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Recipe By Tessa Arias
June 11th, 2012

Frequently Asked Questions

Recipe Questions:

I have a question about a recipe. Help!

If you need help with a recipe I’ve posted please comment on that recipe post, email me at [email protected], tweet me, or Facebook me. I’m more than happy to help! This can include questions about ingredients, equipment, methods, or anything else.

I made a recipe and it didn’t come out right. What went wrong?

It’s really hard to determine what could have gone wrong in your kitchen without actually being there. I’m still happy to help you try to figure it out if you reach out. We all have recipe failures. I do my best to post recipes I love that worked out well for me. Always be sure to read the recipe completely before cooking. Make the recipe as written but also trust yourself. Everyone’s oven, stovetop, and ingredients will be a little different. If the recipe says “sauté for 10 minutes” but your food looks plenty sautéed after only 7 minutes, turn the heat off!

I substituted x for z and the recipe didn’t work out. Why?

I write and post the recipes I make using the ingredients I find to be most successful. If you’re new to the kitchen I don’t recommend substituting many ingredients, especially with baking. Sometimes if I know a specific substitution will work, I’ll include that information in the post. Please don’t send me angry messages when a recipe doesn’t work because you substituted a main ingredient for something not recommended.

I substitute x for z and it was fabulous! How do I share?

If you tweak a recipe or switch out an ingredient and it turns out great, please let me know! I may add that information to the post for other readers, especially if it has something to do with specialty diets or food allergies. For example: “I substituted coconut milk for cow’s milk and it turned out great.”

What are the calories and/or nutrition facts for this recipe? Weight Watcher’s points?

There are online tools that can calculate this information for you. I do not include this information because I like to savor and enjoy my food instead of reducing it to a number or percentage. However, I do understand some people require this information for their diet and I suggest Google, it’s your best friend!

Blog Questions:

What kind of camera do you use?

Since early 2010 I have been using a Canon Rebel XSi and a 50mm f/1.8 lens* which is a super affordable and versatile lens. UPDATE: As of January 2013 I now use a Canon Rebel T4i* for both my photos and videos. I also now use an 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens* (which came with my T4i) and 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 lens*.

Can I use your photo?

Feel free to use any of my photos as long as you do not alter them and you give credit with a link back to my blog and the post from which the image originated.

Can I use your recipe on my blog?

Yes! A link back to my blog as the source of the recipe and, if the recipe is adapted from another source, a link to that original source.

Can I pin your posts on Pinterest?

Yes! Just please link back to the specific post you’re pulling an image from.

I work for xyz company and would like to work with your blog.

Please send me an email for any business proposals!

There’s an error or typo.

I am the recipe tester, photography, writer, and editor. Mistakes happen! If you notice an error, especially within a recipe, please send me an email.

Can I guest post on your blog?

I am not currently accepting guest posts.

I want to start my own blog. Any advice?

Check out my Ultimate Guide to Food Blogging post!

Personal Questions:

Where are you from?
I was born in San Diego, lived in Australia for a year, but have called Phoenix, Arizona my home for most of my life. I currently live in Phoenix with my boyfriend Jared.

How long have you and Jared been together? He’s in a band?
We’ve been together for over five years! And yes, you may have seen me mention that he is the guitarist for a band called The Maine. This unfortunately means he is gone quite often on tour so he doesn’t always get to taste the recipes I make.

Are you finished with school?
As of May 2013, yes. In the four years since I graduated high school (and since I started blogging) I was able to earn my Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts and my Bachelor’s Degree in Humanities.

How old are you?
24 years young!

I’m trying to decide if I want to go to culinary school. Can you give me any advice?
This is a tough question because everyone’s situation is completely different. You have to think about your financial situation, your future career goals, and if you would have the support of your friends and family. I chose against going to an expensive private culinary school because the thought of being $40,000 in debt for a culinary ASSOCIATE degree at such a young age gave me nightmares. I also decided to obtain BOTH a culinary degree and a bachelor’s degree so I would have something to fall back on in case the culinary thing didn’t work out. Before enrolling and paying for culinary school I would give it some long, hard thought. Is this something you can imagine yourself doing for your life every working day? Do you want to work in a restaurant or bakery? Try to get a summer job in a kitchen to see if it’s a real passion and not just a hobby. Being a chef is physically demanding and the hours and pay are often poor. It’s certainly not for everyone, not even me. I have no intention of working in a restaurant. MAYBE a bakery, but even then I’m not sure I could wake up at the crack of dawn everyday. I’m more interested in pursuing a career in food media. If you’re not sure if culinary school is right for you try taking a culinary bootcamp class at your closest school. Many schools will offer intensive week-long classes during the summer that will give you a feel for what to expect. If you want to read more, I wrote all about my decision to leave regular college to pursue a culinary degree. I’ve since changed my mind a little and decided to also finish my bachelor’s degree. The comments on that post are magnificent.

Who is Chewie?
Chewie is our dog! He is a rather large Yorkie mix and he is ADORABLE, at least we think so. Check out my Instagram for pictures.

*Post contains affiliate links

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

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  1. #
    Amanda — April 28, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    Hi Tessa,
    Your website is amazing. I grew up with nutella and I have to say your nutella brownies are the best brownies ever. I have a question for you. When you are making your own recipe’s for muffins / cakes/ cookies do you follow any type of basic ratio with ingredients ? Also have you ever though of opening an online or store front bakery ?

    • #
      Tessa — May 1, 2016 at 8:04 pm

      Yep! I learned a lot about ratios in culinary school and through all my extensive recipe testing. It’s not always clear and sometimes things need extra tweaking though. And nope, I prefer to show people how to make treats in their own kitchens 🙂

  2. #
    Palwasha — June 24, 2016 at 6:59 am

    Hi Tessa,

    I absolutely love your website!

    You think you can try to give your spin on the Tres Leches Cake? I know your recipes are always fool proof so would love to try something you would recommend!


    • #
      Tessa — June 24, 2016 at 1:30 pm

      Thanks so much!! I’ll add that to my list 🙂

  3. #
    Nick — July 8, 2016 at 9:26 am

    Do you have a Oatmeal Raisin version of the Chocolate Chip cookie Recipe. Just like the Chocolate Chip Cookie depending on how you make it you get different textures, looks, tastes, etc.

    Love to see a recipe for this item.

    The best version I’ve tasted is believe it or not the Costco baked version.

    Love what your doing. Takes the guess work out of the process.

  4. #
    sandra — August 17, 2016 at 11:57 am


    This is my first time joining a baking site, but you pulled me in with the buttercream recipe, please could you help me, i’m looking for your measurement guide as mentioned in the comments ( must say theres some strange ones there) !!! your good.
    btw I have looked in the places I thought it might have been , must be missing something.

    Many thanks in advance.

  5. #
    Joy Joy — November 9, 2016 at 8:36 am

    Hi Tessa,

    I live in Thailand. I really love to make a cookie and have been tried and fail many times. I herd that the four in Thai and America is different. I only worry about if I followed your recipe by using ingredient in Thailand the result will be still good or not. Or you have any suggestion. I think about if it no problem i would like to buy your e-book.

    Thank you,


  6. #
    Lori Saslow — July 28, 2017 at 11:31 am

    Hi Tessa,

    Just wanted tell how much I love the new header when I print your recipes..Its so easy to organize them..I actually have a 5 subject notebook and the first tab says “HTH Tessa” ..thank you for sharing your love of baking with us. I still refer back to the holiday workshop video for making crust lol and I still struggle with it but keep trying.

  7. #
    Terry — August 9, 2017 at 11:38 am

    You keep sending me e-mails to confirm my e-mail address. I must have gotten about a dozen now. Today I got two, one on top of another. I sent them both as I have sent the others. I get a picture of you saying my e-mail address has been confirmed??? Could you please look into this. Does it not make sense that we could not be communicating if this isn’t me address? I think that might be the problem I am having……..I try to go to another page that you have put on the recipe page and all I get is “blank page” and nothing comes up…….so I am thinking it is because my e-mail address hasn’t been confirmed. Is this possible? This is something that I would like you to look into as it might be happening to others. Thank you and I love your site and wish I could see more.

  8. #
    kalbrough — September 4, 2017 at 1:10 am

    I need to correct my user name to kmalbrough

  9. #
    Darlene Morrison — November 12, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    Hi, I keep trying to confirm the request to get your newsletter but when I click on it, it just takes me to a blank page.

  10. #
    Judy James — December 13, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    Can I make this coffee cake a day ahead?

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