Some days you just flip the script and walk down another road.  Why did I decide to walk away from radio?  Well for starters the radio station was sold (granted it won’t change hands for 6 plus months) but it takes a situation like this to make you realize you have been trying to talk yourself out of doing radio for about a year…..maybe 2.  I have been on the air for 5 years and 8 months.  For those who don’t know radio – THAT IS A LONG TIME TO NOT BE CANCELLED.


Here is the deal.  I am exhausted.  I am 46, and I have a full time corporate job  that includes travel and a lot of focus (I LOVE IT!), a husband that does not get NEARLY as much of my time as he deserves and twin 4 year-olds who are straight up magical.  Do I need a secondary career in media? No.  I do not work at the station for a paycheck, but for a hobby.  Yes, that is a luxury, I know it.  Hashtag blessed.

I will do about 3 more shows.  Maybe that.   Wish me luck as I throw myself back into family and food.  Expect a lot of cooking, family fun, home entertaining and dining out.  I might finally begin that garden, start canning beets and go to the coast more often.  Who knows….perhaps I will get in shape?

In the time I have been on the air I have been through a LOT.  I went though a long IVF journey, I became a mother, I have emceed every food event from here to Northern California, and I have loved it all.  But I need a break.  I need to rest.  I need to consider the marathon, not the sprint.

My family deserve it.  So do I.

Changing the blog name.  Changing the Direction of my posts ( back to personal and honest and about the struggles and successes of life) and changing my priorities.

I hope I will not lose you on my journey as I attempt to navigate these crazy waters and in the process uncover the Maki Family Values.

Love you all – thank you for your support!

Sweet and Smokey Carrots

Those darn veggies, they can be so boring.  I was tasked with “carrots” as my dish for the annual Christmas Eve Dinner.   Only having one dish to make means it BETTER BE GOOD.  Crap.  Well, I researched everything I could and the recipes I found were either drowning in butter or brown sugar.  So, I decided to make one up.  I am, after all, a food blogger, right?

Well, I did it, and they were quite tasty. I did manage to incorporate bacon in as well, but I am not a vegetarian, so this is fine in my opinion.  They were lightly sweetened with pure maple syrup and tossed with the tiniest bit of butter and crisped bacon.  I did leave the skins on, and opted for organic carrots.  It is a holiday, so only the best, right?  Recipe below!

Sweet and Smoky Carrots


  • 2.5 pounds of carrots
  • 1 tbsp. Butter, unsalted
  • 4 pieces crisped bacon, chopped, but not too finely
  • 3 tbsp. Pure maple syrup
  • Pepper - optional


  1. Chop carrots into 1/2 inch discs. Simmer or steam until fork tender but still have some give.
  2. Drain, then place into sauté pan.
  3. Add butter over medium heat.
  4. When butter has covered all carrots with a light glistening, add bacon.
  5. Toss bacon until fully incorporated.
  6. Turn off heat and drizzle maple syrup over the carrots, turn over until they are all covered AND serve with a dash of pepper!
  7. *these are great reheated or cold in a chopped salad the next day!
  8. **perfect finger foods for beginning eaters/toddlers, just pull the bacon pieces off!

Simple Kitchen Slow Cooked Applesauce


If you have kids you begrudgingly purchase this for $5 a jar. …..Well – NO MORE.Applesauce 10.22I am beyond amazed how delicious my first batch of apple sauce is.  The best part?  I have kids and 2 more huge bags of apples.  This was so easy and it is so delicious and you can control the refined sugar!  Read on for the recipe – book mark it, it is an easy one!

Simple Kitchen Slow Cooked Applesauce


  • 4 pounds
  • 1/4 cup natural sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup water


  1. Wash, peel, core and chop the apples and toss into the pot.
  2. Add water, sugar ( if apples are sweet, then use less sugar!) cinnamon and nutmeg.
  3. Place lid on cooker, cook for8 hours on low, part way through I used a potato masher to muck them up a bit.
  4. When done mash again with the masher, and serve! We ate all of ours in a week!


Sweet Potato and Pear Soup with Coconut Milk

photo 2 - Copy (2)

I am nobody’s vegan.  I am also not one to skip meat in a meal.  Okay, lets be honest, this is the Simple Kitchen, not the James Beard House.  But, I have been thinking.  A lot.

I have to make some changes.  My husband and I had children a little later in life and we have, in the past always had time to run, hike, be super active.  We did not have to rely on how we fed ourselves as the way we stay healthy.  My pregnancy was fraught with issues and the kids came early.  I got sick.  My body, on the other side of everything was no longer the strong, capable of anything shell that I had taken for granted for years.  Now, I had 2 children, and a husband to look after.  To round this whole thing out… I no longer have limitless time to exercise.  My time is spoken for.  I love it!  But my pants are tight!!!!!

So… it is time to start thinking about what the redo of our lives look like.  How can I get my husband and I back to where we were?  For starters perhaps I stop making him pizza.  I start using plants as protein more often.  I make wholesome soups, filled with beautiful vitamins that are filling and not packed with fat!  So, here is my first one.

I mean… what is next?  Kale?  Hmmmmm

Sweet Potato and Pear Soup with Coconut Milk


  • 3 baked large sweet potatoes
  • 2 pears
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 cup water or vegetable broth
  • 1 can low fat coconut milk
  • 2 - 3 dashes cinnamon. I used 4 but I love cinnamon
  • Sliced chives as garnish


  1. In a large sauce pan, add broth, sliced and peeled baked potatoes. Remove skin and core of pears, slice them and add as well.
  2. Add garlic. Simmer for 10 minutes on medium.
  3. Add coconut milk and cinnamon. mash the pears and potatoes with spatula as you cook.
  4. When pears and potatoes have started to "fall apart" remove form element and allow to cool.
  5. In batches put in blender and blend until creamy. Put all back into sauce pan and rewarm. Serve with sliced chives as a garnish.



Simple Kitchen Beets – Crockpot

How wonderful is the summer season? There are farmers markets busting at the seams with gorgeous veggies and fruits! A wonderful family and friends of ours went to the Gresham Farmers Market and brought us a bounty of fabulous veggies and fruits! The timing was perfect becasue I needed kitchen inspiration!

My “catch of the day” included 2 healthy bunches of red beets and I had a few golden in my fridge from the Beaverton Farmers Market. I have not always liked beets but in the last 5 years or so I have fallen in love with them and their earthy flavor. The exact thing that turned me off…..turned me right back on. I wish it was like this with other things for me, such as kale….but alas it is not (yuk!)

I read somewhere that you can cook beets in the crockpot. Now, the only thing holding me back from making beets and eating them on a regular basis outside of my favorite restaurants was the fact that they are a FREAKING PAIN IN THE TOOKUS TO MAKE! But, it sounds like there may be a soution:

The ingredients re simple. Olive oil and fresh beets. I took the opportunity to use some of this awesome Red Ridge Olive OIl from Oregon Olive Mill!!! I figure I may as well keep this recipe local. I preach it enough….right?

My directions are Simple Kitchen Simple:

Take 2 bunches of medium sized beets. Scrub them down and cut the within 1 inch of the beet. Wrap in tin foil packets…one to 2 per packet…and put in the crockpot on medium for 4 hours or high for 3.5 hours. When done, cool completely and remove from tin foil and rub skin off with a papertowel. One paper towel will suffice for all of the beets…no need to be wasteful…..

Gorgeous Roasted Beets

Enjoy your fabulous beets in a salad, by themselves, or warmed and as a simple side dish!


Fennel and Mushroom Salad

It is good to have family.

As my husband and I start our new life with children (TWINS!) we are struck with how little time we have….to do the simple things like bathe ourselves, listen to music, and….cook a great meal.

Enter my mother.  The woman I received a passion for great food experiences from.  She called a few days after we got the twins home and said “Can I come cook you dinner?”  ANSWER:  “YES!”  She went on to tell me about the gorgeous fresh vegetables she came across in the Beaverton Farmers Market and that she has some great recipes whe wants to ut together.  This one was a sam dunk!  Musrooms, fennel, tangy lemon juice and gorgeous Parmesan shavings over the top!  Here is the recipe that comes from Joy of Cooking and a photo of the exact salad I ate with my entree….enjoy!!!


Whisk together in a small bowl:

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely minced
½ to 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon (optional)
Salt and ground black pepper to taste.

Stir together in a medium bowl until the salt is dissolved:

¼ cup fresh lemon juice
Salt to taste

Add and toss to combine:

8 ounces mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced

Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss to coat evenly.

Sprinkle with:

½ cup Parmesan cheese shavings

Yield: 6 – 8 servings

Can be made several hours ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Add Parmesan before serving.

From: Joy of Cooking