Ever since I was little I’ve had a love of cooking. I’m not sure where I got it from but it’s here and always has been. As a child I used to join my grandmother in the kitchen watching her move around it with ease, completely comfortable in her private domain. To this day I can still recall the smell of her famous spaghetti and meatballs wafting through the kitchen doors as we entered. It was a smell like no other, savory meatballs slowly simmering in a tomato sauce that tasted like it had been cooking for hours. One day she taught me her spaghetti and meatball secret recipe. It’s one that’s simple with complex flavors. Pure Nana.

Screen shot 2014-07-14 at 1.01.10 PMAs I gained some confidence in the kitchen, I would gather some friends and my sister to host “restaurant” nights. We were the chefs and my parents, the guests. The recipes weren’t complicated (crispy cornflake crusted chicken, smooth and creamy mashed potatoes with fresh herbs chopped from my parent’s garden) but they sure did taste good! We’d set up chalkboards with the night’s menu and get to work creating, in our eye’s, a culinary masterpiece. The kitchen often looked like an explosion had gone off, and I must admit, that is sometimes the case to this very day. What can I say? Cooking is fun and if I make a little mess, that’s part of the fun.

Now that I’m older and my tastes have matured, cooking has become a refuge, an escape from a busy day at work and most importantly for me, a way to share my love for good food with my friends and family. I am completely at ease in the kitchen, much like my Nana. My cooking is uncomplicated and simple, relying on healthy and flavorful ingredients. I have to admit, if a recipe has a million steps and ingredients, chances are I may pass it over. I prefer recipes that are delicious and flavorful with as few steps as possible. So often that means quality ingredients, simple cooking methods and unexpected flavor combinations.

I hope to share with you some of my favorite recipes and inspire you to get in the kitchen and have some fun. So get “kooking” and welcome to kristinkooks!

8 thoughts

  1. Well said Kristin. Thanks for reminding me of those fond Nana memories — an original “foodie” in her own right. Love your column and the freshness and originality of your dishes. XO Mary, Ed, Caroline and Sophia.


  2. Thanks Mary! Yes, what an original “foodie” indeed. I’m pretty sure she could have talked about food for hours! I know you definitely inherited her love of cooking as well. Thanks for stopping by. XO


  3. Wow! LOVE to all the wonderful women who have enriched, and still continue in body and spirit to enrich, our lives! All the Nanas and Aunties and Mamas in our clan! And, yes, Mary you areone of the Queens in the cooking department!


  4. Hi Kristin,

    What a beautiful site! I love your pictures and your recipes look delicious. I will definitely try a few. I remember your Nana who lived behind our house in Maryland. I’m not sure if she is the one you got the cooking inspiration from, but she was always so sweet and had a great garden. I remember twisting flips on the railing to the side of her house. Wow, what a long time ago! Well, your mom forwarded your blog to my mom and I’m so happy it was passed on to me! I am happy to hear you’re happy and doing something so creative and lovely – very fitting : )

    Warm Regards,
    Alexa (DiSalvo) Clauson


    1. Alexa! So nice to hear from you. And yes, that was the Nana I’m talking about! My mom also forwarded me your fabric site…so beautiful :) I guess our creativity as kids definitely continued into adulthood. Hope you are doing well and enjoying life out west and thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I have such happy memories of playing in Nana’s backyard and your house as a kid. Say hello and give hugs to your family for me.


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