The Gourmet Country Girl

About The Gourmet Country Girl

The Gourmet Country Girl began for four reasons:

– I love food. All kinds of food.

– I love experimenting with and creating new recipes.

– I love to write, (check out some of my short storiesaaaaaaaaaand…

– I love the art of web design and playing with SEO. (My inner geek comes out!)

I can’t think of a better way to combine these ‘loves’ than to have my own food blog!

Many people ask me what kind of food blog I have, and I can’t really say I have a specific ‘kind’. I don’t have any culinary school experience {spoiler!}, but I have worked in many kinds of restaurants, so I have been exposed to a wide variety of food. What it comes down to is that I just love to create, and honestly, most of my dishes don’t fall into any one category with the exception of some keto recipes, a handful of comfort food favorites and some restaurant-quality gourmet style recipes that you can cook up right in your own home.

As for the rest? Well, they are just fun recipe creations that are inspired by many different things that I encounter in my daily life.

Now, for a little of my foodie history:

As a kid:

Back in the 70’s there wasn’t much of a culinary scene in rural Wisconsin where I grew up. Meat and potatoes comfort foods were all I knew; those tried and true farm table favorites that had been passed down from generation to generation. (Yes, that photo of the scribbled ‘meat and potatoes’ lunch menu is one that I wrote back in 5th grade. It won a blue ribbon and was served to the whole school on my birthday… a sign, perhaps?)

As a family, we didn’t eat out much at all, so a fancy special occasion dinner meant we got meat, potatoes, veggies with butter, and at Thanksgiving the gravy boat came out. Yep, that was about it! Needless to say, I loved to experiment around the kitchen even back then, but I wasn’t always that good at it. Oh, and that big cake fail back in sixth grade… it was soooooo moist, it literally collapsed!

My first job ever was when I was 15. I worked at a supper club up the road from where we lived. Oh, the good times I had at that place, not to mention it was the only place around that served stuff like prime rib and twice-baked potatoes.

I thought I had reached culinary heaven!

I got to work around the FANCY meat and potato dishes, yeah! Everything there was made from scratch, and I am serious when I say everything. We made our own salad dressings, steak seasonings, whipped cream, sauces, condiments, cheese spreads, they even had an ice cream maker… and I got to get my hands in there and help with it all.

What fun!

And gosh, that salad bar… ya just gotta love those supper club salad bars!

Still, I knew that there was more out there to be experienced, and this was purely based on all the food photos I clipped from the Sunday newspaper ads and magazines as a kid. It was one of my favorite pastimes as a grade-schooler on bitter cold Sunday afternoons – cutting out all those yummy photos and pasting them into scrapbooks. My love of everything food is a part of my DNA, I suppose, as I’ve gotten excited over food since… as far back as I can remember. (Fun fact: I’m a direct descendant of a head chef for the king of Denmark who reigned into the early 20th century. How exciting!)

New York:

Fast forward a few years and I’ll take you to New York, where I moved to at the tender age of 20 to pursue – of all things – a career in modeling.

My modeling career didn’t amount to much, but while in New York (and later, Boston) I got to experience lots of different cuisines that I had only dreamed about earlier.

Fun fact: Did you know that a couple of decades ago, many restaurants in New York’s Chinatown didn’t even have menus written in English? Thankfully I had a friend from China along with me on those visits! In fact, she was the one who taught me how to make wontons and potstickers from scratch.

Oh, and sushi – I can’t forget sushi. Ahhhhhh, I never imagined raw fish could be so dang good!

Then there was the first time I had Indian food… I thought I had stepped into culinary heaven. A good friend of mine from India introduced me to the authentic way of Indian cooking – no shortcuts allowed! And those textures and flavors… the chutneys, the roti’s, the spices and yogurt and savory (yes, savory) fruit dishes…

Just when I thought food couldn’t get any better, it did!

I could go on and on and on… (it’s why I have a food blog, lol!)

On the Job Experience:

During my time on the east coast I worked as a waitress in all kinds of restaurants; from cheap and dive-y chain restaurants to single-location family owned eateries, fancy upscale hoity-toity restaurants and private golf club kitchens. (I’ve even met a handful of celebrities!) Some experiences were great, some not so much, but in every single restaurant I worked at I noticed that the greatest chefs were exceptionally passionate about food.

Call me a geek – but I loved having conversations with the chefs that revolved completely around food (and if I behaved myself, I was allowed behind the line to learn some things from them, too!)

Back in Wisconsin:

After two decades on the east coast I moved back to Wisconsin. To my pleasant surprise, the culinary scene here has advanced quite well. You can get almost any cuisine now and you can find gourmet restaurants with chefs trained in other countries (just like the places in New York!). Of course, you still have the supper clubs if you want that hometown, relaxed, super friendly, comfort-food-meets-gourmet dining experience. (There is no place for the words ‘hurry’ or ‘rush’ in supper clubs!)

I just can’t imagine a better culinary scene, and I am happier than ever that I came back to Wisconsin despite my fears that I would miss out on all the great food diversity that the big cities have to offer (the fear was completely unwarranted, by the way).

A lot of my happiness has to do with the fact that met my husband after I moved back, and he has been a huge supporter of my blog (and a faithful convert from ‘meat and potatoes guy’ to a wine tasting enthusiast who enjoys a wide diversity of cuisine now).

Mark is also my best critic when I come up with a new and unusual recipe – and there is nothing better than honest feedback to help me learn what works and what doesn’t.

(So, this is your cue… don’t hold back! Rate and leave comments if you’ve made a recipe of mine, and please share my recipes on social media if you think others may like them, too!)

The Little Details:

Mark and I live in a 170-year-old renovated farmhouse with our three cats, Skye, Felix and Mollie. We are surrounded by farms and fields! Some of our favorite things are wine tasting, the checkerboard floor in our kitchen, supper clubs, the VFW Friday Fish Fry, the fun new people we meet at the VFW Friday Fish Fry, and Door County (only an hour’s drive away).

Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy The Gourmet Country Girl!

– Christy

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