What I do for a living.

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I realized very recently that I have a dream job. And when I sat down at my laptop to share that with you, my nearest and dearest, I realized another very important, yet less obvious, thing: You might not know what I actually do.

I mean, you know that I cook.

I bake too.

I make photographs of my food.


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And then I tell you about it.

But what is it that I do with the rest of the time?


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How do I fill the hours when I’m not watching DVR’ed episodes of The View, Oprah, painting my nails a nondescript nude, applying Vaseline to my lips beyond every recognizable border of pigment, curling, then re-curling, and re-re-curling my hair, eating Cadbury crème eggs, and waiting (oh, waiting) for Leonardo DiCaprio’s next film?

Are you still awake?

You have a little dribble on your chin.

Here, have my hankie.

No, really, just keep it. *I have others. (*You know I don’t)

What was I saying?


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Right, my job. My M through F. My 10 to 6 (sweet hours, I tell you).

I’m the Editor and Social Media Manager of Foodista.com. What’s that, you ask? It’s a cooking encyclopedia that features thousands of foods, recipes, tools, techniques, and food news articles. Picture Epicurious and Wikipedia and Huffington Post getting married. Set aside the polygamy factor. Just set it down.


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Let me break it down:

1. Editor

Day in and day out, I edit recipes, manage and edit the articles of five wonderful and talented writers in a variety of categories (food news, celebrity, holidays and events, and drinks). I not only get to flex that part of my brain that wishes grammar were sexier, but I also get to write and read about the newest and most interesting trends in food and cooking. Everything from restaurant openings to new product releases to brand merging to food safety to health and nutrition.

The fun part is that a recent article of mine reached the front page of the Huffington Post Food section. I followed that by smiling for 24 hours and then writing another groundbreaking article about people having sex using bacon flavored lubricant. That article was “liked” on Facebook over 1,000 times. *Andie Mitchell, making her papa proud since 1985.


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2. Social Media Manager

I’m Tweeting, I’m Facebooking. I’m Linking In. I’m Stumbling Upon and Digg-ing. Find ten more socially active media sources and I’m considering those, too. My world exists in 140 characters or less. #Onedayilltweetmyselftodeath


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3. Organizer of the International Food Blogger Conferences

One of the best and most rewarding parts of my work. I plan conferences for food bloggers that focus on food, writing, and technology. Each year, roughly 250 people attend a weekend long event with authors, publishers, editors, restaurateurs, chefs, and photographers to learn more about blogging and how they can do everything from building a personal brand to monetizing and publishing their work. There are about 15 sessions, each led by experts and industry leaders, and then there are meals. Oh the meals. This is the fun part: I contact the area’s best chefs/restaurants (usually James Beard Award winners and nominees) and food trucks, and ask if they’d like to participate by preparing a meal.

I also help to design the agenda- the sessions, decide upon speakers, contact those speakers, feel odd approaching people I admire and respect so tremendously, publicly embarrass myself no less than thirty two times per conference (And I’m working on my third, so you know I’ve got a backlog), and you know, all that goes along with a three day food conference.

The past conferences (I’ve only planned one of the two total) have been here in Seattle, our lovely mountain meets water home. This year, I’m planning one in New Orleans in late August and one in Santa Monica in November.

I won’t be able to fully articulate how excited I am about them. My hair may turn four shades of gray by year’s end, but I’ll at least have a smile.


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These three areas are a joy.

A joy.


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My team, seven big, is quirky and loving and unique, and I’m blessed that they let me wear many hats, so to speak. I’m able to try new things constantly, explore new parts of blogging and writing and eating, and then, I get to share all that with people I adore. To spend my 10 to 6 in the company of a very Brady Bunch. *I insist on Marsha for obvious reasons, the most important being groovy hair. Each of them feels like family. Mentors and friends and people who accept and applaud my eccentricity.

They let me be spastic and controlling.

They eat my cupcakes and candy.

They call me Mitch.

They know that when I say I need to clean the office, they had better gird their loins. And guard their collectibles. Someone doesn’t do well with clutter.


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The running joke in the office is that my name should have and ETC. tacked to its end, much like one would boast a PhD or an ESQ. Etcetera (etc.) would suit me well and perhaps distinguish me. I like playing office mom and office baby and office HR. Sometimes that means orchestrating a release party when Foodista published their first book; sometimes that means worrying about my dearests’ health and comfort and forcing them to eat at least one serving of fruit per day; and sometimes that means fashioning my voice like a siren when one of them violates my very strict HR policy.

Boo Woo Woo! Boo Woo Woo! There’ll be none of that here!

Everything I learned about HR, I learned on Mad Men.

I have standards.

Very few, but still.

So that’s what I do. I wear dresses inappropriately, laugh loudly and often, threaten red cards for misbehavior, bring in fruit and whole grain bread, and then, I stick a pin in my ego and watch it deflate as I pronounce beignets bay-nets instead of ben-yays.

The beautiful part of all of it, though, is that I love what I do.



And the other hours? Outside of work?

I make marinades.


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And I grill.

And I made *excellent and smooth segues from talking about work to talking about food.

(*We both know this to be an untruth.)


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I char just about any ol’ thing I can get my hands on. Something about the smokiness, the fiery flavor, just does it for me. On Saturday, Seattle was on her best behavior. She warmed and sunned and glowed. We were all high on Vitamin D. And when I finally laid in bed that night, (saying prayers I got the teensiest tan), I realized I’d been outside for ten straight hours, and each of them felt special. Unique. Restorative.


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Daniel and I ate this meal outside on our roof deck to end the happy day, and it was delicious. Grilled steak, peppers and sweet red onion, and Near East parmesan couscous. The steaks, grass-fed top sirloin, I marinated for a few hours in my absolute favorite soy ginger sauce. It’s a cinch to whisk together, and sure to leave anything it soaks with the sweetest, most intense flavor. It’s actually the same sauce I used to marinate the crispy garlic and ginger tofu I shared with you last Thursday- a testament to its versatility and how dearly I love it.

The beef, after about four hours of soaking in soy and ginger and garlic and brown sugar, was so tender it nearly fell apart when tickled with a fork. It was so juicy that I found myself pushing my couscous toward the side of my plate where the steak once sat, just to sop up the last drippings of sauce.

I hope you make it as the weather warms.

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Soy Ginger Marinade

makes 2/3 cup

½ cup soy sauce

1 tablespoon ground ginger

2 tablespoons brown sugar

3 garlic cloves, minced


Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. Use as a marinade for chicken, pork, beef, or tofu and let soak for at least 2 hours and up to 24.



Now tell me, what do you do for a living? Do you love it?



59 thoughts on “What I do for a living.

  1. Ellie@fitforthesoul

    Girl that meat is making me drool for reals! (almost) :) I love marinades too hehe. And I think it’s so cool that you do editing and all that good stuff! That actually sounds hard, since none of that is my strength. have a beautiful night!

  2. Johnny

    My work would be considered very boring compared to yours, I work with elderly citizens at a retirement home. I am a soup to nuts man which means everything they can’t do for themselves which seems to be Everything! It can be very rewarding though so I guess boring isn’t exactly correct. They smile quickly when you open the jar or change the light or…etc.! I take care of your grandmothers and grandfathers. I do love them and I hope that my being there helps them find some enjoyment. Oh ya, I tell them everyday about your blog and they love it too! You are so very special :) Hey, found the perfect flatbread recipe: 1 pkg active yeast, 1/2 tsp sugar, 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1 tsp salt, 1 tbl fresh thyme leaves, combine all above and slowly add aprox. 3/4 cup warm water till ball forms.(may need more water) place in oiled bowl and rise for 1 hour. Roll into 6″ rounds(extremely thin, like paper)place on hot grill top or hot oven pizza stone. flip after bubbles form. Very moist and very tasty. Thanks for your blog. We love you!!!!

  3. Riss

    What a lovely, lovely way to spend your day! You, my dear, have (one of) my dream jobs.

    I’m half-way through a PhD in English Rhetoric and Composition, with a focus in Technical Writing and Usability Studies. (I SWEAR it’s more fun than it sounds.) A lot of my research deals with social media, which means I have a perfectly valid excuse for playing around with Facebook and Twitter, listening to podcasts, and reading blogs all day. (Hey–are you hiring!!?? lol)

    When I’m not furiously reading and writing papers, I work as the layout and design editor for an academic journal, teach English 1102 and 1102, tutor…. and run through a whole laundry list of other nerdy/englishy/techie stuff!

  4. Evan

    Love this post, Andrea! Thank you for sharing…being an editor at a website is an intense job, because there’s constantly new content that you have to keep up with. I applaud you!

    I’m the editorial assistant at Fine Cooking Magazine. Basically, it’s a Jane-of-all-trades kind of job. To name a few things that I do all day: I write a few front of book articles, blog on the website, manage the editor-in-chief’s schedule and the editorial calendar, make sure the editors are well-stocked with supplies, update recipes after tastings, (most importantly) GO to tastings (we test every recipe that we publish at least 3 times…that’s a lot of tasting), help to organize ad sales calls, photo shoots, events, and staff trips, keep tabs on the budget, and manage the interns. Phew! But other little things come up every day. We’re a small staff, too, so I’m never bored and I love every second of it.

    Nothing like spending your 10-6 (or 9-5, in my case), doing what you love! :)

  5. Kerry

    Honestly, if we lived in the same geographic region, I think we’d be fast friends.

    I went to school for Marketing and specialized in Advertising and Promotions, with a slight emphasis even more in Social Media. My diploma just says “Marketing”, but my rolled up cot in the university library 5 days a week for my last 2 semesters demands that I tell you my emphasis’s. Emphasises? I don’t know.

    Right now? I do nothing that my degree prepared me for. I have a crappy office job, making decent money sure, but hating myself. I would give anything to land my “dream job” but this economy just does not want me to succeed. :(

    At least I have my health? ha!

  6. Rocio Maldonado

    Your job sounds like a lot of fun!

    My job is in the construction industry. I have a degree in interior design but I work for an electrical contractor. I am a CAD operator, which basically means I make all the drawings that our electricians use for installation out in the field. I enjoy what I do and I am blessed to work for a company that allows me to go out to the job sites and see the work that I drew get installed. This is my favorite part of the job, I love being out in the field seeing firsthand how a building actually comes together.

    After work though I follow your blog and others like yours and draw inspiration from your delicious recipes. I went from the girl who dreaded the kitchen to one that dreams about what I will make next. Thanks for opening my mind to new ideas :)

  7. Beth @ Beth's Journey

    Wow Andrea that seriously sounds like my dream! I actually work on conferences too with my 9-5, but in a field I’m not crazy about. I’m in charge of securing all the sponsors and exhibitors for the conferences, and we put on four a year. The cool part is that I get to travel to places I wouldn’t go otherwise!

  8. Frieda

    Gosh I wish I would be part of the work force but I am still studying :D Even though I turn 25 next month. Luckily this is not so unusual in Europe as it is in America. ;)
    I started with a course in education/social science/psychology but that was not for me. Then I switched to Dutch studies and History…also not for me.
    And now..i found something i like and hope to find a job in after my graduation: Management. I do not even care what to manage as long as I can organize my ass off ;)

    Would also love your job if we had something like that over here :)

  9. Claire @ Live and Love to Eat

    You have an incredibly amazing job that you’re obviously very skilled at. People spend their whole lives looking for something that they enjoy doing.

    I’m a dietitian (which I love) which gives me lots of different career path options. I’m on my second job, but who knows where the future might lead me…

  10. Lauren at Keep It Sweet

    I always think that my job title should have an etc. at the end of it. I work for a smallish company so we all have to carry more than our weight around here, but that is what keeps it interesting.

    I just signed up for foodista this weekend! Sounds like you have a fantastic job there:-)

  11. Kelly Jo

    Wow- what a fun job you have!
    I work in a job that I had out of college- promotions at a tv station that has a FOX and CBS affiliate. It’s fun and I’ve come full circle- I left here to work as a brand manager for a brand that sold wedding invitations to brides via a direct mail catalog and website. Loved it but I got laid off and the job at the TV station opened back up. So here I am again.

  12. Shanna, Like Banana

    Wow, wow, wow! Your job / daily life / ETC sounds like a dream. I would love every aspect, okay maybe not the grammar stuff, but certainly the organizing of foodie conferences. How fitting for an amazing woman to find an amazing career!

  13. chelsey @ clean eating chelsey

    Your job sounds like so much fun! While I love blogging, I don’t know if I could ever be a full time editor or anything like that (and I’m sure many others could say the same thing about being a teacher). You definitely have my respect! So cool about the article too.

    Can I come to your conference? :)

  14. Angelique

    Sounds like a wonderful job!

    I love my job too and it happens to be exactly what I went to school for: I’m an archivist. :) (10 points to you if you know what that is!) Even better (in my opinion), I’m a corporate archivist. (My undergrad is in International Business & my masters is Information – seriously, that’s what it says on my diploma. What it doesn’t say is that I specialized in Archives & Records Management.)

    An archivist preserves and provides access to historical papers, artifacts, scrapbooks, etc. A corporate archivist does virtually the same thing, except we’re focused only on our company’s history. Plus, I even work at a food company! So I get to process packaging materials, recipe books, commercials, print advertisements, etc. It’s a perfect fit for me since I love food! :)

  15. Jo @ Jo In the Kitchen

    Your job sounds so rewarding!
    I’m a receptionist right now, and it’s steady, but so monotonous! I used to teach dance, and I absolutely LOVED it, but it just couldn’t pay the bills. Someday I’ll get back into teaching and dancing full time though.

  16. Rachel @ The Avid Appetite

    Yes, I am completely turning green with envy :) I work in brand licensing, which can be fun and creative, but I can’t wait to do something that’s on my own terms, where I’m the boss of me. That’s my lifetime goal!

  17. Leah @ Why Deprive?

    Your job sounds so amazing. It really is a dream job. Mine, on the other hand, not so dreamy. I’m an office manager/official mistake fixer for a company in an almost entirely male industry. I’m the only girl, which is good, and awful all at the same time. I do like it most of the time though.

  18. ALEX

    I’m in Seattle also! Didn’t you just LOVE Saturday? We also grilled and ate outside on the deck…what’s up with today?!?

  19. Jen @ keepitsimplefoods

    Love Foodista! Your job sounds really amazing. I am a lawyer and though my day job is fairly dull, I find enjoyment in pro bono activities like working on women’s human rights issues domestically and abroad. To satisfy my creative urges, I write fiction, cook, and blog. Not bad at all. ;)

  20. Gina

    My apartment has a roof deck too (well the 11th floor…it would be a bit windy all the way up above floor 37!) There are 2 big gas grills and a gas fire pit…I see future grilling parties this summer;)

    Sunny days in Seattle make me giggle! Everyone I encountered on Saturday had the biggest sun-soaked grin on their face and was super friendly. One lady even took my cart back to the corral for me at the grocery store! When I got home for the night I noticed a slightly different hue on my forehead…a suntan…amazing;)

  21. Lisa @ I'm an Okie

    I loved learning just a little bit more about your daily life! The job completely fits you and I can imagine it IS your dream job.

    I am about to be an unemployed, full-time Nursing Student for 14 months. Hopefully I like it just as much as you like your job!

  22. Paige

    Cool job! Thanks for sharing!

    I milk goats for a living in Oregon. On July 18th my fiance and I are moving to downtown Seattle because after 3 years of trying, he got his dream job there (it has to do with the “Boo Woo Woo! Boo Woo Woo!” sound). On August 20th we’re going back to Portland to get married, then we’ll be Washingtonians again for real. Our apartment there will have a rooftop deck and we’re going to grill the summer away before he starts his year of school before starting the job for real. I know what I’d like to do for a living in Seattle. We’ll see if the company decides to hire me!

  23. Lisa

    That does sound like a dream job! Great descriptions :)

    I have my dream job for sure. I teach nutrition and wellness and also wellness coach..it’s fun and useful, and I help people improve their lives. Ahhh, love it!

  24. Lisa

    That does sound like a dream job! Great descriptions :)

    I have my dream job—teaching nutrition and wellness and also wellness coaching. I get paid to help people improve their lives. Ahhh, love it!

  25. Evan Thomas

    I’m so jealous and in awe of your work. I always assume food bloggers are people who have boring, non-foodie office jobs and this is what they do in their free time to let out their foodiness in an artsy fashion. It makes sense then that you’re such an amazing writer.
    If it’s at all interesting to anyone, I study Classical Greek and Latin literature. This semester I’ve taken a class on Homeric hymns composed in the 8-6th century BC and Latin poets’ views on death. I also like taking later literature courses and seeing how the authors like Dante and all the British romantic poets were influenced by Ancient poets. I promise it’s more fun than it actually sounds. And by fun I mean… well, I don’t plan on pursuing it after college but it’s fun for the time.

  26. Emily

    OK, I’ve been quietly following your blog since I StumbledUpon it a few weeks (months?) ago. I thought this could be the time to Comment constructively and appropriately, instead of my usual thoughts of “Omgosh, please come make that for me and we can trade recipes and tips!… and probable be good friends!” (Creepy? Probably. Hence why I haven’t actually Commented yet.)

    I am a law student at a top-25 law school. My job is studying, and life outside of studying is minimal. Actually, I’m ignoring my Finals-studying to do what I consider my “second job”: checking in with your blog for a recipe and a smile. Your posts make me laugh and your recipes make me drool. Thanks so much for both of those!

    My undergrad degree was in English (literature), and I find grammar and editing very sexy. I just bid on joining my law school’s Journal just so I can write more… At which point your blog will become even more necessary to pull me through the researching portion.

    Your job sounds awesome, your recipes are great, and I love the enthusiasm you have for both. Thanks for the great posts!

  27. Tina @ My Life as a Mrs

    SO jealous! ;) Sounds like a dream! I work at a Natural Supplements company. My job title is technically ‘Customer Service’… but I also do sales, quality control, admin work, and a million other things! One day I hope to do something more along the lines of what you’ve got going on! How long have you been w/ the company… and how’d you get the gig?

  28. Nora@LiveLifeEatRight

    I “Like” this post. I mean it sounds like you’re living the #sweetlife. I too have a job that has me drooling all day over food, and spend too much time trying to figure out how to tell a story in 140. Love your blog, and keep doing what you do! (Most likely–STILL making the dad proud :))

  29. Alisa Fleming

    Seriously, that is a dream job! I’m bummed though that the year I move to Washington, you guys move the conference out of state! Bring it back pretty pleeease … with sugar on top :)

    I love my job also. I don’t work for a larger organization, but get to make recipes and write online for a living, which is too much fun.

  30. Natalie S.

    When I graduate (in 2 years hopefully, in 3 years realistically), hire me. Let me be a part of your beautiful, hilarious life. I’ll make your coffee and your marinades. I’m quirky and easy to please. I’ll work for food. Hire me.

  31. Regan

    Holy cow! Your blog rawks so much that I didn’t much think that you had a “real” job. I had a crappy cubicle job that made me wealthy but also made me miserable. Then I lost the job – and now work in a Level 1 ER for minimum wage. It’s frikkin amazing. I went from backstabbing coworkers to helping someone grieve the loss of a loved one (as well as get some sweet photos of men vs. power tools when the power tools won!)

    So glad I found ya…

  32. AndreaSomething

    Yum! Those pictures look amazing. I can actually SMELL the steak!

    Your job sounds amazing. It’s such a blessing when you get to do what you love. I practice law, and let me tell you- you have got to stretch your imagination to find the good sometimes. But that’s okay, I’ve got a big imagination ;)

  33. Kristi

    I always wonder what bloggers do for a living. It sounds like you have many exciting jobs.
    I work for a sheriff’s office, and at times I love it. Other times I want to scream and run as far away from this place as I can get.

  34. Rachel

    As creepy as it sounds, you’re my new idol. I knew I loved your cooking, but now I have your job to love! I can’t wait to get out of college and do something I love just as much and just as FOOD related!

  35. Clarissa @ Sober and the City

    Oh man your job sounds amazing!! And I would like a sirloin please. I work in an office and crunch numbers all day. Mainly I procrastinate with this blog-reading habit I have acquired. Hours are 9-8ish but sometimes SUPER LATE nights. I look forward to the day I acquire decent writing skills and can live on an island somewhere free from the grind!

  36. Daniella

    I love the way you write, it makes me feel like you’re talking to me directly.

    I also love the pictures, there’s something about them that makes them feel unprofessional, not in a bad way, dont get me wrong. It´s just your food looks all yummy and accesible and it looks like beautiful AND edible food. Not at all like the steaks you see on magazines that you know are all soaked in motor oil. How do you do it? I’m dying to know, please.

  37. Raymund

    Wow you are the editor of Foodista! I love that site. Initially thought your not from the food industry or something related to it, as most of the food bloggers I know arent even me I am an IT Professional.

  38. Alexa @ Simple Eats

    I’m more than jealous. Your writing is amazing, your food is delish and your job?! I’ve always wanted a job in the food writing field and I really hope I can work my way to that. Thank you so much for sharing this :)

  39. Pingback: Unplanned Savings | The Whole Family On a Budget

  40. Oleg Yakuba

    Thanks for a good article! I love what you just write down in your text and this is amazing because I know how people are earning their money. Back in the days when I was a student I needed to find an additional way to earn more and that was a hard quest for me, I couldn’t connect my study with a full time job and then I was looking for some part time and started working there. After that I started to borrow some amount of money and now I know everything about financing as a student, thanks again for your article, I love it!

  41. ava jones

    Thank you for a well-written essay! I really like what you just wrote in your text, and it’s fantastic since I know how people get money. Back when I was a student, I needed to find a means to supplement my income, which was a difficult task for me because I couldn’t combine my studies with a full-time job, so I looked for part-time work and began working there. After that, I began to borrow money, and now I know everything there is to know about student financing. Thank you again for your essay; I enjoy it!


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