She loves creating recipes, cooking, photographing food and entertaining family and friends, and after Deb Attinella’s two daughters left home, she was looking for a way to give them easy access to recipes she wanted to share.
The answer? A food blog, “Cooking on the Front Burner.”
Attinella, whose mother was born to Italian immigrants, grew up surrounded by good food and happy times around the kitchen table. She recalls many fond memories of family gatherings when her Nonni (grandmother) would prepare and serve “the most wonderful Italian food.”
Admittedly, as a young child, Attinella didn’t recognize the uniqueness of homemade raviolis or pastas and often requested the popular boxed versions, which her Nonni was too gracious not to accommodate.
By now, of course, Attinella’s food tastes and skills have evolved. She credits her early years of experimenting in the kitchen to the purchase of her first cookbook, “The Joy of Cooking.” These days, she often makes her own pasta from scratch.
Ingredients she can’t live without in the kitchen include olive oil, garlic, canned tomatoes and fresh lemon.
In the year following her decision to start the blog, she recalls never cooking the same thing twice, as she built an inventory of recipes. Whether a recipe proved successful or not, she discovered sheer enjoyment simply in the process of assembling ingredients in new ways.
As things continued to evolve, Attinella gained the confidence to tweak recipes and soon began creating her own. Friends and family came to simply salivate in anticipation with each dinner invite to Deb’s home, often being the taste-testers of new dishes.
Her blog launched in 2011. Originally she called it “Recipes for Life.” A year later, she revised the format and adopted its current title. She is fortunate to have a graphic designer in the family — the younger of her two daughters, who in fact did all the setup and design.
Husband John was invaluable in helping with the technology side of things, as well as the “taste testing,” both roles that he continues to be actively involved in.
She recalls that in the first year she and John seldom ate together. Though they both started at the table, at the same time, she was so focused on food photography that, by the time she got to her food, it all was cold, and John was mostly through his meal.
Attinella has learned to “take a break” and is no longer obsessed by her original intent to post two new recipes a week. These days, she feels she has found a better balance with her 32 hours per week job at Mayo Clinic and in “really having” meal time with her husband.
Her advice to potential bloggers: Define your goals and intentions before starting out and “research and research.”
“If you put the time and work into it, it can be (financially) profitable,” she said.
For Attinella, however, it is her passion that drives her. It’s not a job. She simply plans to keep doing her blog until it isn’t fun anymore.
Find her online: www.cookingonthefrontburners.com.
About food blogs
Food blogging has expanded rapidly in recent years. It has become so popular that each year Saveur magazine, a highly respected publication in the food world, ranks the “year’s best food blogs.” (See www.saveur.com/content/best-food-blog-awards-2014-winners.)
The Huffington Post offers their views of the best by categorizing in various culinary areas. (See www.huffingtonpost.com/news/best-food-blogs.)