Helena City News

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Shea Goldstein, author of Dixie Chik Cooks blog Shea Goldstein’s “regular job” is as a registered nurse at Noland Health. But the Helena resident has had an additional online career since 2010 as the creator of Dixie Chik Cooks, a blog featuring her favorite tried and true recipes. As of this month, she’s featured over 400 recipes and has over 15,000 followers between Facebook and Pinterest. Shea and husband, Mark, owner of the computer company PC Rescue, have resided in Helena’s Old Cahaba since 2008. They have a son, Brantley, 17, and daughter, Katelyn, 15. Shea, 38, a self-described introvert, said it was very difficult for her to start her blog and in fact, had kept it a secret from her husband for a long time once she did. “It was hard for me to put myself out on the internet and I was embarrassed,” Shea said. “But I had wanted to do it for a long time, and have two handwritten notebooks of recipes I wanted to chronicle to make sure my kids had them in the future.” Shea has also expanded her talents by undertaking photography to record each of her dishes. “My husband made

me a kind of “studio on wheels” that I can move to the kitchen window to shoot all my recipes,” she said. “I’m constantly working on improving my photography and cooking skills—I think good visuals are important to portray each dish.” How did you decide on Dixie Chick Cooks? I didn’t want something silly, but I wanted it to have some kind of southern reference. It indicates that I’m a southern home cook.” How long have you been cooking? Since I was a teenager, though I didn’t realize I had a passion for it until about 15 years ago. My mom and dad both cooked, but I never noticed that they really enjoyed it. I pretty much taught myself and as an adult, the more I got into it, the more I realized I loved it. How would you describe your recipes? I’d sum them up as “spicy, salty and cheesy.” I do lots of things like burger sliders, all different appetizers and I love bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers. Also, jalapeno-stuffed chicken breasts, pulled pork

barbeque on Texas Toast with slaw and different dipping sauces like cilantro ranch and enchilada. I do some sweets but just to please my family. I really blog anything I feel passionate about. What’s your favorite creation? I love anything complex, like lasagna. It takes time with all the layers and multiple ingredients. Anything I have to really think about. A lot of people come home from work and kick back and watch TV, but I relax by chopping jalapenos. What’s a typical Sunday meal? Well, my family doesn’t really do spicy, though my son will try anything. I might make stuffed shells with Italian sausage, ground beef, ricotta and mozzarella cheese. I bake it but also have to have a separate baking dish of just shells, cheese and tomato sauce for my daughter because she doesn’t touch meat. What’s your favorite junk

food? Fritos dipped in cottage cheese. I’ve been eating it since I was a kid. What does the future hold? My goal for the next year is to finish writing a cookbook I have in progress right now. Basically it’s the best recipes I know. The ones I’ve made so many times, I know they’re cookbook worthy. And how did your husband feel when he found out about the blog? He was impressed that I had done it. He knew I liked to cook but didn’t realize I liked to write, so he was excited and is very proud and supportive. You can contact Shea at www.dixiechikcooks.com.

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