Calling anyone who has ever avoided the kitchen! Amanda Batcher of The Chunky Chef has your back—and she is this month’s featured CLEVER influencer! The Chunky Chef is full of mouth-watering recipes that are easy to follow, and will have you feeling like a gourmet chef in no time. We love working with Amanda because she is never short on creativity and stunning content. A busy mom of 2, Amanda understands the challenges of fitting meal-prep into an already packed schedule. Lucky for us, The Chunky Chef offers countless approachable recipes ranging from simple snacks, to family dinners, all the way to fancy cocktails for the well-deserving chef! To learn more about Amanda, keep reading.

How did you start blogging?

I started blogging as a hobby back in 2014, mainly as a way to organize my recipes and combine my love of cooking with my love of photography.  Within a few short months, I realized I had discovered a passion and something I could turn into a career :).

What are your favorite blogs to read?

Oh man, there are SO many!  A few of them are Dinner then Dessert, Peas and Peonies, RecipeTin Eats, and Domestic Superhero!  Although I could probably list about 100 more… I’m blog obsessed!

What social media outlet do you use most frequently and why?

I use Pinterest the most often for both blogging and personal use.  Even before I knew what a food blog was, I was an avid Pinterest user.  I love how visual it is, and the ease of finding just the recipe you want!

How do you come up with ideas for your recipes?

Inspiration for my recipes come from anywhere and everywhere.  Sometimes I’ll have something to eat a restaurant and think of a copycat version.  Or other times I’ll see something on Pinterest and it will spark an idea for some new combination I’d never thought of before.  I’ve actually woken up in the middle of the night with a great recipe idea, wrote it down, and went back to sleep!  I keep a running spreadsheet of recipe ideas so I can test and develop them.

What is your favorite “type” of recipe to make, and why?

My favorite type of recipes to make are probably the comfort food recipes.  Anything with gooey cheese, extra sauce… I just love it!  I know those types of meals make my family happy, so in turn, that makes me happy.

What are some of your blog photography tips?

Food photography is one of those things that you don’t expect to be difficult, until you try it once and realize it’s actually really hard!  Some helpful tips are to use natural light from one direction… too much light will wash out the food, and to practice shooting angles as different foods photograph best from certain angles.  Sandwiches and burgers are shot best straight on.  In food photography, practice makes perfect, so shoot as much as you can, until you develop your own style.  Once that happens, and you get comfortable behind the camera, a shot won’t take nearly as much time as it used to.

What are some Clever tips for planning out/organizing your posts every week?

I use a Plum Paper Planner that I ordered online, and plan out my posts months in advance (with some open spots for sponsored content of course!).  I plan around the season, but start posting things about a month or so in advance.  So Valentine’s Day content is posted in January, to allow the post time to gain some traction on social media.

How do you put your own unique and personal twist on sponsored posts?

Sponsored posts are some of my favorite posts to do, as they really test my creativity and challenge me.  I try to think of a recipe that fits all the parameters, but then think about how I can truly make that recipe my own.  Usually, that involves putting a little gourmet twist on it, but in an easy to do way!

Check out some of Amanda’s stellar work California WalnutsSuccess® RiceTruMooBorn Sweet® Zing™ Baking Blend!

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