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Meet Katie Jasiewicz

Today we’d like to introduce you to Katie Jasiewicz.

Hi Katie, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I’ve always had a love for cooking, even at a young age. My dad was deployed to the Gulf War and my mom worked part-time out of the home. We had a babysitter a few nights each week. I was tired of eating microwave dinners night after night. Naturally, I started experimenting in the kitchen.

I remember craving breakfast potatoes one evening. It was a recipe that my mom would make us on the weekend. Me being the ripe old age of nine, I decided to try and make them. I remembered watching my mother fry them in a pan—how hard could it be? I diced up a potato and started frying the raw pieces of diced potato in a pan. Little did I realize that you can’t fry raw potatoes (well, you can, but you need to have a decent amount of oil/butter and a lid to soften them up). I was disappointed after they weren’t “done” cooking. They were still crunchy raw potatoes. Not the soft on the inside and crispy on the outside potatoes that my mom would make.

After that, my mom started giving me basic cooking lessons. By age ten, I was cooking for my younger brother, our babysitter, and myself. At the time, my meals consisted of shake-n-bake chicken, canned veggies, with homemade mashed potatoes. Yes, I was making mashed potatoes from scratch. From there, I read cookbooks and magazines and kept experimenting in the kitchen. In my late teens, I discovered the Food Network and would watch show after show, learning new kitchen techniques.

After graduating from Rollins College and getting married, I was in need of filling my extra time with something new. (I’ve always been a busy-body.) Time after time, I had friends and family ask me for recipes. One of my co-workers encouraged me to start a food blog, and thanks to her push, was created! At the time, I started Katie’s Cucina as a hobby. A way to easily share recipes with my friends and family.

A year after starting my recipe blog Katie’s Cucina, I started a home/diy blog called Sew Woodsy. Where we documented our home renovation projects after purchasing our first home. That blog has morphed more into a lifestyle blog where I share a mix of easy Cricut craft projects, free printables, family vacations, and home projects.

In 2014, I left my corporate marketing job to pursue blogging full time and have been my own boss since! Little did I ever know that Katie’s Cucina would grow from a hobby to a full-blown business. I never thought I would be an entrepreneur, and let alone own my own business. I remember people always telling me when I was younger to do what you love. I never fully understood that until I was miserable in corporate America. Blogging has afforded me the opportunity to stay at home, raise children, all while still bringing in an income. Although I have no professional culinary training- I have a love for cooking. I’m a home cook that has refined my skills over time. Maybe one day, I’ll pursue culinary school to get the official title of chef!

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I don’t think anyone in the blog space could ever say blogging has been a smooth ride. Blogging requires you to wear ALL the hats. I am recipe developer, food stylist and photographer, videographer, content writer, SEO specialist, social media manager, email marketer, accountant, etc. Keeping up to date with all the latest trends while still managing all aspects of the business is definitely a big challenge.

Finding the home/work balance is another really big challenge of mine. Because I don’t leave my home to work, you will find me working at all sorts of random times of the day. This also means I sometimes work very late into the night and early morning hours if I’m on a deadline. It’s also the beauty of the business I created, so I can spend as much time with my family as possible. I try to make myself present when my kids are home from school to help with homework and overall spend time with them and my husband. I also schedule myself off from my computer on the weekends when possible, If I really need to work, I will focus on developing new recipes or re-testing and rephotographing older recipes. That way I can be more present with my children and husband without feeling too guilty that I’m working around the clock.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
This will be my 12th year blogging on Katie’s Cucina and 11th year on Sew Woodsy. As my kids have started to get older and need less of my attention, I’ve started refocusing my attention back on building my blog to exactly what I always envisioned it to be. Over the past two years, I’ve reinvested a lot of money into learning search engine optimization (SEO), I’ve also had a website redesign and really focused in on my branding, mission statement, and my ideal reader (i.e. avatar) for Katie’s Cucina.

When I’m not working on my blogs, I do freelance recipe development and food photography for major national brands. I’ve had recipes and food photography featured on the back of product packaging, websites, print marketing materials, and even in eBooks. Some of my past client work has been with Stonyfield Organics, Litehouse Foods, Dixie Crystals Sugar, The National Pork Board, KitchenAid, and Cost Plus World Market, to name a few. I’ve been the recipe contributor for our local neighborhood newspaper, Nonahood News, since March of 2016.

Over the past 11+ years, Katie’s Cucina has been featured on Country Living, Huffington Post, The Today Show, Red Book Magazine, Food Network, Buzz Feed, and Woman’s Day, to name a few. Before I had kids, I started doing morning television segments. I made my television premier on the Nationally Syndicated morning show “The Daily Buzz.” After that segment, I filmed another Nationally Syndicated recipe segment for Life, Love, Shopping. Followed by a recipe segment for our local Fox 35 Orlando.

We’d love to hear about any fond memories you have from when you were growing up?
I grew up a Navy brat and we moved a few times throughout my childhood. My father was often deployed. When I look back, my favorite childhood memory was when my family traveled down to Orlando to go to Disney for the week. My parents saved for years to afford us the week-long vacation. We went in the middle of summer, which, as we all know, is not really the ideal time to visit Florida thanks to the crazy high temps and random rainstorms. We made so many amazing family memories on that vacation, from afternoon swims at the pool, getting stuck inside ride attractions while we waited for the rain to stop, and fireworks at midnight. My kids have no idea how lucky they are to live within driving distance to Walt Disney World!

Contact Info:

Food & Family Photos from Katie Jasiewicz Italian Sausage Bake | Pumpkin Waffle Recipe | Carrabba’s Minestrone Soup | Instant Pot Turkey Tenderloin with Mushroom Gravy | Dark Chocolate Cheesecake | English Muffin Pizzas | Family-Friendly Popcorn Snack Board

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