Giveaway and Q&A with Jenny Flake of Picky Palate

Jenny Flake of Picky Palate
giant oatmeal m&m cookies

The Picky Palate has moved from occasional bookmark to daily read for us as our mouths water at the delectable images. Founder Jenny Flake turns everyday items into tasty treats with recipes even a novice can pull off. Jenny stops by today to give us a glimpse at the woman behind the wildly successful blog, and tomorrow debuts an incredible recipe that will make you shine like a star at your holiday cookie exchange.

Tell us about your background
I grew up in Mesa, AZ, went to college to become a Registered Dental Hygienist, and practiced for 8 years in Scottsdale. I started writing Picky Palate October 2007 and moved to Orange County, CA several years ago for my husband’s job. I’ve got 2 little boys and a hubby that keep life fun and exciting!

How did you get started in baking competitions?
My love of cooking didn’t kick in until my husband and I got our first home when I realized I didn’t have the foggiest idea of what to do in my new kitchen! That led me to read countless cookbooks and watch cooking show after cooking show. The Million Dollar Pillsbury Bake-off on Food Network peaked my interest, so I told myself “I am going to try to be a finalist.” I researched the contest and created a number of recipes. Six months later I got a call from Pillsbury saying I had been chosen a finalist for the 2004 competition. I competed for 4 more years in all sorts of cook-offs throughout the country, took a 2 year break, and then competed in the Better Home’s and Garden Cook-off this year.

Where do you get inspiration for your recipes?
Inspiration for my recipes comes from just about everything – ideas come to me at all times of the day and my brain is always thinking about food ideas. I especially love writing family friendly recipes since this is the phase of life I’m in right now.

What tips do you have for cooking with kids and getting the whole family involved?
Start when your kids are young so they have an interest in food right away. Whether it’s stirring or measuring, make them feel important by being your special helpers. Make their food fun and exciting. I let them “create on their plate” by cutting shapes out of their food so they have fun while they are eating.

What suggestions do you have for those on tight time constraints?
Organization and preparation are key. When you have the time to cook one full meal, try doubling the protein so you can easily create another meal out of it quickly. Having fresh fruits and vegetables on hand will also allow you to prepare wholesome foods in pinch.

Let’s get to know Jenny a little better with a “quick-fire” round of questions:

    Blogs I check out often are:
  • Soooo many, but my favorites are Bakerella and The Pioneer Woman.
  • My first job was: at a mall as an Eddie Bauer sales associate.
  • My favorite color is: deep green.
  • I cannot live without: my goofy family.
  • My favorite guilty pleasure is: a good piece of dark chocolate . . . okay, the whole bar!
  • The best advice I ever received is: laugh often, it’s the best medicine.
  • A cause I care deeply about is: The Ronald McDonald House. I was able to tour a Ronald McDonald House in Chicago and it is an incredible facility that helps families in need during difficult times.

We’re Sweetening the Deal with a Giveaway: Jenny bakes up a storm in our Jessie Steele apron and pot mitt, and her cookies look fantastic displayed on our Rosanna, Inc. Footed Square Cake Stand. To get your holiday baking season started with a bang, we’re offering two lucky readers a Jessie Steele oven mitt and apron of their choice. Tell us below or on our Facebook page your favorite holiday treat and you’re entered to win. Contest ends Friday, November 19th at 6pm EST.

Don’t forget to tune in tomorrow for a recipe to make the giant oatmeal m&m cookies you see here!


Melanie | Permalink |

26 Responses to “Giveaway and Q&A with Jenny Flake of Picky Palate”

  1. Christina Says:

    Oooo my favorite holiday treat? Well my favorite one to make and eat would be my cinnamon spiced almond brittle. But my most well recieved one is my oatmeal white chocolate cranberry bars – to die for and they are on the healthier side being low fat :) so thats a plus!

  2. Katie Hebert Says:

    I love all the Thanksgiving food… Turkey, stuffing. Pumpkin pie.
    And Christmas time I enjoy making gingerbread houses.

  3. Maureen Says:

    I love the Chocolate eggnog cheesecake bars and the saltine toffee that I make about this time of the year.

  4. sydney85 Says:

    My favorite holiday treat are gingerbread cookies. I started making these with my daughter when she was 10 years old. Now that she is 22 we are still baking these cookies. The cookies taste great but the company is the best.

  5. Heather Says:

    My favorite is homemade pumpkin pie!!!!!!

  6. Char Says:

    I would have to say that my Mom’s homemade toffee would be my all time holiday favorite – that or her mini mince tarts.

  7. Judy Says:

    My new favorite holiday treat, recipe courtesy of picky palate, is mint chocolate cupcakes. Made with red velvet cake makes it a holiday special.

  8. Suzanne Lafreniere Says:

    My favorite holiday treat is peppermint bark.

  9. Renee F. Says:

    I love oatmeal cookies with cranberries and white chocolate.

  10. Laurie Lufkin Says:

    Pumpkin bread…..all the way….pumpkin bread. I like it so much I even make it mid summer! I know–crazy, huh? Jenny–so glad I can count you as one of my talented friends!

  11. Keara Says:

    I LOVE popcorn balls, I know the popcorn is stale, but they are SO good, I’d say green is my favorite.

  12. Dorothy Davidson Says:

    My favorite holiday treat is fruitcake. I know, I know. And I’m the only one in my family that likes it, so I content myself with those small packages of fruitcake that are sold everywhere this time of year. Since fruitcake can’t be found the rest of the year, I am ready when the first ones show up in the stores. My back-up favorite would be homemade Poor Man’s Cake (similar but without the candied fruit). Sadly, no one else in my family likes that either!

  13. Teresa S Says:

    My favorite holiday treat is roasted pecans covered in dark chocolate! My mom always made a double batch every year and we would snack on them for weeks. Now I make 5 or 6 batches every year because everyone wants to take some home!

  14. Susan Says:

    My favorite holiday treat is mulling cider – it is fantastic on a cold day.

  15. susan@pocacosas Says:

    I love any holiday treat made with peppermint bark!

  16. Amelia Says:

    My favorite is chocolate mint cookies that my mom makes (and now I do!) Thanks for the awesome chance!

  17. FoxyMomma Says:

    my favorite holiday treats are the desserts my sis in law makes!! she bakes cakes or pies.. i am so ready for the holidays because everything is sooo good!

  18. Isabel Says:

    Cookies! I usually bake 6-7 different kinds and wrap them up for friends and family as gifts.

  19. Wanda Contreras Says:

    my favorite holiday treat is the different cheesecakes I made:pumpkin, caramel apple and simple one!!!

    best regards,

  20. Kimberly Cage Says:

    I love the pumpkin spice muffins I make at this time of the year!

  21. Sara M Says:

    I love spritz cookies. I eat like 50 of them when they are fresh out of the oven. HAppy Holidays!

  22. Becki Null Says:

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE the basic sugar cut-out cookies. My favorite is eating them frozen!

  23. Rachel L. Says:

    Salted Carmel Hot Chocolate … yum!

  24. Sharon Says:

    My favorite holiday treat is the Date Nut Loaf my grammaw baked every year for the entire extended family. It just tasted like Christmas to me. :)

  25. jules Says:

    My aunt makes cinnamon rolls from scratch that are big as my head! They’re delicious and I look forward to them all year! I’m pregnant this year so I have REALLY been craving them more so than usual :)

  26. Ron Miller Says:

    coconut cookies the wife makes, her baking each year cost’s a month’s salary, but those are worth every penny