Raison d’être

The Crafty Cook Nook is your hotspot for recipes, memoir, and place-based storytelling. Memory, place, and family matter, and these topics are almost always connected to food for me.

My traveler/chef inspiration?

Anthony Bourdain. I don’t drop the f-bomb as much as he does, but I hope to imbue the food, places, and people I’ve encountered with an equal measure of humor and earnest appreciation.

Besides being the creator and author of The Crafty Cook Nook, I’m a reformed academic and a recovering MFA student with a novel in the works. When I’m not working at the Colorado state capitol as a legislative editor, I can be found with my nose in a book, my hands covered in soy sauce, or my person out and about in Denver taking in the sights or hiking and running in the Rocky Mountain region.

Thanks for joining me on this food-centric journey.


90 Comments Add yours

  1. I’ve just been having a bit of a read through your blog and I love it! You write so beautifully and have some fab recipes on here… 🙂

    1. gwynnem says:

      Thank you so much! It’s an honor to have other folks reading my stories. Hopefully you’ll get to try out some of the recipes, too. 🙂

  2. Great recipe and great writer…..well done!!!!

    1. gwynnem says:

      Thanks so much, massiscooking. I’m excited to add another great blog like yours to my daily wordpress reading and viewing, too. The food arrangement in your photographs are stellar.

  3. First off I want to thank you Ma’am for following my blog. Second I want to say
    I read a bit of yours and found it worth keeping close at hand ( for quick reference). My own recipes go pretty far back, I try to preserve the history of my family and my people with them. I hope someday you get a chance to try some out 🙂 JW

    1. gwynnem says:

      Thanks, JW. I’m putting your blog recipes on my list of ones to try out!

      1. I just finished copying your shrimp, rice, salad (I forgot it’s name!). It sounds really good. I like your post because you add pictures too. Some folks post are soooo sterile even though the recipes are good. It’s hard to feel welcome in reading their post. Another thing I like about your blog is you add personal stuff in it. It gets the reader to know you as a person and not just a blogger. I post my recipes like I was sitting there talking to you in my kitchen. Like my campfireshadow westerns, I love to tell a story. My first attempt at writing was the book (you can download the pdf) about Maw Maw. Much of it is fiction mixed with real events of the life of an old woman living in the hills of West Virginia. I think you’d enjoy it 🙂 JW

  4. petrel41 says:

    Thank you for subscribing to my blog! Welcome 🙂

    All my best wishes for you and your blog!

    1. gwynnem says:

      Thanks, petrel41! I was kinda slow when it came to understanding why friends praised the power of blogs. Now, I can see why: we get to connect with folks from all over the world. Such a gift! Good luck with your blog as well. Look forward to reading more

      1. petrel41 says:

        Thanks for your kind words!

        I always feel a bit better when I see flags from all over the world in my blog stats 🙂

  5. Gwynne, wanted to let you know I am paying it forward with two recent blog awards, and recognizing your blog as one that makes the blogosphere a better place! Details are here — http://travelgardeneat.com/2012/10/13/the-wonderful-diverse-blogosphere-awards/ — no need to respond, but do feel free to pay it forward if the spirit moves you. And, most importantly, know that you are appreciated! ~ Kat

    1. gwynnem says:

      Thanks so much, Kat! This is my first blogging award. 🙂 I’ll read up on how to pay it forward, too.

  6. petrel41 says:

    Hi Crafty Cook, good news; I have nominated you for the Reality Blog Award!

    The rules are at


  7. vinicooksveg says:

    Hi Gwynnem
    I am so happy to nominate you for the award for this lovely ‘REALTY AWARD’! Please visit http://vinicooksveg.wordpress.com/2012/11/01/thanks-for-the-awards/ For further details.
    Thanks you,

    1. gwynnem says:

      In case I didn’t formally thank you, I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate you visiting my blog and thinking of me for this award. Cheers!

  8. menusofamom says:

    I am so happy to nominate you for this lovely ‘Very inspiring blog award’! Please visit http://menusofamom.wordpress.com/2012/11/04/very-inspiring-blogger-award/ for further details.
    Thank you,

    1. gwynnem says:

      Hi, Dawn.
      I apologize if I didn’t formally thank you for this award. I’ve enjoyed following your blog and hope you’re doing well!

      Best wishes to you and your family.

  9. petrel41 says:

    Hi Crafty Cook, congratulations!

    I have nominated your blog for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.

    The rules of that award are at



    1. gwynnem says:

      Thanks, petrel41! When I get back to my office, it’s time to catch up on sharing all this blog award love.

      1. petrel41 says:

        Yes, there is no need to hurry 🙂

  10. Becky J. says:

    Thank you for stopping by carefreecomposition.com. It’s nice to meet you!

    1. gwynnem says:

      Right back at ya, Becky!

  11. Sophie33 says:

    You have a very lovely blog here! Nice to meet you too! Many greetings from a foodie from Belgium!!! 😉

    1. gwynnem says:

      Thanks for stopping by my blog, Sophie. Always nice to connect with people who love writing about food as much as me. 🙂

  12. Russell. says:

    Oh dear! There’s some really tasty stuff on this blog. I’ve just had my supper, but feel hungry again. This is the place to look for recipes, Russell.

    1. gwynnem says:

      Thanks, Russell. I’m just now seeing this post. Hope you’ve had some time to try out a few recipes. 🙂

  13. jessa says:

    Hi! Jessa from Heed the Feed here! I just wanted to let you know that you WON the giveaway featuring two pounds of whole beans!
    Do I have your permission to post your name and blog link in the giveaway’s announcement post?
    Please get back to me ASAP at heedthefeed@gmail.com with your name and a shipping address.
    Thanks and congratulations!! 🙂

    1. gwynnem says:

      Yay! Thanks so much for the good news. I can’t wait to try out the coffee.

  14. delicious blog! you’ve made me want to read tolstoy and reminded me of how much i love ‘the onion’. and i want to make every recipe you’ve posted. right now. i’m so glad you stopped by!

    1. gwynnem says:

      Thanks so much, stitchandstir! I’m liking your blog a great deal, too. 🙂

  15. Thrilled to let you know that I’ve nominated you for the Blog of the Year 2012 award. Details within my post: http://feedthepiglet.wordpress.com/2012/12/31/blog-of-the-year-2012-04-and-happy-hogmanay/
    Happy New Year!

    1. gwynnem says:

      Aw. Thank you so much, Johnnysenough. Sorry I’ve been away from my computer for a few days. Will hop to it now!

  16. Hi, Gwynnem. I’ve nominated you for The Versatile Blogger Award. Details within my post:

    1. gwynnem says:

      Hi, Johnny!

      I’ve been terrible keeping up with awards. Thank you for thinking of me. I’m an avid follower of yours, as you probably know. 🙂

      Hope you’re doing great!

  17. Jody and Ken says:

    Gwynnem–I love your blog, but you already know that. Could you send me an email at garumfactory@gmail.com so I can send you something? Thanks. Ken

  18. As a humanist with a liberal education, I enjoy your intersection between food and human nature.

    1. gwynnem says:

      Thanks, Sally! Glad to have another liberal arts friend out here.

  19. soulofspice says:

    thanks so much for stopping by.. I love the look and feel of your blog & look forward to reading your recipes soon..charu

    1. gwynnem says:

      Thank you, Charu. I’m just now seeing all the nice comments people have left for me here on the “about” page. I love your blog, too.

  20. Hello! Thanks for following my blog. I can’t wait to make your quinoa salad… Love the flavor combinations!

    1. gwynnem says:

      Do tell me if you make it. It’s been a winner in my kitchen so far.

  21. ajaytao2010 says:

    Nice reading about you.

    Thanks. For visiting my blog Ajaytao2010@wordpress.com. Browse through the category sections, I feel you may definitely find something of your interest.

  22. soulofspice says:

    I love your blog and have nominated it for the Inspiring Blogger Award. Check details here, http://soulofspice.wordpress.com/2013/03/03/appreciation-5-awards/ cheers, charu

    1. gwynnem says:

      Hi, soul of spice. Thank you so much for nominating me for the Inspiring Blogger Award. I’m dreadfully behind on checking my “About” comments, but now I see I have a few wonderful awards to recognize and share with my readers. Post forthcoming. 🙂

  23. Congrats! I’ve nominated you for the Inspiring Blog Award – although it looks like someone else has beaten me to it! Regardless, you can read about the award here: http://dispatchesfromthegypsyroller.wordpress.com/2013/03/16/inspiring-blog-award/



    1. gwynnem says:

      Thanks so much, Hannah. I’m going to do a post to recognize this award in the next week or so. It’s wonderful to know I’m part of such a friendly and helpful blogging community.

  24. Thanks for stopping by my blog and for following! I’m following you too and look forward to more posts from you!

    1. gwynnem says:

      Thanks so much. Though I’m not an all-the-time vegan, I love trying vegan recipes and showing folks that you don’t need animal products to make a delicious meal. Hope you find some recipes on the blog that you like!

  25. YourHobby says:

    Really enjoyed reading your blog, thank you…Graham…..YourHobby.

    1. gwynnem says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Graham.

  26. RobynG says:

    Thanks so much for visiting my blog and liking a post. I appreciate that! Your recipes look amazing! I look forward to seeing more. I too am a fan of Anthony Bourdain. My husband and I still reference “Kitchen Confidential” when deciding to eat certain menu selections when out for dinner. 😉 Please stop by and visit again soon! Blessings, Robyn

  27. Fig & Quince says:

    In part influenced by your shout-out, I’m finally going to read Kitchen Confidential! (When Amazon delivers it that is.)

    1. gwynnem says:

      Oh! I hope you like it. Have you watched his show No Reservations? One of my favorites!

  28. Hi there gwynnem. Thanks for stopping by and following my blog. I am now keeping an eye on yours 😉


    1. gwynnem says:

      Thanks, Alessandro!

  29. Congratulations Gwynnem! You have been awarded: Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award!
    I do not expect any action to be taken, or for you to generate a post, unless you wish to pass on the award nominations. Your blog has been awarded at:
    Enjoy the Award! 😀 Fae.

    1. gwynnem says:

      Thank you so much, Fae. I need to carve out some time to recognize this wonderful award in a post.

  30. petrel41 says:

    Congratulations, gwynnem!

    I have nominated your blog for the Shine On Award.

    More about this nomination is at


    1. gwynnem says:

      Thanks so much petrel41! I’ll be sure to share this award and the sunshine award with others, too.

  31. petrel41 says:


    I have nominated your blog for the Sunshine Award.

    More about the nomination is at


    1. gwynnem says:

      Thanks, petrel41! I’m putting together a post to thank you for such a thoughtful award.

  32. Lilly Sue says:

    Hey hey! Just stopping by to say I recognized you on my blog for the Liebster Blog Award. Congrats! And have a great weekend! http://lillysuesbitesandbrews.com/2013/05/10/tribute-to-my-mom-pear-cocktail/

    1. gwynnem says:

      Thanks, Lilly Sue.

      Not sure if you’ve tried out Trve Brewing on Broadway yet. I’m a fan of their heavy metal microbrews. 🙂

      1. Lilly Sue says:

        ha ha I am posting a little thing about them tomorrow!!! 😀 I was just there Saturday for an event…this won’t be a review of just them but I will be doing one soon- I really enjoyed the beers I tried- which is your favorite?!

  33. ChgoJohn says:

    Just wanted to drop by to say thank you for the “Follow” and “Likes”. In the process I took a look around and liked what little I saw. I guess you’re stuck with me now. 🙂

    1. gwynnem says:

      Thanks for stopping by, too. I found your blog through the “You Might Like” bar on my blog reader. And the internet was right. I do like your blog, especially since I have some Italian heritage that I hold dear as well. 🙂

  34. oiyoufood says:

    Hi there, thanks for stopping by my blog. See you around 🙂 Nargess

    1. gwynnem says:

      Love your blog, Nargess. Thanks for stopping by mine, too. 🙂

  35. That Anthony is strange!

    1. gwynnem says:

      Agreed, which is probably why I like him as much as I do. ;0)

  36. petrel41 says:


    I have nominated your blog for the Shine On Award.

    More about this nomination is at


    1. gwynnem says:

      Thanks, petrel41! You are the master/mistress of blog awards. 🙂

      1. petrel41 says:

        Very probably, if you keep blogging, you will get many more awards 🙂

  37. EDW says:

    Hi Gwynne! I’ve nominated you for a blog award! Details here: http://un-orthodox.net/2013/07/23/bust-open-the-champagne/

    1. gwynnem says:

      Thank you, Emily! An official thank you forthcoming this week. 🙂

  38. Alison says:

    Hi Gwynne, nice to meet you. I’ve been travelling around your blog and see you’ve done a little travelling yourself – China is on our list! If we could ever get health insurance sorted for the US without breaking the bank (sigh) the Grand Tetons would be too.
    Thanks for visiting our blog, and for following. I hope you enjoy the continuing stories of our journey, both inner and outer.

    1. gwynnem says:

      Thanks for visiting here, too, Alison. I love your blog and will definitely be returning for more stories of your travel adventures.

  39. Hey Gwynne! You started following my blog so I wanted to check out your blog and say, “Hi!” I’m so, so glad to have found your blog! I can’t say exactly why, but I connected with your blog immediately. I just love your writing!! You also have some wonderful vegetarian recipes. It’s a pleasure to e-meet you and I look forward to more of your posts. Celeste 🙂

    1. gwynnem says:

      Hi, Celeste. Not sure if I responded to this comment over at your blog, but just wanted to let you know that I really enjoy your blog, too. I’ve been cooking even more vegan recipes now that I have blogs like yours for inspiration. Keep up the excellent job!

  40. Gwynne, I just discovered your blog! I love it! So glad I was poking around and found it. I love writing and reading and cooking as well. I guess I’m not alone in this. Anyway, great job. Looking forward to more.

    1. gwynnem says:

      I’m now perusing your blog, too. So glad to have connected!

  41. petrel41 says:

    Congratulations, Gwynne!

    I have nominated your blog for the I’m NOT Featured On Freshly Pressed Award.

    More about this nomination is at


  42. Hi there!

    Firstly, how are you? I hope you’re doing well! J I’m Nell from ineedafeed.wordpress.com, and I’m emailing to ask if you’d be interested in participating in the Writing Process Blog Tour. It’s not obligatory, but it is quite fun, and I’d love to see what your responses are. My posting date will be the 9th of June, and yours will be the 16th of June – but don’t worry, I’m not going to enforce that! If you can’t make it, you can’t make it. J And the posting date for the three people you guy pick will be the 23rd of june, and the people they pick will post on the 30th, etc.

    So pretty much what you need to do is:

    Step 1: Acknowledge the person and the site that involved you in the blog tour. My blog is http://ineedafeed.wordpress.com
    Step 2: Answer the 4 questions below about your writing process.

    1. What are you working on?
    2. How does your work differ from others of its genre?
    3. Why do you write what you do?
    4. How does your writing process work?

    Step 3: Say who your three choices of bloggers are, and give a brief bio and link to the website of each of them. Again, their date will be the 23rd of june.

    So please let me know whether you’re interested as soon as possible, either through a comment on my blog, or through email: daidjou@gmail.com. And have a fantastic day!
    Happy eating

    1. gwynnem says:

      I am interested, Nell. In my response, am I focusing just on my food blogging writing process?


      1. 😀 You don’t just have to focus on the food blogging writing if you have other writing processes that you also want to talk about. 🙂 I’d be interested in hearing about both food blogging writing, and non-food blogging writing. 🙂

  43. I love your bio. I, too, am a recovering academic (almost three decades). Your blog is a pleasure. (I once worked at Cooking Light!)

    1. gwynnem says:

      Thank you, Catherine. Coming from a professional food writing reader, this means a great deal to me. 🙂 What kind of work were you doing with Cooking Light?

  44. Ellie Altman says:

    I don’t remember how I stumbled on your blog but am a loyal reader (and recipe tester) of a couple of months. How did you learn to be such a fabulous cook. I admire you so much for making time to do and do well so many life affirming things. You have enriched my life and inspired me.

    1. gwynnem says:

      Thank you for stumbling over here. This blog has been a great teacher for writing discipline that’s helped me stay focused on my fiction writing, too, and it’s been such a gift to meet folks from all over the country and the world who share a love of cooking and storytelling. Hope you’re staying warm this winter and that my recipes and stories get you cooking in the kitchen and out for nature walks no matter the weather. 🙂 Best wishes!

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