About Karen’s Home Cooked
Welcome to my kitchen and my recipe collection for all kinds of cooks.
I think about food all the time, I wake up ready to tuck into breakfast and before I’m finished I’ve already decided what I want to eat for lunch and dinner. Then, I spend the rest of the day pondering ingredients and flavour combinations.
I love to eat, a bit too much if I’m honest, so my recipes are not just easy, quick and full of flavour, but I also keep them healthy. Don’t panic, nothing weird or extreme, I just keep an eye on portion size and don’t use any more fat, sugar or salt than is needed. And, I pack my recipes full of vegetables, fruit, herbs and spices. But, there’s plenty of decadent treats too. I try to keep the balance.
My recipes are tried and tested, not just by me but by hundreds of clients I have taught to cook over the years. I taught them to cook and they taught me what people wanted to eat and what kind of recipes they needed – easy, quick, healthy full of flavour and accessible to any kind of cook, whatever the skill level, whatever the lifestyle.
I’m from a tiny island in Scotland called Bute and have eaten my way to Amsterdam via London and Lagos on the Portuguese Algarve.
I’m a business graduate, and before coming out as a food obsessive I held various corporate positions in industries as diverse as banking, industrial food production and hospitality.
In 1997 I moved to Amsterdam, and in 2000 I went out to buy a loaf of bread and came home with a cheese shop. Really. I turned it from a little local store to one of the best delicatessens in the country. I was voted number 7 in the Netherlands by a committee of Dutch food and retail experts.
I had a huge assortment of artisan cheeses – from 70 to 100 at any one time – wine and meats all sourced from small producers throughout Europe. I made my own products like pesto, tapenade, quiches and all sorts of delicious creations. Owning ‘Vivers Delicatessen’ made it clear there was no going back to the office for me. I had to be around food and like minded people who took pride in quality and the tradition of its production. I especially fell in love with cheese, and am happy to say it’s a relationship that carries on to this day.
With the success of the store I was given by “Lekker” magazine (the most recognized restaurant guide in the Netherlands) the honorary title of ‘Cheese Fondue Specialist of Amsterdam’ and was invited to cook on AT5 (Amsterdam’s TV channel).
It was an exciting time, I learnt so much about all aspects of food, food history, production, supply chains global and local, issues facing the industry at all levels, and, myself. It became apparent my relationship with food wasn’t as healthy as it should be and I sold the shop to concentrate on getting better. During this process I re-learnt how to cook and eat, that’s what resulted in my next adventure where I taught others to cook healthy tasty meals and I became and author. I wrote a healthy cook book for people like me who love food but needed to watch their weight. For more information about my book, ‘Love Food, Live Healthy’ see the page Cookbook or visit Amazon
These days I ‘Eat Amsterdam’ with clients on my private food tours, develop recipes, and am writing my first novel based on my own personal experience with food.