Cooking with Becky Hardin – Owner of The Cookie Rookie

Becky Hardin is the owner and operator of the popular food blog The Cookie Rookie.  

After Becky got married, she wanted to learn to cook.  She was apprehensive about the idea of cooking for two as she was a complete novice. With the help of her mother, Becky started documenting her cooking journey and, in the process, she conquered the kitchen!

She founded the Cookie Rookie in 2013.

Becky now is a top food blogger sharing tips and recipes for every level cook, from novice to experienced. Many recipes are easy one-pot meals that are ideal for busy lives.

“Becky’s recipes are easy to follow from creating a gourmet meal to a simple but restaurant quality salad,” JB, Saddle River, NJ.

Becky Hardin teaches easy recipes that everyone adores:

  • Easy Ingredients
  • Simple Instructions
  • Quick To Make
  • Family Friendly
  • Cooking Tutorials

Becky Hardin took the time to answer our Q and A.

Q: Becky, please share your background and when and why you launched the Cookie Rookie Blog

Becky: I started The Cookie Rookie in 2013 right after getting engaged to my husband. I didn’t know how to cook anything, I was even afraid I would mess up boiling water, and I had a desire to learn. My Mom is a wonderful cook, so she came down to St. Louis and we had an immersive weekend where she taught me how to cook favorite recipes from my childhood. From there, a passion was born. I started the blog to document the journey and, in the process, realized that cooking can be fun, fulfilling, and simple!

Q: What tips can you share with someone who is new into cooking, but wants to prepare easy healthy meals for a family?

Becky: I always say just jump in. I was scared to mess things up. I was intimidated by potlucks or parties where everyone brought a dish because I really thought I wasn’t capable of cooking things people would enjoy. Cooking is so much easier than I thought. Anyone can make meals that everyone will love. Be bold, get creative, and have fun. 

Q: If a couple or family are traveling over the holidays, and in a rental vacation home, what would be the perfect Holiday meal they can make without many ingredients?

Becky: I recently experimented with making holiday dinners on one pan and I think they’re the ultimate meal for someone traveling or for a small family get-together. They are simple but full of flavor, and you get an entire Christmas meal with only one pan to clean! Perfect if you’re traveling. We have our Sheet Pan Christmas Dinner with Ham (with Homemade Parker Rolls and Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus), and our Sheet Pan Christmas Dinner with Beef Tenderloin (with Roasted Red Potatoes and Mushrooms)

Q: Can you share a great holiday dinner recipe for those at Home this Christmas

Our Chex Mix Recipe is something that my family makes every single Christmas. My Mom sends us home with bags to put in our freezer for a special treat months after the holiday. I have memories of eating this during the holidays as a kid, and plan to make it every year going forward! There’s something so special about this snack mix that makes me think of home. If you’re traveling, you can make some and take them with you! It makes a great homemade Christmas gift or a delicious holiday starter.

 brown sugar pineapple glazed ham recipe by Becky Hardin
brown sugar pineapple glazed ham recipe. Courtesy of Becky Hardin
  • Main Course

My favorite Christmas Dinner Recipe if you’re at home and ready to entertain is our Pineapple Ham. It has the most delicious Brown Sugar Rub mixed with a Pineapple Glaze, making it an upgraded classic that is sure to please. Even though it’s impressive, making a ham for Christmas dinner is incredibly easy and fool-proof. 

Easy mashed potatoes recipe
Easy mashed potatoes recipe. Courtesy of Becky Hardin

Every holiday table needs Mashed Potatoes. This super easy recipe is also unique. We boil the potatoes in milk to make the mashed potatoes that much creamier in the end. The difference is amazing!

Brownie Pie
Brownie Pie. Courtesy of Becky Hardin

Whether you’re traveling or staying at home this Christmas, Fudge Brownie Pie is a great dessert for entertaining. Serve it warm, topped with vanilla ice cream. Since Christmas isn’t complete without cookies, I also always make our favorite Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies.

Q: What has been one of your most viral recipes since launching your blog?

Becky: My most popular recipe to date has been our Baked Chicken Tacos. Since publishing them in 2016, they’ve been viewed over 7 million times! It’s been pinned over 250k times and has over 1300 reviews. It was one of the first recipes where I realized feeding people should be truly easy and fun. 

In 2022 Becky hopes to continue building The Cookie Rookie and to be a resource for new cooks. 

“I have so many guides I hope to write to make people feel empowered in the kitchen. I have a 6-month-old and a 4-year-old, so I also hope to get them in the kitchen more and carry on our love for cooking. Maybe a family cookbook will be in our future.”

Learn more about Becky Hardin and her recipes at:  https://www.thecookierookie.com/

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