This TeaQueen Blogger & Author is ChinDeep in Life!

Imagine the tons of manuscripts publishers get all the time from budding authors.  How in the world do you catch the eye of a This Author TeaQueen Blogger is ChinDeep in Life! one~~one who’ll really read your creative genius, your work of labor, your baby, so to speak?  If you’re this bubbly gal, you find a compelling quote…one that speaks to the soul of the publisher!  “When you can do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.” ~George Washington Carver.   For Melissa of the well-known and popular website ‘ChinDeep’ it’s worked!

Alright, Miss Melissa, tell me , what have you done in the last few years that has changed your life?  I know that’s a big question!

In the last few years I’ve become a professional photographer, an avenue I never expected to walk down! It started with the desire to include really beautiful photos of food on my blog. My husband is a professional photographer and used to take all of the photos for my posts. As you can imagine, this arrangement got old, and he started to show me the basics. He gave me a camera, and the rest is history. I was hooked! This past summer I was commissioned to do a photo shoot for a national magazine! I LOVE photography and can hardly remember what life was like before I had a camera in my hand. My camera bag is my purse!It feels like a natural extension of me.

What’s something on your bucket list? 

I want to go to Europe. Specifically Italy. I haven’t gotten the chance to go yet, but i feel drawn to the place. I’d like to try living there for a year and soak in the culture. My grandma Pavek (Favilla) is a “real” Italian lady, and I’m sure that’s part of the reason for my desire to go. Whenever I see a photo of the Tuscan countryside my heart says “HOME.”

This Author TeaQueen Blogger is ChinDeep in Life! Wow, with an Italian Nonna and the blood running through your veins, how did your love of cooking start?

My love of food and cooking started when I had a family of my own to cook for. I started out as most young wives do…with a limited budget and very little cooking experience. There were more than a couple embarassing incidents when I did things like burn simple boxed macaroni and cheese dinner, and left the plastic covering on a ham the whole time it cooked! Even with these mistakes and the smoke alarms blaring, I kept at it determined to be a “good cook.” Twenty years later, Voila!  This Author TeaQueen Blogger is ChinDeep in Life!

How do you get inspired to cook new dishes/recipes? Where does the maestro go for inspiration?

Blogs, magazines, beautiful ingredients at the farmers market, cooking with produce that’s in season. One of my favorite things to do for fun is to make lists of a few simple ingredients that I think would make stunning food combinations.

Who are the people that you’ve learned from along this cooking journey?

I’m mostly a self-taught cook. Lots of trial and error and studying Julia Child cookbooks, word for word. I did learn to make some very specific dishes and delicacies at the tearooms where I was employed…quiche, scones, bread pudding, and soups are some of my specialties as a result of this training.

Every cook has their ‘have to’ ingredients…what are 3 that I’d always find in your kitchen? 

Freshly ground pepper, lemons and garlic!

I’m thinking, Melissa, your three have-to ingredients are in this fabulous dish you’re sharing with us!  ‘Linguine Clams’

This Author TeaQueen Blogger is ChinDeep in Life!






48 thoughts on “This TeaQueen Blogger & Author is ChinDeep in Life!”

  1. What a wonderful article about a wonderful little lady! I’ve been a fan of Melissa’s work WAY back from her first book, “Chin Deep in Bubbles”. She just gets more and more amazing with time!

    It was a thrill of a lifetime to finally meet Melissa in person when she was commissioned to write and photograph our tearoom an article in TeaTime magazine. I was honestly more excited about meeting her than about the article. I am blessed to call Melissa a “kindred spirit”. <3

    1. Audrey! What a beautiful comment! Yes, I know exactly what you mean about adoring Melissa…and, you’ve met her IN PERSON!! I hope to have that honor some day soon!! She’s a gem in my foodie world and in my life! xo Ally

  2. Fabulous to eavesdrop on two of my favorite multi-talented bloggers. Thanks for the chance! XO to you both!

    1. You are way toooooo sweet and generous w/your compliments, Miss Rebecca! Thank you so much, and most of all, for being such a great friend!! xo

    1. Adam! You’re just a man after my own heart! Thank you for swinging by and reading about Melissa…she’s quite the wonderful person as we know! Yes, it’s always great to hear other people’s stories, and, you know how much I love your confessional ones!! xo Ally

  3. I loved reading this Ally! Melissa has been someone that I look up to in our little group since the beginning. She is indeed a very humble soul. I love her energy, her zest for life but most of all her caring and loving spirit. Thank YOU for sharing her here so more people can meet this great woman! xoxo

    1. Tara! I agree 150% w/everything you’ve said…it’s wonderful to share the great women behind their blogs/websites…they’re so much more than ‘just food’!! xo

  4. What a lovly and warm interwiev. Melissa is such a wonderful women :) thankyou Ally for shareing this with us . Lot of luvs to you both. xx MIsbah

    1. Misbah! I always smile when I see your name come up in the comments! Melissa is a love of all of ours, for sure!! Luv you 2!! xo

    1. Thank you, Lauren…Melissa’s quite a jewel in our foodie universe…she was one of my first to follow! Thank you for swinging by to read!! xo

  5. I’ve enjoyed reading all your interviews dear Ally. Melissa is one of the most sincere, nicest, and most talented foodie friends I have. Thank you for sharing!

    1. I agree, Mia…it’s just so great to get into the real lives of our foodie friends…I so appreciate them sharing these sides of themselves xo :)

  6. Another exceptional installment of the Fellow Foodie Interviews! They are always such fun to read and I never tire of learning a little bit more about the people I have come to know and respect through the world of food. Well done, Ally and Melissa!!

    1. Ann…it’s the behind-the-scenes that’s so much fun, isn’t it!! What a beautiful foodie family we have xo Thank you for all your support! xo Ally

    1. Carrie…you’re so right…and having these all in one place is priceless…I feel sooooooooooo privileged to have your/others’ friendship xo Ally

  7. Oh Ally! How marvelous! I love you both dearly and admire you both beyond words, so this post brings a tear or three to my eye… Thank you from the bottom of my heart! xoxo

    1. Michele! You are always our #1 cheerleader and supporter…how much that means to me, you’ll really never know!! I adore you!! xo

  8. Love the ham story! :) As you’ve already figured out, persistence pays off — in cooking & in life — when it’s fueled by loving what you do. Great interview, both of you!

    1. Bingo, Kimby!! You are so so so right…when do we learn that…thank goodness I have it, NOW!! Love you for your immense and unconditional support! xo Ally

  9. Melissa is one of those girls who just achieves it all…she goes from strength to strength and has great sense of humour too. Love her pages from the minute I found them over a year ago xoxo

    1. Beverley…well said, and I agree…I’ve known Melissa for almost 2 years now, and she’s so quiet and unassuming it’s hard to dig out of her all she does! She’s very humble…a beautiful trait…always love your support! xoxo

  10. Thanks for doing this interview Ally! And thanks for featuring me :) What an honor! I am constantly amazed by you. You inspire me ever day. I am blessed to call you my friend.

    Much Love,

    1. Melissa…you light up the foodie universe w/your energy and soulfulness…never forget that…you have that special ingredient & you use it to make others better Love, peace, and nameste, my littl’ star! xo

  11. What a wonderful interview. I’ve been a fan of Chin Deep for a while and here I’ve learned some great stuff! :) You ladies are both so inspiring!

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