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Kristy - Artist of the Month {August}

***At the end of this post, we're giving away a prize...be sure to check it out!***

I haven't featured an artists for several months but with it being summer and my love for all things cooking, I couldn't think of a more perfect person to present as my artist!  Back in high school, Kristy began cooking for her family from time to time and eventually took a Home Ec. class where she developed a love for cooking.   This passion grew and she released a cookbook close to a year ago entitled, Taste of Heaven.  All of the proceeds from the cookbook go towards Lifesong for Orphans; an organization which (among other things) provides matching grants for families wishing to adopt.  

As I sat at her kitchen counter and watched her make this beautiful blueberry pizza, we talked about how she loves Taste of Home, how she was inspired to make a cookbook, and how her kids love to cook and are often in the kitchen with her!  

So without further adieu, I present my friend, Kristy...

1.  I've often heard chefs say, "That's me on a plate"...if you were asked to cook your signature dish, what would it be?
This is a tough one for me. The benefit of doing a cookbook is you have all of your favorite recipes in one and deciding on a favorite thing is difficult. I'd say my cooking sensibility is to take familiar dishes and add fresh flavor to make them unique, sometimes a tad bit gourmet and very flavorful. One of my personal favorites is Chicken Lasagna. It is super easy and is a twist on lasagna, with a white sauce, green peppers and mushrooms. I like to serve it with Garlic Herb bread (garlic bread with an herb mix- yum!), a salad dressed with my Italian Salad Dressing II recipe which tastes almost like Olive Garden's, and a great seasonal pie, my favorite go-to dessert.
2.      Do you consider yourself to be a risk taker in your cooking?  Or do you like to follow recipes exactly?
I think I am getting more of a risk-taker than I used to be. As I've learned more about cooking, I learn what flavors I like and how to play with things to suit my tastes. I tweak a bit here and there.
3.       Do you tend to have a lot of close friends or are you someone who keeps a small circle of  a couple very close friendships?
I would say I have quite a few close friends. At different points in my life, I've had tighter-knit circles, but as I've "aged", I've been blessed with different groups of friendships that I feel fulfill different purposes in my life and bless me in different ways. For example, Ben and I were married 8 years before having kids, so we are close friends with those who have children the same age, people who are quite a bit younger than us but we share so much in common with. We also have have close relationships with college friends, and even childhood friends still. Social relationships are super important to me and I appreciate my friendships so much!
4.      Who inspired the idea of the cookbook? Why did you choose Lifesong for Orphans as the ministry to support with your cookbook?
We get together on a regular basis with our friends Clint & Jami, and Rocky & Sharon and have dinner parties. It started as a committee to plan a get-together, but it turned out that we all liked good food and conversation so much, we just kept getting together. We all love to try new and interesting things and I have a lot of fun trying out new recipes and themed cooking nights. Last month we had them all over for a Shrimp Boil- super fun! Anyway, they are all very gracious friends about my cooking and recipes, and one night they had the idea for me to do a cookbook. I put it on the back-burner for awhile. One day, I was mulling it over and feeling like I wanted to do something bigger with the concept. I talked to my Dad and we came up with the idea of doing a Lifesong for Orphans cookbook, with the cost of the cookbook being donated so 100% of the proceeds could go to them. Lifesong helped us fund two adoptions (we have a 6 year-old from South Korea, a four-year-old biological child and a 2-year-old also from Korea), and without their adoption grants and the generosity of our friends and family, we wouldn't have been able to adopt so we were thrilled to be able to "pay them back" in a way. 

5.      What is your favorite season of the year and give me 3 words (or phrases) of what you think of when you think of that season.
This is odd, but I love the beginning of every season. Just the first month or so. So here's my slightly longer phrases : )-
December- madrigal dinner, excitement, memories
June- vacations, pools, sun
September- leaves, camping, football games
 6.      Would you rather wear regular socks or knee socks? Heels or flats? Scarves or hats?
regular socks. Heels- love them. I've done 4 1/2-inchers as my highest so far. Most of the time neither scarves nor hats- too busy getting my kids bundled to worry about myself.
7.      If you could have any job in the world, what would it be? (Money or talent not being a hindrance)
Non-realistic, I think it would be funny (prob for a short while) to be the wife of a famous person... like Rita Wilson, Tom Hanks wife. You get to travel all over, go to fun parties, have a life of luxury but not have to actually do very much. I can be lazy sometimes. : ) I guess being married to Ben is a small taste of that- you'd be amazed at how many people know me and will call me or my kids by name. Being married to a choir teacher, you run into LOTS of former students.
Realistically, I'd love to do something culinary.
8.      If you could dine with anyone famous (dead or alive), who would it be and what's one questions you'd ask them or one statement you'd make to them?
I'd love to have dinner with Princess Kate (the newlywed one). I think she is so cute and seems down to earth, and I've always been intrigued by the royal familyWouldn't that be fun?
9.      Do you spit out or swallow your gum? 
swallow, unfortunately 
10.     Do you prefer sweet or savory foods?
Savory. I really love ramen noodles. Not the healthiest snack around, to say the least.  
11.     What's one thing about you that most people don't know?
I grew up in the middle of nowhere. My family lived on a gravel road. My dad ran for Councilman so he could improve our road; they then paved the road just to our house and stopped. We'd have to drive a mile out of our way to get anywhere. There's not much of that country girl left in me though- I much prefer living in town. 
12.     Do you like to travel or are you a homebody? If you like to travel, where is your favorite place you've been to or would like to go? If you like to stay home, what your favorite pastime?
I love to travel! My favorite place so far has been Europe- Monaco, Switzerland, Cannes. I'd love to go back just with Ben instead of chaperoning 200 high-schoolers (school trip). It was a bit of a chaotic way to see Europe. : )
13.     If you were to be a fictional character, who do you think you'd be? (i.e. Bell, Anne Shirley, Little Mermaid, etc.)
Hmmm, I think I'm actually a bit like Monica from Friends. I'm a bit of a control-freak and I love to cook. : )
14.  Finish this sentence..."I know that..."  God is in control. He has shown me that clearly over and over in my life. We had dreams and visions for our family, and then had 8 years of infertility. We felt called to adopt, and 9 months after returning from Korea with our son, we had a biological child. They are 16-months apart and the funniest little guys. God led us to adopt again and we have our daughter. God's plan was so much bigger than I could have imagined and we're so thankful.

Blueberry Pizza
  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • 2 Tsugar
  • 1c. pecans (optional)
  • 3/4 c. butter or margarine
  • 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 2c. powdered sugar
  • 8 oz. container whipped topping
  • 5 to 6 c. blueberries, fresh or frozen (thawed)
  • 2 T cornstarch
  • 2 T water

Combine the first 3 ingredients; add butter, stirring until well blended.

Spread in a 12-inch pizza pan.

Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes.  Cool.

Beat cream cheese with electric mixer until creamy.  Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until smooth. Fold in whipped topping, then spread over crust.
Mash 2 cups of blueberries in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Boil 2 minutes; whisk together cornstarch and water.  Stire into blueberry mixture, then return to a boil, stirring constantly.  Boil for 1 minute, then cool. 

Spread over cream cheese mixture and top with remaining blueberries...

Makes 8 to 10 servings!

You can get this recipe and many more by going to the Lifesong for Orphans store!  It's a great cookbook for good home-cooking and non-intimidating recipes!!!  And remember, all proceeds go to Lifesong for Orphans!

 We are running a contest from now until Monday where if you leave a comment on this post, your name will be entered into a drawing to WIN A TASET OF HEAVEN COOKBOOK!!!  Even if you already have one, you could always give it as a great gift!

Happy Friday!


Anonymous said...

Looks yummy Kristy!
Tami - my favorite question was - spit or swallow your gum - it just cracked me up.
Also, LOVED your 4H post - brightened my day and got me laughing.
Denise B.

M. said...

How Yummy! And what a great thing for Lifesong!

Anonymous said...

That blueberry pizza looks amazing! Apparently, when I first learned to pray, I would thank God every night for blueberries. I should probably make this ASAP!


Wendy said...

Yum! Looks amazing! Love your artist posts, Tam!

Sandra said...

pizza looks delish! Good job on the post Tam!

Anonymous said...

Looks delicious! I think it's amazing that Kristy is giving back to Lifesong in this way : )

~Ashley P.

Mindy said...

Mmmmm....I'm hungry now! Fun post and a great artist of the month! :)

Ashley Baner said...

I love your cookbook but I would love to give one away!!

emilykate said...

Love these posts...and that pizza looks sooo good!

Marla said...

Loved this interview! I also love the cookbook. (Don't add me to the drawing, as I already have it) I am definitely going to try this recipe. I have to say that one of my favorite recipes is the Lasagna roll ups.

smw said...

that was a fun interview, and i'm really hungry for that blueberry pizza now.

Mouseymom said...

I am a big fan of kristy! She made the best soup I have ever had in my life. Garlic Soup. Of course she gave me the recipe, but it is WAY too labor intensive for me! I love the Taste Of Heaven Cookbook. I don't need to be in the drawing, would rather let someone that does not have one to win!

Rebekah said...

That was such a fun post! So fun to read Kristy's answers to the fun questions.

I still hven't gotten the cookbook yet so I really hope I win!!

I got to taste the delicious blueberry pizza...SOOOO good!!!

Marla said...

The pizza looks scrumptious. Tami I enjoy reading your blog and looking at all your beautiful pictures!

Renee Robison said...

Looks tasty!!!

jessica leman said...

so fun! Love your posts on artist of the month! great choice for an artist too :) I'm gonna go make me a blueberry pizza! yummy!

Vanessa - Lynn David Handbag Co. said...

I'm such a cookbook junkie! Count me in!

The blueberry pizza looks uh-MAZE-ing! Will be trying it out for sure!

heidi said...

love the post Tam AND Kristy!

Anonymous said...

This was one of my favorite posts to date! Loved it, Loved it! Your pictures were amazing and her interview was so fun:) I love to try new cookbooks, so even if Im not lucky enough to win, I am going to get it. Sunita

Janel said...

My mouth is watering!! I love to be in the kitchen...and love new cookbooks, this one looks great!!

Abi said...

Looks so yummy! I'd love to have that cook book! Pick me! Pick me! :)

Amanda said...

How yummy! Loved the questions... such a unique look into the life of your artist.

bethany said...

i'd love to win a cookbook!! That blueberry pizza looks YUMMY!!!!

Sara said...

That dessert looks incredible! The cookbook for Lifesong was a great idea! Thanks for sharing!

Kirk and Keri Plattner said...

mmmm...I'd love to have some blueberries and that cookbook!!!

Whitney and Isaac said...

ooo Tam you're right- That pizza pie looks so yummy. I'm not one for blueberries- I'd probably do strawberries instead.

PS. no need to put me in the drawing- I just wanted to show some support! :-)

Anonymous said...

Fun post Tami! Looks like a fun pizza to make, I'll have to try it sometime!!

Klarisa Kelsey :)

Anonymous said...

if it's not too late, i'd love to enter:)
~sarah q fiechter

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