Today’s “a day in the life” is Heather of Heather Christo Cooks. She is such a gem and I just love her. Unbelievably talented but yet down-to-earth and sweet. Prepare yourself to get lost in her site….and to be jealous of her kitchen.
Tell me about yourself and how you started food blogging.
I was a classically trained chef, who worked in San Francisco as a pastry chef in a 4 star French restaurant. I then moved back to Seattle and worked as a private chef and caterer that specialized in elaborate dinner and cocktail parties for my clients. When I got married, I hung up my togs for a family, and my husband encouraged me to start a blog to keep track of all the recipes I created while catering. The sentimental part of me thought it would be fun to sort of chronicle our life in food- like a scrap book that our children could look back on as adults. That was in 2007. As silly as it sounds, I really just used it like a notebook- I never intended for anyone else to read it or realized they might. I didn’t even realize that other people were doing the same thing (“blogging”) and had created a community. Two and a half years after the birth of my second daughter, in 2010, I sort of woke up to the food blogging world and what an awesome community it was. I added photography to my site and started posting regularly (between 3-5 times a week) and my community really grew. It is now a place of joy and happiness for me where I get to let my imagination run wild and share a love of food, family and friends.
Take me through your day.
This is what we are working with right now, I feel like things really change quarterly depending on what projects I have going on and how much my husband is traveling for work. To be honest, this is the calmest it has been around our house for over a year, and I am relishing the consistency before my book tour starts- so for now a usual day goes something
6:00 AM: Pete leaves for work and I (sort of) wake up, throw on my bathrobe and then putter about drinking at least 3 cups of coffee with ample amounts of half and half, feed the fish “Shrek”, checking e-mail, facebook, twitter, let the dog out. It is very quiet.
7:00-7:40 AM: Run around frantically getting myself and the kids dressed, feeding them breakfast, feeding the dog, packing lunches and otherwise acting crazy. If I am lucky, I wolf down a soft boiled egg or a banana.
7:40-9:00 AM driving kids to school. This is a major chunk of time. Seattle really suffers from traffic issues.
9:15-10:15 AM I have just started going to Aerobics 3 days a week. Isn’t that so 80’s of me? I might also mention that everyone else in the class is older than my mother and that I am really uncoordinated. I suspect that it is a senior’s class and I conveniently overlooked that part of the description when I signed up.
10:20-11:00 Walk Mason (our 235 pound English Mastiff) while I talk on the phone- usually to my mom.
11:00-12:00 First I drink more coffee, then I work- whether that means cooking, writing, photo-editing, working on the book tour for this spring and summer or preparing for a tv segment. I will usually snack on what I am working on or make a protein shake with fresh fruit. Unless of course there is a plate of cookies around.
12:00-12:30 ish I pick up Coco from Preschool and go to the grocery store to pick up “supplies.”
12:30-2:45 I drink coffee, snack and work: (just a repeat from above.) Coco hangs out with a sitter.
2:45-3:30 Pick up Pia from school run home and grab Coco, feed kids snack. Grab a latte- (I like whole milk.) I need a lot of caffeine.
4-5pm whatever afterschool activity pia has (ballet, kumon, etc) Coco and I hang out or run an errand.
5pm. The kids are not just hungry but “STARVING”. I have a hard time getting dinner on the table many nights, but I am really trying lately. I set them up with paints or a game and run around trying to put something together that they will actually eat- (which is becoming increasingly difficult). I also feed Mason, (who eats 10 cups of dog food a day plus fresh healthy scraps too.)
6:00 Pete comes home and we eat whatever I threw together. Sometimes he rescues me by bringing home sushi. Those are great nights.
7:00 Kids get showered and then Pete puts them to bed.
7:15-10pm I simultaneously work, watch tv and hang out with my husband who is also working. Romantic, no?
By 10:30 I’m showered and lights are out for me, my hubby usually works until around 12, so I hear him when he comes to bed.
( Ha! A little crazy, right? This is why we have to let go and have fun on the weekends. One of those days is a whole different story.)
What is your one must-have kitchen tool or gadget?
Besides my coffee maker? My kitchen-aid mixer. It gets almost a daily workout.
What is the most important part of your day? Why?
When we all sit down to dinner together. I am not saying it will be the most elaborate meal- it might even be takeout, but I make a point that we all sit down and talk every night.
What is your favorite part of your day? Why?
I actually love picking the kids up from school, nothing beats how happy they are to see me- it’s a really great feeling. I also love and really cherish that late quiet time I have with Pete. We may have our laptops out, but we are able to connect and talk every single night during that time.
What is your LEAST favorite part of the day? Why?
Exercising. I would rather be doing just about anything else.
If you could choose one room in your house to spend the WHOLE day in, which room would it be? Why?
I spend all day in my kitchen. I have an office, and I never use it. The kitchen is the heart of our house and it has everything I need. I do most of my work at the kitchen counter.
What is your favorite day of the week? Why?
Saturdays of course! Pete is home. We both try not to work on Saturdays at all. We go to Dim Sum before the crowds hit (we are total regulars) and then go home to relax. We usually go on a long walk with the kids; sometimes we even take a nap. We have a standing babysitter on Saturday nights, so that is amazing.
If you had to choose one place to travel to every year over and over, where would it be? Why? Have you been there before?
The Greek Islands. I have done a lot of traveling in my life, but I have never been anywhere as wonderful or beautiful. The people, the food, the culture, the beaches, the water- I love it. My husband is Greek, and Greek is his first language, which made travel they’re very easy. If I could spend every summer there for the rest of my life I would never long to go anywhere else.
What is your favorite quote or verse?
What goes around comes around.
It’s a great reminder that what you put out into the universe is exactly what you will get back. I live by that motto- keep it positive!!!
What recipe on your blog are you most proud of?
What recipe on your blog do your readers seem to love most?
What is your guilty food pleasure that you’re embarrassed to fess up to? Kraft Mac & Cheese? Spagetti-o’s? Canned cheese? We promise not to judge!
What have you learned since you began blogging?
To trust my own voice. I think it easy to get caught up in what you think you should be posting about, cooking about, writing about- but in the end- just do what makes you happy. Be your most authentic self, even if that means breaking the mold- it’s probably the best thing you can do.
What have you found to be the most challenging part of blogging?
There are times when (as in any job) you can get into a rut. I have found that instead of backing off during those times that it is better for me to push forward harder. Shake things up and post outside the box, or challenge yourself to post more often for a while. When you push past it you will be glad you did and find that you may have a whole new appreciation for your blog or new inspiration to share with your community.
Who would you like to see featured here in the future?
Oh, Heather, Heather, Heather. I would spend all day in your kitchen too. So gorgeous! I have to know–was that kitchen in your home when you moved in or did you remodel?