ELLENA Guan, 32, knew little about food blogging when she began to record her newborn son's growth in an online journal in 2004.
Her quickly acquired skill however, soon led her to start a food blog at ellenaguan.blogspot.com
The site, which receives about 240 hits weekly, is organised into three sections - recipes for entrees, recipes for desserts and general tips on nutrition. The latter two are blogs linked to the main site which features entrees.
Guan, a personal assistant to the director of an investment firm, credits the blog for keeping her social network alive during the three years she spent as a stay-at-home Mum.
She regularly corresponds with bloggers overseas and they share everything from cooking tips to what's happening in their lives.
She returned to the working world last month, so her main blog is on a temporary hiatus. But she continues to bake cookies and cakes during weekends and updates her dessert-themed blog ellenaguan2.blogspot.com weekly.
Have you ever received orders for your cookies and cakes or had requests to cater for events?
I've received several requests from both readers and friends asking whether I accept food orders or conduct cooking classes, but I don't think I'm sufficiently qualified to do either. I do, however, occasionally invite a few food bloggers whom I'm friendly with to my house to bake and experiment with recipes.
Given the amount of positive feedback you've had about your food, why did you eventually decide to don a corporate suit instead of an apron and start your own pastry shop?
I've toyed with the idea of setting up a pastry shop with my best friend, Tracy. But I lack the financial means to start a business now, so my dream will have to take a back seat.
You've been posting a lot of entries on macarons, those delicate French almond cookies. What's with this obsession?
Macarons are extremely addictive to eat. They are also very versatile pastries and I find it a challenge to come up with different flavoured macaron shells and cream fillings.
And imagine the satisfaction I get when I calculate the savings I reap from making my own macarons, which retail for $1.50 to $2 each.
According to your blog posts, you've used durian in cakes, macaron fillings and even eaten it with a serving of warm white rice. Is there a dish you won't experiment with durian?
I relish durian so I don't shy away from experimenting with it. I remember seeing 'durian fried rice' being listed on a local restaurant menu once and am still considering trying to make this dish at home.
Do you agree with the saying that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach?
I do, although food is not the sum of it all.
There are pictures on your blog of your three-year-old son helping you to bake. Were they posed?
No. My son Reyson enjoys baking, particularly creaming the butter and sugar with the electric beater. He also has a lot of fun rolling out cookie dough and placing cut cookies on a baking tray. I make it a point to bake with him fortnightly.
How did he get into baking?
I read from a parenting book that allowing toddlers to help out with simple chores in the kitchen can foster good parent-child bonds. That's where I first got the idea of letting him observe me while I bake. He was about 18 months then.
He started to help with the actual baking when he was 21 months old.