About Karen

I'm a lover of strong, hot coffee and good chocolate. Homemade pizza slathered in melty cheese would be my choice of a last meal, and I am a strong believer in everything in moderation.

At one time, I claimed that you would not find kale chips on my blog. You would find homemade, full fat, full of love treats and main dishes in this space; most fairly healthy, some decidedly not so.  I'm a pretty adventurous soul and I would eat almost anything-except I'm not a fan of kale or quinoa.

That is, until January 2016, when I had a glass of red wine and then a bad asthma attack that nearly landed me in the emergency room. Over the course of the next year, I discovered that I had developed Aspirin Exacerbated Respiratory Disease (AERD) otherwise known as Samter's Triad. I also was diagnosed with severe asthma and, much to my horror, developed multiple severe food allergies to corn, wheat, all legumes (soy, green peas, all beans), rice, peanuts, tree nuts, peaches and raspberries. No pizza for ME!

Then in August 2017 the Universe threw our family a curve ball when shortly after our 24th wedding anniversary my husband John was diagnosed with colon cancer. Life became a blur of doctors and hospitals, and although his prognosis was good, he died from complications caused by the flu five months later. We are quite thoroughly heartbroken.

Chasing Tomatoes has always been the place where I shared things I had tried in my kitchen with the goal of getting other people to see that cooking really isn't that difficult and inspire them to try things in their own kitchen. That was challenged significantly with the allergy diagnosis when I had to throw everything I knew about how to feed myself out the window and start over (do you know how many things contain corn? EVERYTHING). I took a break to experiment and try to figure things out and once I had a handle on that, came back to share only to be thrown into widowhood.

When creating food for people you love is your primary motivation for being in the kitchen, it's hard to muster the enthusiasm to cook for yourself. Those people aren't at your table to share it with or making certain things reminds you of them. Cooking with love was the entire reason I started Chasing Tomatoes. It would be easy to shut down this place and walk away, but I still find solace in my kitchen and over the past while noticed that there are a lot of people out there like me, single for some reason or another, who struggle with getting a good meal-and so my goals here have shifted slightly.

You're not going to find any weird diets, fads, or pseudo medical advice here. I believe in real food and following a medical doctor's advice. I will do a little writing on allergies, asthma and AERD for information sake, but I'm not a doctor and I will never profess to have a cure. You're going to find tips and tricks for single people-how to make tiny batches of things, re-purpose leftovers, how to make ahead and freeze meals on nights when you don't feel like cooking. Single people need to eat, too.

Any products suggested are going to be ones that I have personally bought and tried myself. As with all allergies, you are responsible to read labels and/or make phone calls to see if those products are safe for you.

My hope is still that you will be inspired to try things in your kitchen, whether you struggle with allergies, cooking for one,  or you just want to try something new. The focus here is always going to be good food-for everyone!

© 2005-2017 all written and photographic content by Scattered Mom/Karen Humphrey (unless otherwise specified) and may not be reproduced or used in any manner without consent. All rights reserved.

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