Hello and welcome to Christine’s Taste of Heaven! What can I tell you about me?
I am a nerd.
I grew up loving school and learning and eventually taught high school English for many years. I love words and grammar and word games. I can’t help proofreading everything that crosses my path and can spot a typo from ten feet away. My boyfriend and I have been having an ongoing grudge match over Scrabble for years. I am addicted to Words with Friends. I belong to a book club. I go to the library regularly. The most recent TV show I know anything about is Friends. My spices are alphabetized.
I am originally a Minnesotan, but I have lived in Colorado for going on twenty years now. One of my college roommates and I decided to pack up my 1978 Impala a year after we graduated and go somewhere new for the adventure of it. We landed here in 1995, and I have never wanted to leave. The view of Pike’s Peak across town never gets old, and in comparison to Minnesota, the weather here is a dream. The only thing I do admit to missing is the water. In Minnesota there was a lake around every bend in the road and green grass and trees as far as the eye could see. If you drive a long way in Colorado, you may find a man-made reservoir to swim or fish in, but it is just not the same. All I have to do, though, is remember -20 degree wind chills and swarms of mosquitoes, and I like it here just fine.
I am a mom.
Almost five years ago, I resigned from my teaching career to become an instant mom to three amazing kids that I adopted a little over three years ago. I went from being a single high school English teacher to being a single stay at home mom with a mini-van and three preschoolers. It has been the hardest, most terrifying, most wonderful experience of my life thus far, and I thank God for the opportunity. And though I am still not technically married, I don’t want to be remiss in acknowledging the wonderful help and support I have received from my boyfriend of NINE YEARS, Terry. He has stuck with me through this amazing journey, and I don’t know how I would have done it without his help.
I am busy.
Hi, my name is Christine, and I am a workaholic. As a teacher, I filled my time with lesson planning, grading, managing the yearbook and National Honor Society, and grading. Always grading… Even without a full-time job right now, I still fill all of my time, but it is with things such as making dessert every Wednesday for church, catering the Pinewood Derby, Bible study, selling Girl Scout cookies, some consulting work, and baking for every conceivable event. Oh, and I have three children that I shuttle to and from school, church, and activities and for whom I cook, clean, and provide. I have a hard time just sitting still and relaxing; there is always more on the list to do. Hey, I think I will start a blog.
About my cooking and baking
The only actual training I can think of that I have is a few Wilton cake decorating classes at Hobby Lobby several years ago. I have no formal culinary training or experience, but I have learned a lot over the years from my own trial and error and sites such as Allrecipes.com, browneyedbaker.com, skinnytaste.com, and ourbestbites.com, to name a few. I am not a recipe inventor or creator; I am a researcher. When I decide to make something new, I will look at recipes and reviews from many different sources to try to determine the best and then go from there. It has worked out really well so far.
My cooking has its roots in rural Minnesota culinary delights such as Tater Tot Hotdish, so you will not find a lot of “hoity-toity” ingredients or recipes here. I use mostly “normal” food and ingredients. I do try to make most things from scratch now, but you will find an occasional recipe that uses Cool Whip or Cream of Something Soup or Jello or a canned vegetable. One of my very favorite desserts starts with two tubes of refrigerated crescent rolls. I am not aware of any food allergies in my family, so you will see lots of peanut butter, sugar, dairy, eggs, and flour. Some of my recipes are healthy and weight watchers friendly, but many of them are decidedly not.
Why am I starting a blog?
I have wanted to start a blog for years, but I have always let fear hold me back–I’m not good enough, I don’t have enough computer and photography skills, there are already a million blogs out there, who will care about mine?–but I have finally decided to do it for me and out of respect for the gifts God has given me, even if I’m trembling. I know it will push me to learn more and improve my skills in baking and cooking, photography, using the computer, and writing. If you do decide to follow along, I hope you will see growth and improvement and feel inspired and encouraged. In this blog I hope to document my cooking and baking adventures as well as my mom and family adventures for friends and family and for my own creative outlet. You will find yummy recipes, an occasional craft, some book reviews, maybe some musings about life in general, and whatever else strikes me as a taste of heaven on earth. I hope you experience a little taste of heaven here and return often.