I dabble in fruit fly sexing, elevator repair, and hamster cloning. I literally do herd cats. I also love cooking and baking with mostly local ingredients. I cannot decorate a cake or cookie to save my life, but you better believe that hot mess of a baked good will be tasty. My gardening plans are always bigger than my ability to weed. If anyone can make the word ‘fetch’ happen, I think it will be me. I abuse commas. My house was built in 1894, and will take another 119 years to get renovated. I have rarely run into a sweet tea that is sweet enough. I swear with a Southern accent but the word ‘beer’ comes out 100% Wisconsin. I mostly post the truth. I am OCD about heirloom tomato varieties to the point that my husband hides seed catalogs from me. I believe in the holy trinity of Bacon, Biscuits, and Bourbon. If you never use soap to wash your cast iron and enjoy rocking on the porch with a drink, we’ll get along just fine. If you clutch your pearls and you don’t do it with irony, this is not the blog for you.

I started blogging years ago as a way to share my passion for locally-produced foods. I know that places like San Francisco were far ahead of us on that trend, but it was very new to Tennessee. When people actually replied to my posts, I started blogging more about recipes I liked and discovered the amazing, slightly dysfunctional world of food blogging. I learned how to take better pictures. I learned how to quit abusing commas as much. I learned that I will probably never learn the art of brevity.

I used to be at TNLocavore.com, but I knew at some point I would want to start writing about other things. I love great food with a passion. It’s a large part of my life, but it is not the center of my world. There’s too many other things I love: my husband, my family, my amazing friends, cats, gossiping over wine, renovating my old house, hiking, etc. I could go on and on.

So I changed my blog name to the one it currently has. I certainly have a mouth, I’m from the South, and now I can talk about whatever I want. Sometimes it will be serious, a lot of times it will poke fun at the absurdities of people taking themselves too seriously [including myself], but I will still post recipes regularly.

I want to make it clear that I post the food that I cook for my REAL life. I don’t spend time “developing” recipes. I won’t post something that isn’t delicious just to make sure I don’t miss my “food blogging scheduled posts.” Any branded product I use will be one that I use in my real life and that I like. I use very few processed foods in my cooking, but I’m not a snob about it. I will eat the hell out of a casserole topped with Cheez-Its. I have neither the money nor the time to make intricate meals on a regular basis, but every once in a while my husband and I go all out. We try to eat healthy so that we stay healthy – that way we can still enjoy the treats we love as we get older. The recipes and stories I post will reflect our life.

I’m going to talk about the things I like, the things I’m passionate about, and the things that worry me. I have no problem sharing some private aspects of my life with my readers, but if you’re looking for constant drama and over-sharing, you will probably find other blogs more interesting than mine. THIS PART IS VERY IMPORTANT: You need to be able to recognize sarcasm or you’re going to be mad and/or disgusted with me a lot.

Most importantly – I am not a product. I’m a writer and a blogger. You will never have to wonder if I’m writing about myself or just writing things to better my “brand.”

If you’d like to contact me via email, I’m at kristinamcleanREMOVEMEgmail.com – please don’t send me pitches for things that have nothing to do with my blog. They waste your time and mine, and nobody wants that.

NOTE: As of April 2013, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I’ll be cutting back a lot of my food blogging while I’m dealing with this. Blogging is a form of therapy for me, so expect quite a few cancer posts. My goal is to make so much fun of cancer that it slinks away from all us, totally embarrassed.

32 Comments on About

  1. Yuki
    February 11, 2011 at 4:07 pm (4 years ago)

    Just wanted to say, “I LOVE YOUR BLOG!”
    It is very inspiring, tasty and yeah, I am happy that I found it (through bacon-chocolate chip cookie recipe)

    Any way to ‘add’ me to the mailing list so I can get updates?


    • Kristina
      February 13, 2011 at 11:36 am (4 years ago)

      Hi Yuki! Thank you so much – you’re very sweet. I don’t have a mailing list option yet. I’m sure there’s a plugin somewhere that could make that happen for me but I’d be lying if I said there was any hope of me figuring it out and installing it soon. Do you read blogs on Google Reader? It’s a very easy way to keep track of blogs that you read. I’ll try to get a plugin installed soon (along with an actual design on my blog) but I can’t make any promises. It’s already shaping up to be a crazy busy next couple of months.

      • Gina
        May 27, 2011 at 2:46 pm (3 years ago)

        Robert put in a feedburner thingy on my site that made that happen. I don’t know how many rolls of duct tape it requires… but it was simple to set it up once he said the magic words.

  2. Camels & Chocolate
    February 11, 2011 at 6:12 pm (4 years ago)

    I’m from TN, too (though I now live in San Francisco)! I found your site via Modern Gal, as we used to work together in college and she linked to you. What part are you from? I hail from Tullahoma, went to college in Sewanee and Knoxville and hope to someday move back to Nashville! Nice to make your acquaintance, fellow Southern belle =)

    • Kristina
      February 13, 2011 at 11:43 am (4 years ago)

      Well bless your heart – I’m really glad you found me! (And I mean that in a nice way – not your typical Southern belle go-to-hell way!) :D I grew up in Nashville, moved to the land of snow and ice (Wisconsin) when I was 11, went to school in DC and moved to East Tennessee as soon as I could. Nashville is a fantastic city and Knoxville is well on it’s way to being cool. I liken it to a place like Portland (just 20 years behind the times). I just checked out your blog – it’s fantastic. As soon as I we get some major renovations on our house done and save up some cash, I’ll be bugging you as to where we should spend it traveling. So that will be in about 20 years! :D

  3. searching
    September 22, 2011 at 1:18 pm (3 years ago)

    Love Nashville and Knoxville and your blog! Can’t wait to see more!

  4. Jes
    November 13, 2011 at 11:43 am (3 years ago)

    Coming to Ktown (Farragut) in 2 weeks to help a friend throw a cocktail party. I am so making the bacon choc. chip cookies as one of our desserts. Great blog! Thanks.

  5. Mr Bunny Chow
    December 8, 2011 at 4:27 am (3 years ago)

    Love your blog, I’m a relative newcomer to food blogging and blogs in general but people like you inspire me.

    I’ll be following you with interest moving forward.


    Mr Bunny Chow

  6. melissa jenkins
    February 6, 2012 at 8:52 am (3 years ago)

    Just moved back to TN after being gone from 20 something years…..gosh its good to be home!

    • Kristina
      February 15, 2012 at 11:38 am (3 years ago)

      We moved to Wisconsin after living in Nashville for 11 years. It was so nice to move home after spending 7 years there.

  7. Miniprljam
    December 27, 2012 at 1:11 am (2 years ago)

    Howdy Neighbor,

    I look forward to enjoying your recipes and stories. We live a great life in our century plus houses in our great Old North Knoxville Neighborhood. New Year’s resolution for me is to help support what my friends and their passions. So, if I get any this year, come get your maters this year!

    Kim Webber

    • Kristina
      December 27, 2012 at 12:06 pm (2 years ago)

      I actually sell plants down at the Market Square Farmer’s Market. Come visit me next spring. I usually sell about 50 kinds. :D

  8. Mama's Gotta Bake
    December 27, 2012 at 1:03 pm (2 years ago)

    I love the way you write and express yourself. You’re foodblogging article made me laugh, and was so true. Keep up the good work!

    • Kristina
      December 27, 2012 at 1:07 pm (2 years ago)

      Thank you so much. I have no trouble making an ass out of myself in my writing so I try to do it often.

  9. Jacquelyn B
    December 27, 2012 at 4:32 pm (2 years ago)

    I was sucked into the food blogging world 2 years ago and have been struggling with my “identity”. Your article on food blogger cliches made me laugh and was just what I needed to hear to get me out of my funk and to get me re-inspired to blog for ME. ;)

    Thank you!

    • Kristina
      December 27, 2012 at 4:55 pm (2 years ago)

      Your “identity” is you. Remember that always. :) And I’ve struggled with that as well. I tried doing it the way others did it, and it was so not fun. And my blog was boring. It’s much more fun when I’m making a fool of myself (on purpose) on my blog. I have fun and sometimes I amuse others. Win-win.

  10. Michelle
    December 28, 2012 at 8:13 am (2 years ago)

    Greetings from KY. Your Blogger Trends article was spot on, and your About page is too. Glad you “found your voice”!

    • Kristina
      December 28, 2012 at 1:04 pm (2 years ago)

      Thank you! I’m still working on finding it, but I will promise to keep trying!

  11. Deborah White
    December 31, 2012 at 1:05 pm (2 years ago)

    I think you and I could be BFF’s. Or, at least, drink bourbon together and laugh at other people. Wait, that’s the same thing.

    Great article, that’s what drew me into your blog. Looking forward to reviewing your posts!

    • Kristina
      December 31, 2012 at 6:18 pm (2 years ago)

      I think we could too, but understand I spent way too much making fun of myself to ever get around much to other people. :D Thank your for the compliments – I had a lot of fun writing it.

  12. Terry
    January 3, 2013 at 3:16 am (2 years ago)

    I have no idea in the wold how I found your article about food blogging. I don’t blog AND I don’t cook! In reality, I wouldn’t eat if I didn’t have to, it is just a big waste of time. I LOVED your article. I laughed til I almost peed my pants. My dogs wondered what the heck had gotten in to me. I have to follow you now just to keep up with you humor and if I find recipes I like, I will share them with my brother. He should be a chef, it is definately his passion. He always gets mad becaue I am such a picky eater. A plain old cheeseburger from McDonalds is just fine with me.

    Any way, just wanted to tell you that as an outsider from California who hates to cook, I really enjoyed your article and your writing style! Keep it up girl!

    • Kristina
      January 3, 2013 at 1:25 pm (2 years ago)

      Thank you Terry! Everyone has their own passions & I can understand why cooking isn’t yours. For example – I would rather watch paint dry than watch a Nascar race. But I’m glad you found it funny. I think no matter what you do, everyone should be able to laugh at themselves. Thank you so much for the compliments!

  13. Sandy
    January 3, 2013 at 5:47 am (2 years ago)

    Kristina, I love your blog. I have no idea how in the heck I found it, but I’m glad I did! Your article about the blogging trends that need to go was hilarious. I haven’t tried blogging yet, but have been tempted. Maybe you have just inspired me!
    Anyway, you are delightful and I love your sarcasm. As my darling diva daughter says, “Sarcasm is a gift”. I agree. Thanks for brightening my day. Cheers!

    • Kristina
      January 3, 2013 at 1:38 pm (2 years ago)

      Thank you so much Sandy! I think no matter what you do, everyone should be able to laugh at themselves. I poke as much fun at myself as I do with others. I try very hard to keep the snark on a funny level, not mean.

      And yes -you should start a blog. You’ll feel very awkward at first but just keep at it. If you look at my first posts, they were pretty awful. :D

  14. Ann Whitten
    January 8, 2013 at 11:25 pm (2 years ago)

    Hi Kristina,

    I found your blog a few months ago and I love it. I hope you start writing again soon. I too am from the South, Alabama in fact. I am in the process of setting up my own blog on wordpress.org and I must say it is a challenge. We share a lot of the same views. I guess that comes from being true “Steel Magnolia’s” Look foward to reading more from you soon. Actually I visited tonight because I thought you might have something to say about the BCS Championship game and I knew if you did it would be a hoot and make me laugh.
    Love your blog and especially your writing. Yes dear you are a writer and a very good one. I like you have a low tolerence for bullshit. See you soon.

    Best wishes

    • Kristina
      January 9, 2013 at 6:18 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks so much, Ann! I would have gladly snarked on the BCS game (we had a fun thing going on twitter for a while where we tried to start ridiculous rumors over who was taking over the head coaching job at UT) but we had to put our 16 year old cat down, so I really couldn’t bring the funny. Working on it. Thank you so much for the compliments and yes, my tolerance for bullshit is almost non-existent. :D

  15. Dianne
    March 15, 2013 at 5:34 pm (2 years ago)

    I just discovered your blog. I am always pleased to find bloggers from Tennessee. We retired to E. Tn. seven years ago, and we LOVE it here. :)

  16. Jeff Blackwell, Houston, texas
    January 24, 2014 at 11:40 am (10 months ago)


    I stumbled onto your web site and I like it. How are you feeling? Many of my friends and family have or had cancer. I’ll say a prayer for you and your family. May God bless.

    • Kristina
      February 14, 2014 at 11:57 am (9 months ago)

      Thanks Jeff – I’ll keep your family in my thoughts and prayers.


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