Tell us about yourself! What’s your name, where do you live, where do you work?
Hi there! My name is Ashley Dugovich, creator of Bake It Balanced! I currently live in Seattle, WA with my husband Chris, 2 1/2 year old little boy named Christopher, Jack the Chocolate Labrador and baby girl #2 on the way in November (our house is about to become packed!) I grew up in Boise, Idaho and studied Marketing in college before pursuing my true passion and moving to Seattle to study Culinary Arts.
For the last 10 years I have worked in the Culinary Marketing field and am now taking some time to spend with my family while continuing my true passion – baking!
If not baking something in the kitchen on evenings or weekends you will find us exploring the Pacific Northwest, renovating our home in Seattle (a never ending project it seems) or quite possibly cuddled on the couch watching either StoryBots (Christopher’s new favorite show) or when he goes to bed whichever Netflix show we can binge (currently Mindhunter!)
Share your approach to food with us: what do you like to cook? Why?
I approach food like I do most things in life – with balance (except for the occasional one too many glasses of white wine)! In my 20’s I was one of those women who were either constantly on a diet or on the opposite end and eating everything and anything. It took me longer than I’d like to realize that you don’t have to live your life in those extremes, and when you do it usually always ends up in defeat.
I now approach food in a different way and accept the fact that yes I can have that chocolate donut but maybe I will also balance that with an apple for a snack later in the day and don’t feel guilty for eating said donut because I know I can also make a healthy choice later and THAT’S OKAY! People who follow me should not feel pressure to only eat one certain way (unless they have certain allergies/intolerances) or one certain type of food, but to feel empowered to eat all foods.
Describe your food personality in 5-7 words:
Balancing my love of chocolate and broccoli.
What are your 3-5 favorite recipes? Why? Tell us about them!
I absolutely love this recipe because it incorporates some of my favorite ingredients (chocolate, marshmallows and bananas) all is a delicious gluten-free package. They are unbelievably moist and such a great way to start your morning.
Nice cream is one of my absolute favorite healthy dessert options. All you need are some frozen bananas, a food processor and your imagination! This recipe combines nutella, which already takes this treat up a level, and adds in some delicious espresso flavor to give you that coffee kick!
On Sundays I love to pull out my cast iron and make a comforting dessert dish for the family, and this recipe is SO tasty! The PeachBerry Crisp combines some of my favorite fruits (peaches & blueberries) with a gluten-free crumble topping for a healthy sunday night treat!
Dark Chocolate Pomegranate Brooksides have been one of my go-to chocolate treats for awhile now and I found a way to turn those into cookie form! These cookies are packed with chocolatey flavor and bursting with pomegranate seeds which gives them such a unique and tasty bite.
What’s your favorite thing about Want the Recipe?
I love how easy and accessible WTR makes it for home cooks/bakers to keep track of and make their favorite recipes.
I also really enjoy reading the WTR Spotlight and getting to know the other amazing food bloggers who are killing it out there!
What food can you not live without?
Chocolate – HANDS DOWN! Honestly I don’t think I go one day without having some sort of piece of chocolate. Milk chocolate is definitely and will always be my favorite.
What kitchen appliance do you swear by?
I remember when I moved away from home I promised myself that one day I would buy my very own KitchenAid Mixer. Ten years later I finally did! They are so amazingly versatile and the attachments that you can buy allow you to make and bake amazing dishes.
What are your favorite blogs/ Instagram accounts that you follow? What do you like about them?
Some of the AMAZING food blogs that I have been following since before I began Bake It Balanced are:
Sarah at Broma Bakery
Jennifer at Foodess
Erin at Cloudy Kitchen
Sam at Frosting and Fettuccine
Dee at One Sarcastic Baker
(but there are SO many more that I admire!)
Do you have any advice for our food community?
Be persistent while not giving yourself too hard of a time. We are all so passionate about the food we create and it takes real dedication to turn what you are doing into something big, which can be frustrating! Give yourself a break if you need it and push yourself when you are feeling energized!
Do you have a favorite kitchen hack/ trick?
Fall is just around the corner. Want to upgrade your hot chocolate game? Add your favorite chocolate truffle to your mug of hot chocolate to take it to the next level!
What’s your Instagram handle, blog link, any other social media or accounts you’d like us to share!