Food blogger shares experiences learning how to cook and advocating for food
“My mom taught us to love a clean kitchen, and when I cook it all becomes a mess,” says Kristy Still, food blogger and creator of Mommy Hates Cooking. “I began cooking each day, and soon realized we were eating the same meals every single day.”
Still is a work-at-home mom and creator of MommyHatesCooking.com, a successful business that was founded on a mom’s hatred of cooking and desire to learn how to love it.
“My hatred for cooking led me to reach out to others and create Mommy Hates Cooking,” explains Still. “This was a way for me to take something I hate and grow it into something I learned to love.”
Still started her blog four years ago and says today she loves being able to experiment in the kitchen and provide her family with nutritious meals.
“I never dreamed I could make a living cooking and blogging,” explains Still. “I have since been able to make this website of mine a full-time job and have picked up many freelance opportunities that stem from my blog.”
Some of Still’s favorite recipes are for comfort foods, particularly Mexican Meatloaf, Toni’s Tangy Meatballs and chicken and rice. Still also describes a new-found love for indoor grilling and slow cooker meals, as well as baking cookies.
“I’m a cookie fanatic, so I am not sure if I enjoy baking the cookies more or eating them. It’s probably equal,” says Still.
“We make it a point to have the majority of our meals around the table,” she says. “This is by far one of my favorite times of the day being able to come together and enjoy a good meal together.”
Along with cooking, Still has also begun menu planning and teaching classes about menu planning. To help with her menu planning, she has made and published several e-books that can be found on her website.
While cooking, Still utilizes many brands, and several of the brands that she uses have contacted her for her help to develop recipes, write contributing articles, conduct reviews and participate in giveaways.
“One of the best ways to connect with brands is via Twitter,” explains Still. “It’s instantaneous, and I can easily tweet a brand and let them know you love their product.”
“I am a firm believer in being genuine, and I am not one to confess my love for a product unless I truly do love it,” she adds.
Some of the brands Still works with are Kraft, Tyson, Walgreens, Sears, Hormel, Johnsonville, Sister Schubert’s, Pepperidge Farm, Starbucks, Bigelow Teas and many more.
“In this social media era, it is very easy to connect with brands immediately,” says Still, “which is good for both bloggers and everyday consumers.”
Still also connects with brands through blogger networks and conferences.
“When I first started my blog, my sole purpose was to teach myself to cook, and at the time all I knew were frozen foods,” describes Still. “I hardly made anything from scratch because I honestly did not know how.”
Still has now become more versed in making foods from scratch and says about 90 percent of her family’s foods are all homemade, with the exception of a few convenience foods that they keep on hand.
“After I got more and more into cooking, I realized how easy it is to make just about anything from scratch with what a person has in their pantry,” explains Still. “There is no need to buy canned biscuits when there is flour and water already stocked.”
“I’m a frugal person and really hate buying things that are not necessary, so the more I realized I could make from scratch and save. Plus, I could avoid getting products full of additives, which makes it all the better,” adds Still.
Inspiration for some of Still’s meals originates from prior recipes of Still’s life.
“I have had many recipes passed down to me from family members that have since passed on that I find much of my inspiration from,” says Still. “I feel that by using their recipes and reading them, I’m able to learn even more about their lives.”
Still has shared her experiences cooking with many via internet and social media. She has also spoken at functions such as National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and American National CattleWomen.
“I’ve had so many opportunities come my way that I never dreamed possible,” says Still. “I never knew that a simple desire to want to learn to cook would lead to so much more than that.”
Madeline Robinson is the assistant editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.