The Tuesday Thirteen: Marla Meridith and Family Fresh Cooking
The Tuesday Thirteen
Marla Meridith, Family Fresh Cooking
Marla Meridith is the creator of Family Fresh Cooking. Her blog is all about delicious, whole food, healthy recipes that your family will love. From beautiful photography to amazing recipes (including vegan, gluten free and sugar free), she also blogs about her various travels.
Tell us about Family Fresh Cooking and how you got started.
Marla I started Family Fresh Cooking as a simple little way to share healthy, whole food recipes with others. I had no idea it would become my greatest passion and full time job!
You have amazing recipes and beautiful photos. Do you create your own recipes at this point?
Marla I have always created my own recipes. I have so much fun creating unique flavor and ingredient combinations.
What is your process for recipe creation?
Marla Often I come up with recipes based on ingredients I have on hand. I like to work with seasonal ingredients. I also look ahead at the trends that are going on for holidays, special flavor combos, travel inspiration…. I always keep my eyes peeled as to what my colleagues are up to. Also I look at trend websites such as Pinterest, Foodgawker and Tastespotting.
You are currently sugar free! How was the transition for you and has that made it harder to create recipes?
Marla At first it was tricky to go sugar free. I could not have anything tempting around me at all ( I was tempted by everything sweet and carby).
The greatest bonus to going sugar free was I realized how much brighter and lighter my moods were, how much clearer my skin was and how simple it was to keep weight off. These days it is just a way of life and I am never turning back.
I use stevia and natural sweeteners to get my sweet fix. Recipe development is simple now that I have been practicing this for so long.
I could literally pin every one of your posts. Did you attend photography school? What is your favorite tip on photographing food?
Marla I did not attend school for photography. When I started my blog in 2009 I actually shot really bad photos with my iPhone. When I realized that food photography (and all photography) was a passion, I took food specific photography workshops. I practice my craft daily and I am always learning. Thanks for your sweet compliments! I now have my own online photography portfolio if you would like to take a look!
Speaking of beautiful photography, what camera do you use? Where do you find the props you shoot with?
Marla I use a Canon 7D camera with multiple lens. My all time favorite lens is my 1.2mm 50mm.
I shop everywhere for props. Online, cooking stores, Etsy.com, on my travels. I am kind of addicted to acquiring props and fabrics ~ anywhere and all the time. There are great finds in antique stores, so I suggest you hunt in those. I have a few vintage farm tables and I also paint my own boards for backdrops.
Your blog focuses on more than just food – other topics include travel and crafts. You must get up really early to keep up with all of this….and a husband and 2 beautiful kids. How do you stay organized?
Marla I do wake up very early ~ between 4:00am and 4:30 most days of the week. I love what my job and I prefer to be up and active when the East coasters are just getting started. (We live on the West coast, California) My kids keep me extra busy at all times!
Travel and craft posts have become a great passion. I plan on stepping up the travel game over the next year. I am getting a great response from my readers and the travel industry ~ so more to come on that.
Every week, you give us a Color Fresh Palate. I love these! How did you come up with this idea?
Marla Some of the design focused people that I follow on Pinterest inspired me to start the ColorFresh palettes. I love all things color, as a matter of fact my job prior to photography was textile design. It was a natural instinct to pull color palettes from my photos. I use these palettes in graphics and DIY crafty projects. One day I would love to decorate homes with them too!
I Love your Pinterest pinboards. Is Pinterest one of your favorite social media outlets?
Marla Yes, yes and YES!! I am hopelessly in love with everything Pinterest,. You can often find me playing over there all the time with a huge cup of coffee by my side.
You’ve got a huge following. What do you think has been the biggest contribution to your success?
Marla I love what I do. I stay on top of trends. I take the best pictures I possibly can and I fully enjoy our fabulous online community. Drive, passion and energy ~ these are my fuel. I also love sharing a diversity of content ~ food, travel, crafts. I like to hook people with all different interests.
Tell us what one post (or topic) we should go read on your blog right now.
Marla If you love travel, I suggest my posts on Telluride and Switzerland. If you are interested in health and fitness, 10 Secrets to Skinny might be helpful. For all things food, please visit my Recipes page and click on what tempts you! I update my blog posts 3-4 times a week. So always feel free to check in!
Between writing, photography, travel, speaking engagements and appearances, what is your favorite activity to be doing at any point in time?
Marla All of it!! Without the diversity I would get really bored. The more I have to do, the more momentum I have. You really don’t want to see me with to much spare time on my hands.
When not working I play hard, skiing, surfing, hiking, mountain biking and yoga are some of my favorites.
What is next for Marla Meridith and Family Fresh Cooking?
Marla Oh so much!! Every day new opportunities await. I am lining up lots of fun travel. The first book I photographed will be available early September. Stay tuned….lots of fun around the corner I am certain!
Let’s stay in touch! You can find me on FamilyFreshCooking.com and the following:
The Tuesday Thirteen is an interview series that asks thirteen questions to your favorite people in food. If you have questions you are curious to ask food bloggers, cookbook authors, publicists, food photographers, etc., please send your questions to email@example.com.