About Me

Hi! I’m Christina…

…welcome to my kitchen! It’s so nice to meet you! I share tried and true recipes that anyone can make. I believe, if you can read, you can cook.

Christina chopping lemons

I live in beautiful northeast Pennsylvania with my husband, son and our cat, Bo.

When I’m not binging true crime shows or podcasts, you’ll find me in the kitchen.  It’s my happy place.  Nothing makes me happier than feeding people.

My Passion for Cooking

It all started when I was two and received my first kitchen set.  I would spend hours whipping up imaginary meals and treats for anyone that would humor me.  

Christina cooking in her play kitchen

As a child, I loved helping in the kitchen.  Whether I was helping my grandma make homemade ravioli or baking dozens of Christmas cookies with my siblings, I loved being in the kitchen. 

Today, cooking is very cathartic to me. I’m truly in my element in the kitchen. Maybe it’s that I’m using all of my senses – the feel of the dough, the smell of the sauce or the sound of the vegetables being chopped – or maybe it’s the feeling of making someone happy through food.

Spending time in the kitchen has always made me happy (and still does!). Whether I’m making an old favorite that I know by heart or trying a new recipe, it’s exciting to see it all come together.

How It Is a Keeper Came to Be

It Is a Keeper began January 10, 2010.  On that day, I was cleaning my house, getting everything organized after the holidays. I found several piles of recipes, stashed here and there, that I wanted to try.  

There were hundreds of them – ripped from magazines, clipped from pasta boxes, printed from websites, even written on paper plates and old envelopes. I spread them all out in front of me to be sorted and organized.

recipe pile

I popped in the movie, Julie and Julia and started going through the pile of recipes. If you’ve never seen the move, the main character, Julie, decides she’s going to cook her way through Julia Child’s cookbook and blog about it.

As I was watching the movie and sorting, I had an idea! I was going to cook my way through my pile of recipes and blog about whether or not the recipes in the pile were “keepers”. The only problem was…I didn’t really know what a blog was. Or, more importantly, how to start one.

So, I grabbed my laptop and started Googling. By the end of the weekend, I had a website (this was my first post – don’t judge). I really had no idea what I was doing. It definitely wasn’t the best (I’ve come a LOOONG way since then), but I built it. By myself! Would ya look at that!

My Blogging Journey

When I started my blog, I was working full-time as the VP of communications for our local Chamber of Commerce and It Is a Keeper was a hobby. Something I worked on in the evenings and on the weekends – whenever I had a spare moment.

I don’t have any professional training. No fancy schools. Just a love for cooking and a willingness to learn.

Today, blogging is my job.  In addition to my website and social networks, I also have a YouTube channel where I cook my favorite recipes – you can follow along with me.

I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to work from home doing what I love.  Some days, it’s crazy busy, like the running-my-dishwasher-three-times-in-a-single-afternoon kind of busy.  But I love every minute of it. 

As with most entrepreneurs, I wear many hats. I’m the recipe tester, photographer, videographer, editor, writer, social media and marketing team, tech person and probably a zillion other roles I can’t think of right now.

In 2022, I co-founded Cake Mix Recipes and More Chicken Recipes. Then, in 2023, I co-founded What’s for Dinner Meal Plans.

My Approach to Cooking

I love sharing easy recipes that anyone can make. Whether you’re watching me on YouTube or television or printing out one of my recipes, It Is a Keeper is a look into my kitchen.

Most of the things I cook are not fancy and I don’t use hard to find ingredients. They are everyday recipes for everyday life.

The food you see is what we are really eating. In fact, my family is used to eating cold food, because they have to wait for me to photograph it.

Before any recipe gets my seal of approval as a “keeper”, it needs to be easy to make, taste great and use everyday ingredients. And, it needs to have my taste testers seal of approval!

Online review with a five-star rating praising the ease of making and the taste of enchiladas. It's a Keeper!

My Books

I published my first cookbook, The Super Easy Teen Cookbook, in 2020. I loved coming up with delicious recipes that would get more kids in the kitchen.

In 2021, my second cookbook, The How-To Cookbook for College, was published. This book was created for young adults who may be cooking with limited resources and/or ingredients.

Just the Basics Cookbook was published in 2022. This book is chocked full of essential techniques and fundamental cooking tips.

Three cookbook covers aimed at beginners, including teens and college students, highlighting easy recipes and basic cooking techniques. It's a Keeper features on each cover to emphasize the reliability of the meals you'll learn to

You Might Have Seen Me

You might have seen me on TV – I’ve done quite a few television cooking segments.  Or, maybe you came across me in a magazine, like Taste of Home. Or, you might have stumbled on It is a Keeper from another website, such as BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, Woman’s Day or Reader’s Digest.  

Check out all of my media features.  

Logos of various media and publishing outlets, described as "It's a Keeper".

I’ve also been a featured speaker at various conferences, including:

  • International Food Bloggers Conference
  • Grow Your Blog Conference
  • Fin Con

In addition to co-hosting The Smart Influencer Podcast, I’ve been interviewed on several other podcasts:

What You’ll Find on It Is a Keeper

We have well over 1,000 easy recipes for you to explore. You will quick and easy dinner ideas, slow cooker, air fryer and Instant Pot recipes and, we’ve become quite popular with our flavored moonshine recipes!

You can browse our Recipe Index to search by category or enter an ingredient or recipe title into the search bar.

And, you can learn more about various ingredients and techniques in our Kitchen Basics archive.

About My Family

As I mentioned, I live in gorgeous northeastern, PA with my husband, teenage son and our cat, Bo.  When I started It is a Keeper, my son was only 4 years old.  Somehow, I blinked and he turned into a young man.  

These two are my taste-testers.  They’re always up for trying something new and offering their feedback.  Some are spot on. Others…not so much.  

They’ve also become used to eating lukewarm food that needs to be photographed before they can eat it. 

A Little More About Me

 Here are 21 things about me that you probably don’t know…

  1. I read cook books cover to cover like most people read novels. 📚
  2. I am named after two of my great-grandmothers.
  3. My middle name has a letter that is not in our alphabet.
  4. I graduated from Penn State with a BS in Management Science and Information Systems and a minor in Operations Management.
  5. I am a HUGE Penn State football fan! 🏈
  6. I’m the proud mom of an Eagle Scout. 🦅
  7. We live in the Scranton, PA area — you know, the city from The Office.
  8. I’m an Aries and I pretty much fit the profile to a T.
  9. Toast is on my list of top 5 favorite foods.
  10.  My favorite song of all time is Convoy by CW McCall (most people have never heard of it).
  11. My favorite movie is a tie between Footloose (it’s also my second favorite song) and Spaceballs.
  12. I am obsessed with true crime podcasts and TV shows.
  13. I have never had a mosquito bite. Or, if they do bite me (I don’t know 🤷‍♀️), I don’t get the itchy, red bumps. Weird, I know. But my mom and maternal grandmother were the same.
  14. My favorite flowers are hydrangeas.
  15. I am petrified of snakes.
  16. I am fascinated by all things Southern – I think I was born on the wrong side of the Mason-Dixon line.
  17. I’m very clumsy – I once fell off the end of Norway.
  18. I’m a huge spreadsheet nerd!
  19. My dad was like a walking GPS, however, I didn’t inherit that skill. I am ALWAYS getting lost. 
  20. I live with not one, but two drummers – my house is loud! 🥁
  21. I have a soft spot for veterans – they are true heroes. 🇺🇲

I hope this helped you get to know me a little better.  

Questions I’m Always Asked

Yes! All recipes are tried and true and have received my seal of approval.

Most of my favorite recipes have been passed down from family and friends. I’ve inherited all of my family’s recipe boxes and I love it! I’ve included some of my favorites below.

There are two mistakes I see a lot. First, not seasoning food as you’re cooking. I highly recommend using my All Purpose Seasoning Blend for all of your savory recipes.

The second mistake I see a lot is overcooking meat. It’s so easy to overcook and dry out meat when cooking. A good meat thermometer is essential!

I always recommend that you purchase the best kitchen knives that you can afford. You don’t need an entire knife block set, either. Choose the best chef’s knife in your budget.

I also recommend investing in good pots and pans. I prefer to buy only the pieces I need (instead of pre-packaged sets). I put together a collection of all of my favorite items.

Accomplishments and Awards

  • Past Columnist for NEPA Family Times
  • Past Field editor for Taste of Home magazine
  • Named Best Food and Beverage Blog (2016) by NEPA BlogCon
  • Named one of the Top 25 Women in Business (2015) by the NEPA Business Journal
  • Named Best Blog in 2014 (2014) by Happenings Magazine
  • Named Best Local Blog (2014) by The Weekender’s Reader’s Choice Awards
  • Named Best Local Blogger (2013) by The Electric City
  • Named one of the Top 20 Under 40 (2012) by the NEPA Business Journal
  • Featured as Northeast Woman (2012) by The Scranton Times Tribune
  • Grand Prize Winner of the Williams Sonoma Easy Weeknight Meal contest (2011)

Let’s Connect

I would love to hear from you. Feel free to send me your feedback and questions. 

20 thoughts on “About Me”

  1. Ordered Moonshine Recipe book plus the 2 other ones that you were advertising in mid Dec 2022 and still waiting ?

    • These are digital ebooks and not hard-copy books. This was clarified in the terms of service you agreed to prior to purchasing. I’ve emailed you regarding how to get the download links resent to you. Thank you!

  2. I am so jealous you did this first! It’s been an idea of mine for awhile 🙂 Congrats on a wonderful blog and project!

  3. Hello! I am a new follower. I found you through the “Terrific Thursday Blog Hop”! I just took a look through your posts and I have one thing to say, “I am in big trouble!” So many things looked SOOOOO good! I will be trying out some of these recipes! Thank you and please visit my blog at http://SurvivingSAHM.com/blog!


  4. Great site! I just found you and I like it! I too have have an obessive amount of recipes in binders that I have pulled from everywhere, the internet, magazines, etc including over 100 cookbooks. Keep up the good work!

    • Thanks for the kind words, Reynaul! Feel free to share your hits and misses on here too!

      Thanks for reading!

  5. Hello Christina! I just came across your blog. What a great idea! I, too, am guilty of collecting recipes and cookbooks without trying most of them. Most of my collection now is on my laptop, and no lie, I have over 1000. Guilty! Anyway, just wanted to send you a word of encouragement. Blogging daily must be a thankless job, but I hope it’s as fun for you to write as it is for us to read!

    • Thanks for the words of encouragement, Jacqueline! I really like sharing recipes on my blog. I think it’s a bit cathartic! It’s the one place where I can talk (on and on and on….) about food! I’m impressed with how organized you are with your recipes! I hope to be like that someday too! Do you use software to help store your recipes?

  6. I’m so glad I found you! Just today in fact. I’m always looking for new and different recipes. I’m a recipe collecter too, only I collect recipe sites that I know will be useful. I’m looking forward to seeing what else you bring out!

  7. Your photography is fabulous. Can you tell me the name and model of the camera your husband uses? Mine Hubs is wanting a new one and I love your pics.


    • Deanne — Thanks for the kind words about the photos! My husband uses a Canon 40D with a 580 EX flash. However, this model was discontinued a little while ago. The 50D was the model that took its place. He uses 2 flashes (one on the cam and one off) to get the right lighting and not leave harsh shadows. It really does take beautiful pictures! Let me know if you need any more details.

    • WOW! Thanks, Megan! I’m honored that you thought of me! Please let me know what I need to do. I added a link to your blog to my blogroll at the right, too.

  8. Congrats ! I happen to think like you. And also about to start my own blog and then maybe a web page. Ultimately be my own boss, working with what I love the most; everything food related.

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