I love the Hettman Homestead Blog!
If you haven’t had time to check it out, you need to do so. This blog is full of delicious recipes, tips, and tricks for your garden, and my favorite part, the family blog.
I was lucky enough to steal the beautiful Kenzie away for a little bit for an interview about her blog below!
1 – Can you tell me a little bit about your blog and your blogging journey?
I started our blog when I got my personal trainer certification. I have always had a passion for cooking and it came naturally to me very early on.
When I first started the blog, I wanted to focus on health and fitness with the occasional family or garden post. As our blog has evolved, I feel a shift toward family, gardening, traveling, and of course recipes still being the biggest topic.
We definitely get more questions about our family life than anything else.
I’ll still share about living a healthy lifestyle but I want to include my family a little more.
2 – What has been the most challenging part of blogging for you?
I would say the self-confidence and mental aspect of blogging has been a big challenge for me. It can be mentally exhausting when you are putting something out there for everyone to see.
I used to think, re-think, over-think, and drive myself crazy.
What if someone makes a recipe and doesn’t like it? What if I put a lot of work into something and no one is reading that post?
Of course, there’s also the concern about “followers” on social media. I wanted to post what my followers wanted to read or see. I felt like my blog was boring or my recipes were bad If I didn’t consistently get new followers.
One of the things I did to help with this was to get rid of the majority of our social media accounts! I’m not going to worry about sharing our blog on twitter, facebook, google+, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, etc. I eliminated all of our social media accounts except Instagram and Pinterest.
It has been LIFE CHANGING!
I feel like a weight has been lifted off me and I can really focus on developing relationships with individuals instead of mass-sharing and trying to reach as many people as possible.
I feel at peace now.
I’ve overcome a lot of those mental challenges.
I had to remind myself that our blog is for US and it’s about what WE are doing/interested in. I definitely want to connect with my readers, but at the same time, I can’t drive myself crazy wondering if they want to see more or less of.
I’ve also realized that I’m totally happy with the number of “followers” and readers we have. I really love that it’s starting to feel like a community and I am getting to know a lot of people who have been reading our blog for years!
My blog is big enough that it keeps me busy, but small enough that I can truly connect with people. I love that! I would be content with our blog staying here and I’m not really concerned with growing my blog. Whatever happens, happens!
I’m just enjoying the people who are here with us now and those who have been with us since day 1!
3 – Tell us a little bit about urban farming. What exactly is that?
Urban farming is basically growing or producing what you can with an average sized lot or even no yard!
For us, that means four chickens and an expansive garden on a lot that is not even an acre (front and back yard included). As a family of four, we get all the eggs we need from our chickens.
Some people have bees and chickens; it’s amazing what you can do without acreage!
** Any tips for us new to the gardening world?
My best advice is to start simple.
Plant some carrots and tomatoes together and start an herb garden on your patio. I started with two raised beds. One had carrots and tomatoes and the other had cucumbers and beans.
Once I learned how easy that was, I went crazy the next year and planted everything from artichokes to pineapple!
4 – Out of all of your blog categories, what is your favorite thing to blog about and why?
I honestly love blogging about our family the most. I’m the most proud of my family. The way my kids behave, what the eat, traveling and hiking with them… I have always felt like we weren’t *that* interesting so I didn’t share too much about our life.
I’ve learned that our readers DO want to see more of our life, not just our recipes.
I’m happy about that because that’s what I love the most!
5 – What would you say is your favorite recipe that you created?
Oh gosh! That’s a hard one… Fall is my favorite season, so I would have to say our butternut squash risotto. I got a lot of positive feedback from that recipe and it’s just so darn good!
- 1- 2 TBSP EVOO
- 1 Butternut squash (around 2 lbs), peeled, seeded, & cubed
- 3 TBSP butter
- 4 cups chicken stock (use veggie stock if vegetarian)
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1.5 cups arborio rice
- 1/2 tsp salt +more if desired
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1.5 cups parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 tsp fresh or dried parsley
- Preheat oven to 400
- Cut the ends off the squash. Use a potato or vegetable peeler to peel off the skin. Cut the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds and discard them. Slice the squash into 1/2 inch cubes.
- Place the squash cubes in a large baking dish and toss to coat with EVOO. Put in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Continue the next steps while it bakes.
- Put butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add chopped onions and minced garlic. Saute for 5 minutes or until onions are translucent and fragrant.
- Stir arborio rice into the onions and garlic for about 1 minute.
- Add one cup of chicken broth to the skillet. Once the liquid has mostly absorbed, add another cup of broth. Repeat this step until you’ve added 4 cups of broth. Add salt and pepper along the way. This step will take about 30 minutes.
- At this point, most of the liquid should be absorbed into the rice and the squash should be fork-tender. Remove the squash from the oven and add to the ingredients in the skillet.
- Give the squash and rice a good stir. The squash will almost turn into a mash and make a nice creamy texture. This also adds a vibrant color!
- Lastly, stir the cheese and parsley into the risotto. Serve and enjoy!
6 – How easy is it to raise chickens? This has always been something I’ve taken an interest in but have yet to take the plunge!
Raising chickens is actually pretty simple! In my opinion, it’s less work than taking care of a dog. The benefits are endless and you don’t need a ton of space.
If you are buying eggs (certainly true if you buy organic), you will save money and help the environment by raising your own chickens.
I’ll be honest, the hard part is keeping their coop clean. It’s not an issue if you do it regularly (just like cleaning a litter box or picking up after a dog). You really have to stay on top of it because chicken poop smells!
Overall, chickens are great pets and fun to watch. You can even put them to work in your garden (they will rotate your soil and get rid of harmful bugs!)
7 – As a mom of two (soon to be three – congrats!!!), how do you manage your time to blog?
Things are much easier now that our oldest (Henry) is in kindergarten and it’s just me and Matilda at home during the day. She’s 4 now and can play independently and entertain herself when I need to work. I’m sure things will be challenging again with a new baby due in just a few weeks!
Henry and Matilda were both home with me when we started the blog and I remember everything taking 10x longer to accomplish. I would have a goal of getting something posted on Monday, but wouldn’t get it done until Tuesday or Wednesday.
I just don’t stress about it!
This is my “job” but I am a mom first and it will get done when it gets done. Brian is a hands-on dad and loves to take the kids fishing, golfing, or just for a walk around the neighborhood.
He will make a fun outing of it if I really need to finish something by a deadline.
Family Photos: Olivia Ashton Photography
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