Happy 2015!!!!

I hope you all had a joyful and relaxing holiday season.

As we kick off 2015 (!!!), first and foremost, I want to say thank you to all of you. I am so grateful that you read my blog, that you support me, and that you make my recipes and share them with your friends and families. Your comments and emails letting me know that you made and loved a recipe (or recipes) from my site make my day. I’m not just saying that – ask my friends. I get weirdly giddy when they cook or bake one of my recipes and they are my friends!

So yeah, I pinch myself on a daily basis that I get to do this and that people actually visit my site and read my ramblings.

Thank you. Thank you from the bottom of the heart. Your support means the world to me.

2015 Vision for RachelCooks.com

Next up, I want to chat a little about my goals for 2015 and how I plan achieve these goals. I want to be transparent with you guys and clear about what I see for my blog in the future. Also, many of these decisions were guided and molded by my 2014 reader survey. You all gave me such great feedback which really helped me as I made these plans.

First and foremost, I want to keep providing you with tons of great recipes.

In order to continue providing great content and recipes, I made the decision to bring on four contributors this year. When I asked about this in my reader survey, the response was overwhelmingly positive. Also overwhelming was the number of applicants I got for the contributor job. I am so, so, SO thrilled to have four terrific bloggers joining my team in 2015. The majority of the content on Rachel Cooks will still be coming from me. Each contributor will be providing one recipe per month, for a total of four additional recipes. I will continue to personally post roughly three to four times a week.

Each contributor has a particular content area where they demonstrate great strength — which also happen to be content areas which are currently lacking on my site. In 2015, thanks to my contributors, plan to see more seafood recipes, special diet recipes, step-by-step tutorials, pies and cakes, and slow cooker recipes.

It was a difficult decision for me to make this change, but in the end, I decided that I really wanted to provide you with this additional content. Buuuut I have two small children who I want to spend every moment with (because the moments are already passing too quickly) which makes it difficult to churn out recipes like a machine. So in the end, I decided this was the right move for Rachel Cooks.

Without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to the four talented women who will be helping me provide you with delicious and approachable recipes:


Melanie MakesMelanie Bauer lives in Cleveland, Ohio and is the Melanie behind Melanie Makes where she works to make everyday eats a bit more interesting.  She thinks every dessert can be made better with chocolate ganache and believes menu planning is a must for a more enjoyable week.

3 random facts about Melanie from Melanie:

  • I’m 6′ tall and apparently appear shorter online as that’s one of the first things people mention after meeting me.
  • I love McDonald’s and their fountain Coke is usually the only time I drink soda. So good!
  • I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist so I don’t enjoy decorating Easter eggs or Christmas cookies as they never match the vision I have in my head.

Read more about Melanie here. You can also find Melanie on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and Instagram. Melanie will be mainly contributing desserts to Rachel Cooks – be on the lookout for lots of mouth-watering pies and cakes!


Philia - HeadshotPhilia (aka ‘Phi’) is the author, recipe developer, photographer, and kitchen mess maker behind the Sweetphi blog where she shares simple, sweet, and savory recipes. She is a Midwest girl both at heart and at home, and loves showing readers that delicious food doesn’t have to have a bazillion ingredients, take hours to make, or be intimidating. She loves sharing how-tos and practical tips for meal time success.

3 random facts about Phi from Phi:

  •  If there isn’t a lemon in my house, there’s a state of emergency.
  • I didn’t have a TV until I was 18.
  • I would rather have little bites of 10 different things than one big plate of something.

Read more about Phi here. You can also find Phi on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and Instagram. Phi will be providing some kitchen and cooking basics including how-to guides and tutorials. One thing I love about Phi’s site are her helpful step-by-step photos so I asked her to bring some of that over to Rachel Cooks. Prepare to take your kitchen skills to the next level!


meg-headshotMegan of The Housewife in Training Files is just a girl living on the edge of boredom and chaos with a salty wit and healthy sweet tooth. After a few health mishaps, she took ahold of her health through food and fitness. Although her taste buds crave nutrient dense foods, she also has a sweet tooth the size of Texas. She will be sure to throw in some indulgent recipes to ensure that sugary and sinful treats do still exist!

3 random facts about Megan from Megan:

  • I grew up around a lake so to this day, I will take a warm weather, water vacation rather than a skiing trip. Which also explains my hatred for cold weather and would love to move somewhere where it’s warm year around, rather than living in the midwest where you never know what weather you are going to get!
  • I went to culinary school yet hated working in kitchens. Upon leaving culinary school I had the slightest idea what I was actually going to do with my training. Then a few years later stumbled upon blogging and the rest is history!
  • I just learned I have 3 food allergies – eggs, beef and peas. With eggs being the hardest, needless to say it is a major curve ball in recipe development but I love a good challenge!

Read more about Megan here. You can also find Meg on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and Instagram. Meg will be adding some seafood recipes (which are so very lacking here!) and also some special diet stuff. If you have any special requests, make sure to send them my way!


Taylor Ellingson - headshotTaylor of Greens & Chocolate is a Minnesota girl in her twenties, and is obsessed with baking and cooking.  She loves creating fun healthy meals but she loves her dessert, too! Like mine, her motto is everything in moderation.  When she is not in the kitchen she works full-time as a physical therapist at an outpatient orthopedic clinic, and also loves running, yoga, hiking, and spending time with her husband and dog.

3 random facts about Taylor from Taylor:

  • I work full-time as a physical therapist in an outpatient orthopedic clinic. I love working with patients to reach their goals and get them back to their normal life, but it is quite different than my “other” job as a food blogger.
  • Last summer my husband and I hiked the John Muir Trail, which is 225 miles, in 16 day, on a backpacking trip. If you’re wondering – I had one shower the entire time.
  • We are expecting our first baby in June! We are beyond excited for this next new adventure.

Read more about Taylor here. You can also find Taylor on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and Instagram. Taylor is going to be bulking up the slow cooker section on Rachel Cooks! Who doesn’t love a good slow cooker recipe?


Other plans for 2015…

  • Continue my “a day in the life” series. I’ll keep at these at a pace of one per month. Two if I get crazy. I love introducing you all to bloggers I admire or think you would enjoy too.
  • Continue round-up posts of recipes. I plan to do one a month. Not all will be as big as the one where I gave you 110 recipes for boneless skinless chicken breasts, but I will make them all somewhat seasonally appropriate – great for planning menus for any occasion.
  • Related to the above bullet, I also plan to bring in some content related to growing your blog as a business if you have a blog. Again, recipes will remain the priority, so these posts will likely be limited to 1x/month.
  • Sprinkle in more parenting posts. I’m loving my partnership with Fisher-Price and the posts in that series have been so well received that I plan to continue sharing some parenting posts here.
  • Continue working with brands I love. My work with brands is one of the things that allows me to continue running this blog. I’ve been so lucky to partner with some amazing brands (as well as the fantastic people behind them!) and look forward to continuing those partnerships and forming new ones in 2015.


What would you like to see from Rachel Cooks in 2015?

No need to wait for a reader survey to give me feedback — leave it in the comments here or email me any time. I love hearing from you!