Why did you start cooking?
My mom and grandma's did a lot of from-scratch cooking growing up, and when I moved out of the house I decided to try my hand at cooking.  It wasn't until I moved 600 miles away from my family that I really started cooking... and that coincided with getting married.  Funny how getting married can make you domestic.

How did you learn to cook?
I taught myself, for the most part.  I do credit my mom for teaching me the basics -- but, most of what I learned I figured out on my own.  I think that's what I like about cooking; the sense of adventure!

Why did you start blogging?
Since my mom and I share a love of cooking/baking, I wanted to have a way to share recipes I was trying with my mom.  I often called her and said "hey, mom, you have to try this recipe"... but she never did.  She has to see the finished product before she'll try it.  So, I started making dishes and photographing them -- rather than send them to her, I tried a blog.  Recipes and photos all in one place!  I also started taking photos of each step of the process so that people, like me, who were learning how to cook would know what the dish looks like half way through the process.

Where do you find your recipes?
While I do have a passel of cookbooks, I often find those recipes don't fit the needs of our family.  I would much rather grab a recipe someone posted on their blog -- that way I know it's tried in a real kitchen, and passed the test!  Therefore, most of my recipes are from readers like you!

What do you do when you're not in the kitchen?
I am an assistant professor in the biology department at a small Christian college.

My dear Frog Prince, who you will find in the kitchen with me on a fair number of occasions, is a psychometrician.  Yeah, it's okay, I didn't know what that was either until I met him.  In English, that means he applies statistical models to large-scale assessments (e.g., state standardized tests).  He's pretty smart.  He also serves as a dissertation advisor to graduate students.  

How much time do you spend in the kitchen each day?
Because our schedules are busy, I am not able to spend a ton of time in the kitchen daily.  When I first was learning to cook, I spent more time in the kitchen... but now that I'm familiar with what I'm making, I spend about 30 minutes in the morning at breakfast time making breakfast, and about a hour or so making dinner and packing up lunches for the next day.  I do spend a good chunk of Sunday afternoons in the kitchen getting foods ready for the week (e.g., granola bars, crackers, dried fruit, applesauce, breads, etc).

What is your favorite kitchen gadget?
Hmmmm... this is a hard one because I don't have a lot of gadgets.  The ones that get the most use at our house are our ice cream maker and our crockpot.  Second to those, I guess, would be my mixer!

What kind of camera do you use?
Taking photos of food has become a hobby of mine; but I need to work on my people photos ;-)  I use a Sony Cybershot camera to take all my photos -- most often on the macro setting.  I use natural lighting when possible and no fancy backgrounds.  All my photos are protected by the Creative Commons License.  Please do not use anything on the site without my permission -- ask me first.

Do you eat all the yummy foods you make for your blog?
Of course!  But, we do share a lot ;-)  We have a wonderful life group that we bring treats to, we often have friends over for dinner, and of course, our colleagues benefit from the cooking you see here!

Can I post your recipe on my blog?
I am a firm believer that recipes are meant to be shared, so yes, please share my recipes on your blog/website.  If you do, please be sure to mention that the recipes come from Finding Joy in My Kitchen along with my link.  If you wish to use photos as well, please apply the same considerations and link the photos back to my blog.  Thank you!

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