Julia welcomes you into her home by handing you a mimosa and a “Can I have three please” warm out of the oven fresh Peach Rolls with a sugar glaze. Everything about her space and personality is warm and inviting and she’s bubbly and down to earth at the same time. Her eyes reflect true friendship and her kitchen, where comfort food comes to life, reflects her deep joy and love of bringing people and food together.
Katrina and I had the tremendous pleasure of spending a morning with Julia, where we got to talk food, inspiration, and her blog, girlmeetskitchen.net.
Julia has been cooking since her grandma invited her into her own sacred space, the kitchen, when she was a little girl. There wasn’t worry about messes or doing things the wrong way. It was a space birthed out of learning and loving to cook by getting your hands deep in the dough, spilling milk and making memories. Loving food and time together by learning together.
Building family and tradition together.
Food and family and love would forever be inseparable for Julia through the open heart and kitchen of her grandmother. The tradition and love for food that she is inviting her own children to be apart of.
It’s easy to see how anyone could love cooking in Julia’s kitchen. (I was struggling with deep kitchen envy.) It’s clean lines, soft colors, open space, and designated cocktail bar and coffee station. (See… kitchen envy.) It is a space, primed for creating, learning and experimenting. While talking with Julia, it is evident that having a food experience is not just about the ingredients, but the space and environment you create around it as well. She has a passion for loving people with food.
In between bites of her soft, warm and gooey Peach Sweet Rolls, I asked where she finds her inspiration to turn a traditional Cinnamon roll into something unique and delicious, where you wonder why you only now have discovered the gift of changing one ingredient to create a whole new experience.
“I find inspiration everywhere, but I love walking the isles of the grocery store and highlighting one ingredient. Showcasing it either by creating a new recipe around it, or substituting it in a traditional form.”
Though always a cook, and self declared baker, Julia really started to dig into food, food production, organic and gmo effects when her daughter was born with food intolerances that put her in the hospital. With knowledge comes understanding and change. She discovered the importance of organic, chemical free ingredients and how they not only heal the body but fuel it the correct way. Now, as often as possible, her cooking has found new depth and purpose with choosing high quality ingredients.
Between her fascination with food and hunger for knowledge, Julia has started a blog and Instagram account to share what she has learned and is learning with family and friends. Her blog, over at girlmeetskitchen.net is as beautiful and inspired as her cooking. It is approachable and unassuming. Julia’s sister once told her that “God would speak to her in pretty things” and it is obvious that it is also how Julia speaks to the world.
Julia has found an online family of fellow food bloggers where she shares her creations and find support. Though a dedicated fan of Ina Garten and Curtis Stone, she loves following local cooks like Laurie at RelishingIt and Amanda at Heartbeet. While we talked food and appliances, she highly recommends any cook starting out to get a good baking sheet (for baking, roasting, and cooking) she whipped up a Tomato Onion Galette with a Sage and onion crust (seriously right?). And yes, it was as delicious to eat as it sounds, there was none left.
I asked Julia if she had any advice for beginners cooks. “Love the journey. Start out with a recipe of a food you love to eat. If you choose something difficult, and it contains ingredients you already aren’t fond of, you will think you failed and not go back. Cook what you love. Choose something easy. Let flavors guide you in the kitchen and don’t give up. The mess is the beautiful part of the journey.”
Julia describes herself as a simple person with a focus on family who loves fiercely and wants to share her passion for food and being together with her audience. I would have to agree, though I would never call her simple, but magnetic. You are drawn to her as a friend, and even though the food that comes out of her oven is restaurant worthy, she has you believing you are capable of creating good food too. With her as a teacher and guide, I have to believe it’s possible.
I was so honored to spend some time with Julia as she showed us her easy skill and passion for food. This upcoming food star sits on the prime of her cooking influence. This is one cook, one blog, one lovely lady that you want to follow and be inspired by. You want to watch her before she gets away. I look forward to saying, “I knew her when”.