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About Katie

Hi!  My name is Katie.  I like to cook.  I like to eat.

But maybe you want to know more than that so I asked my sweet husband, Whitney, to “interview” me so I can share more about myself with you!  Let me know if there is anything else you want to know!

When did you first start cooking?

I can’t really ever remember not cooking.  Like most homes, our kitchen was the center of our house.  We did our homework in there, had snacks around the island, and watched Wheel of Fortune on the kitchen TV while dinner was on the stove.  So my sister, Jennifer, and I were always standing next to my mom at the stove, peeling onions, chopping herbs or whatever.  I remember taking on dishes by myself by the time I was 11 or 12.  All through high school, my friends and I would get cravings in the middle of the night and so we’d execute these entire meals at 3 am – like fried chicken or fried rice or macaroni and cheese.  My mom said the only way she ever knew was from the leftovers in the fridge – we were good at cleaning up!!

What do you love most about cooking?

It’s inspiring.   Sometimes it relaxes me.  Sometimes it’s a great distraction after a long day.  Sometimes I feel like I have created a masterpiece with my hands.  Bottom line: it always makes me feel good to do it.

Do you cook to music?  If so, what?

Yes!  Right now I’m listening to the Avett Brothers, the Something’s Gotta Give soundtrack, Adele, Amy Winehouse, Jay Z, Ryan Bingham, Norah Jones, DMB, Rhianna, and Mumford & Sons.

Favorite and least favorite thing to cook:

I love when I have a free Saturday and I can spend all day making something complex and time-consuming.  Even if it’s terrible and we have to order pizza, its been fun to cook.  As far as my favorite dishes to cook, I really like making pies.  I like playing with the dough and experimenting with the fillings.  I also like to fry things because you know that whatever comes out of the oil is going to be such a treat!

I don’t like pitting a quart of cherries or olives.  But I don’t really have anything I dislike cooking.  Unless it is the 5th healthy meal I have cooked in a row.  Then I hate it and daydream about dulce de leche cupcakes.

Favorite utensil in the kitchen:

This is a hard question because I am a gadget junkie!  My mom always says I am a marketer’s dream.  If something is placed in my line of vision at Bed, Bath and Beyond or Williams-Sonoma, I am bound to buy it.  I’m famous for all of the Christmas presents I gave family members when I was in college that came from QVC – I just can’t resist.

Anyway, my favorite kitchen item is a tie between tongs and a stand mixer.  I am just too lazy to imagine mixing things by hand.  Something else I couldn’t live without in my kitchen is my pepper grinder and salt pig.  I keep them right by the stove for easy access when cooking.  We use lots of pepper in our house!

What is your “cooking mountain” that you have yet to tackle?

I’m inspired by the molecular cooking that people are doing at home.  I love the Alinea at Home blog and want to try some of those recipes.

Something I have tackled and failed at is smothered chicken.  Zadie, our maid when I was growing up, made the best smothered chicken and rice.  She taught me how she did it, but I have never been able to make it like hers.  I am working on it though and when I get it right, it will be on here!

What is your favorite cookbook?   Magazines?  Food blog?

My cookbooks are exploding from two bookshelves and even though I put a ban on myself a few years ago from buying more, I just can’t stop.  I love Junior League cookbooks – especially the Baton Rouge, Houston, Jackson, Dallas, and Memphis ones.  I cook out of Ina Garten’s cookbooks a lot. I always reference The Gourmet Cookbook for basic recipes.  I am a big fan of Thomas Keller and think that everything in his cookbook is perfect for the home cook.

I read Louisiana Cookin, Cooks Illustrated, Cooking Light, and Food & Wine every month and always tear a few pages from each one.  I love the Canal House quarterly too.  The WSJ Off Duty weekend section usually has great recipes.  It comes out on Saturdays.  By the way, when I tear recipes from a magazine or the paper, I stick them in a binder in the kitchen.  If I haven’t made them within 3 months of putting them in there, I throw them away.  If I didn’t, Whitney and I would run out of room to live here because the whole house would be covered in scraps.

And I get most of my inspiration from food blogs!!  The main ones are listed under the Blog Love menu on the right column of this page.

Who has influenced your cooking the most?

My mom has been my biggest influence.  She has taught me most everything I know about being in the kitchen.   She showed me how to care for my husband and friends through cooking.  She can make most anything without a recipe and always knows what to substitute or add to a dish to make it better.  The list of things she makes that I love is too long to list but some of my favorites are her pesto and vegetable pasta, twice-baked potatoes, zuchinni sauté, roasted beef tenderloin, lasagna, grilled Mediterranean lamb chops, and banana pudding.

Both of my grandmothers influenced me too.  I remember my mom’s mom, Grandma, most for her beignets and the big breakfasts she made for me when I spent the night with her. She also passed on her killer banana bread recipe to us.  Honestly, I have never had a slice of banana bread that comes close.

My dad’s mother, Granny, is a real Southern cook.  She makes the best chicken soup and crawfish tortellini.  And she passed down her steak teriyaki recipe to us (which we call steak-on-a-stick) which I requested on my birthday for about 9 years in a row.

Also, my best friend Courtney’s mom, Holly Clegg.  She has built an empire of cookbooks and she is the spokesperson for lots of fabulous groups.  And I basically grew up eating at the island in her kitchen.

And I love to cook with my mother-in-law, Lisa.  She is always pulling recipes out of magazines and cookbooks and it is fun to try new things with her.   Plus, she makes incredible cookies.

Also, I like to take cooking classes.  Here in Houston, I go to Central Market the most, but there are lots of fun places and I always leave learning a new technique or recipe.

I’d love to hear from you!
mears.katie (at) gmail (dot) com

29 Comments leave one →
  1. Emily Catherine Jeter permalink
    January 6, 2011 6:02 pm

    Short and sweet” I like it! So excited you have finally started a blog!

  2. Kathleen Cooper permalink
    January 8, 2011 9:16 pm

    Katie, I’m thrilled to see you so into cooking…you inherited this from your Mother who is a fabulous cook. Your husband will have to “suffer” through your adventure. Bill is the official taste tester and loves his plight in life. Let me know if you need some really great bread! I applaud and toast to many wonderful meals to come in your home!

    • January 8, 2011 9:18 pm

      Thanks Kathleen! Keeping this blog has helped motivate me to cook at home more, which has been great! Whitney hasn’t really done that much complaining yet – ha! 🙂

  3. Sara C Abdo permalink
    January 9, 2011 11:37 am

    This is fabulous! Great writing and good comments. Thanks to Barbara and Freda for letting me know. Katie, ask your grandmother for some of Granny’s recipes–cheese bread for instance–or kolaches???
    Love, Carol

  4. Freda Montgomery permalink
    January 9, 2011 1:42 pm

    Katie, we love your blog. It’s going to be fun to follow your food adventures and culinary discoveries! Love, Mom

  5. MRM permalink
    January 9, 2011 2:02 pm

    Look out Dean Fearing.

    • Aunt Monie permalink
      January 11, 2011 10:11 am

      When is the cookbook coming? Enjoying your blog,
      Love, Aunt Monie

  6. Chrissie Vandevere permalink
    January 16, 2011 4:55 pm

    Katie – This is amazing! So proud to be friends with someone so talented!

  7. Courtney Goldberg permalink
    January 19, 2011 3:23 pm

    I need to take a page from your book and cook more! Love the blog and love you!

  8. Pat Tatum permalink
    January 29, 2011 7:31 pm

    Katie, I am loving this blog!!! You definitely have gotten your culinary talents from your mother. I also love your commentary–I think I see a little of dad there???
    Love you, Pat

  9. Katie Bourgeois permalink
    January 30, 2011 9:43 pm

    This is SO awesome! Everything looks so delicious! It’s making me hungry just reading through everything. I’m excited to see what else you cook!

  10. Lynn Coxe Graham permalink
    February 1, 2011 7:46 pm

    Katie, I’m thrilled to discover your Blog! I found it on FaceBook. I’m sure you’re going to be as great of a cook as Freda is. I can’t wait to follow your Recipes! Give my love to Whitney. He’s a lucky boy to have a wife who loves to be in the kitchen.

  11. Renee Swoger permalink
    February 13, 2011 8:38 pm

    Cute blog Katie! Am definitely going to try your lasagna soon!

  12. James Bond permalink
    February 21, 2011 10:21 am

    Are guest posts going to be allowed????!! Do you dare??!!

  13. Janis Swyers permalink
    March 15, 2011 4:59 pm

    Katie, Lauren just told me about your blog. I am really impressed!! I look forward to trying some of your recipes. Love, Mrs. Janis

  14. Day Waggenspack permalink
    August 9, 2011 2:52 pm

    Katie, This is wonderful. You know how much I love to cook, but now I can follow you!! This is the best!!!
    Love ya, Ms. Day

  15. October 25, 2011 9:50 am

    Hey Katie!
    I was wondering where all your yummy Facebook posts were coming from and then I found your great blog! Seems like your going well, so glad to hear! I love to cook too, I would have never survived grad school without being able to come home to my tiny NYC apartment and de-stress by “cooking up some goodness”, as I used to say. My roomie would always know when I had a rough day bc the kitchen would smell great but look like a disaster! Looking forward to more recipes!


  16. September 3, 2012 11:57 am

    So pleased to have met you last weekend – I look forward to reading more! Your recipes look wonderful (and potentially heart-stopping), and your subtle sense of humor comes through in a very warm and welcoming way.
    ~Staci, Carmel Food Tours

  17. September 24, 2012 10:25 am

    Katie! I had no idea you were a food blogger. Your recipes look so yummy. I’m excited to browse around =)

  18. August 2, 2013 4:13 pm

    We know your mom is a great cook. Glad Zadie got the shout out, too. It was probably the pan she cooked the chicken in for 50 years that was the secret, yours will get there. Your mom used to make a chicken and wild rice casserole that I think was from the cotton Country Cookbook- delicious! Good to babysit for the Montgomerys, there was food (and it was organized and labeled), not just pizza money! I need some banana bread now!

  19. Carol Keto permalink
    September 6, 2013 6:09 pm

    Katie, you are just adorable! Hugs and happiness for a joyful life in the kitchen with family and friends.

  20. November 3, 2013 6:09 pm

    Great blog! And great musical taste 😉

  21. Debbie Heroman permalink
    November 21, 2013 5:10 pm

    Katie – I am so proud that your recipe was published in Reader’s Digest! Yes, Grandma would be so proud – she was a marvelous cook herself. I enjoy all of your posts and keep the goodies coming! Happy Thanksgiving to you and Whit and all the Mears – Love Aunt Debbie

  22. Meredith M. permalink
    January 8, 2016 10:11 am

    Can’t wait to see all the recipes that are yet to come!


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