Yes, Katie took this photo

Katie Webster’s website is stuffed with beautiful foodtography that makes all her healthy recipes jump right off the page ready for a taste. Webster talked to Food on the Table about the start of her Healthy Seasonal Recipes blog, helping people develop their own recipes and her disbelief in picky eaters.

Food on the Table: Why did you start a food blog?

Webster: It’s in my blood. My grandmother was an amazing cook. She’s from West Texas. In the ‘50s, she was making things from Julia Child. She was doing these amazing gourmet meals and had these fabulous parties. My mom grew up eating great food, read Gourmet magazine and was always looking for interesting recipes. She had a wok and was always cooking tofu, arugula and goat cheese. Gourmet my whole life. My dad is a really adventurous eater. My sister and I were never picky eaters.  It never even occurred to us to be picky. It was like “I could eat the spiciest chili.” [laughs] I’ve always had in my blood.

I’ve always loved cooking, and I wanted to start blogging to get that connection with the people that were cooking my recipes. I’ve been professionally recipe developing at EatingWell magazine. We get a lot of letters there and all that stuff, but it was never like “Katie, I love your recipe.” I just love that connection that I’m getting. I love doing the photography. I love the whole thing. Writing is brand new to me. It doesn’t come naturally to me, but it’s fun. I’m really passionate about healthy cooking so just learning about the nutrition side of it is really fun. Then, sharing that with people, I love that.

FOTT: What is your tip for people who want to experiment with their own recipes?

Webster:  I would say taking notes about what you do. Being disciplined about being organized is so important. If something doesn’t work, using a critical eye to go back and say “This omelet was too brown. What can I do differently next time?” Well, I could turn the temperature down. I could cook it for less time. Go back and try it again. To retest the recipes is really important.

FOTT: Do you have any picky eaters?

Webster: I don’t believe in picky eating. [laughs] My kids are great eaters, actually. When they refuse to eat something, it’s just because they’re not hungry. I keep giving it to them over and over again. It’s all about exposing them to new food and modeling them good eating behaviors. My older daughter is four-and-a-half, and her favorite foods are olives and salad. She’s really into salty, sour things. My younger daughter is two-and-a-half and she’s really into meat. Any meat she can get her hands on. I just give them lots of healthy options. I don’t stress about it. I don’t want to have any wars or worry too much about it. I know if they see me eating healthily, eating all different things, and being passionate about food, then they’ll get there.

FOTT: What’s your go to meal?

Webster: I’m like the chef given a blind basket. I never cook the same thing twice. It’s really just whatever is in my fridge. We actually belong to a CSA, so we get our produce from the farm. When I go to the store, I’m like “Wow, these peppers look really fresh.” As I’m driving home from work, I have a half-hour commute, I say, “I’ve got those peppers in there, what am I going to do with that?” I sort of come up with a little plan in my head, and I just kind of throw stuff together.

FOTT: What is the most embarrassing thing in your fridge?

Webster: My fridge really isn’t that embarrassing. There are two things that come to mind. First of all, there are organic pink lady apples that are either from Chile or Washington, totally not green of me to be doing that to ship it from halfway across the world to my house. I always have to have them. I make a special trip to the health food store twice a month to buy them. If anybody goes near them, I freak out. The babysitter gives them by mistake. I’m like “What happened to my pink ladies? There were five in there, now there’s only four.” [laughs] I eat them every day. I’m like a crazy fiend when it comes to pink lady apples. The other thing is I’m really into cooking from scratch. There’s a bottle of Hershey’s syrup in the door that has been there for three years. It’s sealed. I’ve never opened it. I bought it at the store. I was really hungry, and I went to the store. And later, I was like “why did I buy that?” I can’t throw it away. There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s perfectly good. But it’s loaded with garbage. I should give it to a food shelter but I’m like they shouldn’t be given this unhealthy food. So it’s just sitting there. I should pour it out and recycle the bottle, then feel better about that. [laughs]

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