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Meet the Cook

I have been cooking for my family for over 25 years. I haven’t had any formal training or culinary experience. All my learning has been through trial and error, and through the years I have learned to read recipes that I know will work for me.

A few years ago, I decided to enter a recipe contest. I thought “I have to cook dinner anyway, why not make something up? ” I had heard of the Pillsbury Bake-Off, so I decided to look into it. Well, it turns out that they only have it every other year, and I had just missed the deadline. So I started searching for other recipe contests and found the ‘Campbell’s Soup 20 minute Recipe Challenge.’ I had never cooked with soup before, but I thought I would give it a try. To my and my family’s surprise, I was notified that I had won First Place for my ‘New Orleans Shrimp Toss.‘ It was crazy! Not only did they pay me for making dinner one night for my family, they sent a crew out to my home to take pictures to publish in their cook books.Ā 

I was hooked, I started entering all sorts of recipe contests and won several prizes for my original recipes made with a wide variety of contest products, from Pimentos to Orange juice. I was even selected as a finalist for the National Chicken Cooking Contest which aired on the Food Network Chanel.

When the next Pillsbury Bake-Off contest rolled around I was ready to enter, it’s considered by contesters to be the ‘Olympics’ of cooking contests. I sent in my original recipe entry along with the other several thousand cooks, and was thrilled and honored to be notified that I was one of the 100 finalists chosen to go to the Bake-Off in Hollywood California, for my entry ‘Chicken Fettuccine a la Fuente.’ It was a wonderful experience, and I met many other people with a passion for food and cooking. I even met a few celebrities,

including the Pillsbury Dough Boy *woo hoo!*

Soon after returning from the Bake-Off, my family and I made a major move across state. With settling in to a new home, and keeping up with my children’s busy schedules, I haven’t found the time to enter contests, but I have never lost interest in cooking and finding a great recipe. That is why I’ve decided to start this blog, to share the recipes my family and I like. Most of the recipes are simple, I like to save time, but occasionally you will find me posting a recipe with a few more ingredients, or steps, that I think are worth the little bit of extra effort. And yes, I will post all my winning recipes as well.

I am a newbie to blogging, but if you see something you like, are looking for something specific, or have a question about cooking, just let me know, I’m always happy to talk to another food enthusiast.

Your Simple Cook,



6 Responses

  1. This a great blog. I’ve only begun and have alot to learn.
    I will talk to you soon.

  2. Kathleen, I am impressed by all your contest awards! You must be really good at cooking. Having a formal training is not as important as having the desire to cook, to learn, to experiment and just have passion about cooking! Keep up the good work! Visit my blog, too,if you get a chance:) http://www.azcookbook.com.

  3. Thank you for your kind comments. I started contesting as a way to take the monotony out of cooking dinner every night. I looked forward to trying new flavor combinations, and so did my family. It was just a bonus that I won the awards. I’m glad you enjoyed your visit at my blog, come back again, I list new recipes daily.

  4. Well said, Kathleen! If you have to cook dinner anyway, then might as well enjoy it! I’m happy you share some of your secrets with the rest of us.

    xoxox Amy

  5. I’ve already seen a few things that I MUST make. The 7 layer salad sounds too good – I will probably make that tomorrow šŸ˜‰ Thanks for sharing all of your cook’n “know how”. You have a wonderful blog! I’m bookmarking you right now šŸ˜‰

  6. You’re so sweet, thank you! The 7 layer salad is delicious, it’s best if you use REAL mayonnaise, the flavor just isn’t as good with mayonnaise substitutes, like Miracle Whip.

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