Kitchen Careers: Karly Campbell, Food Blogger

Kitchen Careers is a regular feature that goes behind-the-scenes with chefs, bloggers, critics and others in the food industry to get the inside scoop on what its like to cook, or eat, for a living.

In this edition, PBS Food chats with Karly Campbell who blogs at Buns in My Oven where she shares simple recipes full of butter, bacon, cheese, and chocolate – sometimes all at once! Karly says she loves interacting with readers on her Facebook page, and she also sporadically writes on her photography blog.

Karly CampbellWhat was your first published recipe?

Hamburger buns! Hence the name of my food blog, Buns In My Oven.

Why do you love to cook?

I didn’t always love to cook, but once I just buckled down and started doing it regularly, the love blossomed. Feeding someone is such a simple thing, but it’s also a way of sharing a piece of yourself. To me cooking for someone says “Hey, I care about you and I made you this. I really hope it makes you smile.”

Who is your culinary icon?

Is it too boring to say Paula Deen? She was the first celebrity chef I really “knew” and I still love her. My daughter regularly asks to watch her show as well! My son is more of Alton Brown fan.

What is the best part about being a food blogger?

The best part? I really have to choose just one thing? I’m going to break the rules and give two “best parts.” Number one has to be interacting with all of the people who read my blog. I’ve made some amazing friends and get a chance to chat with people I never would have known otherwise. It’s pretty amazing for this mom of 2 to sit at home with the kids and still be able to chat with people from all around the world who share a common interest. And the second best part is that I’m always pushed to try new recipes. I don’t get to fall back on the same recipes week after week, so my family really gets to experience a wide range of foods. My picky husband might not call that a benefit, but I love it!

Broccoli Alfredo

Who would you want to battle on Iron Chef?

Bobby Flay. But, only because he’s cute and he’s always nice when he wins. And, yes, he would totally win.

What is your favorite food city?

Chicago. Their deep dish pizza is outrageous.

What three PBS personalities would you invite to dinner?

Curious George, Clifford, and Caillou. My husband and I have always been Curious George fans, my son wanted to name his little sister Emily Elizabeth (hmm, could she come along with Clifford?) after watching so much Clifford as a little one, and my daughter is still in the midst of her Caillou obsession!

What meal/snack is your guilty pleasure?

Avocado Toast. I’m addicted to avocados and smearing a big, ripe avocado on toast is divine with a sprinkle of sea salt. I try telling myself that avocados are healthy, but I’m not sure that’s true when you eat them as often as I do!

Avocado Toast

What is your favorite under appreciated kitchen tool?

My cookie scoop. I love that thing. It makes making cookies go so much quicker and they’re all even sizes so my kids have to find something else to argue about!

In one tweet (140 characters or less)- what is your culinary style?

Decadent, flavorful, and probably not very good for you!

Chocolate Gravy

When outside the kitchen, how do you spend your time?

I homeschool my two children, so I spend a lot of time in our dining room “doing school” at the dining table. I’m also a photographer and I positively adore photographing high school seniors and newborns.

What is your advice for amateur cooks?

Just get in there and experiment! I didn’t enjoy cooking until I realized that it really wasn’t that big of a deal if things weren’t perfect. Recipes are great to start with , but I have the most fun putting my own spin on things! Basically, if it sounds like it’ll taste good, give it a shot.

Is there a person in the food industry or a type of “Kitchen Careers” that you would like to know more about? Add your suggestions in the comment section!