In my kitchen in our home in Chicago

Here it is, 8 weeks into the Stay Home order during the Corona Virus pandemic of 2020, when I embarked upon my cook book project and starting posting what I’ve been cooking to FaceBook and Instagram. While I’ve been creating and trying new things in the kitchen, I am now firmly in the “Learn Something New” camp with this site and blog. As a bit of a perfectionist, I had rationalized that the delay in getting to the first post was to be more proficient and make sure everything was looking and working right. It dawned on me that is was pure procrastination and it could end up going the way of those many false starts at writing a cook book in the past. I had registered the site, designed the logo, took the tutorial and announced that I was going to do this and then froze as I realized I may have bitten off a bit more than I had anticipated. Well, I put the pressure on myself knowing I’d need it for the motivation, so like Nike says, it’s time to JUST DO IT!

If my project is going to result in a book, it will need a title, right? My friend Marie, who has been one of my biggest cheerleaders (and yes, we were both cheerleaders back in the day), was brainstorming and tossing out ideas. Since my initials are KK, and some people call me that (as I can’t stand when the last syllable is dropped from Kristina) she was suggesting things like “Kristina Kuisine” and “Kooking with Kristina”. . . I know I can be a little kooky, but that just didn’t ring right. My brother in law suggested “Cooking in the Time of Corona”, but I just couldn’t embrace that, even if it was the impetus for getting the project off the ground. My sister in law, Julia, married to my good friend John Lynch from BC, proposed “Duv Cooks Like a Lady’, based on my college nickname (Duvall being my maiden name) and the Aerosmith song they used to sing to me “Duv Looks Like a Lady”. I’m Auntie Duv to their 3 boys, and it is a cute family joke, but it didn’t seem to have broad enough appeal to those that aren’t in the know. The wheels kept on churning and I realized it was right in front of me … quite literally, in email and Instagram accounts. I have used Ktina (Kay-tina) ever since college when I worked at The Mooring Restaurant on Cape Cod and the kitchen needed to differentiate between 4 of us named Kristina, Christina, Kristine & Christine. We became K-tina, C-tina, Krissy & Chris. Friends from my first 2 years at BC will recall that I went by Kris until that summer when I migrated to my full name and never went back. A quick web search revealed that while someone was using Kristina’s Kitchen, no one was using Ktina’s Kitchen, and the domain was available on WordPress…Done!

Next up was to design a logo. Fortunately, WordPress directed me to a site that helps with this. After answering a few questions and selecting a few images I like, they sent me a few designs to choose from . I was able to edit colors and fonts. I wanted something clean that wouldn’t detract from the food. I selected the colors based on the accent colors in both Chicago (red) and Cape Cod (blue) homes. My slogan, FOOD * FUN * FAMILY * FRIENDS sums up how I feel about cooking and what’s important to me. I love going out to dinner, but having someone to your home is so much more intimate and I love bringing groups of friends together. Chances are we will start, or even spend the entire meal, in the kitchen. Honestly, it’s usually because I’m still pulling things together having tried to squeeze in a little too much. The picture on my home page is of a painting that hangs in our kitchen and seems to embody the slogan.

And so the Ktina’s Kitchen experiment begins. I hope you will follow along and enjoy the ride. I will post recipes and hope you will try them and provide feedback so that I can make modifications as necessary.

Thank you to my family and friends who have encouraged me to do this, most especially my wonderful husband, Dennis who is the chief taster and dishwasher. There’s no one I’d rather be stuck at home with.



  1. Love it…love you and Dennis and love that you are getting this pet project off the ground!! Love and success! XXOO`. Mom.

  2. How exciting to share what you love! Congratulations, Kristina!
    Love, Marie

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