Frequently Asked Questions - Skillful Cook
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Frequently Asked Questions

Thank you for all your questions via email, comments, and social media! Connecting with readers is one of my favorite things about blogging. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions that I get about Skillful Cook.

Where Do You Get The Inspiration For Your Recipes?

  • friends and family
  • restaurants
  • magazines
  • seasonal produce
  • other blogs
  • my constant food cravings

My typical process for recipes is often something like this:

  1. See an idea that gets me excited - cookbook, friend's lunch, or something on the menu at a restaurant.
  2. Look at the ingredient list or research the techniques if necessary, like googling “best cut of meat for carnitas”.
  3. Make the dish on my own, not following any particular recipe, writing down my own notes as I go to make my own recipe.

Can You Use Other Peoples' Recipes On Your Blog?

There are so many great recipes out there so it would be ridiculous if I was only making my own stuff all the time. That's what cooking is all about - sharing good food! So yes, I will occasionally use others' recipes on my blog, whether that means a recipe from my mom's friend or a favorite cookbook or a blog that I really like. If I do make a recipe that comes from someone else, I will credit them in the author section of the recipe. This happens more often when I'm baking, because that's the way baking is, ya know? But when I'm cooking, I do almost all of it “on my own.” I love cooking with the freedom that comes from not following a recipe or a specific set of rules.

Can I Use Your Photo Or Recipe On My Website Or Blog?

Thanks for asking!

  1. Recipes – no. At this time, I do not allow republication of my post or recipe text without prior consent. If people copy and paste my recipes and republish them onto their websites, it will negatively affect how Skillful Cook gets displayed in search results, which isn't cool. Plus, there are some copyright issues there. If you have a specific inquiry about a recipe, please feel free to email me.
  2. Photos without recipes – sure! Thanks for sharing. Credit the photos with two links, one back to the recipe post and one back to

What's Your Background In Food?

I have no formal culinary training and no special expertise. I'm just a regular, hungry, self-taught Minnesota girl who likes to cook, eat, and share feel-good food.

Do You Have Any Recipes For _________?

If I do, they are already on the blog! There's a search bar on the right hand sidebar that makes it easy for you to search for a specific recipe or recipe type. There are also categories for special diets like gluten free and vegan within the Healthy tab on the Recipes drop down menu.

Do You Follow a Particular Diet?

I eat almost anything, and Bjork WILL eat anything, so no, we don't follow a certain diet. But outside of Friday night pizza or an occasional midnight snack of chocolate cake, my favorite foods to cook are typically plant-based dishes with lots of flavor. Also, NOODLES.

For several years I regularly tracked what I ate, and during that time I would loosely aim for 1,800 calories per day. I found this to be a really powerful and straightforward way to maintain a healthy weight, which is why you'll see the nutrition labels on most of my recipes.

How Do You Make Your Recipe Nutrition Labels?

I use our nutrition label generator Nutrifox! It's integrated with our recipe card Tasty Recipes, so all you have to do is copy and paste a little code for it to generate.

Why Didn’t Your Recipe Work For Me?

I’m not sure, but I'm happy to help you try to figure it out. The comments section of a post is a great place to have that discussion so others can benefit from what you figure out and contribute to the conversation. Sometimes recipes might have typos or need clarification, so if you find something confusing, please leave a comment or shoot me an email so we can get it cleared up.

How Many Times Do You Make Each Recipe?

I feel a big responsibility to providing really good quality recipes for my readers, so I almost always make a recipe at least twice to make sure I've got it just how I want it. The first time I make it, I focus on developing the recipe - flavors, ingredient combinations, cooking time, etc. The second time, I focus on recipe tweaks (like a little more spice, a little less salt) and taking photos. Every once in a while, a recipe takes MANY attempts before being ready to post, like these cookie brownies. But I definitely wasn't complaining about that one.

What Do You Do with All Your Food?

We eat lots of leftovers. Like, LOTS. And it's not too hard to find good homes for the desserts - usually our family, friends, and coworkers are willing to help out with that! 🙂

What's Your Favorite Recipe?

You know how I love curry, so those Red Curry Lentils always come to mind right away when someone asks me this question. I also recently made a Thai Yellow Curry from scratch, which was a big deal for me, so I have to mention that one as well. And food lover Bjork, God bless him, says his favorite is “that one panini with the jam.

How Do I Start a Food Blog?

Hey, exciting question! Bjork and I have several resources set up to help new bloggers navigate all the challenges of starting a food blog. Food Blogger Pro (our membership website for new food bloggers) is the most comprehensive because the video lessons walk through each step of starting a blog from the very beginning, plus there’s a forum where you can ask questions and hear from other food bloggers.

How to Start a Food Blog - a page with basic information

Tasty Food Photography - my eBook

Food Blogger Pro - our membership site

Do You Have Any Blogging Advice?

Focus on photo and recipe quality. Strong content is ultimately the most important thing. And give it time. I blogged for about two years before seeing traffic increase noticeably, and at this point, I've been blogging for almost five years. That's like 600-some posts. Building a blog is a gradual thing that takes TIME - it's not an overnight thing and it doesn't come without putting in many hours of focused work. If you enjoy it, it won't feel like work and you'll be able to do more and stick with it - which will eventually lead to growth.

One more thing: try not to stress. Ambition and drive are virtuous in their own right, but so often those lead to comparison and perfectionism, which are joy-stealers (says the ambitious, comparing, perfectionist blogger). I can honestly say that some of my all-time most fun moments as a blogger happened in those first few years when fifty people visiting my site in a day was a big deal and making $20 from ads felt like winning the jackpot, so don't wish those early days away. Enjoy the process of growth and have fun!

What Kind Of Camera Do You Use?

Right now I use a Canon 6D camera body with a 100mm/2.8 lens. I love it for food photography! Here’s what other food bloggers are using.

I Want To Help Support The Orphanage You Worked At In The Philippines. What Things Do They Need?

You are truly, seriously the best. Thanks for asking! ♥

On the orphanage's website, you’ll see a section called Special Projects that shows the current needs of the staff and children.

Do You Work with Brands For Sponsored Posts and Campaigns?

Yep! I am happy to promote brands and products that I like on Skillful Cook. If you are a brand looking for partnership, you can fill out our contact form and it will go directly to our office manager, Jenna.

Are You On Pinterest?

As of just recently, YES! Here's a link to my profile!

If you're interested, here's a post about why I didn't use Pinterest for a long, long time (and why I eventually changed my mind).

You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or my favorite social media, Instagram.

Can I Email You?

Yep! My email address is lindsay (at) skillfulcook (dot) com.

Comment Policy

Thank you for your respectful, friendly, on-topic comments! I LOVE THEM. Because I want Skillful Cook to be a positive environment for my readers, my family, and myself, I have and will remove offensive, inappropriate, or generally rude comments. We're all friendz, so let's be nice.