I understand you’ve taken your passion for cooking and talent for photography, and taught yourself how to build a Web page to launch a possible money-making venture in food blogging. Tell me more about it.

When I started this, I didn’t even know what blogging was. But I’ve always been interested in cooking and always loved it. It’s interesting to me to know what makes a recipe work or not work. … And then I found out about food blogging and learned about blogging conferences, like Blog-Her, a conference for women who have blogs. And then you start to meet people all over the world, and I’ve become friends with some of them. You get swept up by it.

And another thing, in the beginning, I just knew this would be something I could get really excited about. As soon as I started, I knew it was something I’d always wanted to do, I just didn’t know it. Make sense?

What does it entail?

It actually takes a lot of work. First I have to find a recipe I want to try or create one of my own. Then I take a lot of photographs. I usually take more than 100 photographs of the same thing before I’m happy with one or two to post to the site. And I shoot all with natural lighting, no flash. Photography, too, is something I really like.

You’re a food-blog award-winner. What contest did you win?

I was named Best Food Blog-New for the 2006 Food Blog winners hosted by the Well Fed Network. (To see a full list of winners, go to

Can you make money doing this?

I’m starting to turn it a business with advertisers who take out ads on my Web site.

Which is?

It’s got a culinary ring to it.

I wanted to think of something that was fun and catchy and that just kind of stuck.

I imagine living in Italy helps inspire some rather tasty recipes.

Oh my gosh yes. There is such an abundance of fresh ingredients here you can get from the local markets. In part, that’s what got me interested in cooking a lot and trying new recipes and foods. It’s inspiring, all the fresh produce, but Italian recipes are really the simplest. And I have a lot of fun trying new things and trying out things that are from this area and sharing the wonderful tastes with other people.

Where else might people find your work?

I volunteer for the (base) newspaper. (Look for her regularly published recipes and photographs in Sigonella’s newspaper, The Signature.)

Nicole HamakerAge: 32Claim to fame: Award-winning food bloggerDay job: Food blogging from her home at Naval Air Station Sigonella, Sicily, where she lives with her sailor husband.

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