Doughmesstic! I don't think I've ever heard word that so succinctly sums up the joy and creative abandon of baking. And the website certainly lives up to one's expections. It's full of delicious recipes, engaging stories, and informative but not fussy tutorials, all designed and dreamed up by Susan Whetzel, a seriously awesome and talented lady. Susan has also branched out to baking for clients and writing books! (CS Note: Buy her book: The Everything Ice Cream, Gelato, and Frozen Desserts Cookbook).
Want to learn more about the blogger behind the baked goods? Here's an interview, punctuated with sweet treats from the site--click on the pictures to find the recipes!
Who are you and what do you do? I am Susan Whetzel. Wife, Mom, Blogger, Baker, Getter-Byer. I live in the mountains in Virginia, where I've always lived. I've had my food blog since 2008, after I got bored being a stay-at-home-mom and never actually cooking. It took me about 30 seconds to come up with the name Doughmesstic.
Who taught you how to bake? I would have to say joining Tuesdays With Dorie, the online baking group taught me to bake. I followed along with that group for a LONG time - until I was comfortable mixing things up in the kitchen. I also met a lot of great friends there - some I have been lucky enough to meet in person. I miss those days.
Tell me two of three of your personal favorite blog posts ever? Oh my. That's a toughie. I think one that got a lot of fun attention was the one about going to Martha Stewart's first Pie Competition. I was invited, I went - it was a fiasco! (Here's a link) Another favorite of mine is actually a sad one - writing about my family at Christmas. It was honest, and felt like real writing versus my normal happy-go-lucky recipe posts. (Here's a link)
Who are some of the bakers or bloggers who you love best? I absolutely LOVE my friend Paula of Bell'Alimento, even though she calls me everyday, despite her knowing I hate talking on the phone. I am also thrilled to have made a friend in Brandi of BranAppetit - who actually lives nearby. If not for blogging, I'd have never met her! I could name people all day, but that wouldn't be fair.
If you have a low-inspiration day, how do you keep yourself motivated to bake and blog? That's so hard. But if I am totally unmotivated to bake, all it takes is cleaning the kitchen. Once I see that sucker clean, I get the itch to get in there and do something...which involves two or three days of dirty dishes.
You've traveled quite a bit. What is one of the places that you thought the sweets were especially awesome? In all of my travels, quite honestly, I think America has the only true SWEETS. In Europe, things just aren't up to the sweet that we are used to. In the Caribbean & South America, it's too hot to think about eating. I did have a divine piece of Chocolate Mousse Cake while sitting on an island in Greece one year for my birthday, and the Riverside Marriott in Bangkok did a MEAN crepe filled with dark chocolate and fresh strawberries.
Neapolitan ice cream: Which do you go for first, strawberry, vanilla, or chocolate? Coming from someone who JUST published a book with over 300 ice cream recipes, you are hurting me a bit with that question...SO much recipe testing! I like Butter Pecan or Mint Chip. :)
What made you decide to take the jump from home baker to baking for clients? It wasn't really a decision - it just happened. I was making cakes for my son, my husband, my family and friends, and posted some pictures on Facebook. I immediately got orders coming in. I am particular about the orders I take these days though - they MUST inspire me. With the blog, I stay super busy, so cakes are my creative outlet. I don't want it to feel like work, so, if the cake has imagination, I am in. If not, I wish them luck...no hard feelings.
Do you have any advice for bloggers or bakers who are interested to start selling their cakes or baked goods? It's work!! Don't undersell yourself. If people want a cheap cake, send them to WalMart. Remember, you don't NEED to make cake. If you are doing it at a little more than cost, you are going to end up regretting it, and it won't be fun for you at all.
Red Velvet cake: boiled icing, buttercream, or cream cheese frosting? Cream Cheese, no question.
What's next? Currently shopping out a new cookbook, getting ready to overhaul the kitchen (pray for me), gearing up for a year of travel and food blogging conferences, and hopefully making a little more money and a lot more friends. Oh, and finally finding a pair of jeans that stay on my butt. That's a big goal.
For more, visit Doughmesstic.com.