Hi- my name is Kristin and I LOVE food! I LOVE to eat food, cook food, read recipes, collect cookbooks, buy cooking and kitchen items, watch The Food Network, entertain and cook for my family and friends, menu plan, grocery shop (yes, I do like to grocery shop) and other things related to cooking that I just cannot think of, but you get the idea. As a little girl I could often be found helping my mom and my nana in the kitchen. Family dinners were always important in our house and I have kept that tradition in my own family. Once I was out living on my own my passion for food and cooking grew even more. I was constantly testing new recipes, inviting friends over to cook for them, and trying every way I could to learn more. Cookbooks, cooking magazines, and The Food Network helped me realize that as a self taught chef, I needed to find a way to make a business out of something I loved! My husband Gary always encouraged me and supported my desire to do something in the food industry, but once I became a mom to my three girls- Sophie, Grace, and Gabriella- there was no way I wanted to be away from them. Being a mom to three girls kept me quite busy, and menu planning became key to getting food on the table. Making an extra lasagna and throwing it in the freezer saved me on those days where I had one child in kindergarten, one child potty training, and one child teething. As I continued to plan and cook homemade meals for my family, I began to see there was potential for a service that, if made available to others, could help many busy families. That is when I found The Personal Chef’s Network and learned that many, many people were making a career out of it. From there, my journey began and in 2007 Catered by Kristin was born. Weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly cooking led to dinner parties, engagement parties, birthday parties, bridal showers, baby showers, and cooking lessons. For years I spent countless hours making events “special” for clients with my unique menu style and my desire to please my clients.
Over the last 15 years I have spent hours and hours writing and perfecting my original recipes and now seemed like the time to start to share them with others– especially now.
Two years ago I was diagnosed with a terrible wheat/gluten allergy. I never expected at 40 years old I would have to completely alter the way I ate, as well as the way my whole family would have to eat–but I had to. So instead of looking at it as an awful task, I decided that I needed to make my recipes the best gluten free recipes that I could, recipes that will benefit both my family and other people out there suffering with wheat and gluten allergies.
After a lot of reading and research, I discovered that my youngest daughter Gabriella must have issues with gluten as well. After talking with my doctor we decided to take her off gluten completely and within two months she grew two inches and her foot grew two sizes. We knew at that point that although her gluten issues were not as bad as mine, we knew we had done the right thing. For the next two years I continued to read about gluten allergies, celiac disease, food sensitivities and more. The more I read, the more I was determined that I could help others who needed to be off gluten. During this time, my body was run down. Joint pain, trouble sleeping, heat racing…those were the biggest issues I seemed to be having. We couldn’t figure out why. Every test I had said I was fine and healthy. I knew there had to be something else going on, that’s when my doctor told me about a blood test I could take called a Food Inflamation Test (FIT). This test would determine what foods could be causing my body to be experiencing some of those problems I had been facing. Of course, I was willing to try anything! After my blood test came back, I was honestly surprised to see how many foods were maybe causing me to have problems. Cows milk and eggs were two of the biggest for me. I had those every day. After talking with my doctor I completely eliminated all of the foods that were listed. Within days my body started to feel better. My joints were feeling better, my heart was no longer racing and my stomach just felt better. At the same time this was going on, my oldest daughter Sophie had been having some issues with her stomach, she herself decided to stop eating eggs and dairy for a bit. She started feeling better. Now I realized that it was time to get all of my girls tested. I knew with my issues and the fact that my doctor was maybe leaning towards the fact that I had an undetectable autoimmune disease, it was almost guaranteed that my girls were going to have some of the same issues as me.
All three of my girls got tested, all three had issues with gluten/wheat, eggs, and Sophie and Gabriella both had casein (which is a protein found in milk, so all dairy was out for them). I was shocked, happy, and sad all at once. Happy that they had been tested and we had found out so early, shocked at all of the foods we would have to cut out, and sad that I had passed this down to my girls. After the shock was over, I realized that we were not the only ones. There are so many other people out there suffering even worse with health issues, who cannot have these foods either. I mean, as a personal chef how was I going to continue with my business? That is when the light bulb went on and I realized that I need to help others. I needed to create recipes so that we didn’t feel like we were missing out. I needed to focus whole heartedly on my blog and getting my recipes out to others. I began rewriting recipes of mine, altering as needed, revamping my blog, and searching for ways to create protein filled (eggless) breakfasts, creamy gluten free pasta dishes, and lets not forget, the ultimate dairy free alfredo (yes, we all need alfredo in our lives). I knew finally that I had heard my calling, I was meant to go through this to help others, and I was determined to work hard to create recipes that home cooks could use.
A huge thank you to my amazing family– for the encouragement you give to me, for going on this journey with me, and for always putting a smile on my face.