21 Apr Inside the fridge welcomes Katie Morford, author of Best Lunch Box Ever and Mom's Kitchen Handbook
Katie’s trusty cast iron skillet
Hi Friends. Meet Katie Morford. Katie is a San Francisco-based freelance food and nutrition writer. Oh, AND, she’s a registered dietitian, cookbook author, cooking teacher, and mom. She’s the author of Best Lunch Box Ever (Chronicle Books, 2013) and is currently focused on writing a second cookbook about wholesome, family-friendly breakfasts. I’m keeping her intro short–I think that you’ll get her unique gist (breakfast for dinner & cast iron skillet love ) on things as you read her Inside the Fridge Q & A. Be sure to follow her on her social media channels: Mom’s Kitchen Handbook blog , Twitter, Facebook page, Instagram, Pinterest . And, check out her video below.
Where do you shop for food?
I’m sort of all over the map when it comes to food shopping. I stock up on staples at Trader Joe’s, I get a regular CSA delivery of local produce, then I fill in with trips to either a small neighborhood market or Whole Foods. We also go to the farmers’ market as a family and I occasionally shop at Safeway.
Do you love food shopping or dread it? Why?
I love food shopping quite a lot; it’s borderline pathological. It’s where a lot of my cooking inspiration comes from…wandering the market and seeing a gorgeous basket of cherry tomatoes or a great looking piece of fish…and then the creativity kicks in and I’m off with an idea. I depart from all the advice out there by rarely using a shopping list. I have a rough sense in my head of what I need for staples, and then develop ideas for what we’ll be eating as I go.
How often do you shop?
Frequently. Sometimes daily. In part because I’m often testing recipes and need to pop out to the store for ingredients. I also live in a city and have multiple markets within a short walk, so it’s an excuse to get outside.
How many do you shop for? Ages?
There are five of us, my husband, and our three daughters, ages 11, 14, and 17.
How do you plan your weekly meals? Create a spreadsheet or fly by the seat of your pants?
I am not, by nature, much of a planner. My aim is to stock the fridge and pantry with fresh, seasonal ingredients and staple foods and then cook my mood. That said, I usually have at least one or two dishes in mind for the week and make sure to have what I need on hand for those.
Do you believe in leftovers?
Couldn’t live without them. I devoted a whole chapter of my first cookbook to re-using leftovers for lunch. Plus, if you’ve made something delicious, it’s a treat to enjoy it the second time around and is often even better the next day.
What convenience product can you not live without?
Frozen fruit. I keep a variety stocked and my kids use it to make smoothies and for snacking, especially in the winter when there is less variety in our fruit bowl.
I’ve never though about freezing the box of stock–perfect for when you only need a cup—fresh/frozen for later use! GENIUS!
What cooking utensil/piece of equipment/appliance do you live for?
My trusty cast iron skillet. I cook everything in it, from fried eggs to sauteed vegetables. It’s wonderful for making dessert, such as cakes and rustic pies. It’s beautiful and a real workhorse in the kitchen.
How have your cooking/shopping habits changed over the last 10 years?
I’d say I’m a little less focused on foods being low-fat and more focused on pure ingredients and foods that are minimally processed.
What are your go to food/nutrition/culinary/cooking website, book or cookbook?
Where to begin? I go to different resources for different things. For writing inspiration, I like the blog 5 Second Rule. I also like Phyllis Grant at Dash and Bella for her poignancy, humor and the honesty she brings to the topic of motherhood. For photography, Erin Scott’s blog Yummy Supper is lovely. I also find Shutterbean visually inspiring. For nutrition, I turn to Environmental Nutrition and Food Politics, plus so many wonderful blogs by fellow registered dietitians (yours included!). Real Mom Nutrition and Raise Healthy Eaters are great resources on nutrition related to feeding a family. My current favorite cookbook is Feast by Sarah Copeland.
What was the last meal you cooked from scratch? What was the menu.
I’m feeding my family a lot of “breakfast for dinner” lately because I’m in recipe development mode for my cookbook. At first everyone was thrilled. Now, waffles at 6 p.m. isn’t quite so exciting. Last night, though, I made a Blackberry Orange Dutch Baby with Greek yogurt. Everyone loved it, but I think my husband went to bed hungry.