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Cook to Love, Love to Cook

FAQ

You have questions, I [might] have answers. Below are some questions I’ve gotten and you might have the same questions looming in your head too, so take a peek and your question just might be answered! If not, please use the contact form above to get in touch with me, or leave a comment below :)

**Please understand that my goal with this blog is not solely to create original recipes, though I love when I do so and often try to be as original as possible! My blog is here for me to share recipes with you that I’ve found, and recipes that my husband and I have enjoyed. They can be from another blog, cookbook, magazine, a restaurant copycat, or from my own inspiration. The recipes on my blog are for you and your family to enjoy them, as well!

General

Why did you start a blog?

Well, believe it or not, I’ve always been blogging. I had a blog in middle school that I used as my journal and I gave up on that. I tried again in high school and kept it for a while and then college came around and I had no time or interest in keeping up with a blog. Fast forward few years later and I decided to start another one (the one you’re reading now) that I would keep because I wanted to document all my cooking and recipes and life virtually. Mostly everything I’ve ever printed off in my life (photos, recipes, etc.) have always been shoved in a drawer, never to be seen again. I started this blog to document my life and my cooking. I wanted to share and inspire with other foodies like myself. I never knew that my blog would transpire me to meet so many amazing food bloggers and readers. I have fans?! What?! I love you all!! It’s a great community and we all have so much adoration and support for one another.

Why "Table for Two"?

I thought it was a cute play on words but it also described Jason & I perfectly. We’ve been a table for two for almost 3 years. We cook together, eat together, live together. It’s a great description of us.

So, does that mean you only make portions for two people?

No, no, no. Maybe I kind of dug myself a hole with this name since it kind of means a place setting for two at a table, but I like to think that the name Table for Two is just a name for Jason & I’s current lifestyle. I make portions for 4+ almost every day I cook. Seriously, I have a problem: I can’t make anything for two people. It’s so hard for me, mainly because I love leftovers and I always worry about if we’re going to have enough food, so why not just over-make & be certain we have enough to eat? Better to have more than too little! So, long story, short: most all my dishes are for 4+ and we almost always have leftovers.

Is blogging your full-time job?

Technically, no, but at times it feels like it is :) During the day, I work full time as a web developer for a company in Washington, D.C. This blog was a side-project that has now turned into a semi-second job and company! These definitely keep me very busy but both web developing, cooking, and photography are my passions in life so I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world!

How do you find time to blog with a full-time job during the day?

Honestly, it’s all about planning and organization. I plan out most my posts a month in advance, meaning, I have a little notebook and write down all my ideas, inspirations, and plan out how I’m going to execute these ideas or recipe inspirations. I create and cook/bake 4-5 dishes on the weekend, photograph them, edit them, and put it into my editorial calendar so I can see all my posts. I use my editorial calendar heavily as it is my number one planning tool and a great way to stay organized. I have a post on the editorial calendar plugin here.

Table for Two is now a LLC, how did you do that?

Please read this entry for everything you need to know about obtaining one for yourself!

Table for Two is now a registered trademark, how did you do that?

Please read this entry for everything you need to know about obtaining one for yourself!

Did you go to culinary school?

No, I didn’t. I wanted to but I decided to go into the technology field instead. Everything that I know is either through my mom or self-taught through trial and error.

Recipes

Can I use your recipes on my blog?

Sure! That’s what this blog is all about. I want to share and inspire. All I ask is that you appropriately cite your sources and give credit where credit is due and please do not just copy & paste my words. Be creative :)

Sharing does not mean taking my photo & my entire recipe and posting it on your Facebook page or elsewhere. Sharing means asking permission to use my photo then LINK BACK to my post for the full recipe. I’m more than happy to allow you to share my stuff, but all I ask is you ask permission first. Thank you!

Please read my site policies page for more information.

My dish didn't turn out like yours, why?

To be honest, it’s hard impossible for me to tell you what went wrong as I wasn’t there with you in the kitchen. Maybe go back and try again? If it was a bread recipe, is your yeast too old? Did you kill it with too hot of water or maybe it didn’t activate because the water was too cold? See what I mean? There’s just numerous possibilities as to why it went wrong and it’s impossible for me to tell you. I wish I could, honestly! It’s all about practice and trial & error in the kitchen :) good luck!

Can I substitute this for that?

Sure! If you have experience with substituting ingredients, then by all means, go for it. However, don’t come back and yell at me for a failed dish.

Can I cut this recipe in half? Can I double it?

Most my recipes are very customizable when it comes to halving or doubling. However, halving and doubling dishes is known to be finnicky because you’re altering a recipe that was made specifically for the written portion size. If you do end up adjusting the recipe’s serving size, please do not come back and yell at me for a failed recipe.

This recipe sucked.

I’m sorry it didn’t turn out the way you imagined. I only post recipes that have been thoroughly taste-tested and enjoyed by myself and my family. We all have different taste preferences. Just because you didn’t like it doesn’t mean the recipe is bad. Please refrain from publicly insulting my recipes because it wasn’t what YOU thought it’d be. Please contact me instead and maybe we can figure something else out for you that you’d enjoy just as much.

"Are you SURE it's 1 1/3 cup of sugar? That seems like an awful amount of sugar for such a dish!" "Are you SURE it’s 450 degrees? It seems awfully high!"

Yes, I’m sure. Recipes that are posted on this blog have all been tested exactly as it is written and they have turned out as I intended. I refuse to post a faulty recipe so you can guarantee whatever I have written is accurate and from my own kitchen experiences.

Do you have a recipe for _________?

Chances are, if you didn’t find it via my categories menu at the top of the blog or using the search feature in the right sidebar at the very end, then no. Sorry!

Do you take recipe requests?

Every so often I will. Just depends on what it is and how it fits in with my blog and our personal taste/food preference. Regardless, I’d love to hear your thoughts so feel free to contact me about it!

Soooo, you just posted a picture of a really awesome looking dish/dessert on Instagram & Facebook and I came here to look for it, but I can’t find it!!! Where is it?!

Typically, when I post food pictures on Instagram, I either just made it or am in the process of making it – therefore, it’s not on the blog yet. Remember to check the caption of the photo, too, because most times, if it’s a dish I’m featuring on the blog that day, it’ll say, “on the blog today!” but with pictures that don’t say that, it’s likely because I’m making my dishes for future postings.

When will it be on the blog, then?

I work on a month-out schedule. For example, if I’m making a dish/dessert on January 19, it likely won’t show up on the blog for another 3-4 weeks.

Can you give me nutritional information for your recipes?

Unfortunately, no. There are many reasons as to why I don’t post nutritional information on my recipes, one of which is that I simply do not have the time to do this. Also, I’m not a registered dietician or nutritionist so for me to give any sort of nutritional information would be incorrect and inaccurate. There are also many differing factors when it comes to nutritional information and since I do not have the knowledge in this, I do not feel comfortable posting this sort of information. If you must have this information, there are many calculators out there (free and paid) that can help you with calculations. A simple Google search would pull up some of these calculators, but again, I’m not endorsing them as I do not know how accurate they may be.

Can I guest post on your blog?

No, I do not accept guest posts of any kind.

Photography

How do you get all your photos to be in natural light? When I come home in the evenings, it's already dark!

I have several ways that I photograph my dishes so they are in natural light.

If it’s a hot entree I’ve made for dinner in the spring/summer, when daylight is longer, I can usually come home, cook a meal, and still have enough time to photograph the dish. In the fall/winter, when daylight is shorter, I do all my cooking and photography on the weekends. I only photograph in natural light. I find that even the artificial light set-up (Lowel EGO lights) that mimic natural light still doesn’t give me the right effect that I want for my photos.

If I make a dessert dish that is a cookie, brownie, bread, etc., I don’t photograph them immediately. In the spring/summer, I’ll wait until the next day to photograph them when I get home from work. In the fall/winter, I bake on Friday evening and photograph them on Saturday or Sunday in daylight.

What camera and lens do you use for food photography?

I use a Canon EOS 5D Mark III along with my 100mm macro, 35mm, and my 24-70mm. For my food photography you see on the blog, I use the 100mm macro. For travel, I use either the 35mm or 24-70mm.

Did you take any photography classes?

I have no professional training in photography, I just shoot, shoot, shoot. Practice makes perfect — it’s really true! Some of my old pictures are horrid to look at, but it also shows that I’ve come a long way and there’s improvements every day. That’s why I don’t take them down –  it shows that practice makes perfect, and even today, I’m still learning.

Is the photography on here original? Can I use it?

Yes. In fact, everything on here is original, unless otherwise noted, and so is the design and specific code that I coded for my blog, aside from the template.

In general, no. You may not use my photography without first contacting me for permission and even in those instances, I still may not allow it. Sorry, not trying to be a total b!tch here.

Please read my site policies page for more information.

Misc.

What is your favorite thing to make?

Pasta and cookies :)

How are you still so skinny even with all the food and desserts you make and eat?

I do Pure Barre five times a week and I believe in portion control and mostly eating homemade meals instead of going out to eat.

How did Jason propose to you?

On one knee. Ha, just kidding. You can read about how we got engaged here.

Does Jason cook with you?

Sometimes. Most of the time, I like cooking by myself. It’s “my time” and it’s a stress-reliever for me. He does cook for me though on occasion when I ask him to whip up something delicious for us :)

DISCLAIMER

Table for Two is a licensed LLC. All business and copyright laws are applicable on this blog and its contents. Please refer to my site policies before using this site. Citing me, when appropriate, is appreciated. The photography is original, as well as the contents of this blog unless otherwise noted. Please do not use my photographs for any distribution or personal use. If you have any questions, please use the contact form above to get in touch with me. All opinions on Table for Two are 100% my own. You do not have to agree with my opinions, but ask you to please respect them.

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