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All about Amanda.

July 10, 2009

Awhile back, in a post I mentioned the Adopt-A-Blogger program that was going on, and introduced you all to my blog-adoptee, a.k.a. my “blog daughter,” Amanda at Is This Thing On? Remember that? If not please go back and re-read it. You may be quizzed on this.

Amanda in her cap & gown! She recently graduated… read about it here.

Well, I asked her a few questions, sort of an informal interview. Its been in the works for a while, what with it being summer the two of us have been busy doing other things, and maybe neglecting the interwebs a bit. But here it is! And while the questions she asked me were way better (see part one and part two here), I think this gives you more of an idea who she is and will hopefully get you interested in her blog! My responses, or comments if you will, are in bold italics.

Thank You cupcakes with candy melt lettering.

The W questions!

1. What made you want to start a blog?

I started this blog when I graduated from college and left everyone I knew then to go to graduate school in Maine. One of my good friends had (and still has) a blog and she encouraged me to start writing my own. It was really one last ditch effort to keep in contact with some friends and family back home. And it worked! However, you wouldn’t have recognized my blog then. It was angsty and awkward and without capitalization. In the last year or so, I’ve redirected the focus of my blog towards food and mostly cupcakes. It’s much more rewarding now… and… you know… worth reading.

2. When did you decide to start one, and how did you go about picking your blog name, etc?

Okay, I guess I covered the when part earlier. So the name… this is a sore spot for me. I don’t like my name, but I don’t really want to change it and lose my loyal (yet small) following. Since my blog was all about communicating with people who were far away, I played up the voice aspect and chose “Is This Thing On?” I have some header ideas that are hopefully going to make this blog name more relevant to my current focus. We’ll see how that goes!

3. What is your favorite cupcake recipe/cupcake flavor of all time (you don’t have to have made it yourself, you could’ve eaten it somewhere or just heard of it) and why?

I made Irish Car Bomb cupcakes one time that were so absolutely perfect in every way that I almost don’t even want to try them again. Guinness chocolate cake filled with Jameson ganache and topped with Bailey’s icing. (Okay I have to make them. Now.)

Adorable Hello Kitty birthday cupcakes and cake…

4. What is your biggest blogging pet peeve?

I’ll tell you what upsets me about my own blog. I am not pleased with the quality of my food photography. It stinks. It needs help. I just wish my camera would listen to me when I’m talking to it! I can see the gorgey details of the crumb and I just don’t know why it can’t! (I feel the same way sometimes… its very frustrating!)

5. What, if anything, are you hoping to get from this experience… meaning, basically when you signed up, what were you hoping for (aside from a super cool blogger like me to be paired with *wink wink*)?

I was hoping to make a new blogging friend and learn from his/her experience. I’m constantly tweaking my blog based on what I see on other blogs, so this is just a more direct way of doing that, I guess.

A cake Amanda made, complete with Wilton decorations!

The H questions!

1. How would you describe your blog, in just four words?

Awkwardly amateurish baking disclosures

2. How many times are you willing to try a particular recipe before you give up (for example, a cupcake recipe that’s too dry, do you try it again? If so, how many times?)? How come?

Hmm… that’s a good question. There are so many good cupcake recipes and ideas out there that I very rarely revisit a cupcake whether it was disappointing or excellent. That said, the first time I made Paula Dean’s Arnold Palmer cupcakes they were a disaster. I hated everything about them and I thought they tasted overwhelmingly of butter. For some reason, I wouldn’t let that recipe go and I tried it again a few months later. They came out exactly the same even though I was very careful. That’s it. So, I guess, two strikes and they’re out of there! (I had the same exact experience with a Paula cupcake recipe! What is it with her!? Or maybe its us…?)

The IF questions!

1. If you could cook with any famous television cooking show personality, who would it be?

That is really tough. I reflexively say Paula Dean. But… then I think about the only cupcake recipe I’ve made of hers. I love Rachael Ray, so maybe her. Then there’s Martha; I can’t say anything bad about Martha on set. Actually… can I say Maggie Gyllenhaal’s character in Stranger Than Fiction? She’s a cupcake baker who dropped out of law school to open up a bakery. Yes. Even if it’s wrong, my idol is a fictional character. Played by Maggie Gyllenhaal (that’s important). (Awesome movie, I love her character and pretty much want to be her.)

2. If you were a judge on a show like Food Network Challenge, would you be the snarky judge, the sweet judge or the hard-ass judge… And why?

I’d like to say that I’d be the snarky judge, but in reality I’d probably be sweet until they got sassy with me.

3. If you could eat one food for the rest of your life, every day, what would it be?

Macaroni and cheese

Amanda’s banana congraduation cupcakes; thats her on the little flag!

The R(andom) questions!

1. Favorite food?

I have to say cake.

2. Favorite drink (doesn‘t have to be alcoholic)?

Coffee. I’m not spazzy or “Don’t speak to me until I have my coffee…” about it though. It’s just so stinkin’ tasty! (I’m the same way with coffee… its just yummy)

3. Favorite dessert?

Oh… there are so many good ones out there. I have to be traditional and say a really rich chocolate cake with some vanilla ice cream. It has never let me down.

4. Favorite color?

Purple. I think.

5. Favorite artist?

Annie Leibowitz.

6. Favorite writer/literary genius/poet/etc?

I have always loved Franz Kafka and I think I always will. I can’t explain the weird love I have for that twisted, tortured man, but I haven’t finished reading his biography because I got so into him that when he started coughing up blood because of the TB, I couldn’t go on. Ugh… I can feel my heart tightening right now. Am I crazy?

Banana espresso chocolate chip muffins– I love the colors of the liners and the styling of this picture!

7. Favorite book?

I have a long list, but I think my favorite book at the moment is I’m Looking Through You by Jennifer Finney Boylan. It’s a gorgeous book.

8. Most hated food?

I don’t know that I hate any food… or maybe I just don’t know about it yet. I used to hate things that I now love… like broccoli sprouts.

9. Most hated dessert?

I’ve only encountered this in Europe, but it was such a disappointment that I think it merits being my hated dessert. I hate those gorgeous fruit-filled desserts and pastries that are glistening for all they’re worth. Sometimes there is a whipped cream or maybe an egg cream and a pastry crust. But then, when you have purchased this lovely, colorful treat and you take the first bite you realize that the reason the fruit is so pretty is because it’s coated in unflavored gelatin. Freaky, somewhat plastic, unflavored gelatin. Deal breaker, in my opinion.

So there you have it. I want every one of you to make her one of your daily reads, because I say so. Thanks, Amanda for taking the time to answer my inane questions!

This coming month there will definitely be more from us about our little bloggin’ partnership as well, so look out for that!

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