Friday Foodie – Vanessa of Smart Little Cookie

Foodie-Friday-on-Misadventures-with-Andi
When you emigrate from another country sometimes the tendency is to eat food from the culture you are used to. I know my great-grandparents were a bit like this when they first moved to the U.S. My grandfather was raised in a Portuguese home that ate Portuguese food. But then there are others, like Vanessa of Smart Little Cookie who embrace food. Period. From everywhere. Rather than being boxed in by sharing recipes from her own culture, Vanessa’s blog is an exploration of really tasty food she discovers from all over the world. Particularly if you have a sweet tooth!

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Let’s meet Vanessa!

Vanessa of Smart Little Cookie

[1] Have you always been a foodie, or is that something’s you grew into?

I wasn’t always a great cook. That was something I grew into because I really like food. Eating is honestly one of my favorite things to do and if that is what makes one a foodie, then I can say I have always been a foodie. Cooking the things I love to eat and being creative in the kitchen is really something new for me and I’m enjoying every bit of it.

[2] How and why did you begin your blog?

I actually started this blog in 2011 as a school project. At the time, I was obsessed with cupcakes and learning to bake and a professor recommended I started a blog to improve my writing skill since I was a communications major. Unfortunately, it was very hard for me to manage school, both my kids, the house, the husband, the blog and multiple internships. The blog was always an afterthought and at times completely ignored. It wasn’t until a month ago that I decided to follow my passion of sharing my love for food through blogging and decided to retake the journey only now I’m more focused and with a lot more cooking knowledge.

[3] What’s your favorite thing to make/cook?

At the end of the day, I cook to eat and I have a serious sweet tooth. That is why the food I like to cook most is sweets. Anything from cookies to cupcakes or just about anything sweet like this Chocolate Coquito (Chocolate Flavored Coconut Eggnog).

Food-blogger- Vanessa of Smart Little Cookie Chocolate-Coquito

[4] What is your favorite thing to eat?

I’m very much in touch with my Hispanic roots and culture. I come from a small Island in the Caribbean called the Dominican Republic and my favorite foods to eat are really any of the foods I grew up eating: rice, beans, meat stew, and any fried food. Such unhealthy eating habits, but fried food is really my favorite like this cornmeal fritters. However, I also really enjoy trying different foods and flavors from around the world.

Food-blogger- Vanessa of Smart Little Cookie Cornmeal-Fritters

[5] What is your comfort food?

My comfort food is Sancocho. This is a Latin dish that is simply a meats and vegetables stew. It just brings me great childhood memories of my grandma cooking up a big batch back in the island to share with family, friends and neighbors while enjoying a fun evening out in the patio. But when I’m tired or stressed, cupcakes and wine sooth me. I am just in love with these almond cupcakes. I can’t stop making them.

Food-blogger- Vanessa of Smart Little Cookie Almond Cupcakes

[6] Describe your perfect food day?

My perfect food day consist of a day out trying as many different foods as possible. I love to go out on a nice warm day and restaurant hop. Last summer a couple of friends and I took a chocolate tour around New York City. The guide took us around the meat district into a number of bakeries and chocolate stores, where we were able to taste anything we wanted. Then, we visited the World Trade Center Memorial and had lunch at a great Mexican restaurant nearby. After leaving the restaurant, we stopped for ice cream. That was a good day.

[7] What are three other blogs that inspire you?

Lindsay from Pinch of Yum has really been an inspiration to me. I love her casseroles and her pasta dishes are to die for. Her food photography is amazing.

Aunt Clara from Aunt Clara’s Kitchen has just thought me saw much about Dominican cooking and the dishes I grew up eating. I love going into her site looking for specific dishes I remember eating as a child. I know I can always find the recipes there.

Melissa at Hungry Food Love shares simple unique Latin recipes that will make you want to go home and just cook everything on her site.

[8] Do you have advice for bloggers just starting out?

My only advice would be to just do it. With the number of blogs out there, it can be really intimidating at times. Don’t give up, follow your passion, keep posting and the rest will come with time.

Thanks Vanessa!

Keep up with Vanessa’s tasty tidbits on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest and of course by visiting Smart Little Cookie.

How about you? What would you like to ask Vanessa? What’s your favorite sweet?

93 Comments

  1. Suz @ 2 cats & chloe
    February 20, 2015

    OMG her food looks so good! I am going to head over and check her stuff out… especially that eggnog! 🙂

    Reply
  2. You had me at CHOCOLATE and COCONUT together with eggnog! Yum!

    Reply
    1. Vanessa @ Smart Little Cookie
      February 22, 2015

      @Lindsey, Chocolate and Coconut is one of my favorite flavor combinations!

      Reply
  3. Tam Warner Minton
    February 20, 2015

    Everything looks so good! Send me a taster!

    Reply
  4. Christina @ Christina's Cucina
    February 20, 2015

    Vaness and I would get along swimmingly! Every tooth in my head is a sweet tooth! Love the background and looking forward to checking out her site!

    Reply
    1. Vanessa @ Smart Little Cookie
      February 22, 2015

      Thank you Christina! I love your site as well. I’m definitely sure we would get along just great! 🙂

      Reply
  5. Cathy Chester
    February 20, 2015

    Yum! I love sweets (too much) and I enjoyed reading your post! Of course… PS You have fantastic photos., too!

    Reply
    1. Vanessa @ Smart Little Cookie
      February 22, 2015

      Thank you Cathy! I’m glad you like the photos. I’m in live with food photography and have been putting a lot of effort into learning the craft. 🙂

      Reply
  6. Kelly @ TastingPage
    February 20, 2015

    So great that she started this during school. What a good professor to encourage her to do so. She has some nice looking treats! Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      February 20, 2015

      @Kelly, I know I love how blogs are part of a lot of college classes now!

      Reply
    2. Vanessa @ Smart Little Cookie
      February 22, 2015

      It really is great how blogs are being incorporated into school learning. I’m grateful and happy to say I did have great professors. Blogging has helped me tremendously career wise.

      Reply
  7. Estelle
    February 20, 2015

    Yum. Checking out the recipes that Vanessa mentioned. They all look so delicious. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      February 20, 2015

      @Estelle, her recipes are hard to resist!

      Reply
  8. Melanie
    February 20, 2015

    Wow! All that food looks amazing!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      February 20, 2015

      @Melanie, I know the danger of reading food bloggers!

      Reply
  9. Helene Cohen Bludman
    February 20, 2015

    Oh my, you’ve got my mouth watering now. Your photos are amazing!

    Reply
  10. Doreen McGettigan
    February 20, 2015

    You had me at almond cupcakes and cornmeal fritters, yum! Those photos should be illegal:)

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      February 20, 2015

      @Doreen, I have not had almond cupcakes before and I am anxious to try one!

      Reply
  11. Carol Cassara
    February 20, 2015

    I would like to ask Vanessa to come over and cook this stuff for me! OMG yummm!

    Reply
  12. Tara Joy
    February 20, 2015

    I am with you, I have a huge sweet tooth so a lot of the things I cook and bake are sweet! Those Almond cupcakes look SO good!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      February 20, 2015

      @Tara, what is your favorite sweet to make?

      Reply
      1. Tara Joy
        February 23, 2015

        There are too many to count! Brownies, Cookies or Scones I love scones!

        Reply
  13. krystel
    February 20, 2015

    you are so pretty love the post

    Reply
    1. Vanessa @ Smart Little Cookie
      February 22, 2015

      @Krystel, Thank you! 🙂

      Reply
  14. Tori
    February 20, 2015

    I want to go on a chocolate tour! That might be dangerous for me since I do love sweets!!!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      February 20, 2015

      @Tori, I agree, they have one in Paris too and I am afraid to go on it!

      Reply
  15. Lois Alter Mark
    February 20, 2015

    Oh, I totally share Vanessa’s sweet tooth! I can’t take my eyes off that chocolate coquito!

    Reply
  16. Adelynn Lovellette
    February 20, 2015

    Never had eggnog before, doesn’t sound appealing. But if it has chocolate in it then maybe I’d give it a try 😉

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      February 21, 2015

      Adelynn, it is definitely an acquired taste, I have never heard of a chocolate version and now I am dying to trying it!

      Reply
    2. Vanessa @ Smart Little Cookie
      February 22, 2015

      @Adelynn, Believe me when I say this Chocolate Coquito will have you changing your mind about eggnog. And it is such a simple recipe. Unlike, regular eggnog it doesn’t have any eggs in it.

      Reply
  17. Krysta
    February 20, 2015

    OH BOY! Between the cornmeal fritters (I currently live in the Caribbean so I get it) and the Chocolate Eggnog, I would be in heaven! Thank you for introducing me to a new blog and fellow foodie : )

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      February 21, 2015

      @Krysta, I never of heard of chocolate eggnog before – I love chocolate and I love eggnog so I totally want to try this!

      Reply
    2. Vanessa @ Smart Little Cookie
      February 22, 2015

      @Krysta, Cornmeal fritters are my favorite! I make it just for fun all the time. And trust me that Chocolate Eggnog is amazing! You must really try it.

      Reply
  18. Shannon Peterson
    February 20, 2015

    Those almond cupcakes look so so yummy!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      February 21, 2015

      @Shannon, I think so too, I have never tried almond flavored cupcakes before!

      Reply
  19. Carolann
    February 21, 2015

    Thanks for introducing us to Vanessa! Those corn fritters look amazing! I think I know what I will be making this week. The cupcake look every so yummy!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      February 21, 2015

      @Carolann, isn’t she beautiful and those fritters are so tempting!

      Reply
  20. Ronda
    February 21, 2015

    I like making fritters too

    Reply
  21. Jess Benoit
    February 21, 2015

    Great interview! Her food looks amazing!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      February 21, 2015

      @Jess, thanks! I am in love with those fritters!

      Reply
  22. Carrie Chance
    February 21, 2015

    her food looks amazing! I MUST try that eggnog!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      February 21, 2015

      @Carrie, I want to try it too! Chocolate eggnog together sounds out of this world!

      Reply
  23. Jenn
    February 21, 2015

    It is always so neat and inspiring to hear how a little side project for school or just for fun turns into something big and so special!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      February 21, 2015

      @Jenn, I know, I think it is really cool!

      Reply
  24. Laura
    February 21, 2015

    What a fun highlight! And I agree, her food looks divine!

    Reply
  25. Aimee
    February 21, 2015

    that chocolate eggnog looks bomb :O
    http://www.gorgeousandstuff.com

    Reply
  26. Cara (@StylishGeek)
    February 21, 2015

    Wow! I may have to try her latin comfort food Sancocho. I’ve never heard of it but it sounds delicious! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      February 22, 2015

      @Cara, I had not either but it does look so good!

      Reply
    2. Vanessa @ Smart Little Cookie
      February 22, 2015

      @Cara, Sancocho is the ultimate comfort food in the Dominican Republic. I encourage anyone who has never had it to try it. I recently added the recipe to the blog. If you would like to try it, I definitely recommend checking the recipe out. I’m sure you’ll love it!

      Reply
  27. barbara langley
    February 22, 2015

    My boys have big sweettooths. Everything looks so good.

    Reply
  28. Lou @ Mommy Sanest
    February 22, 2015

    Great post. I love learning more about the bloggers behind the blogs.

    Reply
  29. Leah
    February 22, 2015

    Almond cupcakes sound sooooo good right now! Sweet tooths of the world unite!

    Reply
  30. Lisa Coomer Queen
    February 22, 2015

    All this looks amazing! Those almond cupcakes are getting pinned and baked! Thanks

    Reply
  31. Jaclyn Anne
    February 22, 2015

    You have me drooling over here! Those cupcakes look incredible, as does everything else!

    Reply
  32. Stephanie Manning
    February 22, 2015

    Those Corn Meal Fritters look GREAT! We make our own cornmeal from corn that we grow here and I usually end up with 12-15 gallon bags in the freezer each year of fresh-ground cornmeal. It’s soooo yummy but, finding enough recipes to use it seems impossible. This is another one I will be adding to my list and trying very soon!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      February 22, 2015

      @Stephanie, freezing them, what a great idea!

      Reply
  33. Fun With A Message
    February 22, 2015

    All those foods sound and look delicious!!

    Reply
  34. Donna
    February 23, 2015

    I love reading about food bloggers, and this woman was adorable! Thankyou for bringing her to our attention. Have a great Monday….sorry it took so long to read

    Reply
  35. Jessica
    February 23, 2015

    I made my way over and started following Vanessa! I’m loving her blog so far! I love these interviews because it helps connect us with other food bloggers I would probably have never found!

    Reply
  36. Rebekah
    February 24, 2015

    oh my gosh those Almond Cupcakes and Chocolate Coquito sound amazing… I am suddenly starving!

    Reply
  37. susan king
    February 24, 2015

    It all looks so good !! I’d weigh a ton if I cooked like you do and you don’t look like you eat much of what you make !!

    Reply
  38. Emily {Rainbow Delicious}
    February 25, 2015

    I love this series and getting to know a little more about other bloggers. Thanks for introducing us all to Vanessa’s Smart Little Cookie blog, I’m excited to check it out and try out some of her recipes!

    Reply
  39. Emily Endrizzi
    February 26, 2015

    Everything looks so delicious! Now I need a break from the computer. Kitchen, here I come!

    Reply
  40. susan king
    February 26, 2015

    The almond cupcakes sound and look so good !! I have to go to the store now. You have made me to hungry !! Thank you for sharing !

    Reply
  41. Winter White
    February 27, 2015

    So now I’m addicted to Pinch of Yum after reading this lol. I find food photography so interesting, I’d love to be able to tackle it some day. Gotta learn how to cook first though 😉

    Reply
  42. anita
    February 28, 2015

    I am a sweet tooth. Everything looks so delicious!

    Reply
  43. Amy Groves
    February 28, 2015

    All of this looks so great! Thank you so much for sharing.

    Reply
  44. Aisha
    February 28, 2015

    Everything looks so good! Nice to meet you, Vanessa! 🙂

    Reply
  45. Kim Croisant
    February 28, 2015

    That’s some great questions!! And I do like the idea of a Coconut Eggnog!

    Reply
  46. Debi (thedeb83)
    February 28, 2015

    Love this.. I’m going to have to check out these other food blogs. 🙂

    Reply
  47. lauryn hock
    February 28, 2015

    I always admire those who can take beautiful food pictures and make beautiful food!

    Reply
  48. Corina Ramos
    February 28, 2015

    This was a great interview. I would love to hang out with her! And she gave great advice for anyone who wants to start blogging.

    Reply
  49. Richard Hicks
    February 28, 2015

    I have to make the Chocolate Coquito. Looks irresistible!

    Reply
  50. Jamie
    March 1, 2015

    Those corn fritters look really good! I love all sorts of sweets..too much actually!

    Reply
  51. Sagan
    March 1, 2015

    Thanks for introducing us to a new blogger! Gotta check out those recipes 😀

    Reply
  52. Terri Ramsey Beavers
    March 6, 2015

    I feel like I’m a foodie too although I don’t really blog much about foods. I’m going to have to visit Smart Little Cookie because I love to bake and cook and although I’ve never tried Portuguese food, it’s one of the things I’d like to try this year. And maybe sushi.. maybe. 🙂 Thanks for sharing this food blogger with us.

    Reply
  53. Kristen
    March 6, 2015

    awww I love coming across new food bloggers! ( I am a food blogger myself) I am always interested in knowing what inspires others. I think her photos are awesome!

    Reply
  54. Tammilee Tips
    March 6, 2015

    All of her food looks amazing!! I think my favorite would be the Almond cupcakes. I also have a huge sweet tooth and cupcakes are one of my favorites to make as well. Great interview I love to learn about other bloggers.

    Reply
  55. Chubskulit Rose
    March 7, 2015

    That cupcake is whispering to my ear “Grab me!” lol. Those looks so tasty right now. Great advise, despite some discouragement I encounter in blogging, I still continue to post because I love to write and I love to connect with other bloggers as well. I learned so many new things just by reading other blogs.

    Reply
  56. geanine
    March 7, 2015

    We could be friends for sure. I love those cornmeal fritters, and cupcakes are my comfort food! My question is how do you stay in shape? You look great and I’m wondering how do you maintain while indulging in these foods?

    Reply
  57. Beth
    March 7, 2015

    Thanks for sharing Andi! I hadn’t heard of Vanessa or her blog. Those foods look amazing though, especially the cupcakes! I’m a sucker for those. 😉

    Reply
  58. I consider myself a foodie because I love food but I don’t really like to cook. I love food blogs so thanks for the great interview and introducing me to four new blogss. Lots more reading to do.

    Reply
  59. Lauren Harmon
    March 8, 2015

    Vanessa seems like an amazing person! I’ll definitely have to follow her and stay up to date! Those cornmeal fritters look pretty bomb too! 🙂

    Reply
  60. Yum! Love the recipes you shared. The chocolate coconut egg nog sounds delicious and those almond cupcakes – AMAZING. I also have a food blog and it’s one of the greatest things I’ve ever done for myself. And just like you, Pinch of Yum is one of my inspirations! Such an awesome blog to follow and learn from.

    Reply
  61. Christine Gallagher
    March 8, 2015

    I am not an eggnog fan by any means but rethinking it now that you have mixed it with chocolate and coconut =)

    Reply
  62. Kat
    March 8, 2015

    Well this lady has some seriously good tastes 🙂

    Reply
  63. Jaclyn Anne
    March 8, 2015

    I would love some cornmeal fritters! Yum!

    Reply
  64. Cara (@StylishGeek)
    March 8, 2015

    This feature on Vanessa is awesome! Thank you for that. I am now curious to try cornmeal fritters. I’ve never had them! And I love her advice of ‘just do it’ when it comes to blogging. True that there’s so many blogs out there, but there is only one voice that is unique and that is one’s own. So just do it! 🙂

    Reply
  65. great pics! Made me so hungry just now! lol thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  66. Christine
    March 10, 2015

    I have a really bad sweet tooth too!! Although, since I have had kids, I tend to stay away from the sweets and make healthier treats!

    Reply
  67. laura
    March 10, 2015

    Your photos are amazing!

    Reply
  68. Stephanie
    March 11, 2015

    I love getting to hear about how other bloggers started out. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  69. alicia szemon
    January 7, 2016

    i have a serious sweet tooth too! ugh. i want sweets now!

    Reply

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