Extra little things you should know (or just may want to know)…

What kind of camera do you use? As of August 2013 I shoot with a Nikon D3100 using 18-55mm & 55-200 mm lenses.  Prior to August 2013 I used a Nikon D60 with an 18-55 mm lens.  And before that (some of the earlier posts on my blog through 2011 and early 2012) were shot with a Canon PowerShot A540.  I shoot all of my photos in natural light, usually before 3PM.

What’s your process for ordering? Unfortunately, I discontinued ordering because the purpose of this blog is to encourage others how to bake!  And because I’m too busy.

What’s the purpose of your blog? The purpose of The Domestic Rebel is to connect to people from around the world through my love of baking unique, sweet treats and through my (crazy) story-telling. My objective is to encourage you to be experimental in the kitchen and have fun. With the creative flavors and combinations, simple instructions and accessible ingredients, this blog is basically here to prove to you that anyone can cook an awesome treat–culinary experience or not.

How did you choose the name ‘The Domestic Rebel’? I actually didn’t come up with it–my friend Jake did! I had been telling Jake I wanted to start a blog to feature all the sweets I’m constantly making, and I said I wanted a cheeky, fun name. He suggested ‘The Domestic Rebel’ since I’m not traditionally ‘domestic’, and I bake with a twist. It stuck!

Do you participate in guest posting? Yes! Send me an email at hayleyparker08@yahoo.com to set up a date for a future guest posting on your blog.

What are your favorite foods? I am partial to anything smothered in rainbow sprinkles. I like donuts. Pesto veggie pizza from Pieces in Sacramento. Funky Fusion Dirty Chips. Shrimp chow mein. Pickle spears. Havarti cheese. Monte Cristo sandwiches. Basically, what I’m trying to tell you is I love salt.

What about your least favorite foods? I refuse to eat pork chops. And I loathe carrot cake. Also, I’ve technically never had one, but I’m positively frightened of energy drinks. I feel like I’ll drink one and get all buzzed and start bouncing off the walls and then break out into some psychotic hallucination and begin sweating and then overdose and die. This probably won’t happen but I avoid it for good measure.

But I make carrot cake in a really yummy way. No you don’t. I’ve tried everyone’s “really yummy way” and unless you’re sprinkling magic fairy dust on it, it’s still carrot cake. I’m sorry, I cannot be converted.

What are some of your pantry staples? Cake mix–I like having a chocolate, white, yellow and spice on hand at all times.  Powdered sugar, of course; butter; vanilla extract; and cinnamon, one of my favorite ingredients!

How do you post and bake so frequently?! I only bake about twice a week, and on those days (usually the weekends) I typically bake all my treats for that week.  Then, if I have time, I’ll edit my pictures and write my posts and schedule them in advance throughout the week.  Sometimes, I work on a post-per-day basis which is hard, but I like being organized and having these scheduled and completed in advance.

Where do you get inspiration? I get inspiration from numerous baking blogs, cooking magazines & shows, cookbooks (new and old) and just by looking at the boxes of cake mix in the baking aisle at the supermarket. Inspiration literally strikes me anywhere, at any time. I’m constantly thinking in recipes!

Who is Mannie? Mannie is my adorable three-legged Border Collie. He’s a rescue from the local shelter and unfortunately, lost a battle with a gun. He’s totally energetic, happy and neurotic–just like his mama. He loves to run, bark, and go for his daily walks. He can only attest to the pupcakes, but he likes watching me make all my treats, so if nothing else, at least my treats are entertaining to watch.

Any advice for baking at home? Know that every other big-name food blogger has and still burns something, throws something away because it wasn’t cooked right/edible/pretty enough. Don’t sweat the small stuff!

…What about advice for new bloggers? Two things: you don’t need to invest in a pricey camera for quality pictures. Natural light and clear, focused pictures are all that matters. And when writing, find your voice. I know it isn’t tangible advice, but it’s meaningful. People will not connect to you if you have no voice. Whether its strictly informative, personal, humorous–whatever–make your voice clear and people will connect to it and you. Be real, be personal.

What are some kitchen utensils you couldn’t live without? I LOVE my Kitchenaid mixer. It is so worth the money and incredibly helpful. I’m also a rubber spatula fiend–I have so many but they’re so essential! And santuko knifes are my fave.

Are you really like this in real life? Unfortunately, yes. Ask the people living with me.

Do you ever have dishes that turn out really bad/gross? Duuuude, yes. The raccoons digging through our garbage at night must love those days.

How do you come up with your recipes? It’s a continuous process. I’m constantly thinking of new ideas, putting different flavor combinations together in my head to test things out mentally before I head to the kitchen. Sometimes, it’ll be based off something I see on other blogs or in cookbooks; other times, it’ll be a completely random thought completely irrelevant to anything happening around me.

How do you not weigh a bazillion pounds? I can’t say “if you’re around it all the time, you’ll get sick of it” because that’s what they told me on my first day working at a frozen yogurt shop and I ate froyo smothered in rainbow sprinkles EVERYDAY for two years. So..yeah. Honestly, I don’t weigh a bazillion pounds because of a multitude of reasons, mainly being that I’m a guilty eater; I walk my dog often enough; and I eat healthy most of the time. And willpower, young grasshopper.

What do you do with all the things you bake? My dad’s a teacher, so he usually takes everything to school to pass out to staff or behaving students. Or sometimes, I’ll pawn stuff onto my mom’s work, my neighbors, classmates, my work, or we’ll eat it–even though, if we’re being honest, my family is sadly desensitized to baked goods now. I’ve ruined them.

Where do you get your baking supplies? Mostly from stores like Walmart and Target, but sometimes from Michael’s craft stores, Hobby Lobby, local cake and candy shops in the Sacramento area, and oftentimes, from the online shop Layer Cake Shop which I highly recommend for flavoring oils, adorable sprinkles and fun liners.

What about your staging props? HomeGoods is my stomping grounds.

Don’t you have a cupcake tattoo? Why yes I do!  *edit: I now have an entire sweets-themed leg!

May I use your pictures/recipe on my site? You’re more than welcome to feature my recipes on your website AS LONG as you reference the recipe back to my original post with a working link. However, please use your own pictures unless you’ve contacted me personally for permission.

What’s your favorite color? Pink! Specifically, bubblegum pink.

What are some of your favorite things you’ve made? Trick question–everything’s good. But forrealz, I’m partial to Salted Butterscotch Blondies, Lite Triple Coconut CupcakesSnickerdoodle Donut Muffins, and my Amazing Rainbow Cupcakes.

Why don’t you cook healthier things? Are you trying to kill me?!? I used to sabotage myself by saying NO to everything I deemed “bad.” Then one day, I would cave in and binge on all those “bad” things and feel incredibly guilty. Now, I feel like most things are best in moderation, and my sweets are no exception. As for healthier fare, I’ve occasionally dabbled in lightened-up sweets like these cookies or these cupcakes or these cheesecakes, & talked about baking healthy, too. Soon, I hope to add more to my repertoire.

Have you ever thought about going on Cupcake Wars? No. Frosting over twenty-four cupcakes is daunting. Even thinking about baking 1000 cupcakes gives me shivers.

What about opening up your own bakery? I’ve thought of it, sure, but never seriously. There are many successful bakeries in the Sacramento area at the moment and I don’t want to compete. And it sounds weird, but while I love baking, I would totally rather have my own breakfast and lunch joint… or a pizza parlor… or an ice cream shop… or a donut cafe.

What’s the best method of contacting you?  Email me with ANY questions, comments, concerns, grocery lists, recipe ideas–WHATEVER your fancy. Just no scary things, please… I frighten easily. I’ll try to respond as soon as possible, promise! hayleyparker08[at]yahoo[dot]com

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!