Cooking Superstar

Alaska From Scratch

Get creative in the kitchen with Maya from Alaska from Scratch

Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
Food Blogger

When did you first get in to cooking and do you remember the first recipe you tried?

On my grandmother's countertop as a toddler; wheat bread from scratch (story here:

What's your kitchen like and how do you keep organized when cooking?

It's simple and unassuming in a very Alaskan sort of way, but with some great features - ample counter space, large sink, double-door refrigerator, great storage with a pantry and pull-out shelves, large bins for bulk items such as flour and sugar. My cookbook and food magazine collection sits proudly next to my KitchenAid Stand Mixer, nice natural light from the window over the sink that looks out onto our snowy property. You can almost always find my camera in the kitchen as well as a pot of hot coffee.

What tips would you give to someone wanting to become a better cook?

First, salt is your best friend. Second, baby steps. Start with what's familiar, food you grew up eating, food you love, or ingredients you're comfortable with. Keep it simple and close to home, then as you get more comfortable, branch out and become more adventurous. I learned most of my skills from watching cooking shows, reading cookbooks/magazines/blogs, and trial and error. Even when you fail in the kitchen, you're learning valuable lessons, so don't give up.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party and what would you cook for them?

Honestly, the thought of inviting someone famous to dinner scares me to death. Hello, intimidation. I'd be too worried about getting everything perfect to really enjoy the amazing company. I'd really much rather have a dinner party with all of my oldest and dearest friends from all over the country, who will love me regardless of whether I'm a perfect hostess. I would probably make something very Alaskan, like some wild-caught fresh salmon or halibut. Perhaps my Salmon Tostadas with Mango and Black Beans or Salmon Burgers with Cilantro Mayo from my blog.

Do you do any other crafts and what are your hobbies?

Alaska outdoor and wildlife photography, writing.

Which cooking blogs do you love to read?

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

This has been such a fun experience. It's been great to meet all of you. Everyone is welcome to join me over on my blog, Facebook page, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Thank you to Cut Out + Keep for this fabulous opportunity.

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Seasonal/Holiday (x) Mexican (x) Breakfast (x) Kitchen Tips/DIY (x) Soups (x) Slow-Cooker (x) Appetizers/Snacks (x) Food Gifts (x)

What's your favorite...

TV Show
Parenthood or Downton Abbey
Caedmon's Call
San Diego, California
Legends of the Fall
Cook Book
the one my mother-in-law gave me of family recipes when I married her son
Sushi, Baja Mexican, Pasta
coffee, citrus zest, buttermilk, cilantro, salt
Kitchen Gadget
It's a toss up between my Micorplane zester and my enameled Dutch Oven