I love to read cookbooks and I subscribe to four different cooking magazines, and am always browsing the internet looking for something that sounds yummy to eat or drink, and during one of my searches that probably said “easy, delicious chicken dinner” I came across Add A Pinch, Robyn Stone’s website and it immediately became one of my favorite sites for great family friendly recipes. And then I discovered her cakes. Oh, I love Robyn’s cakes! But then I love all things sweet and when I was writing The Good Wife, I reached out to Robyn about coming up with a recipe just for my readers, friends, and fans, and she most graciously agreed.
Robyn has been awesome to work with and everything she does is fantastic and I knew you had to meet her. So here she is, and we’re going to go straight to her so she can explain what she does for you!
Robyn, welcome to the JaneBlog, so glad you are here. Can you please tell us about your website, Add A Pinch – what do you do?
I love sharing recipes on Add a Pinch that I’ve created and several that have been in my Southern family for generations! I usually have a story to go with just about all of my recipes because in the South, it seems that sharing meals and desserts with people has traditionally been a way to gather with those you love and care about. The foods I’ve cooked with my mother, grandmother, and other ladies in my life certainly evoke memories – and I enjoy sharing those with my readers as I share the recipes.
From time to time, I like to tell my readers about what I’m growing (or not growing) in my garden, or show them pictures of our chickens and Golden Retrievers, and tell them other happenings of the moment in my neck of the woods! I also enjoy sharing my thoughts on things I have found that I really like or products I’ve bought that I’m crazy about. I might even share a DIY project or a time saving tip along the way!
My family also loves to travel in our RV, so I share the adventures we have from time to time. My husband loves to grill and I love to cook so we are a pretty good pair when we hit the road, so I will share the foods we love to prepare while camping.
My husband and I decided a few years ago to homeschool our son. I share experiences about our homeschool learning fun or educational programs I’ve found and like from time to time on Add a Pinch, but not as much as I concentrate on recipes, living and travel on the website. I let Little Buddy help decide which stories about his school days that he wants me to share because that is important to me that he has a voice in what information about him that I share with my readers.
How did Add A Pinch come about?
I created Add a Pinch essentially three years ago – soon after I left the corporate world. I’ve always had a passion for cooking and I love making suppers for my family and friends. I really enjoy cooking special treats for my son – as my mother and grandmother did with my sister and me when we were growing up.
Add a Pinch was really born from a desire to pass on a part of my Southern heritage to my son. I decided that I wanted him to have a place that one day he could have the recipes and stories from me and his grandmother and my grandmother – as well as my memories that went along with them. I’ve always liked to write in some form or fashion – as well as cook. As a person that enjoys technology, I knew that a food blog would be the perfect place to chronicle my recipes and a database for my son (and maybe his children) in the future!
I’ve been asked how I came up with the name “Add a Pinch”. I spent a great deal of time and thought to come up with the perfect name, even including my family in the brainstorming process. Since I learned how to cook from my mother and grandmother, standing alongside them as they prepared recipes with love, the name I chose came from something my grandmother always said. I would ask her often, “Grandmother, how much sugar (or salt, or flour, or butter, etc.) do you put in this?” She would usually always answer, “Oh, just add a pinch of this and a pinch of that until it tastes just perfect!” So I knew what I had to name my blog, and Add a Pinch was born.
You put a lot of emphasis on heirloom recipes that you learned from your mother and grandmother. My character, Lauren Summer, in The Good Wife opened her bakery with her sister, using family recipes. Can you share one or two of your favorite memories of being in the kitchen with them as a little girl?
There are so many memories I have of my mother, grandmother, and even my sister, that are woven around cooking and spending time in the kitchen! At least in my Southern heritage, spending time with family usually revolved around sharing suppers together.
In the small town where I grew up, there were no fast food restaurants close by – no pizza place delivered to our part of the country either. So our meals were pretty much all prepared from scratch each and every night other than when we went out to eat or the rare occasion that we picked up something and brought it home. Those times gave us a lot of time to talk – and I’ve been told that I could out-talk just about anybody as a young girl!
I loved to help my mother make treats during the holidays and special occasions. Mother, like Grandmother, is an excellent cook. Like I mentioned, most every meal was prepared at home since we lived out in the country. We had an eat-in bar in our kitchen and I loved to be right there on one of those barstools watching and talking – even before I was interested in helping – my mother cook. I am so very thankful that I did watch and help her cook so that I was able to do so even as a young bride.
One of the most vivid memories I have of spending time in the kitchen with my grandmother involves a special treat she did for my sister and me from time to time. She had a set of really old crystal wine flutes that had been passed down to her. Even as very young little girls, my sister and I would ask for her to let us see those “wine glasses” as we called them. Now, my grandmother never ever drank anything, so hearing us talk about her wine glasses kind of made her laugh a little. One summer day we went into the kitchen for some cookies. To our delight, there on the table sat our plates of cookies and those wine glasses with the most beautiful red liquid in them! Of course it was just Kool-Aid, but I believe that was the best it had ever tasted to me then or since!
Favorite dessert to serve during the summer?
It is so hard to name just one favorite! My husband adores anything with strawberries – from cookies, to pie, cakes and so on. My son is one that loves anything chocolate (and I’m kind of with him in the chocolate loving department). I also enjoy baking cakes and homemade ice cream with the fruits of summer – peaches, strawberries and the like.
Favorite family cookie you make for the holidays?
Ever since my son was old enough to pull up a stool to reach the kitchen counter and help me, we have loved making Christmas Cookies together – basically sugar cookies that we cut out in Christmas shapes and decorate together. Baking and decorating these cookies with him every year is so special to both of us and reminds of doing this with my mother as a little girl.
5 adjectives that describe you:
Determined (or hard-headed as my Daddy or my husband might say)
I see from your website that you like to travel. I’m a huge travel junkie. Where are you itching to go next?
I do love to travel with my family. I enjoy the trips that we take together and seeing Little Buddy get so excited about going places and seeing new things. We just recently got back from Oshkosh, Wisconsin from a huge air show. We traveled from our home in the south by RV and made a few stops along the way. It was a lot of fun!
We like to take special trips for Little Buddy’s birthday and have done so since he was very young. He loves to go to Disney World, and those trips are always so special to me, so I am always itching to go on the trips that make him so excited and full of wonder!
Do you like to read, and have you migrated to e-readers or do you still like books? Have you read anything this summer you’d recommend?
I’ve always loved reading! My mother is a huge reader and has been all my life, so she passed that interest down to me I guess. I do enjoy reading on e-readers since I can just look and purchase which ever books I’ve heard are good or have just been released without having to drive to the book store. But there will always be something sort of romantic about the smell of the pages of a book. I still like to read the physical, hold-in-your-hands-and-turn-the-pages books from time to time. I read Gone with the Wind that way over and over again as I get the chance.
This summer my son and I started our own little book club, if you will, where we’ve been reading The Hunger Games series and discussing it as we go. There is nothing like reading a book series with your child and discussing it. I’d always thought I enjoyed a girls’ book club until I started purposefully having a book club like plan with my son. Hands down my favorite!
You recently created a delicious chocolate cake for me for my book, The Good Wife. Can you tell us about this recipe? (And can we share it here?)
I was thrilled when I heard from Jane about creating a chocolate cake just for The Good Wife! I used to say as a little girl that when I grew up, I was going to write books, so just imagine how cool it is for me to have a recipe in one!
I spend a lot of time creating what I thought would be a traditional, yet special and delicious chocolate cake for the bakery in the book. It is rich and very decadent – just as you would expect from a true Southern cake shop!
I would be honored for you to share that special recipe that I created just for The Good Wife! I hope your readers enjoy it as much as I did in creating it!
Thank you so much Jane for this amazing opportunity!!!
Thank you, Robyn for sharing with us today! It was a pleasure to have you with us and an equal but more delicious pleasure to try this yummy recipe! For my readers and friends, I’ve a special contest, so in the comment section below, tell me about one of your favorite family recipes, and if you enjoy baking, and you could win an advanced reading copy of The Good Wife plus a Starbucks drink card, some of my favorite authors books, and lots of other wonderful treats. The contest runs through Wednesday and the winner will be announced Thursday morning so be sure to enter soon!
And now here is the recipe the wonderful, kind, and talented Robyn Stone created for The Good Wife. Once you read the story, you’ll understand my character Lauren Summer’s obsession with making the perfect chocolate cake, and I think once you make this cake, you’ll agree, its pretty darn perfect as chocolate cakes go!