About me - Food writer, recipe developer and influencer, Ellen Folkman.

About Ellen

Welcome to Family Around the Table! I’m so glad you’re here. Here you’ll find incredibly delicious recipes that will bring your family to the table.

Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert, it doesn’t matter. While baking is my passion, I strive to create and share recipes that people will enjoy. Recipes that you can get on the table quickly on a busy night but also dishes suitable for special occasions and entertaining.

My Mom and my kids are the inspiration for Family Around the Table. My Grandmother too. I remember my Grandmother making fresh pasta for dinner. She was from Italy and a very good cook so I came by my love of cooking naturally.

My Mom inherited her cooking skills too. As a kid my Mom would make 3 pies a week, yes you read that right, making the crusts from scratch. My Dad and brother were eager recipients of apple and cherry pies, among others. Her pumpkin pie is a family favorite to this day.

A photo with Gesine Bullock Prado.

Culinary Journey

After 15 years working for the Tampa Bay Times, formerly The St. Petersburg Times, writing cookbook reviews and a weekly reader recipe exchange column, You Asked for It, I learned a lot about cooking, techniques, and how to write good, effective recipes.

When I wrote the You Asked for It column, I made every recipe that was published so I could share with readers tips about the recipe and how to make sure it worked for them as well. Making a variety of recipes from simple to complex honed my cooking and baking skills throughout the years. I learned a number of various techniques such as how to make a laminated dough, the proper way to proof yeast, and how to know when dough has properly risen.

Achieving my Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida taught me how to write content and that’s why my recipes work. They are easy enough for a novice to understand yet clear and concise for the more experienced home cook.

I am always eager to learn new cooking techniques. I often take cooking classes so I can bring more recipes to the site for you to try. I’ve taken classes at various places including Sugar Glider Kitchen, Sur la Table, and King Arthur Baking School in Vermont.

No artifical intelligence content graphic.


I need to tell you…I do not use AI when developing or writing my recipes. All of my recipes are tried multiple times. I want you, my readers, to be successful with what you make from this website.

All of the photographs of recipes and process shots are taken by me. I will never use stock photos. I will never buy photos. The photos you see of my recipes are exactly how they turned out.

I will never buy recipes. Some people create recipes, photograph them, and sell them to food bloggers. Many bloggers don’t even try the recipe once they have purchased it. They just post it to their website without knowing if it works. That will never happen here.

While it is true that some of these recipes may work, I prefer to make sure I am posting only tried and true recipes you can feel confident making. If you ever have an issue with a recipe, I encourage you to contact me for help.

Four people standing at the Southernmost Point bouy in Key West, FL

About My Family

There is nothing more important in the world to me than my family. In addition to being a wife and mom to 2 boys who love to help me in the kitchen even as young adults. I enjoy travel, photography, crafting, and preserving memories through scrapbooking.

My husband and I have over 30 years of combined experience in the Wine and Spirits industry, making cocktails another favorite topic to write about. If you love margaritas, especially, I have a number on the site. Frozen and on the rocks. I would say my favorite is my frozen strawberry margarita, which is perfect for poolside sipping.

You’ll also find tips like ideas for using up leftover candy canes, good ideas on how to make the ordinary special, like upping your hot chocolate game and shortcuts as well as a few fun crafty ideas thrown in for excitement.

I hope to include a few more crafty ideas in the future that go along with some party planning. We celebrated a graduation last year and have another in a couple of years and it was fun to make some decorations with my Cricut.

Where I’ve Been Published and Featured

You can find content I’ve written at Edible Tampa Bay, and Tampa Bay Times, including a variety of cookbook reviews..I have also had recipes published on Taste of Home and in numerous Gooseberry Patch cookbooks. My pumpkin spice milkshake was also featured on ABC’s The Chew in 2017.

I was a brand ambassador for Rodelle products until they discontinued the program in 2022. This recipe for Hot Chocolate Balls was part of their 2021 Cookie Celebration, an event they hosted every year where their brand ambassadors share cookie recipes for the holidays.

I have been a guest on the podcast Cook it Real Good where I share tips about how to get your kids in the kitchen to learn how to cook and foster a love of cooking.

Sign up for my newsletter to get exclusive content in each one. That could be tips, an unpublished recipe, or something from a relevant site that is interesting. I often include a link to purchase one of my favorite products. That could be my favorite instant-read thermometer, a favorite cookbook, or a baking sheet I love.

So there’s a little bit about me! If you’re interested in working with me for recipe creation, influencer options, or a cookbook or product review? Contact me through any social media messaging or email me at [email protected]. I’m happy to send along my media kit for review. It’s updated regularly.

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