Courtney’s world revolves around family and food. As a work-at-home mom to three kiddos, you’ll find her baking up allergy-free treats for local coffee shops in her kitchen. She also strives to share all she knows about living with food allergies through private lectures and on her foodie blog LPHJ Kitchen. We certainly feel blessed to have her on our team of volunteers.
Taste of Home: Tell us how your love of home cooking got started.
Courtney Stultz: My love for cooking began at an early age when my mom taught me her “cooking 101” lessons—which were basically her little tips and tricks for basic cooking. She made a lot of meals at home and I always loved it when she let me try new recipes on my own. Now that I have my own family, I really value the time spent eating home-cooked meals together so that’s a major priority for us.
TOH: Do you have any particular sources of inspiration?
CS: My family now is my main source. Of course, that inspiration trickles down from my own childhood but I really enjoy making sure they have nutritious and tasty meals. Pleasing young kids can definitely be a challenge at mealtime, but I also know how important it was to my own cooking. After being diagnosed with multiple food allergies/sensitivities a few years ago, I have really gained a passion for making meals and recipes for others with food issues. I have a greater appreciation for foods and how they are prepared now and those who are struggling with finding good recipes are another inspiration for me.
Eating out with food allergies can certainly be a challenge too. Here are a few tips.
TOH: What is your favorite cooking method and why?
CS: My favorite method is definitely baking. There is never a shortage of baked goods at our house—whether it’s homemade bread or gluten-free brownies. The oven is pretty much always on at our house. (Hey, Courtney! Here are some gluten-free desserts to try.)
TOH: Do you have an indispensable kitchen gadget?
CS: Over the last few years I have really fallen in love with my Instant Pot pressure cooker. It’s now my go-to gadget. Typically, I use it to make big batches of chicken to use for weeknight recipes like tacos, salads, pasta, etc. I also use it to make soups, steamed veggies and applesauce but I’m always looking for new things to try in it.
TOH: What is your favorite recipe to cook for your family?
CS: My family loves sweets so I love making their two favorite desserts: Gluten-Free Pumpkin Roll or Apple Dessert Pizza. (We think they’d like these gluten-free donuts too)
TOH: What is your favorite recipe to cook for yourself?
CS: I really love a hearty, healthy breakfast so my favorite recipe to cook myself is a breakfast scramble, complete with eggs, diced potatoes, kale, mushrooms and asparagus.
TOH: Do you have any cooks or chefs who you admire and why?
CS: I really like Rachael Ray because she seems really down to Earth and her recipes are fun! I also like Giada De Laurentiis because of her Italian heritage and her unique and intriguing recipes.
TOH: If you were stuck on a desert island, what would be your last meal?
CS: My last meal with definitely be my mom’s homemade chicken and noodles. After all, if it is my last meal, I would want the ultimate comfort meal that reminded me most of home.
TOH: Who would you love to host at a dinner party?
CS: That’s a hard one but I’d probably pick the Pope!
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Be sure to check out Courtney’s recipes too!