K’s in the Kitchen

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I’m super excited to announce the start of a brand new project! 


But first, just a few questions to see how well you know us Johnson girls in the kitchen… 

1. Who has perfected the art of salad making? 

2. Who makes more chicken than any other meat??

3. Who is the health nut? 

4. Who eats 3,000X more than she cooks?

5. Which Johnson girls make their own lunches?

**answers at bottom

In this world of TV dinners, fast food, and on-the-go snacks, a home cooked meal is a special treat. Homemade meals are an important factor for hospitality, nutrition, and . . . the tastebuds. (Let’s face it, as much as we love Chipotle, it would be nice to mix it up.)

It used to be assumed that a girl would know how to cook, but not anymore! (I’m proof.) 

I love working with my sisters and learning new things, so we’re excited to bring you a new adventure! One we hope you’ll join us on. 


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From gourmet, to beyond simple, we are bringing you recipes collected from our Grandmothers, Aunts, Friends, and Queen Mother. Although gathered from decades of experience and numerous sources, all these recipes have one thing in common: deliciousness. 

Zesty chicken marinades, tender steaks, fresh, bright salads, and melt-in-your-mouth desserts have all been put past the taste test of at least 13 mouths. When 2-year-old Kordelia and Self-Professed-Conossuier Daddy all rate the dish a “birthday meal” we know we have a winner!

You’ll want to watch if: 

~ You’re looking for nutritious and delicious ways to freshen up your dinner table

~ You need that perfect dish to impress that Important Someone

~ Fast Food and TV dinners are getting overrated

~ You’re intimidated by cooking

~ You need to kill 10 minutes

Our Roles: 

Karaline, Kimberly, Kloe, Kinsey, Kordelia. The Cooks in Training. Mother realized she started a little too late with me, but these young ladies already pop in to join the fun and make this venture a family affair.

Kelsey. The Inventor. Kels puts the “K” in cook with substitutions that make desserts healthy and a mind that knows 301 ways to make tender chicken.

Kyla. The Purist. Ky can Trim Healthy Mama with the best of them and she brings a ton of knowledge to fresh, healthy, tantalizing cooking.

Me. The Kathryn Joy. I’m here to show you that you can mess up A LOT in cooking and still make food that will make you and your friends salivate. 

In two days I’ll be releasing our website where you can access the first three videos (with new videos each week)! Check back on FacebookInstagram , or Twitter, THIS WEDNESDAY for the link to login!

It’s a blast for us to cook together and we hope you enjoy cooking with us!

The Kathryn Joy

For all of us: Katie (Me), Kyla, Kelsey, Karaline, Kimberly, Kloe, Kinsey, and Kordelia 

1. Kyla 2. Kelsey 3. Kyla 4. Katie 5. Kyla, Kelsey, Karaline, Kimberly, Kloe, Kinsey

Top 9 Tools You Can’t Cook Without

I must confess, I lied. You only need a pile of smoking sticks and licking flames to roast a juicing elk in hushed and reverent awe like your great-great-great-great grandaddy.

(Just for the record, clothes aren’t needed either. . .)

Here’s the hitch: Grandpa Adam didn’t have to worry about phone calls, emails, and thirty-minute commutes to work. So, if you’re one of those people who can’t afford to stare into the fire and count rotations, here are some tools that will help save time and money in the long haul.

1. Cuisenhart Can I say lifesaver? This tool makes cooking for crowds a breeze, and creates purees, grated cheese, chopped onions, and homemade salsa before you can I say, “I love this thing!” Also, if you’re going to go all-the-way and making your own almond flour, this definitely beats a mortal and pestle.


2. Apron This isn’t just a tool for ladies. It’s handy to hang a folded dish towel in the strings tied in front, instead of groping for those evasive hot pads when the pot is bubbling over. And let’s face it girls, who doesn’t want to look cute in the kitchen? They say the “way to a man’s heart is through his stomach,” but I think an eye-catching apron may have something to do with it.


3. Cast-Iron Skillet Chemical-free, uses less oil, tried and true since the 1800’s, adds iron to your food, easy to clean, a weapon in time of need, and goodness knows it’s durable.
This non-stick skillet is an presents an excellent advantage to the health-nut and cook.


4. Meat Thermometer You will never over or undercook something again. Need I say more? If you are a self-diagnosed ADD, you will benefit from the loud timer. If you are indecisive you will bless the probe that makes the decision for you. But most importantly, you never have to worry about adapting recipes for altitudes, oven temps, or cooking lengths. When the thermometer says done, it’s perfect. Every. Single. Time.

5. CutCo Knives Loosen that hold on your wallet because this is a big purchase. However, as a cook, sharp, well-manicured knives are invaluable. They not only save you time and headache, but they are safer. (Don’t believe me? Search Google.) The power of CutCo is that you buy once. After that initial punch in the gut, you never have to buy another knife again. Melt a knife handle? Send it back for a free replacement. Need sharpening? Send back for free sharpening. Broken blade? You guessed it, totally free. I have witnessed first-hand this company’s exceptional warrantees and I guarantee you will love CutCo.

6. Bialetti Ceramic Nonstick Want a non-stick skillet but dislike the health concerns of Teflon ? Look no further! My family received this skillet for Christmas and LOVE it! It cooks evenly, requires no oil, and makes frying eggs a breeze. This is the most environmentally safe non-stick pan available today…great deal.



I pooled the responses I received from other cooks and below are the three most commonly mentioned items that make their life in the kitchen easier!

Vitamix7. VITAMIX I have yet to meet a cook that doesn’t swear by their VITAMIX (Unless they don’t swear of course.) I like using this to blend fruit and veggie smoothies (perfect for keeping juice drinks fibrous…a.k.a. more healthy), but it can also be used for making ice cream, soups, purees and who-knows-what-else. If you don’t already own one, this will make your already-easy-lazy-American-life easier and lazier. 



Kitchen Aid8. Kitchen Aid Mixer Now we’re getting into the heavy machinery. This tool makes tough stuff like homemade whip cream, butter, blended egg whites, and stirring Adams crunchy Peanut butter a breeze. Cookies? Soufflé? Just dump in the ingredients, turn on “high” and forget about it. This tool may take up a lot of space, but if you have the room and moolah, it’s a life-saver. (And they come in cool colors. Big Plus!)


Pampered Chef Garlic Press9. Pampered Chef Garlic Press I don’t have personal experience using this product, but I know Papered Chef is QUALITY. A friend of mine (one of 14 kids) loves this product, however, so I’ll let her tell about it. 

“Pampered Chef makes (or made?) the best garlic press I’ve ever used. This tool doubles as a health and wellness aid due to the healing properties of garlic. Our family goes through a fair amount of garlic and after 8+ years and approximately 14,600 cloves of garlic, it bit the dust a couple of weeks ago. Cooking just hasn’t been the same since then. 

Okay, this may be dramatic, but this tool has been very valuable to our busy kitchen.”

Any other tools you cooks have learned about to make life in the kitchen easier? Please share them below in the comments. Eventually, I would love this blog post to be “10 Tools you Can’t cook without.”

There’s ONE spot left! 

Looking forward to hearing from you!

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Learning to Cook


A new month, a new challenge. The next two weeks will be devoted to cooking.

It’s funny how a little sleep can change things. Last night I was exhausted and couldn’t fall asleep, while this morning I’m exhausted and can hardly stay awake! In the evening I felt like Julia Child–even though I hadn’t cooked anything but a burnt grilled cheese all day–and this morning I worry that I cannot scramble eggs correctly. I’m not sure which feeling is more accurate, but we’ll find out soon.

Today it took me about three hours to circle Freddies and buy all my ingredients. No one knew what Harissa sauce was, so I had to buy ingredients to make my own, and then there was the wine. I’m not exactly 21, but I ignored that problem. What I couldn’t ignore were the thousand wine bottles daring me to choose the right one. With Google searches and my 4-hour-chef manual I managed to choose, but I still am confused about “dry” wine. They all looked pretty wet to me.

After I circled Jericho enough times to make the Israelites think they had it easy, I found the coconut and tortillas on isle nine. I discovered Chevere cheese in the special section, and oven-safe cooking dishes with the help of two obnoxious sales people.

Dear Salespeople. 

I do not care how good the sale is. I still don’t need a deep dish casserole pan.

I also dropped by the library and stocked up on some inspirational cookbooks and “Julie & Julia.” I’m trying to stay totally immersed in cooking . . . even my entertainment.

Bloggers say I should include infographs in my posts, so here’s what my past few days of cooking have looked like.


Happy meals! (Not the Micky D’s kind)

The Kathryn Joy


It’s 10 o’ clock and I’d love to go to bed, but my brain is alive with activity.

Movie lines from Julie & Julia are swirling around my head and I feel like a mega-blogger and world-renown chef. All my being wants to attack some giant project like that–writing a book that takes eight years, cooking 524 recipes in 365 days. Ah! The pressure and passion of those pursuits is so enticing. . . I’m only cooking 33 recipes in two weeks.

Then I remember today.

I have yet to find something that tiers me more than cooking. I made mozzarella, cauliflower, breaded cheese sticks for lunch along with an eggacado in The 4 Hour Chef. (I desperately wish they had fancy French names.)

Soon the Pictures will link to Recipes!

Until today, I was skeptical of the saying “a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” I still am. However, the way to a boy’s heart appears to be connected to his tummy. Barrington thanked me three times for his cheese sticks, and Bentley kept hugging me, saying I was “his favorite Katie in the whole wide world.” (Which is saying a lot, because we all know how many Katies there are out there.)

This afternoon I worked on creating my LinkedIn Profile, and spent what felt like a hopeless hour on Twitter. Four new followers bringing my grand total to 14! Cheers.

After a 15 minute cat nap, I attacked dinner. Honestly, I felt like doing anything but cooking. Anything. So I did what I dislike most first. I made a salad and popped it in the fridge.

Then, I prepared 4-hour-chef zucchini, whipped up some barbecue chicken and mashed potatoes. All went as planned, but I know I am exhausted even though my brain refuses to believe me.



Much love with hopes of sleeping,

The Kathryn Joy



I feel I have dedicated my life to learning the art of cooking but the calendar overrides my opinion. It has been two days.

This morning was an immense success and I completed a swiss cheese soufflé! Ever since I watched Audrey Hepburn cook in Sabrina, I have wanted to cook a soufflé. It didn’t matter what it was, how it tasted, or what it cost. I was going to make one.

Oh glorious day, my hopes and dreams were realized!

Thanks to Julia Child’s cookbook and Mr. Cook-on-YouTube, my soufflé surpassed my imaginations. It was fluffy, lightly browned, sweet, rich, and beautiful. If I was to write a love song to a dish, I would serenade the lovely soufflé.

Then came the dreaded cauliflower creme brûlée from 4-hour-Chef. I stared at the recipe for five minutes before I gathered the courage to begin. Ah! It was a pity I began at all. Two hours later my brûlée had formed nicely into three horrible tasting, time-consuming, ranskins. On a positive note, I will be better prepared to cook a typical brule (no more desserts turned appetizers  for me!).

Fact: I tasted wine for the first time today.

When I punched the cork into the bottle instead of pulling it out, wine went shooting out of the bottleneck like an enraged fountain, and jettisoned into my eyes and mouth with the force of a spitting dragon. Of course, I didn’t see anything because my eyes were clenched shut, but this is what it felt like.

The Day’s summary: Cook a soufflé, you will not regret it. Ignore desserts gone rogue. (I’ve always hated traitors.)






To be continued…