about

Hi, I’m Kristy Bernardo.

I’m glad you’re here!

This food blog is all about easy, delicious recipes that anyone can make. You’ll find recipes here for busy weeknights, dinner parties, the holidays and loads of comfort foods. I also love to create low-carb & Keto recipes, as well as many for the Instant Pot! “Easy upscale” is my favorite kind of recipe, so you’re sure to find a few of your own favorites here, too!

So, who is Kristy Bernardo and why should I care?

Excellent question! After all, I’m most likely just some random person you came across on the interwebs. But why don’t I tell you a bit about myself and you can decide for yourself if you want to stick around.

These are all the personal things that make me, me. Scroll further down if you’re more interested in my cooking life.

> I was born and raised in Waupaca, Wisconsin. Lots of cows, cheese and, a bit later in life, beer. If you know what cheese curds are, we can definitely be friends. Bonus points if you know why they squeak.

> After that, I lived in Orange County, CA for a long time. I loved it and really miss it! Now I’m in Northern VA with no plans to leave anytime soon.

> I’ve always been a bit food-obsessed. I’ve eaten at some of the finest restaurants in the world, but man, do I love me a good FiveGuys burger, too. Good food is good food, and it all has its place in my belly.

> I rarely cooked until I resigned from my job as a VP of Human Resources to raise my first daughter (I’ve got two). I started cooking out of necessity but quickly realized that I had a knack for it and also loved it! 

> I’m kind of a goofball. I love to laugh and try to spend as much time as possible doing it. I was lucky enough to stumble into this amazing guy, Rob, who likes to laugh as much as I do. So now we pretty much just eat, laugh at/with each other and watch as much true crime as possible. Also Breaking Bad. (We can be best friends if you’re a cheese curd-loving Breaking Bad fan.)

> I learned to ride a motorcycle two years ago, having only been on the back of one once before.Then I bought my own and put 5,000 miles on it in a year and a half. I crashed it a little bit last month, though, and I haven’t decided yet if I’ll get back on it. Have to stay alive for the kiddos, you know.

> Cooking, for me, is so much more than just putting ingredients together to eat something delicious at the end of it (although that’s a big part of it). What I love most is the gathering of friends and family, the laughs and conversation that happens along with it. Those are the moments that I know life is really good, and food just always seems to be there at those times. So, food + friends + family = good times. (Maybe a few cocktails, too.) And we can all use as many of those as we can get!

> I love doing puzzles. Any kind, really, but logic puzzles are my favorite. Give me an iPad and some puzzle apps, and I can disappear for days.

> I’m an animal lover and don’t discriminate. In my lifetime I’ve cared for everything from cows and chickens to lizards and birds. And though I currently have just one dog and two cats, I’d take ’em all in if I could.

> Friends and family are the most important things in my life. I’ve been blessed with two amazing parents (married 61 years!), two loving sisters, two daughters that I’d give my life for, and a handful of good, close friends. And Rob, my absolute best friend and partner in pretty much everything I do. So life is good!

Here are a few things I've done in and around the cooking world.

  • I've owned a successful business as a personal chef. I decided to move on from that when my blog went full-time, even though I still miss my clients to this day.
  • I've been employed as a cooking instructor for both kids and adults, taught cooking camps and have even taught classes in people's homes for a fun night in.
  • I've done a lot of food and travel writing for various publications. The furthest I've traveled for work is Morocco and my favorite work trip to date is New Mexico. Gotta love those hatch chiles!
  • I was a judge in an online cooking competition series and then became the host for season 2. (And no, I won't share the links because the one thing I dislike more than talking about myself is watching myself on video. But if you search "Kristy Bernardo Simply Potatoes" on YouTube, you can watch a professionally filmed video of me that I don't mind so much.)
  • But what I'm most proud of and excited to share with you, is that...

...I wrote some

These books are all very special to me in their own way. The first one I wrote, “Weeknight Cooking with your Instant Pot“, is at the top of the list just because it was, well, my first. That one is dedicated to my parents, too, which meant a lot to me (how often does one get the chance to publicly recognize those most important to us)? And, of course, it’s chock full of delicious recipes for your Instant Pot or other pressure cooker.

Cooking from Frozen in your Instant Pot” was born out of a need to solve my constant “I forgot to defrost some meat for dinner” dilemma. It was a game changer for me, and it’s sure to be one for you, too!

The Big Book of Instant Pot Recipes” is a collaboration with three other uber-talented food bloggers, all who have a love affair with their Instant Pots. I’m so proud of every one of these 240 recipes, even though just 60 of them are mine. It’s a wonderful book and a one-stop-shop for Instant Pot recipes.

And, finally, there’s “Weeknight Keto“. This one is being released on December 31st, 2019 and I couldn’t be more proud or excited to see it come out! Eating low-carb – and especially Keto – doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking. It’s actually easy to get started with my book because I strived to use as many everyday ingredients as possible. If you’ve been thinking about trying Keto, or if you’re already on that path, check it out and please let me know what you think!

More info and links to purchase all of my books can be found here:

Baked Oatmeal Cups in muffin tin just out of the oven on a black plate.

Baked Oatmeal Cups – Superfood Style

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you make money with a food blog? This question gets asked the most, both in the “real” world and virtually. The most common ways are through website ads, affiliate marketing, sponsored content and recipe + video development for brands. Most people who aren’t in this field think blogging and making money doing it means that you just write a post, put in on your site and it magically makes you money. But there is a lot more that goes into running one blog than you’d think! SEO, social media promotion, recipe creation + testing, food photography, keeping up with technological and algorithmic changes, keeping your content “fresh”, finding (and keeping) new clients, accounting and invoicing, and the list goes on. But if you love the work, can appreciate working (mostly) alone, and can stick to a schedule religiously, then it can be one heckuva lotta fun!

How do you come up with new recipes? The best way I can explain it is that when you think about something all the time – you’re completely immersed in it – you’ll get ideas and inspiration everywhere. I’m never not “on” when it comes to thinking about new creations. I have a notepad a mile long on my phone from ideas that occur to me when I’m at a restaurant, having a conversation with a friend or even at the grocery store. A dish that I enjoyed years ago might spark an idea for something completely different that I’m making today. I try to stay with mainstream, popular recipes then either give them a twist or offer ways to make them your own.

Do you take your own food photographs? Most of the photography on this site is mine. Every photo on this page was taken by yours truly! I’m proud of these photographs because I spent a lot of time learning photography and trying to constantly improve. Photography doesn’t come naturally to me, it’s a time-consuming process and not one that I enjoy. Which is why I recently made the decision to purchase high-quality photographs when it’s possible. If I can find a photo where the ingredients used are exact and my end result looks just like their end result, then I’ll use it to save a lot of time and headache. If I can’t find one, then I do the photography myself. And if I’m hired by a brand that includes food photography, I always take the photos myself. When it comes down to it, creating delicious recipes is what I love and what I’m good at. So that’s where I focus most of my energy, so that you can benefit, too!

Whew! You made it all the way to the end. Now it’s your turn to write!

You can tell me about you if you like. Or shoot me a question, be it about the Instant Pot, eating Keto, my cookbooks or just what the weather is like in Virginia today. Share a funny joke or story. Doesn’t really matter to me, I just love to connect with my readers, fellow foodies and nice people in general. 

Thanks for reading and come back to visit soon!

What does a nosey pepper do? Gets jalapeño business!