Updated: 4 days ago
Writer Name: Michelle Morey
Location: Portland, Maine
Years of Experience: Working with food since 2006
Available for writing projects: Sure!
Niche/Beat/Genre: Home-cooked recipes
Website: Barefoot in the Pines
Favorite food: Nachos!
Writing tip for fellow writers: Don’t get caught up on perfectionism, just write with confidence.
Born and raised in Maine, Michelle Morey earned her culinary degree in 2006, landing a bakery job in Portland, immediately after graduation. It was at the bakery that she met her husband Tim, went on to start a small cheesecake business, and now runs a blog dedicated to home cooking called Barefoot in the Pines.
How did you get started?
I left my management job in 2017 when I had my baby. I took a couple of years off to be a stay at home mom and really wanted to take advantage of this time and get back into food. I love writing recipes and teaching people to cook, so a food blog was the logical step.
Tell us about your blog Barefoot in the Pines.
Barefoot in the Pines is geared toward making cooking approachable to people just starting on their cooking journey as well as home cooks.
I’ve met a lot of people who say they can’t cook, so my blog is here to simplify cooking and make it less intimidating and less stressful.
Is there a type of food you enjoy writing about most?
Desserts are my favorite! Cheesecake is my absolute favorite thing to make, hands down. My favorite recipe is no-bake Biscoff cheesecake. Get the recipe here.
What’s your advice for struggling new writers or bloggers?
Don’t sweat perfection and don’t stop. Just accept that your first couple of posts or articles might not be perfect, but remember that you’ll grow and learn and you’ll get better and better with each post.
Keep finding ways to educate yourself and improve your craft. Writing and blogging is a marathon, not a sprint. Focus on quality over quantity!
Last thing--especially with blogging--don’t get caught up on the analytics! Your traffic and success won’t happen overnight, and the more you write quality pieces, improve your craft, and learn, the closer you'll get to achieving your goals!
What has been your biggest professional struggle over the years?
Burning out! I always push myself really hard and a lot of times I regret it later. I’m learning to take my own advice and pace myself. Not everything needs to be done this second.
How is your relationship with food affected by you being a writer, or vice versa?
Writing about food definitely made me appreciate simplicity. The more complicated a recipe, the more challenging it is to write a piece that is coherent and doesn’t intimidate the reader.
This food blogging journey has also forced me out of my comfort zone. It has really allowed me to see what my audience is looking for and explore all sorts of ingredients I’ve never worked with before!
I’m not gluten or dairy intolerant, but my audience needs these recipes, so it’s been fun learning how to cook with things like almond flour, egg substitutes, and ingredients of that nature.
Food blogging has expanded my knowledge and skill set.
Do you have any favorite cookbooks that you recommend?
Yes! Absolutely anything from America’s Test Kitchen. I highly recommend all of their cookbooks (especially the baking ones). All of their recipes are explained in great detail and they always work. It’s a great way to build confidence in the kitchen. They are vital to my food journey.
Any favorite kitchen products?
My food processor for sure! I couldn’t live without that thing. I make everything from cookie dough to pie dough, whipped cream, and chopped veggies. And my Nespresso maker-that’s for survival.
Favorite food writers or celebrity chefs?
Ina Garten from "Barefoot Contessa," Ree Drummond the “Pioneer Woman,” and Alton Brown from “Good Eats”.
What do you snack on when you’re on deadline?
Always a cup of Nespresso, and either a peanut butter chocolate chip “Perfect Bar” or chocolate candy.
Anything you’d like to add about being a writer who loves food?
Food is about bringing a bit of happiness to the table. Whether it’s after a bad day, or for a special occasion, food is there to help lift spirits and inspire creativity. I love the idea that my recipes can offer that to someone, or even become a part of a family’s tradition.
Who knows, maybe a cookie recipe I’ve written, or a cake I’ve blogged about, will make it into someone’s hands and that will become their “go-to” recipe. I think it's just a really cool and fun way to connect with people and be a part of their lives.