I’m Kat Collins – a writer, artist, book reviewer, and closet chef. Because I’m a lover of (mostly) all things edible, bordering on obsession, and a passionate writer, I combined my loves into one world!
Originally, this was a blog all about writing, but the more I wrote about writing, the more I lost interest in writing. Ironic, I know. I discovered that although I love to write, I don’t particularly love to write about writing. A lot of people already tackle that topic, and I enjoy reading their tidbits. But it’s not for me.
What I am passionate about is food. I love to eat. I love to read about eating and food. I love to write about food. I love to create succulent dishes for myself and others. I can’t help it. It’s been ingrained in me since I was a child. One of my dad’s favorite sayings when company is over for dinner is, “There’s plenty of food here! So if you leave hungry, it’s your fault!” I don’t know how many times I heard that phrase and variations thereof.
My grandparents fed people. My parents fed people. And now I feed people. I’ll never forget how my Nana (my dad’s mom) would poke at my belly and tell me that I was “too fat.” But then she would turn around and offer me biscuits with honey and butter, creamed rice with sausage and soppy eggs, sweet peaches fresh from her fruit tree, popcorn balls, southern sweet tea, apple pie…it goes on and on. Food was synonymous with being happy, or at least taken care of. It’s how you knew someone loved you.
As I laid in bed reading one night, I started thinking about the foods in my life, how different foods bring to mind different people and different parts of my life. It’s similar to when you smell a certain scent and instantly you are transported to a certain moment in time inside your memories. Food is just as powerful.
I have an unusual mix of foods in my history. My dad is from the South, in North Carolina and my mom is from the North, in Maine. Talk about opposite ends of the spectrum! It’s a rich heritage of an amalgam of foods – Southern cooking and New England foods. Several years ago, I traveled to Italy, and fell in love. Not with a person, but with the country as a whole. I’ve been obsessed with Italian food ever since. Add in a partner who is predominantly German and was raised in Germany, and you’ve got the whole smorgesboard.
But the overall theme is comfort food, regardless of the ethnicity. It is always about making you feel good and loved with a warm coziness in your belly and in your heart.
A few other random tidbits…I live in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania with my partner and two spoiled rotten cats named Nittany and Taz. And yes, the name Nittany is from the Penn State Nittany Lions football team. I’m a bit of a fanatic. (Pittsburgh Steelers, too.) I love to cook (and eat) and like to throw five-course gourmet dinners for my friends. I’m a voracious reader and will read everything and anything, even the back of cereal boxes. Shopping should be my middle name (it’s excellent therapy).
All of the recipes are created by me or adapted from another recipe (credit is given), unless noted otherwise. Every recipe has been tested and eaten by me, my guinea pig partner, and occasionally unsuspecting friends (some willingly volunteer). I would never share something with you that I haven’t eaten and liked myself! What would be the point in that? Please visit my Copyright Page if you would like to use a photography and/or recipe from Writes & Bites.
All photos are taken by me, unless otherwise noted. I’m not a professional. Everything I’ve learned is self-taught or I’ve taken classes. I’ve been enthralled with photography for years, primarily focused on landscapes, artsy photos, and animals, although I’m still stuck in the digital point and shoot era. Storing away those pennies for a DSLR! I’m a Canon junkie – started with an old film Rebel and fell in love. Currently, all the pictures on Writes & Bites are taken with a digital Canon Rebel and a Canon Powershot. Food is a new subject for me in photography and I’m having a blast learning all the ins and outs of how to shoot the “perfect” shot (if there really is such a thing). My style, which is continually evolving, is clear, clean, bright, and simple. I don’t like cluttered pictures. The focus is the food!
I am currently working on a fiction crime/mystery thriller novel titled, “Baby Brokers.”
I’m also working on a memoir about being “the good wife,” escaping the shadows of expectations, and living an authentic, empowered life.
In addition to my life as a writer and foodie, I’m also a professional book reviewer. I post my book reviews at Kat’s Book Reviews, as well as on Goodreads and Amazon. Check it out if books and reading are your thing!
***If you have a book you want reviewed, please visit Kat’s Books Reviews website.***
I am a member of the National Association of Memoir Writers, National Book Critics Circle, and the Greater Lehigh Valley Writer’s Group.
I hold a BA with a concentration in Fine Arts and a minor in Psychology, from Mount Vernon Nazarene University, Ohio. With my interests spanning art, travel, psychology, spirituality, culinary, women’s health, pop culture, and socio-cultural issues, my writing portfolio is varied. Currently you can see my work in the Summer 2012 Still Point Arts Quarterly and upcoming December 2012 issue of Culture magazine. My work has been published on websites and by a small poetry journal. I designed and wrote several publicity pieces, ad copy, promotional materials, newsletters, website copy, and more for non-profits. In 2003, I co-wrote (and acted in) a small comedy play for a dinner theater, titled Kumbaya.
As an artist, my work has been displayed at the Mansfield Art Gallery (Ohio), Mt. Vernon Nazarene University Art Gallery (Ohio), Bethlehem Juried Art Exhibition (Pennsylvania), and on the walls in homes. In 2003, I hand-painted a life-size fiberglass mule commissioned by the Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce (PA). It was part of a larger project, “Miles of Mules,” which was a public art project designed to couple the beauty of art with the richness of history along the Delaware and Lehigh canals. Subsequently, the artwork and commentary was published in a coffee table book which you can purchase at the National Canal Museum Store. I have completed several commissioned pieces for a variety of occasions, and continue to do so.
You can find a more complete version of my resume on my profile at LinkedIn.
© Copyright 2011-2012 Writes & Bites and Kat Collins/Karen Dixon. All rights reserved
All recipes, articles, blog post, content, and images (*unless otherwise stated*) are the sole property of Writes & Bites and Kat Collins/Karen Dixon. They should not be used without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited. Without exceptions, violators will be pursued and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Thank you for stopping by! Do you have a suggestion or question for me? Post a comment, use the contact form or email me at katcollinswriter ( @ ) yahoo.com