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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Meet Tracey
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!

I love to know that I have brought the simple pleasure of good food to those I care about. It makes me smile.

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 12-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 twelve years of beekeeping, I've only been stung twice.  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 and practical for the everyday home cook.

If this is your first visit, we invite you to check out our recipe index or a few of The Kitchen is My Playground's most popular posts shown below to get a feel for the site. (We'd love you stick around for more, too, of course!)

3. Insanely Delicious Turtle Cookies

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 We Post
We post, quite simply, what tastes good to Mark, Little Miss H., and me.  To make it to The Kitchen is My Playground, it has to pass the “Is it worth the calories?” test.  That’s how Tracey and her Mom have always judged and discussed foods, asking each other “Was it worth the calories?”  At The Kitchen is My Playground, we’re always looking for those recipes for which the answer is a resounding and definite “Oh, yes!”

Our cooking style runs the gamut:
v  We like easy, but are certainly not afraid of complex.
v  We prefer fresh ingredients, but do succumb to the ready availability of canned, frozen, and prepared.  (Are there any of us who don’t?)
v  We prefer scratch-made, but are not opposed to using a convenience food that makes up or bakes up a tasty treat.
v  Baking sweets is Tracey's favorite thing, but our bellies and backside can’t quite take all the baking she’d like to do, so you’ll find savories here too.
v  We lean toward whole grains, but are a definite work in progress with this.
v  Tracey has no problem with meatless meals.  In fact, she loves them.  Mark and little Miss H., on the other hand …
v  We're not at all tied to one method, region, ethnic origin, or style of cooking.

The bottom line?  If it tastes good, we're good with it.

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

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

Tracey, Mark, and Miss H.

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