... and so much more



I never thought I’d be nominated for any kind of blogging award, especially after launching my blog just months ago. Thanks to Laura Katzensteiner from The Crafty Cat, Dishing Up Dinner was nominated for The Liebster Award. Thank you, Laura!


The Liebster Award? What the heck is that?

The Liebster Award is an internet award recognizing new bloggers with less than 200 followers. Established in 2011, the Liebster Award is given by bloggers to bloggers in an effort to increase engagement and help new bloggers become recognized more quickly. Curious about where the name “Liebster” comes from, I discovered it’s German for sweetest, kindest, nicest, beloved, valued, endearing, etc. I love that translation and I’m thrilled Dishing Up Dinner is associated with such lovely adjectives!


Thank You, Laura!!

When Laura reached out about nominating me for the Liebster Award, I was so excited! Anytime I can connect with another blogger who is also working through these “early days” of establishing a blog, I’m a happy girl. Blogging can be isolating and it’s wonderful to connect, even just virtually, with others who are working hard to establish an audience and hone their craft.

One thing I absolutely LOVE about Laura’s blog, The Crafty Cat, is that everything (and I do mean, everything!) is from scratch. Whether it’s DIY Dishwasher Tabs or Plum Cinnamon and Red Wine Jam (yum!), all her recipes are from scratch with natural ingredients. Plus, she’s a wonderful writer with a delightful, easy-to-read writing style that keeps me coming back for more.

My Favorite Blog

As a food blogger, I enjoy reading several blogs on a regular basis. One of the requirements for the Liebster Award is to highlight my favorite blog. This is a challenge for me! After much consideration, I chose Oh, Sweet Basil. Carrian and Cade are incredibly relatable to me and so many other readers. Their focus on nutrition, home cooked meals and making memories as a family is truly inspiring. Plus, I appreciate the recipes they feature for today’s modern family.

One of my favorites is this Creamy Chicken with White and Wild Rice Casserole. I love the mix of ingredients … interesting for adults, but not too weird for children. One of the other aspects I enjoy from Carrian and Cade is their lifestyle page. It covers everything from travel to gift-giving with their signature easy-to-read, engaging style … love it!

Questions I received from Laura

1. Why do you blog?

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been in the kitchen cooking and baking. I wasn’t much of a TV-watcher, so I’d wander into the kitchen and find something to occupy me. I’m pretty much the same, although I just finished binge-watching “This Is Us,” so I can’t say I never watch TV! Writing a blog became a natural next step for me. I’m also Co-Founder of Second Look Proofreading & Editing, LLC. So, when I’m not blogging, I’m proofreading and editing. I want to branch out into writing original content and starting with a subject I feel comfortable with makes sense.

My blog is not a fancy, gourmet blog. It features what I feed my family on a daily basis. I’m just as guilty of getting into a food rut with my family as other people. One of the reasons why I started my blog was to help me stay motivated to keep trying new recipes and successfully meal plan on a weekly basis.


2. How did you come up with the name for your blog?

Coming up with the name for my blog was incredibly challenging. After brainstorming for several weeks, I was sitting at my kitchen counter writing down ideas when “dishing” came into my mind. I often tell my kids to wash their hands because “I’m dishing up dinner.” So, it’s a phrase we use often here at home. Thinking the name would be taken just like all the other names I had typed into the search bar, I was shocked and thrilled when it was available. I bought it immediately. Since I’ve heard of other people spending, literally, months developing a name, I feel really fortunate. And, I love it. Now that I’ve been doing this for a few months, I see the value of having a name I’m proud of and reflects me and my blog perfectly.


3. What is one food or drink you cannot live without?

Coffee. I’ve tried giving it up and I’ve been unsuccessful. I did give it up for Lent one year and my husband told me I’m not allowed to do that again. It was brutal. Since then, I’ve read coffee isn’t that bad for you and it actually stimulates brain activity. So, I’m going with that theory and drinking at least two cups a day!


4. What is something you are afraid of?

Up until 10 years ago, I was deathly and irrationally afraid of dogs. I had a few bad dog experiences in my childhood and I had trouble being around even the smallest of dogs. My sister got an adorable shih-tzu, Guido, and I attribute him to helping me get over my fear of dogs. Recently, I was with a friend who I hadn’t seen in quite some time. We were hanging out at a mutual friend’s house who has two fairly large dogs. My friend was completely shocked I was standing in the kitchen talking with these two dogs loping around. She had seen me completely petrified of a little toy poodle a few years back. I was so happy to tell her I’m cured! While I’ll probably never own a dog, and I definitely don’t like jumpy dogs, I can tolerate them so much better and even enjoy dog sitting Guido.


5. How long have you been a blogger?

I’ve been blogging since January, although I didn’t officially launch until April. I’ve been writing in some capacity for years and earned by B.A. in English from the University of Cincinnati.


6. If you could meet any person dead or alive who would it be and why?

This one’s easy … William Shakespeare. Hey, I have an English degree, so what do you expect?!? I would love to talk to him about how he developed his plays, where he got his inspiration, if he ever thought he’d be as famous as he is and so much more!


7. Tell a memorable story of when you where a child.

As I said earlier, I was a fairly energetic child and I didn’t like sitting around much. When I was really young, I went through two Big Wheels and wore out the plastic tires. When I was in fourth or fifth grade, my parents bought me a pair of white roller skates for my birthday. I was so excited to have “real” skates. I must have skated miles on those skates and would even skate around our basement on rainy days. If I wasn’t home, I was on my roller skates or riding my bike … miss those days!


8. What is your preferred social media platform and why?

Pinterest is my favorite social media platform. It’s so engaging and fun. Plus, it’s one of the best sources of traffic to my website. I love that you can create numerous boards and easily curate information from around the web. In addition, it’s also where I find a lot of inspiration for my blog. Chances are someone, somewhere has tried a version of an idea I may have and it helps get my creative juices flowing.


9. What advice would you give someone thinking about starting a blog?

It’s a ton of work. I didn’t realize how much time it takes to create, photograph, write and promote for my blog. And that doesn’t even cover the tech piece of setting up and maintaining a blog. However, if you have a passion (or even just an interest!) for what you’re writing about, go for it! It’s been a great experience for me and even though I don’t have a ton of followers (yet!) I’m hoping over time I’ll continue to create great recipes with engaging photos to inspire readers to “dish up dinner” in their kitchen.


10. What is your favorite holiday and why?

I love Christmas. It’s a time to relax and enjoy quality family time together. Yes, it’s hectic and expectations can be out of control. However, it’s fun to decorate the house, make cookies, wrap presents, light a fire in our fireplace, play board games and generally enjoy each other’s company. Now that my children are older, I treasure any and all time I spend with them. Christmas is a special time for us and I look forward to it every year.




  1. Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog. Try to include a little promotion for the person who nominated you. They will thank you for it and those who you nominate will also help you out as well
  2. Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”.
  3. For the 2017 Liebster Award, I will be shaking things up! Write a 150-300 word post about your favorite blog that is not your own. Explain why you like the blog, provide links.
  4. Provide 10 random facts about yourself. (This is optional, but if you wish to engage with your readers it’s a great idea to include random facts about yourself.)
  5. Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 200 followers. (Note that you can always ask the blog owner this since not all blogs display a widget that lets the readers know this information!)
  6. List these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here or simply include the link below to the official rules website.)
  7. Select 11 questions for the individuals/blogs you nominated.
  8. Inform the people/blogs that you selected of their nomination for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post.
  9. You can read more about it here.



Food With a View

Cook at Home. Info

This Season’s Table

rumi’s kitchen

Jennifer Bakes

Rainbow on the plate

Brownie Eats

Dining with Mimi

The Tailored Spoon



What made you decide to start a blog?

What’s your favorite thing about blogging?

How do you stay motivated to blog?

What do you consider you biggest strength?

How do you come up with ideas for your blog?

What’s your favorite travel destination and why?

What’s your favorite form of exercise?

If you weren’t blogging, what would be your dream job?

What’s your favorite movie?

What is your favorite animal and why?

What’s your favorite quote and by whom?



  • Hi Rachel,
    Thanks so much for your kind words about my blog! Sorry I didn’t respond sooner, you know how life can get! I loved reading your answers to my questions. Found it especially cool that you work as a proofreader and editor since I have been working as a translator for a few years now and I felt a similar urge to move to original content. Keep up the good work!

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