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The Short Version: Whether it’s a relationship or a recipe, everything is better with the right ingredients, and Spoonful of Flavor can help bring you and your partner together with fresh meal ideas. Founder Ashley Cote has built an audience of more than 500,000 readers who visit her site for great ideas on great dishes inspired by her life and travels. Spoonful of Flavor is packed with more than recipes, though, as Ashley offers her readers advice on lifestyle and travel.
When a date asks me what I like to eat, I tell him it’s simple: I prefer anything with fresh, local ingredients that are bursting with flavor. Every place I travel, I look for unique things to try in a recipe. It was red dragon fruit or durian in Malaysia, kiwis and mushrooms in New Zealand, handmade rice noodles in Thailand, and handpicked arugula in Argentina. My cupboard and crisper are always full of fruits and vegetables that I plan to turn into a magical meal for myself — and sometimes a date.
Even with these fresh ingredients, I often find myself falling back on the same old recipes. Chances are I’m making a tofu stir-fry, vegetable pasta, pizza, or scrambled eggs with cheese and herbs. They’re delicious, but sometimes I could use a little boost in my kitchen creativity.
That’s why Spoonful of Flavor was launched. The site helps readers combine their love of fresh ingredients with new and creative taste combinations that can keep things lively in the kitchen. Founder Ashley Cote created the site to share healthy, easy-to-make meals inspired by her travels.
“Spoonful of Flavor is dedicated to sharing easy, yet impressive, recipes made from the freshest ingredients. I am not a trained chef, but rather a typical foodie with a passion for photography and a desire to experiment with flavors,” she said. “Our mission is to inspire people to create simple, fresh, flavorful, and nutritious meals in their own kitchens. You don’t have to be a professionally trained chef to create impressive dishes packed with flavor.”
Ashley started her blog in 2013 as a way to share her love of homemade food and photography. Today, Spoonful of Flavor has 500,000 readers from all over the world who keep up with Ashley’s recipes and posts through the site and social media channels.
Spoonful of Flavor is based in Florida, where there’s a wealth of green gardens, productive citrus farms, and bustling farmers markets. With fresh ingredients all around her, it’s no surprise where Ashley finds inspiration.
Growing up, she would help her grandmother plant a garden every spring. Then she’d search cabinets to find ingredients to complement the flavors of what they were growing and make delicious meals, snacks, and desserts to share with those she loved.
“Because I live in Florida, we have a lot of produce available year-round,” she said. “In addition, we have a small citrus grove on our property and a seasonal garden. I love to pack my recipes with as many nutrients as possible and always try to add as much color and flavor.”
In the winter, she makes meals with citrus, while in the summer she’ll add in fresh berries, peppers, and tomatoes. Keeping things fresh is a key to cooking — as well as relationships.
Ashley said it’s hard to go wrong when you prepare a meal using high-quality, local ingredients. Not only will you make a fresh meal, but it’ll also have much more flavor than a dish made with processed ingredients.
Many of the dishes on Spoonful of Flavor are one-pot meals that help meld tastes together and leave fewer dishes to clean up — perfect for a romantic evening for two.
“I want my readers to understand that cooking a nutritious and delicious meal doesn’t have to be difficult. Many of the recipes featured on my site cook in one pan in under 30 minutes. Also, a lot of meals can be prepped in advance to make dinner easy,” Ashley said.
Her site includes an intuitive recipe search feature, where you can find dishes like Zucchini Noodle Pad Thai Salad with Sesame-Cashew Dressing or No-Bake Chocolate Cookie Cheesecake Parfait. These wonderful meals are a great way to surprise your partner.
Over the past five years, Ashley has built a dedicated and passionate following who keep coming back to be surprised and delighted by her recipes.
“Once my readers find a recipe they like, they’re hooked. And they come back, again and again, to make the same recipes and discover new ones that they love,” she said.
And it doesn’t take much searching to find testimonials that describe how valuable her recipes are.
One reader, Michelle Z., commented on how thrilled she was with the site’s Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quinoa Bowl recipe. She wrote: “This is amazing! I made it last night and I am currently eating the leftovers for lunch. I am trying to cut out meat and recipes like this show me how easy it will be. My boyfriend loved it as well! I followed your recipe exactly except I have a heavy hand when seasoning and added more of the spices. I love this and I will be making it all the time! Great recipe!!! Thanks!”
Most of the recipes on Spoonful of Flavor are great for a date night together. Ashley recommends couples try the Creamy Chicken Bacon Skillet, Pasta Primavera, Blueberry Crumble Bars, or Flourless Cake for a memorable meal.
While readers flock to Spoonful of Flavor for recipes, they also find helpful information about much more than food. Ashley’s site offers plenty of lifestyle and travel tips as well. Her articles can help readers plan a trip to Disney World to maximize their fun or show them what to buy for a wine-loving partner in her annual holiday gift guide of Napa Valley’s best vineyards.
“I’m currently working on building my team so that we can offer even more exciting recipe and travel content for the entire Spoonful of Flavor community,” Ashley said.
Soon, she’ll be launching new flavor challenges to “focus on the flavor profiles of some of your favorite ingredients, inspiring people to add more flavors to every single meal,” she said.
In every aspect of her website, Ashley works to connect readers over a shared love of fresh, delicious food.
“One of the reasons I love food is because it brings people together,” Ashley said. “You can learn a lot about people by spending time with them in the kitchen and around the dinner table. Some of my best memories are those spent with family and friends in the kitchen.”