Why hello…

My name is Kristie {or as my friends call me KP,} and I am the face behind The Sweet & Simple Kitchen.

Basically, all you need to know about me is that I am a fool for baked goods that are beautiful, delicious, and of course, homemade! The only thing I love more than baking {and eating what I bake,} is to share the love that homemade baking brings to those around me.

I’m pretty much addicted to Barre3 workouts, chocolate, peanut butter {for real}, oatmeal, my roots backpack, my camera, Love it or List it Vancouver, Pinterest and I have a pretty serious girl crush on Jillian Harris. Oh, and I have a little bit of a thing for butter… {just look and my recipes and you will understand what I mean.}

I am newly engaged to my amazing partner in crime, Cole and am pretty much the giddiest little gal around town about our latest relationship development {so I hope you can cope with my engaged theme posts.}

We live together in our little home in Maple Ridge, BC  – and if you are wondering where in the hell that is, it’s basically just a suburb of Vancouver.

We have a little kitty that we named Katniss {yes after the heroin of the popular trilogy The Hunger Games – as I have a little bit of a girl crush on Jennifer Lawrence as well.} She is a fluffy little monkey – and let’s be honest – she’s just straight up crazy, but we love her to pieces.

That’s pretty much the gist – But if you are a little bit more curious, keep scrolling for more <3

Quick Random Facts​

Favourite Colour? White… but in the sake of avoiding the whole, “white isn’t a colour, it’s a shade” argument, let’s just say …Blue

Who is my Hero?  My Mom (hands down)

Favourite Movie? The Kids are Alright

Favourite Song? She Will be Loved by Maroon 5

Favourite Book? The Blue Bistro by Elin Hilderband (Yes, a sappy love story but the descriptions of the food in the bistro are absolutely divine)

Favourite Celebrity? Diane Keaton (I pretty much wish I was her)

Celebrity Crush Zac Efron (mhmmm – don’t judge!)

Favourite Dessert? Pie (What else?)

Favourite Dinner? Tortellini in an Alfredo Sauce (or really Pasta of any kind… basically just anything with lots and lots of cheese)

Beef or Chicken? Chicken (or Turkey if that is an option)

Favourite thing to Bake? Scones

Warm Apple Pie or Cold? Definitely Warm (Preferably with a very large scoop of good vanilla ice cream on top.)

Favourite Vacation? Oregon Road Trip 2015

And a little bit more about me – just in case you were wondering…

​I grew up in a full house with my three brothers, my Mom and my Dad. We always had a very tight nit family completely credited to my parents, who created an incredibly loving and happy environment for my brothers and I to grow up in. It is not an exaggeration when I say, that almost all of the childhood memories I have involve us spending quality time together. Whether we were huddled together on the couch for a family movie night, eating dinner around our large dining room table, taking a day trip in our oversized GMC Van to the Vancouver Aquarium, playing ball in the backyard or taking a family camping trip up to Squamish in our little tent trailer, it seems we were always together and we were definitely always loved.

Growing up in a house with three boys, I was nothing short of a complete and utter tom boy as a child. I couldn’t help but have their boyish charms rub off on me, and I spent most of my childhood playing sports in the dirt and riding to the neighbourhood pond to cat tadpoles and frogs. Because of this, to catch tadpoles and frogs. Because of this, my mother and I did not bond over most of the stereotypical girly things that other little girls and their mothers do. However, we found something even better to bond over – baking. And believe me, growing up in a house with three growing & ravenous boys… we did A LOT of baking.

Not only was my mom an absolutely amazing home cook & baker, she was also the ultimate “stay-at-home-Mom.” The woman is literally superwoman incognito. She prepared all of our breakfasts, lunches and dinners with her own two hands because she lived by the simple, yet increasingly rare philosophy that there is absolutely nothing better than wholesome, homemade food. She always said that not only is home made food better for you, but it also tastes a hundred times better than store bought. From the young age of five I decided that I could not have agreed with her more. Now I know this sounds a little bit ridiculous and far fetched, but from the age of five, when I went to my first birthday party where I was exposed to my first store bought birthday cake. I took one very large spoonful of the cake and I knew instantly that my Mom was absolutely right. This store bought cake was tasteless in comparison to my mothers simple, homemade vanilla birthday cake with chocolate frosting. To this day, my Mom & I still bake all of our family birthday cakes from scratch and I will continue to do the same with my own family.

I don’t think that I can recall a meal in our house that did not end with a homemade dessert and I don’t think a week went by when we didn’t have some form of baked good sitting on the counter for us to snack on when we came home from school. For my family, the best part of the meal has always been the dessert, and given the choice between dinner or dessert, everybody in my family would choose dessert. My whole family has an undeniable sweet tooth, and I think we owe this to my mother and the absolutely irresistible baking she presented us with on a regular basis.

Needless to say everything I know about baking, I learned from my mother, and  everything she knows was passed down  from her mother and taught to her in the old fashioned Home Economics classes she took when she was growing up in Australia. (And from the stories she has told me about these classes, they put what we Canadians call  “Home Ec” classes to shame.) Using this family knowledge, my mother and I developed a very precious, tight nit mother-daughter bond over the years of baking cookies, muffins, cakes, loafs, scones, tarts, and pies in our tiny, yet well used, little kitchen. We laughed in that kitchen at the stories from our days, we danced in the kitchen, we chatted at the kitchen table while we basked in the delicious aromas coming from the oven, and of course we cried in that kitchen when new recipes we tried were complete flops. And how could I forget the great disaster of 1997, when we dropped a Blueberry Pie fresh out of the oven onto the floor? That kitchen has seen it all, and even though it is of an era when kitchens were not well designed, there is still no place in the world that I would rather bake than in that kitchen with my mummy by my side.  She is the woman I admire most in this world and I live each day hoping that I will one day be as good of a person as she is.

So how did all of these wonderful childhood memories and philosophies turn into me starting up a baking blog? Well, all I can tell you is that my mother constantly recieved compliments on her baking, which was effortless for her. She respected and understood that baking is a precise and somewhat scientific process; however, that never stopped her from putting her own spin on a recipe and making it ten times better than before. I was in awe over her intuition; she always seemed to know exactly what to do to make a recipe pop. On numerous occasions people would tell her to open up her own bakery, and, as a child, I thought that this was the most fabulous idea of all time. I would tell her that we could open up a mother-daughter bakery and that it would be the best bakery around. We would day dream about this while we baked up a storm, always hoping that one day our dream would come to fruition.

It’s funny how sometimes you lose touch with your  most treasured childhood dreams and replace them with new dreams that seem to be more “rational” or are the “expected” choices. Somewhere along the way, this is what happened to me. Slowly but surely, my childhood dreams of opening up my own bakery were pushed to the wayside when the pressure and stress of adolescence, school and career paths started to cloud my mind and weigh heavy on my shoulders.

Growing up, I never enjoyed school. I did well in school because I would be lying if I told you I am not a little bit of a perfectionist, but it was never something that I looked forward to. My favourite part of the school day was recess and lunch, when I could play outside with my friends. I know that this sounds like the mentality of every child, but all of my friends had at least one part of the curriculum in school that they were always excited to learn about, but I never experienced that. I was happiest at home spending time with my mom in the kitchen.  I never thought that I would go to college to study History and Psychology like I did. In fact, I thought as soon as I was handed my diploma in grade 12 that I would be off to discover the beautiful world. However, things changed as I got older and started to feel the pressure of having to have a post secondary education. All of my friends were doing it and it seemed like everybody was expected to. Suddenly baking was no longer a career prospect; it was a fun and frivolous. I often wish I had had a stronger mind back then and that I had been able to stand up for my dreams, but there is always a lesson to be learned. While my experiences with post secondary education have not always been pleasant, they have definitely showed me that baking is what I would love to do for the rest of my life.

So that is what this blog is about for me: finally following my dreams of baking professionally and having the opportunity to share delicious home made baked goods with the world around me. There is only one thing I love more than baking itself, and that is the joy I feel when I get to see the smile my baking puts on peoples faces when I share it with them. There is something very special about making food with your own two hands and then sharing it with others. It is a gratifying yet humbling experience to know that something as simple as food can have such an impact on a persons day. To know that you are the one who helped to create that experience – is genuinely uplifting.

I hope this blog will give you the opportunity to explore your inner foodie, and present you with a new outlook on food. My goal is to keep the tradition of the home made, family meal alive. I am so excited to share this journey with you.

KP xoxo