Let's extend a big, warm HFBC welcome to Mary Hatton, of The Cake Chica. Mary found her love for cooking when she was faced with the realization that with marriage, came a need to know how to whip up a thing or two in the kitchen. That moment sparked inspiration for a blog filled with easy recipes utilizing the best ingredients, creative ways to make your favorites a little healthier, and stunning photographs of Mary's creations! Read ahead to see who inspires her the most and what's cooking for her next.
What was the inspiration behind starting your blog?
The inspiration for starting my blog the first time around was a way to showcase my custom cakes. Since then, my blog has shifted and now my inspiration comes from cooking and baking with basic ingredients, and not convenience products I see so much of these days. I love baking from scratch, and I love cooking with fresh organic ingredients and with pantry items that have minimal ingredients in them.
What is one of your fondest food memories?
My fondest food memory has to be when I was a little girl and my mom would drop me off at my grandma Mary's house during the day while my mom would go to work. The aroma of my grandma's Fideo always takes me back to that time. It was usually what my grandma made me for lunch.
Where is your ultimate food destination?
My ultimate food destination is New Orleans. I love that place. I went there a while ago for a week and I enjoyed trying every restaurant I could during that time. Needless to say 1 week was not enough time and I need to go back soon!
We know you have many recipe successes on your blog, but tell us a story of a recipe that didn't go exactly as planned and what you learned from it.
I don't even like to think about my worst failure but here goes: It was back when I was making custom cakes. I made a 4 tier baby shower cake and I did not support it right. As soon as I backed out of my driveway the cake fell over! I was so upset and crying all the way to the house I was to deliver it to. It was fondant so it wasn't completely destroyed. I saved it as much as I could. The cake was for someone in my family, but that still didn't make me feel any better. I learned that you can't dwell on the mistakes but instead learn from them and keep going. Yes I was upset that day but by the next day I was determined not to let that happen again.
Who is your personal culinary hero?
My culinary hero - or heroes I should say - are all the people at Americas Test Kitchen. They test and retest recipes until they are perfect. They explain why something doesn't work and why something does. Their books and TV shows have helped me grow in the kitchen tremendously. I feel more confident in the kitchen since finding them. I even had the opportunity to help test some recipes for them on an upcoming book!
Mary is no stranger to reinventing classic favorites. Check out this creative take on doughnuts here. Did i mention that they're grilled?!