Easy and delicious recipes for every occasion.
Welcome to The Kitchen Girl where you'll find hundreds of simple recipes made for busy home cooks. If you're interested in cooking with recipes that are well-tested, easy to follow, and budget-friendly, you're in the right place!
Hi! I'm Traci and I'm a produce-obsessed recipe developer and food photographer. I'm sharing my wholesome recipes made with simple ingredients, easy to follow instructions, and BIG flavor!
Just like you, I'm busy, but I don't want to eat out of a box. I want to cook, but it has to be quick. I love to stretch my grocery dollars and I hate wasting food.
So, if you're making busy weeknight meals, game day grub, or holiday brunch, my recipes are here for it!
Where do your recipes come from?
By popular demand, I create simple, well-rounded, budget-friendly, seasonal recipes. It doesn't hurt that I have an insatiable desire to cook and bake, and I take lots (and lots) of notes while doing it so I can keep bringing you recipes.
I've spent fifteen years in specialty food service, culinary studies coursework, and two decades of home cooking. These experiences make recipe testing and development second nature to me.
My favorite field research involves visiting the prepared foods section in grocery stores to see what's trending and what never goes out of style. I take note and come up with my own interpretation, usually with a healthy twist.
I'm always open for requests for new recipes.
How do you decide which recipes get published on the blog?
It's a combination of reader requests (so hit me up!), occasional food trends, what's in season, and anything that's been approved from my dude's meat-and-potatoes palate.
So, dive in to my recipes, ask me questions, share what you love, and tell me what you don't love. I want to hear from you!
When did you become a recipe developer?
During college, I got my commercial kitchen training wheels at a specialty grocery store as a bread baker. I later promoted to the management team and led recipe development of healthy, grab-and-go prepared foods for two years.
I was in HEAVEN! We developed recipes for snacks, soups, salads, entrees, and desserts.
I hated to ever leave that job, but we're still good friends. In fact, they named a pizza after me and still serve it to this day!
When did you learn food photography?
I definitely did not bring photography skills into food blogging. Quite the opposite occurred.
Seven years into it and I love the challenge of making you want to eat the food you see on the screen. Period.
Why a food blog? 3 reasons
- I absolutely love giving people the confidence and inspiration to say "I'm going to make that recipe!" This makes me happy beyond words. It makes them happy too!
- The internet needs reliable, well-tested recipes made by real people, for real people. Sounds corny, but I don't want you to waste time making a recipe that hasn't been worked out. The internet is full of those recipes.
- I have created enough recipes to last many people several lifetimes. So, join my community and get my FREE recipes.
Why name yourself "The Kitchen Girl"?
I love kitchens. My kitchen, your kitchen, commercial kitchens, camping kitchens, soup kitchens…all kitchens, and all of the things in them!
The Kitchen Girl also seemed like the easiest name for people to remember.
Also, if I attend your dinner party, I will be all up in your kitchen, helping you, until the last dish is washed. What are friends for?!
Ever attend culinary school?
Yep, right here in Sonoma County at the SRJC Culinary Center. I took a line of courses to hone the skills I felt I was missing...and to have fun!
I picked up techniques in food prep, plating, planning, prep, food costing, knife skills, and food safety.
I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat! One of these days, I'll take their baking and pastry courses.
Do you read fiction or Non?
Nonfiction. Gimme ALL the business, tech, and cooking resources. Love business podcasts too!
I like my fiction in the form of TV.
Don't spend money on stupid crap. Spend it on really useful crap.
Favorite creative hobby?
Music!...playing guitar, flute, singing, and songwriting.
During college, I played AND performed with some seriously talented people at local venues. LOVE being behind the mic, especially in the recording studio.
I cut my own album of original songs, and never released it. It needs some remixing...it's on the list.
Yep, stretched out my Master's Degree in Communication Studies as long as humanly possible. Where else was I going to play so much music, and learn ceramics, and travel?
Best job you've ever had?
Any job working with food.
Most unique job you've ever had?
Communications instructor (and sailing crew) on an 80’ schooner in the Caribbean for 80 days. Epic? Yep! Challenging? Yep! Hard lessons learned? Yep..and soooo worth it!
Really need to get back to some of those islands!
Coffee at sunrise. Occasional cold beer or cocktail at sunset. Sparkling water every day. But I almost never turn down a glass of really good sparkling wine.
What's one word you'll never stop saying?
Now? Swimming. Back in the day? Rollerblading. The tomboy in me really wants to skateboard into my 50's, but I’m too afraid to fall and break things.
So, I avoid it...and live vicariously through Casey Neistat.
What's your favorite meal?
A gorgeous charcuterie platter with ALL the things, chilled bubbles, and ALL the friends to share it with.
Work ethic and retirement plan?
I love to work! ABC…always be creating. Motivation just comes natural to me, be it with food, tech, or music.
I’m not watching the clock, waiting for retirement. Some of my friends think I work too much...I'm all "omg where'd the time go?!"
Drivers who travel in the passing lane, unaware (or aware) that they have a line of cars behind them.
What's your most proud accomplishment (on-the-job)?
Leaving every place of employment more organized than I found it. It's all about systems and processes.
How do you pay it forward?
People-helper. When it feels right, I do it.
I'm also the total weirdo that asks you if I can take your grocery cart after you've finished loading your car. I mean, I'm going into the store anyway. Why not?
Any volunteer activities?
Not consistently, and not often enough...but when I do, I go BIG!
I participated in disaster response for for two major events 1) Hurricane Katrina in 2005; and 2) Northern CA wildfires in 2017. Still gets me teary-eyed when I recall details...or see footage.
What activities will you never get enough of?
Cooking, dancing like a teenager, camping, traveling, and singing harmony.