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Cooks We Love: Bree Hester

Bree Hester and her blog Baked Bree are two of the sweetest things we know. The only thing we love more than eating food is looking at pictures of food, and she's an expert photographer. Not only are Bree's recipes always delicious, simple and family-friendly, they're also stunning to see. We love her 80/20 outlook on nutrition, where she eats healthy, nutritious food 80% of the time and indulges 20% of the time, so we're never short of an idea for nutritious meals for our families, and she gives us great ideas for our sweet tooth, too. Her blog began as a way to keep track of her huge collection of recipes. Now, her way of organizing family favorites is our favorite place to get inspired. Read on to get to know Bree and peek into her kitchen.

Website or blog: Baked Bree

Blogging since: Baked Bree was born in February 2010.

Where you call home: Cape Cod, Mass.

What’s your earliest cooking memory? My earliest memory is making a gingerbread house with my grandmother in kindergarten. I loved doing that with her; I continued the tradition with my own children.

How would you characterize or describe your cooking style today? Fresh, simple, healthy and family-friendly.

What’s your favorite thing to cook at home? Why? I love to cook Thanksgiving dinner. It's my absolute favorite to cook and eat.

What are three things you have in the pantry at all times? Lemons, Parmesan cheese and olive oil.

What’s your “There’s Nothing in the Fridge" dinner—the one thing you often whip up with very few ingredients or, perhaps, very little inspiration? Shrimp scampi. I always have shrimp in my freezer, and everything else comes straight from the pantry.

What are some of your kitchen goals—i.e., skills you want to improve on or recipes you want to try or master? I want to make a better chicken stock. My mom makes a crazy delicious chicken soup, and her stock is always better than mine.

How has becoming a mother changed your experience as a home cook? I am definitely more efficient! I don't have the time to leisurely cook like I used to. I don't always love the dinner-on-the-table-every-night cooking, but I try to cook dinner every night. I love feeding my family whole, healthy, real food. It is more important to me now that I am feeding my babies.

What are some of your favorite cookbooks and/or food blogs? I love cookbooks. I have hundreds of them. Cookbooks are my weakness. I go back to Dorie Greenspan's "Baking" book all the time. I also love single ingredient books, I like really exploring one flavor. A particular favorite is "Pure Vanilla" by Shauna Sever. I also love to see my blogger friends in the aisles of my local bookstore. It makes me so happy to see their hard work come to fruition.

Besides other cookbooks or food blogs, where do you draw inspiration for your cooking? Restaurants. I like to recreate things that I have eaten out to dinner or from my travels. Traveling is so inspiring.

Where else can we find you? My other website is Bree Hester. Come see me there!

All images via Baked Bree.


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