This week, we’re proud to feature Heather Carter of My Sweet Mission in the Blogger Spotlight. For those new to the column, every Friday, we highlight a member of The Daily Meal’s Culinary Content Network, a limited group of bloggers who write about food and drink.We look to this group of talented food writers for inspiration and participation in The Daily Meal, whether for restaurant recommendations or new recipes to try out for dinner. Our editorial team covers All Things Food and Drink, and we tap the CCN to keep up to speed on what is happening around the country and the world — from fine dining to home cooking.
In addition to blogging at and creating My Sweet Mission, Heather Carter is an experienced professional baker, and enjoys learning about other food cultures while on mission trips.
She has most recently travelled to Bangkok to volunteer at an orphanage, and to the Dominican Republic to complete missions, an experience she recounts on her blog.
The Daily Meal: What is the mission of your blog?
Heather Carter: Offering my readers, family, and friends my best tried and true recipes and helpful kitchen tips. So, they can make their kitchen more delicious and have sweet success too!
How did you get started with your blog?
My niece, Melissa of the Bee's Knees, is a fashion blogger and had been blogging about six months before I started. She encouraged me to start a food blog so I could share our family's favorite recipes with the world! I chose the name from two of my passions; baking and missions.
Since I was a young girl I loved to bake and was recently a baker at a restaurant for two years, where I made hundreds of gourmet cookies, muffins, sweet breads, brownies, and more. People are always asking me for my recipes and many in my family, along with myself and my husband, are excellent cooks and I share these family savory recipes too. I also share posts periodically about missions because my husband and I love going on mission trips and have been to the Dominican Republic several times with Hope International Ministries and did one mission trip to Bangkok, Thailand, with our son, Andy. He loves the Thai people — he works with an orphanage in one of the small villages and has been there many times.
What are some foods you can’t stand?
I can’t stand squid and octopus. But, I love almost every other seafood!
What is your proudest blog post?
My proudest post would have to be my "Snack Brighter with Outshine Fruit Bars" post. It was my first sponsored post with a new affiliate, and they liked it so much they used my post for their Facebook ad, which was shared over 7.6k times on Facebook in the first week!
What is your biggest blog blunder?
When I switched my blog from Blogger to WordPress, I used a service and designer and she started me out with an economy hosting plan. She may not have known I would have problems, but my blog was almost three years old when I made the change and it had a lot of posts and images. So, I probably should have upgraded to the deluxe managed WP hosting plan right away. I had so many issues with load time and the server being down with the economy plan. It was so frustrating and it took me about a month of fighting with these issues. Then once I switched to the deluxe hosting plan it was immediately much better and has been great ever since! Migrating from Blogger to WordPress also caused many of my images to be blurry and I'm still slowly fixing them one post at a time. Even with both of these issues, I'm really glad I made the switch to WordPress because my traffic has been steadily increasing, I love many of their plugins and my new design is nice!
What is your most memorable comment from a reader?
Well, there are so many awesome and encouraging comments my readers have left, but a recent one that stands out to me is from a lady who writes: "Okay, that does it!! I have decided I will diet when I'm dead!! Wonderful recipes. I came for the 5-minute bread and now I have found so many yummy looking recipes I'm drooling on my keyboard. Thank you, my husband, my mom, daughter, son-in-law and grandkids will all enjoy, as will I." I have to say that was an incredibly nice comment to receive!
What’s on your cooking playlist?
My favorite music is contemporary Christian. Some of my favorite artists are: Needtobreathe, Hillsong UNITED, Third Day, Carrie Underwood, Chris Tomlin, All Sons and Daughters, and so many more. I enjoy contemporary Christian because I love Jesus and it's uplifting and encouraging!
What are some food blogs you love?
Oh, wow! I have quite a lot of food blogs that I love and follow. But, here are just a few... Bigger Bolder Baking — her recipe videos are fun, delicious and very helpful! Pinch of Yum — their recipes and images are stunning and their success story is an inspiration to food bloggers. Table for Seven — I love her mostly simple but delicious recipes and her images are also beautiful. Cupcake Diaries — professional looking images and recipes. Living the Gourmet — they offer great food reviews and delicious recipes. Love Bakes Good Cakes — she has some amazing recipes and is an inspiration to food bloggers as well. Culinary Hill — she is super helpful and nice, her posts are full of great blogging advice and resources, and I love her recipes and images too.
What are some food apps you like?
Pinterest (of course) and my newest and highly favored one is Yummly. These are usually my top two traffic sources and they are both a great place to share your recipes and find inspiration!
What is the best thing about blogging?
The best thing about blogging is that I get to share recipes I love with people all over the world, like newly developed recipes or family favorite ones! That excites me and drives me to continue to develop new amazing recipes all the time.
What is the worst thing about blogging?
It's so frustrating when a recipe fails, because of the time spent and the waste of ingredients. I can usually develop a new recipe and nail it the very first time. But, sometimes it can take two to three tries to get it absolutely perfect. This can be time consuming and costly too. But, I promise to only share my best tried and true recipes and once they're published on my blog it's extremely rewarding and so worth it to me, my family, and my sweet readers!
What would even your most loyal followers be surprised to learn about you?
That I live only 15 minutes away from The National Elephant Center. Isn't that awesome?! They have 225 acres and provide short-term and long-term care for North American elephants in support of the accredited zoo population and for the welfare of elephants in need. Although it's not open to the public, it's still cool to say "I live near The National Elephant Center!"
Five of your all-time favorite posts?
Anything else you would like to share with our readers?
I would like to thank all of my sweet readers, family members, and friends who follow, love, and support My Sweet Mission! But, I'd like to especially thank my husband, John, who loves me unconditionally, is an amazing cook, and contributes many of his savory recipes to the blog! Thank you everyone from the bottom of my heart; I love and appreciate each and every one of you!