Meet Tracey

Welcome to The Kitchen is My Playground
~ Where we're having fun with home cooking, one recipe at a time. ~

Contact:  thekitchenismyplayground{at}yahoo{dot}com
Location:  Lexington, North Carolina

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I'm Tracey, and I love cooking - especially baking. I consider my kitchen my playground and am trying and creating new recipes all the time. 

Me at age 4 and now ... I got an early start in the kitchen.

I very rarely leave recipes alone. I like to tinker with them and explore what happens with the changes. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't ... but it's always a fun adventure.

I cook for two reasons.  First, cooking is, in all honesty, a way I show that I care about people.  It gives me great pleasure to make something that someone enjoys!

Second, I love the quest … the quest for great ingredient combinations, for unexpected flavors, for those “wow” recipes, for the best version of a dish or baked good, and especially for that utterance of “oh my goodness” or “yum” from those for whom I cook.  I love to know that I have brought the simple pleasure of good food to those I care about.  It makes me smile.

A former corporate businesswoman and then elementary school teacher, I now spend most of my time outside the kitchen as Mom to an adorable 7-year-old daughter.

As a first and second grade teacher, I absolutely loved having the privilege of teaching little ones. My students certainly warmed my heart every day, and now our sweet Little Miss H. does the daily heartwarming. I especially love to see kids' joy when they're out on the playground. So when it came time to pick a name for my blog, I immediately equated the joy I experience when in the kitchen to the joy kids show every day playing. And that's how the name The Kitchen is My Playground came to be.

In addition to cooking, writing, and being Mom, I'm assistant to my beekeeper husband, Mark.  We currently have three hives, with plans to expand in the near future.  I'm very proud to say that in ten years of beekeeping, I've only been stung once.  Unfortunately, our junior beekeeper and my husband aren't able to make that same claim.

About The Kitchen is My Playground
The Kitchen is My Playground was created in February, 2011, with the goal of sharing recipes with other home cooks looking to create tasty food for their families and friends.  The focus is on foods ~ both savory and sweet ~ accessible to the everyday and somewhat flavor-adventurous home cook.

If this is your first visit, I invite you to check out a few of The Kitchen is My Playground's most popular posts to get a feel for the site.  {I'd love you stick around for more, too, of course!}

3-Ingredient Crescent Sausage Bites - 2nd most viewed post
Chocolate Valentine Kiss Cookies - one of my favorite posts

And here are a few of the pretty cool features we've been fortunate to have, too:

Relish Magazine "First Bite"  {our Red, White & Blue Strawberry Cheesecake Bites}

Huffington Post "Granola Recipes" {our Mocha Granola}

We've also had the pleasure of being featured on Woman's Day, Cosmopolitan, TODAY Food, Parade, Babble, Country Living, and more!

About What I Post
I post, quite simply, what tastes good to Mark, Little Miss H., and me.  To make it to The Kitchen is My Playground (and, to my yes-I’ll-make-this-again list, for that matter), it has to pass my test – the “Is it worth the calories?” test.  That’s how my Mom and I judge and discuss foods, asking each other “Was it worth the calories?”  We’re always looking for those recipes for which the answer is a resounding and definite “Oh, yes!”

My cooking style runs the gamut:
v  I like easy, but am certainly not afraid of complex.
v  I prefer fresh ingredients, but do succumb to the ready availability of canned, frozen, and prepared.  (Are there any of us who don’t?)
v  I prefer scratch-made, but am not opposed to using a convenience food that makes up or bakes up a tasty treat.
v  Baking sweets is my favorite thing, but my hips and backside can’t quite take all the baking I’d like to do, so you’ll find savories here too.
v  I lean toward whole grains, but I’m a work in progress with this.
v  While I’m not vegetarian, I have no problem with meatless meals.  In fact, I love them.  My hubby and little one, on the other hand …
v  I’m not at all tied to one method, region, ethnic origin, or style of cooking.

My bottom line?  If it tastes good, I’m good with it.

So, everything on The Kitchen is My Playground has been deemed by us as “worth the calories.”  I truly hope you’ll find our choices to be worth the calories, too.  I do realize, however, that all our taste buds are different.

Thank you for taking the time to get to know me and The Kitchen is My Playground.  I'm glad you're here, and I hope you enjoy being a part of my playground!


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