Photo Credit: Kristie Taylor/4 Chix Photography
Having an immunocompromised preschooler, Yolanda knew when stay at home orders were given, she had to put her family into lockdown. What she didn’t know was that it would inspire a culinary journey with them. These days, Yolanda is having fun in her laboratory...I mean, kitchen...with her three children, creating delicious recipes! What began as a necessity has now developed into a new business, new blog and personal passion. I have her here today to tell us her story...
KOI: How did the idea for Londa’s Laboratory come about?
Londa: The idea came from my eldest son, Isaiah. One day he walked in the kitchen and told me “Mom, every time I come in here (kitchen) it’s like you’re in a lab or something. You’re always making something new”. So, my kitchen in essence is my “laboratory“
KOI: What are some of your current spice obsessions?
Londa: Some of my absolute favs are gingerbread spice, thyme, smoked paprika and smoked black pepper
KOI: Your recipes look incredible! Did you learn to cook on your own or do you have formal training/cooking background?
Londa: Thank you! No, I do not have any formal training. I learned from both my grandmother and my father. I started cooking at 11 years old!
KOI: How do you find time to cook incredible meals for your family?
Londa: That’s just it, COVID-19 quarantine has given me the time to cook for my family. Although, most of my recipes a very simple and easy to make; being at home allowed for me to cook more daily. Pre Covid-19, I would cook maybe 2-3 times a week.
KOI: What advice do you have for that mom who wants to expand her child’s pallet beyond PB&J and chicken nuggets - but has a picky eater on her hands?
Londa: It’s funny you should ask me that, as my eldest son is my picky eater. You just have to keep trying, that’s really the only advice I have. You try, if they don’t like it-don’t force or make a big deal about it. Give them something they do like as a backup and go on with your day. Let a couple weeks go by or even a month (if you so choose) then try it again.
KOI: Would you say your recipes are best for the beginner cook? Or someone who knows their way around the kitchen?
Londa: I would say both, I don’t create complicated recipes, because I don’t like them myself. My food blog is comprised of both my own recipes, as well as other recipes that I have tried of others. I’m all about what’s easy and quick to prepare, but also tastes amazing!!
KOI: Do you keep certain nutritious elements in mind when creating a recipe?
Londa: At times, I am cognizant of that; However, in my household we don’t have very many dietary restrictions. It is my hope, that if anyone does, they just tweak it to fit what works for their household.
KOI: What 3 kitchen items can’t you live without?
Londa: My gosh, I’d have to say a cast iron skillet, whisk and blender
KOI: I’m really into soup right now. I probably eat more soup in the summer than winter (I know…weird). What is your favorite soup recipe?
Londa: I also love soup, I oft times request a soup at a restaurant as my appetizer, rather than a salad. It’s a toss up between the Olive Gardens - Zuppa Tuscana copycat recipe and Hamburger Soup.
KOI: Where can followers find you online?
Londa: IG: @londaslaboratory
KOI: JUST FOR FUN…
What book are you reading? Actually, it’s a girlfriend’s manuscript- can’t reveal the name, but she will be publishing it soon! So excited for her!!
Describe yourself in one word: Resilient
What’s the top destination on your must-visit list? Santori, Greece
Sweet or salty? Both! lol I often enjoy mixing flavors together!
Favorite dessert? Oreo cookies and iced milk