Blogging with Donuts, Dresses, and Dirt

Motherhood, gardening, entrepreneurship, cooking, blogging—Sheri Silver does it all. Mom of three and personality behind the Donuts, Dresses and Dirt blog, Sheri has navigated her way through the blogosphere for 4 years, and her online presence has never been so popular.

So what has fueled Sheri’s success? From her landscape design business to her adventures as a mother, to her experiences in the kitchen and in her community, it looks like Sheri has one rule: be fearless! Sheri’s experience as a mom, a home cook, and an active member of the blogging community has taught her to overcome initial hesitations and to eliminate any expectations.

Starting anything is scary, whether it’s a family, a business, or a blog—or all three. And starting a new career, one you know nothing about except that it makes you happy—that’s scary too. That’s why Sheri focuses on all things positive. Fear is just another hurdle that we don’t have time for.

The key to happy bloghood, according to Sheri, is “integrating what you love to do and what you naturally spend time doing.” Sheri loves to cook, garden, and share her experiences doing both as a mom, so why not blog about it?

Donuts, Dresses and Dirt isn’t just a blog. “It’s an extension of me,” Sheri says. She loves to teach people about cooking and healthy living, so you’ll find a big educational component on her blog. “None of us have to be Martha Stewart, but we can aspire to elevate our own cooking in any small way that we can.”

Sheri aims to help her readers do just that, and she’s having fun while she’s doing it. She’s even making new friends. A section of her blog dubbed Blove focuses on her discoveries, whether they’re new vendors that she loves or new friends that she’s made. The blogger community, particularly the female/mommy blogger community is a welcoming place, she assures us.

Maybe it’s her fearless attitude or her infectious love of her career, but Sheri is making the most of her bloghood, and we can’t wait to see where Donuts, Dresses and Dirt goes next.

Follow her adventures at

Sing, Dance, Cook with Gluten Flee

For the blogger behind Gluten Flee—formerly The Food Yenta—food is a vehicle for adventure. Whether baking with her family in the kitchens of her childhood or whether it’s now, experimenting with new ingredients with her two children, Meredith is excited about the food she’s making and eating with her family.

Nothing proves Meredith’s passions for food and family quite like her first experiences in the kitchen as a mom. After having her first child, she switched careers: photographer to full time mother. But as it turned out, “there’s not much to do when your baby’s a baby,” so Meredith rediscovered a love from her own childhood: cooking.

What to do with a baby while you’re cooking? Bring the little one into the kitchen with you, of course! For Meredith, her son was around cooking long before he could talk, laughing with her as she sang and danced her kitchen into a foodie’s theater. As he got older, he stuck around, helping Meredith with food prep, meal choice, and ingredient tasting.

Meredith’s family is all about having fun with food, but when she was diagnosed as gluten-intolerant, her family’s favorite recipes were no longer an option. It was a challenge, but who said challenges weren’t fun? Every adventure is a little bit of a challenge, and like we said, Meredith is up for adventurous cooking.

From photographer to full time singing mommy to The Food Yenta to Gluten Flee, Meredith has had her share of adventures with food. As she rehashes the ingredients and flavors of her favorite, pre-Gluten Flee recipes, she admits, “We’re having so much fun!” Experimenting with new cooking techniques, remaking old recipes with new ingredients, Meredith—and her foodie family—is having a great time.

Who said dinnertime is a hassle? Meredith has made it into a family hobby, so they can eat what tastes good and what feels good, and have fun doing it! Check out her family’s adventures here:

The best finger food recipes available on Chicory

How do you know a good finger food when you see one? 
Is it the optimal golden brown crunch from a deep fryer? 
The gooey promise of perfectly melted cheese? 
The allure of an easy-to-make, easier-to-eat mini-meal? 

Or is it only afterward, washing your oily fingers in a well-fed stupor, that you recognize the beauty of finger food? Whatever floats your finger food boat, we know you’ll find these recipes just as mouthwatering as we do. You could even argue that they’re guilt-free! They are homemade, after all…

Don’t let the picture fool you; these nachos look gourmet, but they’re packed with flavor and require only 5 minutes of prep. Move over, take-out.
Crunchy. Crispy. Cheesy. In a stick, and ready to eat in 15 minutes. The ultimate finger food.
A finger food feast is not complete without dip. Our pick? This cheese, chicken, and hot sauce combo that’s sure to please with just about anything.
There’s never too much wrong with something when it’s wrapped in prosciutto. These chicken bites are no exception, but watch out—we can’t guarantee you’ll be able to stop eating them once you start.
Looks fancy, tastes delicious, packs 4 grams of protein per bite, can be eaten rapidly without cutlery. Boom.
I don’t like pizza, said a few people. I don’t like quesadillas, said a few more people. I don’t like pizza OR quesadillas—said no one, ever. Check out this irresistible recipe from Savvy Eats.

More Than a Food Blog! Castle Walk Kitchen & Uniting Westchester's Foodies

Starting a blog is intimidating. Daunting, even. We type up our thoughts, our creations, our lives, our passions, and we release them into the vast abyss that is the Internet. There’s no guarantee of feedback, no promise of reciprocation or appreciation; just the vague awareness that anyone, anywhere, can read what we post. Most of the time, people read what we write, and sometimes, people like what we write. Once in a while, if we’re lucky, our personal musings on the web become part of a larger, real-life community. Heather, the Westchester blogger behind Castle Walk Kitchen, has reached the pinnacle of local blogger-hood—and she’s set her sights even higher.

The kitchen has always been a special place for Heather; as we chatted with her on Monday, she joked about her nine-year-old self first exploring the kitchen. Ambitious, creative, and determined, 9-year-old Heather transformed her family’s jack-o’-lantern and a recipe from her little sister’s nursery school into her first creation: a surprisingly successful, albeit messy in the making, pumpkin bread. From then on, she was hooked. By high school, she was taking adult cooking classes with her dad, and after completing her doctorate in child psychology, she enrolled in the Institute of Culinary Education. The kitchen was Heather’s domain.  

That first foray into cooking, her sticky pumpkin adventure, became a template of sorts for all of her cooking adventures to come. She finds inspiration in her community today, just as she found inspiration in her little sister then. Friends and family just wanted some “fresh ideas,” and that’s exactly what Castle Walk Kitchen offers its readers, recipes from Heather’s kitchen to theirs.

“I would really love to keep the community feel that my blog has now,” Heather told us, as she reflected on her influence in Westchester and the future potential of her blog. She shared some of her plans for the future, which include a series of videos designed to make cooking easy and accessible to all levels of cooks, as well as videos for cooking with kids. When Heather’s not writing, photographing or recipe testing for her blog, she’s teaching cooking at the local schools, further solidifying her community presence.

Despite all of the feedback Heather receives through her blog, it’s hard to gauge just how much of an effect she has on her community. “A lot of times, I don’t necessarily see who’s clicked onto my site, but I’ll be walking through town and someone will stop me to chat about my blog!” Whether it’s about one of their favorite recipes from Heather’s site, or her tips about cooking with kids, community members already consider Castle Walk Kitchen an outlet for local foodies and home cooks. “It’s just so cool to have this community base. It became not just about me and what I cook, but I love the idea that other people are sharing their inspirations with me, too.” Her blog has only been live since February, and Castle Walk Kitchen has already claimed a sturdy presence in the parenting community of Scarsdale.

Heather’s formal culinary training clearly doesn’t intimidate her blog following; her emphasis on easy, healthy, fresh recipes makes homemade dinners attainable for the busy families of Westchester. “Cooking doesn’t have to hard, and it doesn’t have to fancy for it to be delicious,” Heather insists. These are just “mainstream recipes that anyone can make,” and her community can’t get enough.

Castle Walk Kitchen certainly is more than just a blog. Heather has created a space that unites the kids, the parents, and the foodies of Westchester, and she can’t wait to expand it even further. We’re guessing her readers can’t wait, either.

Cook Heather's Recipes Without Visiting the Store