About Me

Welcome to Karen's Kitchen Stories

Hi, I'm Karen, author of Karen's Kitchen Stories. This blog is a chronicle of recipes I have successfully attempted (and sometimes unsuccessfully). I love trying "stretch" recipes that are a bit of a challenge. My recipes aren't necessarily simple. In fact, some of them might seem a little bit complicated. They may even have lots of ingredients. 

I am into exploring cooking, and am really into learning new techniques. My posts and recipes are meant to teach you (as I teach myself) that you can make some pretty fabulous food. Trust me, if I can do it, you can too. 

I also am a total bread geek. I have immersed myself into learning how to bake bread, including sourdoughs, and someday would love to take a serious bread baking course. In the meantime, if you don't understand some of the terms I am using, feel free to shoot me an email or comment on one of my posts, and I'll try to help. 

How did I get into bread baking?

I've never been a baker. In fact, cooking has never been an interest until recently. My family members were never into cooking either. The only time I ever made a big effort was when company was coming. 

However, about ten years ago, I discovered the King Arthur Flour website, and ordered their sourdough starter. Believe it or not, after never having baked bread before in my life, I decide to start with sourdough. Thank goodness it worked out! 

My favorite kind of bread..

I prefer lean bread with a levain, but I also love laminated breads, such as croissants. Oh, and I love, love, love pizza.

My favorite bread toys....

I can't live without a kitchen scale. I also love my instant read thermometer, pizza stone, and dough rising buckets. I also love baking loaves in a Dutch oven.

My favorite bread books...

My bread book habit is a little out of control.

My biggest bread challenge...

Baguettes. Getting those big holes in the crumb while not pancaking the dough is always a challenge for me. 

My guilty pleasure... 

I love car chases. Living in SoCal, there is always a nightly car chase on television .. =)

About the food and the recipes:

The recipes in this blog are adapted from my overly large cookbook collection, magazines, other blogs, family recipes, and some recipes that are my own creation. I always give credit to the original source if I can find it, I always use my own photos, and I always write the instructions in my own words. My ingredients list and instructions include what I did and may have some changes from the original source. How can you tell how much I have changed a recipe? Look for the following words:
  • Slightly adapted from = I made very few changes. 
  • Adapted from = I made some changes, sometimes with the ingredient list, and sometimes with the technique. I also may have converted volume measurements to weight. 
  • Inspired by = I have made a lot of changes but I still want to give credit to the original author for the inspiration. 
If you are a blogger and are inspired to make one of the recipes from this blog, be sure to use your own photos and your own words and link back to my post.  I'd be honored if one of my posts inspired you!

About the photos:

I take all of the photos on this blog. I still need to learn a lot more about my camera as well as post processing. It's on my long list of things to do. 

If you'd like to use one of my photos, please ask for my permission. I usually say "yes" as long as you post the photo only and provide a link back to my blog and you do not post the recipe.  

I love it and am thrilled when you "pin" my photos to Pinterest as long as you  do not remove the link back to my blog and you do not copy and paste the recipe into the comments section. 

Contact: karen.h.kerr@gmail.com

Where else can you find me?

I'm on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram

I'd love it if you would follow me for updates.


  1. Hi Karen! I've already been inspired by a few of your recipes. I can't wait to get into the kitchen and try a few.

  2. Karen, I'm so glad we've connected through FB! I actually made your Pane di Como when I first started blogging! It's cited in one of my very first posts!! Your bread baking skills are truly inspiring! :D

  3. A mess in the kitchen when you make something new???? Pah I make a mess in the kitchen when I walk in there yet alone when I start to cook ;)

    1. Oh you should see the disaster before, during, and after a stir fry!

  4. Hi Karen, I recently purchased FWSY and started to enjoy a hobby I had not done for many years. I was led to your website and have been a frequent flyer ever since. I especially enjoy your layout of the recipes and the tips that you add. I was so glad to learn that you can leave the parchment paper under the bread while you bake it! I have tried many of your other bread recipes as well. I am currently baking the Apple Sourdough bread in preparation for tomorrow nights cheese melts.Thanks so much for a great site,Mike

    1. Thanks so much Mike! You just made my day! Isn't it an amazing hobby? I am smiling from ear to ear.

  5. I am glad we've connected at two FB groups, Karen... I am also thankful for two other things, we both use blogger and have our day jobs. I have been struggling with blogging but you and other bloggers with day jobs inspire me to pursue my passion, particularly this year that I wanted to give it one more shot. You've got wonderful photos! :)

  6. I love everything about this !! amazing recipes and fabulous pictures.

  7. Greetings from S.India to you Karen - I have subscribed to you a few month ago but this is my first comment. But for today, first of all HAPPY NEW YEAR and happy baking, of course.What adorable grandsons you have, I envy you :)
    But now, please can you help me: I know how to cook but NOT to BAKE. My husband, who is Indian, l o v e s freshly baked (german!) bread, which of course is not possible to get here. In fact the bread is pretty ......:):), far too sweet. Only 2 type of flour available (Atta and Maida). So his wish for 2016 is for me to bake him some bread at home - but looking at your list I do not know which bread to choose to start with. So, please suggest a plain easy to bake bread to make a happy husband and subsequently a happy (german) wife :). Thank you so much in advance.

    1. Since you don't have access to rye, I would suggest any of the tangzhong breads, as well as the basic sandwich loaf. They are easy!

  8. Hi Karen,
    Your blog is so cute :). Reading your blog has made me hungry.
    I'd love to share with you some ideas. How can I contact you?

  9. I have always loved bread baking although I never really did too much about it, that is until I met you Karen and discovered your blog. You my dear bring out the bread baking in everyone. Thanks.

  10. It's been great getting to know you on FB Karen. I am a dabbler in yeast breads off and on. Knowing you has inspired me to really get into making bread more of a 'thing' in my kitchen repertoire once again. Everytime I see one of your breads I can't wait to get started! Thanks so much for your wonderful photos and inspiration!

    1. Awwww! It's been great getting to know you too!! xoxo

  11. Hi there Karen...
    So fun looking through this and even better cause I know you! I have never really looked at a blog before, but when I saw the smoked gouda reference on Instagram, I had to look it up! Lucky for me, I got to taste it at our recent Pi Phi event! Happy 2017 and keep the good recipes coming! Karen Autrey

    1. Thanks so much Karen!!! Yes, I finally got around to posting it. You guys were my first tasters!

  12. Hi Karen;
    Saw your post in Foodblogger Central and thought I check-out your website and now I bookmarked you. Your recipes look very appealing as well as your pictures. Need to learn to bake bread, will need to start trying more often. Will be a regular guest.

    1. Thanks so much Marinka! You totally made my day!

  13. Hi Karen;
    I found you through FB and love your recipes. We have lots of things in common, including the out of control cook books. :-)
    Also agree on your comment that "I can't live without a kitchen scale" Mine never leaves my bench, and use it several times every day. Start my day by weighing the coffee I put in my espresso machine (and the milk I put in my coffee) If nothing else, saves washing up - no need to dirty various sized spoons and cups etc.
    Which brings me to a huge request I have. Could you please, pretty please, give weights, not just spoons and cups in your recipes? Yes, I am aware that some people don't have kitchen scales (although I don't understand why) and prefer cup measurements, but could you PLEASE give both?
    Just looking at (and planning to make) your pull-apart garlic rolls, but what, pray, is 1 teaspoon plus 3/4 cup water? :-) Wouldn't it be simpler to say 6.17oz or 182ml (or thereabouts... I am sure that 6 oz or 180ml would still be more accurate than 1 teaspoon plus 3/4 cup. And of course, there is the 6 tablespoons of butter. What is wrong with 3 oz or 85gr?

    1. Thanks for your feedback. I do the best I can on providing weights because I use a scale too. Regarding the 1 tsp and 3/4 cups, the teaspoon was for sautéing the garlic, and the 3/4 cup (6 ounces) is for the dough.


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