We first discovered this week's Featured Friday blogger when she was selected as a winner of our Bookazine contest last month. One click over to Kristin's blog and we were hooked!
Featuring a stash of incredible recipes, mouthwatering photos (including step-by-steps!) and some tasty tips too, Kristin's blog will be one you'll want to keep handy for dinnertime planning...or dessert!We asked Kristen to fill us in on the voice behind her delightful blog...
Tell us a little about yourself and your family.
My husband and I both grew up in Oklahoma. Even though we went to high school in opposite sides of the state, we met through 4-H and became high school sweethearts. I remember thinking that he was the cutest boy I had ever seen – I still think that! His blue eyes won me over.
We’ve now been together almost 11 years (going on 3 years of marriage), and half of that has been long distance! About 5 years ago, I moved to California to get a Ph.D. in American history and he quickly followed. We now live in the Sacramento area, although we can’t wait to get back to our more country roots.
We are goofy, adventurous, deeply committed to our Christian faith, and madly in love. He’s my primary taste tester (see photo) and food critic, a job I think he really loves! My favorite job is being his wife.
Other (random) things about me, just for fun:
- I’ve got more hobbies than I can count – cooking, baking, scrapbooking, cross-stitching, reading, blogging, photography, learning to sew…(just to name a few). Every time I decide to scale back, I find something else that I want to do. I’m impossible.
- I’m a high school youth group leader, and love hanging out with my girls. It’s funny though – most of the time, when I’m with them, I get mistaken for a high-schooler too!
- I’m a Disney fanatic. I love them so much that I announced to my husband right after we met (we were still in high school), that if he married me that’s where he had to take me on my honeymoon. He followed through!
- I've only ever kissed my husband. And I still think his blue eyes are the most amazing things in the world.
- I love cooking! It's a rare occasion when we repeat a recipe. Every week I pick a cookbook (generally a Gooseberry Patch one!), read it all the way through (no matter how many times I've read it), and pick the recipes for the next week's meals.
- I will not eat at a fondue party. Communal dipping pots (especially during flu season) are not my thing. And you can't tell me that it's okay because people don't actually touch the skewers. I've watched - accidents happen! And even if they don't touch the skewer, they breathe all over it...ew!
Who or what originally inspired you to start blogging? How do you stay inspired?
My long-time friend and bridesmaid has a cooking blog called From My Tiny Kitchen and I have also recently been introduced to the Pioneer Woman. These both really influenced the way I present my recipes and my decision to start a blog.
Really, though, I decided to start my blog after being diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. I had to significantly change my diet (low fat, dairy free, etc.), and this was extremely frustrating for a food lover like me. There is a great book called Eating for IBS that contained recipes for the IBS diet, but none of these recipes were the comfort food that I loved.
I decided that I either had two choices – I could dwell on what I couldn’t eat and just live life feeling deprived, or I could do something about it. I decided to do something about it. I started playing in the kitchen, creating my own recipes for my favorite foods that fit my diet. Blogging about it became sort of a game – it made it fun!
Even now, blogging keeps me from feeling sorry for myself and gives me a sense of purpose. My blog doesn’t focus exclusively on IBS recipes, especially now that my diagnosis has changed slightly and I’m not strictly following that diet anymore.
I do include “normal” recipes that I make for my husband. But, I have a soft spot in my heart for individuals who, like me, have had to make dietary changes. For this reason, I generally include instructions for modifying my recipes (when possible) to meet the IBS diet, gluten free diet, or dairy free diet. Another thing that sets my blog apart is that I almost always provide nutritional information for my recipes – good comfort food doesn’t always have to be fattening!
How did you get your start in the kitchen?
I really took up cooking after I went to graduate school, though. My favorite hobbies have always been reading, cross-stitching, and scrapbooking, but when I had to start reading academic books for 8 hours a day, I found that I needed to be more active in the evenings. So I cooked…and cooked…and cooked!
With a busy life, how do you find time to write, create & share recipes & photos?
I’m not sure, actually! I just do. I’ll blog during my work breaks throughout the day, and cooking is my much-needed release every evening. Working on my website is not a chore…it’s fun! I think the better question is “how do I find time to do the dishes”…I’m still working on that one! :-)
We love the recipes & photos you share on your blog...do you have a favorite you'd like to share?
I love them all, especially my chicken fried chicken made with Chex cereal, my roasted vegetable tart (my favorite food pic), and those peanut butter cookies from the Gooseberry Patch Bookazine (I’ve only made them about 5 times in the past month!).
But my husband wants me to say the rosemary roasted sweet potatoes – he says those are the best sweet potatoes he’s ever had, and he’s the expert!
Aside from your family, friends and pets, what are 5 things that you just can't do without?
1. My faith – God’s gotten me through thick and thin. Who knows where I would be without Him guiding my way.
2. Lip gloss – I always have at least one chapstick and one lip gloss with me no matter where I am. If I don’t have one, I will drop everything I’m doing to go get one. It’s sad but true.
3. Laptop – I’m addicted! I’ve got to check my e-mail, see if anyone’s commented on my blog, work on my digital scrapbook, etc. My life would be utterly different without this piece of technology.
4. Toilet paper (you know it’s true)
5. My occasional trips back to Oklahoma – they keep me sane. :-)
Tell us something that no one would guess about you.
I have a full set of really nice kitchen knives that I don’t know how to use. I use the steak knives for everything…
peeling, chopping, dicing, even cutting bread! The rest of the knives just sit there and look pretty.
If you look closely at the pictures in my blog, you can tell that I do this. The steak knife is always on the cutting board! To all you people in cyber-world – if anyone wants to teach me how to use my knives, I would be eternally grateful!
Thanks for sharing with us today, Kristin...even your secret steak-knife habit! Your blog is a gem that we're glad to have found...keep up the great work.
If you haven't clicked over to Delightful Country Cookin' yet, now's the time...you're sure to find something delicious! Want another reason to stop by? Kristin's hosting a GIVEAWAY on her blog right now...you could win a copy of our cookbook, Dinners on a Dime!