What is your favorite quote or verse?

The magic is inside you. There ain’t no crystal ball.  –Dolly Parton

I’m a huge Dolly fan, mainly because she knows how to bring the funny, she doesn’t take herself too seriously, and yet she delivers a quality product time after time. I think the world would be a much better place if we all did those three things a little more often.

What is your favorite cookbook?

The Essential Cuisines of Mexico by Diana Kennedy

What recipe on your blog are you most proud of?

The Cinco de Mayo fiesta spread. I prepared it for a crowd and everyone went nutty bananas over the pasta tacos (tacos de fideos), creamed corn (esquites), 7 layer salad, and strawberry tres leches pots.

Fiesta

What recipe on your blog do your readers seem to love most? 

Chocoflan and Cajeta.

The chocoflan, I think, because it really is like baking magic, and it offers both flan and cake in a single dessert dish.

Chocoflan

Cajeta, because it seems to me that people are preferring homemade condiments more and more. It’s not difficult at all to boil milk and sugar down into a fresh caramel sauce like cajeta, and the end results are seriously like liquid gold.

Jarring

What is your guilty food pleasure that you’re embarrassed to fess up to? Kraft Mac & Cheese? Spagetti-o’s? Canned cheese? We promise not to judge!

OK, I’m blushing my face off just admitting to this, but I ate a fair amount of Totino’s Party Pizzas when I was a child. My Mom would allow us to eat them on special occasions as a treat, so I still feel like I’m scoring a big prize every time I eat one. Yes, they’re frozen and yes they cost less than $2.00, but if loving Totino’s Party Pizza is wrong I just don’t want to be right.

Do you have any advice for someone who is interested in cooking or food blogging?

3 things:

  1. Blog as consistently and regularly as your schedule will allow.
  2. Develop a unique perspective that will make your blog stand out, whether it’s healthy cooking, cooking for your family, or cooking the cuisine of a particular country or region.
  3. Focus on photography. It’s such a cliché, but clichés are clichés for a reason (isn’t that a cliché?):  we eat with our eyes first which means that the visual counts, plain and simple.

Who would you like to see featured here in the future? 

Averie from Averie Cooks

Marla from Family Fresh Cooking

Sally from Sally’s Baking Addiction

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Thanks Meagan!  Love your advice for future food bloggers. It’s spot on!

You can also find Meagan on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.