Welcome back for another Featured Friday blogger spotlight!
We found today's featured blogger through her posts on our Page on Facebook and once we visited HER Page and her blog, we were hooked on her too-cute-for-words sweet treats!
Dina is the voice behind the blog and you won't believe what she creates from her family kitchen. You'll find everything from cupcakes to cookies and so much more on her blog. You'll also find inspiration for party planning, holiday decorating, plus unforgettable recipes.
If you're in or around Northern Virginia, you can even order a cake or dessert from Dina herself!
Add Buttercream Bakehouse to your regular blog visits and make your sweet tooth happy! We asked Dina to share a little behind-the-buttercream scoop...here's what she had to say.
Tell us about yourself, your family and where you live.
I am a mom, wife, baker and blogger. I live in Northern Virginia with my husband of 13 years and our four beautiful children ages 12, 11, 9 and 5. They keep me very busy with school work and sports everyday.
What or who originally inspired you to start blogging?
I started following Bakerella a few years ago and I loved her food photos. Once I got a decent camera I began playing around with it and learned a lot about photography. I soon became obsessed with taking photos of whatever I baked.
When I started selling cakes, I took photos of them and posted them to my website and Facebook page. This became a great advertising tool. Then I decided that since so many people inquired about my recipes and tips on how to bake and decorate cakes, I would share the love and start my own baking blog which was an extension of my current website for my cake decorating business, Buttercream Bakehouse.
As a full-time mom of four, how do you find time to develop new recipes, create such cute results, write and take photos to share?
It was very tricky when my kids were younger to find the time to experiment in the kitchen. There were lots of evenings I didn't have dinner ready because I was still taking photos of something I was trying to blog.
Now that they are older and my youngest is in full day kindergarten, I have been able to blog during the day and more frequently. Now I blog without the mommy-guilt and the kids LOVE the mess-ups and licking the bowl.
As far is developing new recipes goes, I just pair flavors that I think complement each other or I will tweak a recipe that I have tried once before to make it my own. I always use Google for inspiration.
How did you get your start in the kitchen and when did you discover your love of baking?
When my first son was born, I wanted him to have a killer cake at his first birthday party. I knew I couldn't afford to pay for one so I began checking out cake decorating books from the library and practicing at home.
As I had more kids, I decorated a lot more cakes and cupcakes for all special occasions. For years, family and friends encouraged me to start selling them, so I decided to learn how to bake from scratch to offer a bakery quality product that didn't come from a box.
I set up a professional website and from that point on, there's been no looking back. Cake decorating and baking is my passion and blogging is a way to share my passion with all of you!
Quick! You have 30 minutes to put dinner on the table...what do you fix?
I have to say, spaghetti is usually the quickest dinner and since we are Italian, we eat it a lot. But, I do love country cooking and I have a go-to Gooseberry Patch cookbook called From Grandma's Kitchen, where I can find tons of classic homestyle recipes to whip up in a flash. Our favorite is Grams Skillet Hash.
With SO many sweet treats to choose from on your blog, do you have a favorite you'd like to share?
I love everything that I blog. I wouldn't post it if it didn't turn out perfectly and taste amazing. But if I had to choose just one, it would be the Reese's peanut butter stuffed chocolate cupcake with peanut butter frosting. To die for.
Morning person or night owl?
Definitely morning. I am beat by 9pm and usually in bed with a cookbook. Nothing like curling up with a good cookbook.
Aside from family & friends, what 5 things couldn't you live without?
In my kitchen, we never run out of ________?
Cookies, cake or pie?
This is a trick question. All of the above.
If you could design your ideal kitchen, what would be in it?
A pantry larger than the kitchen itself and tons of counter space.
If you could spend a whole day (guilt-free!) doing something you love, what would it be?
Cupcake-hopping! You know, like bar-hopping but instead of going to bars, hitting all the cupcakeries and bakeries Virginia has to offer.
Tell us something that no one would guess about you.
That I am a completely self-taught baker, cake decorator and blogger.
Thanks, Dina, for sharing all your goodies with us today and
on your blog every day...keep up the great work!