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Tieghan Gerard Transcript

“Tieghan Gerard of Half Baked Harvest” Transcript

Alison Roman: Hello, this is Alison Roman, author of Nothing Fancy and you are listening to Radio Cherry Bombe.

Kerry Diamond: Hi, Bombesquad. Welcome to Radio Cherry Bombe, the number one female focused food podcast in the universe. I'm your host, Kerry Diamond. For today's show, I sat down with Tieghan Gerard, the force behind Half Baked Harvest, the popular recipe website and Instagram account, which has, are you ready? Over a million followers. Tieghan, who lives in Colorado, launched Half Baked Harvest when she was only a teenager and had fallen in love with cooking, food styling and photography, all of which she taught herself to do. Tieghan and I talked about building her brand, her favorite things to make in the kitchen and her new cookbook, Half Baked Harvest Super Simple. Let's thank today's sponsors, Le Cordon Bleu culinary schools and Emmi cheese from Switzerland. You folks are the bombe.

Kerry Diamond: Some housekeeping? You only have a few days left to become a founding member of Cherry Bombe. A Cherry Bombe membership is only $25 now through December 31st. You get a founding member card and lots of other perks including access to member meetups. It was great seeing some of you at our first NYC meetup and our next meetup will be on January 15th in Charleston, South Carolina. The membership price will go up January 1st so don't delay. Learn Another December 31st deadline, early bird tickets to our Jubilee conference taking place Sunday, April 5th in Brooklyn. Jubilee is the largest gathering of women in and around the food world in the United States, so don't miss out. It's a fun day filled with great talks, delicious food, and the best networking around. Tickets are $225 plus taxes and fees. Visit to snag your ticket. Before today's show, let's hear a word from our pals at Emmi cheese from Switzerland.

Kerry Diamond: Emmi's beautiful variety of cheeses are crafted from the freshest milk from local Swiss farms. One of our favorites is Emmi Kaltbach Le Gruyere AOP. With notes of hazelnuts, black tea and dried stone fruit, Emmi Kaltbach Le Gruyere AOP is the perfect addition to any cheeseboard or if you want to get more creative, you can do what chef Elizabeth Falkner does and make her creamy farro with Kaltbach Le Gruyere Fondue Sauce. This wintry recipe combines fresh thyme, parsnips and farro in a creamy bechamel fondue made with Kaltbach Le Gruyere. You can find this recipe and more at

Kerry Diamond: Here's my conversation with Tieghan Gerard. Tieghan, finally.

Teighan Gerard: Yeah, I'm so excited to be here. Thank you for having me.

Kerry Diamond: I know, me too. It was so long ago that you were on the show and I had to go out of town, so Klancy Miller filled in for us.

Teighan Gerard: I know. So this is actually the first time that we've met.

Kerry Diamond: It is. It is and I'm very excited, although I feel like I know you. You are just on fire.

Teighan Gerard: Aww.

Kerry Diamond: You have a million Instagram followers. I know it's not all about the Instagram follower, but you have carved out such a unique career for yourself and such a unique space in this industry.

Teighan Gerard: Aww, thank you. That's such a compliment coming from you. I try.

Kerry Diamond: And completely self-created, self-taught.

Teighan Gerard: Yeah, definitely.

Kerry Diamond: So you are from Colorado.

Teighan Gerard: Yes.

Kerry Diamond: What part?

Teighan Gerard: Up in the mountains in the ski resort area, so Breckenridge, Vail. It's very snowy.

Kerry Diamond: So how did your family wind up there? You weren't born there.

Teighan Gerard: No, I was born and raised in Cleveland, moved when I was in eighth grade. There's two stories. My mom just basically loves the mountains and we all say she just needed to move around and get out of Cleveland. My mom and dad both grew up in Cleveland, so needed a change of scenery. She's always wanted to live in the mountains and that's really why we moved. But all of my brothers also snowboard and my younger brother is pretty good. So we moved for kind of that, but it was really more so that my mom could get to the mountains. Then my brothers were able to snowboard more, so that took off.

Kerry Diamond: So you mention all these siblings.

Teighan Gerard: Yes.

Kerry Diamond: You are one of seven.

Teighan Gerard: Yes.

Kerry Diamond: Where are you in the lineup?

Teighan Gerard: Smack in the middle. I have three brothers ahead of me, two brothers below me and a little sister.

Kerry Diamond: And what's the age range?

Teighan Gerard: So my oldest brother is like 32 I'm going to say, could be a year off, but I think he's 32. My youngest sister, my little sister, Asher, is 11. My mom had her when I was 16 so she was the... She was not an accident, so I don't know.

Kerry Diamond: I'm one of five, not quite seven, but still a big family.

Teighan Gerard: I love a big family. Do you like it?

Kerry Diamond: I do. Now I do. When I was younger, I did not. I'm the oldest.

Teighan Gerard: Oh.

Kerry Diamond: So it was tough because I had to babysit everyone.

Teighan Gerard: Yeah. I'm not the typical middle child I don't think. I'm the more responsible one I would say probably. I mean my oldest brother's definitely responsible, but we have so many different personalities, all of us, and I'm much more like type A, and they're all like loosy-goosy.

Kerry Diamond: Maybe they won't listen to this.

Teighan Gerard: They don't care. No, no, no. Yeah, they know it. They're the greatest.

Kerry Diamond: So it's because of them though that you started cooking?

Teighan Gerard: It is, yeah. I started cooking back in Cleveland and my dad at the time worked nine to five and then would go to the gym afterwards so he wouldn't be getting home until 7:00, 7:30 and my mom is the baker. She just didn't do dinner, she just baked. So we would have... I mean she could make dinner but she preferred to bake and so we would really have dessert on the table before dinner was ever ready. So eventually I just kind of maybe got sick of eating at like 9:30 at night and I was like, "I'm just going start making dinner." Once I started, I just loved the reactions from my family members and it just got me so excited to be able to make people so happy so easily.

Teighan Gerard: It was fun and it was like a great afterschool activity. I was bored and I don't like sitting still, so that's what I did. I cooked and I never stopped. I cooked all through middle school and high school and then started Half Baked Harvest after that.

Kerry Diamond: Did you go to college?

Teighan Gerard: So I graduated high school early with an associates degree. And then-

Kerry Diamond: Of course you did.

Teighan Gerard: I hated school.

Kerry Diamond: Wait, you graduated high school early, but also with an associates degree. Explain that.

Teighan Gerard: So I just my entire life, not liked school. Just was never for me. Just didn't like going. Just didn't like it. So yeah, high school I kind of decided I really wanted to get through it. So I took college courses for the last two years of high school and was able to speed up the whole process. I highly recommend it. It's a great situation if you don't like school. So I took college courses through the community college in Colorado and was able to graduate a little bit early and with an associates degree.

Kerry Diamond: Wow, that's impressive.

Teighan Gerard: It was a good route for me and I had full plans to like go to a fashion design school actually. I always said I wanted to be a stylist. I've always loved just kind of making things look pretty. All throughout my childhood, I did it with clothes. My grandma had this mannequin and I would dress the mannequin and just always doing something creative, making things look pretty and nice. That was my thing. So I got accepted to fashion design school out in LA, moved to LA for three months, got a job, did the whole LA thing for three months. This was before school started. I was like, "Nope, I can't do LA, don't like it." I was 18 so I was a little young, homesick for sure and was like, "Nope, I don't want to do this." Did like a complete 360. I had still been cooking and I had been reading some food blogs. My mom was like, "Just start a food blog." I'm lost. What do I do with my life at this point? So I started Half Baked Harvest.

Kerry Diamond: So you went back home.

Teighan Gerard: I went back home after three months and I started Half Baked Harvest and I never looked back. It was greatest move I ever made.

Kerry Diamond: I did not know the fashion connection. Clearly you're still very fashionable.

Teighan Gerard: Oh, thanks.

Kerry Diamond: Had you been blogging or doing anything like that beforehand?

Teighan Gerard: It's really funny. Rewind a few years and my mom and I... I had been still cooking. I'm 16 at this point and I'd been cooking at that point for three years I would say and reading food blogs. Back then, food blogs were not what they are and app blogs are not what they are now. So it was different. But I had been reading them I think just to get recipe inspiration. So when I was 16, my mom and I were hiking in Oregon. We were up at Mount Hood because my younger brother snowboards and there's a glacier up there and so you can snowboard in the summer. So he was up there and the whole family was there. My mom and I were hiking and she was like, "You should start a food blog." I'm like, "Who's going to read that? No one's going to read that. Why would I do that? No." She somehow must've talked me into it a little bit because we actually together took out the domain name, Half Baked Harvest when I was 16.

Teighan Gerard: Everybody always asks about the name so I feel like I'll give you that story. Half Baked, my mom came up with that. My family's just very Half baked and I'm like, "Okay, well I like under-baked cookies, half baked." It really doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but I don't know. We somehow decided on Half Baked and then I love the word harvest, so Half Baked Harvest. We took that out. Didn't do anything with it though until I came back from LA.

Kerry Diamond: Has nothing to do with marijuana.

Teighan Gerard: It has nothing, I know, I know. I live in Colorado-

Kerry Diamond: Just because you're in Colorado.

Teighan Gerard: I live in Colorado and it's just like this... No.

Kerry Diamond: But it is funny.

Teighan Gerard: It is funny. Right? We were so naive. Like what were we thinking? Like Half baked, of course, and we live in Colorado. Like what? No, it doesn't. I mean, I've never baked with marijuana, but maybe I should try.

Kerry Diamond: It's probably good for your SEO.

Teighan Gerard: My brothers, they're like, "It's probably really good Tieghan." I'm like, "Okay, guys." Yeah.

Kerry Diamond: And your food is so beautiful and yummy. I mean, I don't want to call you the queen of yummy, but like-

Teighan Gerard: That's okay.

Kerry Diamond: But you look at your Instagram, you look at the pictures, you look at the cookbook and you're just like, "I want this. I want this. I want this."

Teighan Gerard: That's my goal. Every single photo I take, I say, "Does this scream like, eat me? I want this. Mouthwatering." I think that we eat with our eyes first. So if it doesn't look good, you're not going to be that excited about it.

Kerry Diamond: The interesting thing too is the way you put everything together and photograph it, style it, all of that. It does look more complicated than it is because I watched some of your videos and I was like, "Oh, I could never make this. This looks complicated." Then I watched the video and I'm like, "Oh, this is so deceptively simple. That's the genius of Tieghan."

Teighan Gerard: It's because I like to make things look pretty. I really just love to make things look really good and really pretty. It's not like that's not exactly the way the recipe is. It's just I take time to like put the pomegranate in the spot that I want it or off the plate a little bit so it's imperfectly perfect. The details are important to me. Yeah.

Kerry Diamond: Absolutely. So you also said you're inspired by the seasons.

Teighan Gerard: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Kerry Diamond: When did you realize that?

Teighan Gerard: I'm like just in general, a very seasonal person I think. Fall is my favorite season for sure.

Kerry Diamond: It has to be so beautiful in the mountains in the fall.

Teighan Gerard: Our fall happens, it's in September and because we're deep in the mountains or in such a high elevation, it's a two week thing. It's absolutely beautiful, but it goes like that. But yeah, it's gorgeous and then it's kind of just winter the rest of the year. We get a little peek of summer and I call it spring because it's not really that warm, but it's okay. But, I don't know. I've always just cooked seasonally. I'm not really sure why that is. I love using the produce that's in season. It's fun for me. I get bored really easily, so the changing of the seasons is really nice. I get to swap out my fruits and my vegetables and that's really fun to me. I just don't like creating the same thing over and over. So even if it's just like similar flavors, but you're swapping out ingredients, it just keeps things fun and lively and different.

Kerry Diamond: Do you grow food at the barn or your house?

Teighan Gerard: Herbs. Again, because of the elevation, not much grows and it freezes overnight, 300 days, more than 300 days of the year, so it's really hard. We have a greenhouse and we do herbs and they do really well. We've also had a little bit of success with cherry tomatoes. It's a slow process. I'd like to get more.

Kerry Diamond: You use a lot of fresh produce in your recipes. Where do you source it?

Teighan Gerard: Thankfully, we have a Whole Foods. We got it a couple of years ago and I was like, "Yes, this is great." I wish I could shop the farmer's market so much. When I'm in LA and New York, I'm just like, oh my gosh.

Kerry Diamond: The LA's farmer's markets, forget it.

Teighan Gerard: I know and then the berries when they come in, it's just like... Then I question maybe I need to be living in LA, but I couldn't. I'm a small town person.

Kerry Diamond: Seems like you're in the right place.

Teighan Gerard: Yeah, I am.

Kerry Diamond: What is the signature Tieghan recipe?

Teighan Gerard: Oh man. I would say a pizza or pasta. You guys know I love my carbs and my cheese and probably something with burrata on it too.

Kerry Diamond: I love burrata.

Teighan Gerard: I love that.

Kerry Diamond: That's another part of the deceptively simple. That's probably why the book is called Half Baked Harvest-

Teighan Gerard: Super Simple.

Kerry Diamond: Super Simple.

Teighan Gerard: Uh-huh (affirmative).

Kerry Diamond: Your pizzas, you don't need any fancy equipment. You just need a sheet tray.

Teighan Gerard: Pizza is so easy. I mean it's not going to be probably like a New York style thin crust pizza. You're not going to get that without a pizza oven. It's just not going to happen. But you can get something really close and it can be delicious and you can make it in 30 minutes on a week night. So I think that's amazing. Who doesn't love pizza on a weeknight? It's so good.

Kerry Diamond: You have your standard pizza dough recipe.

Teighan Gerard: I do. Yeah. Yeah.

Kerry Diamond: Can you freeze that? Can you make it ahead an freeze it?

Teighan Gerard: You can keep it in the freezer. You can keep it in the fridge. I always love having pizza dough on hand. You can just pull... My biggest tip with pizza dough though is make sure it's room temperature because as I'm sure you know, it's hard to roll out and stretch into a nice size when it's cold. I think that people always forget to pull it out of the fridge an hour or so before you're ready to use it. It's really important.

Kerry Diamond: So there are two tips in your book and maybe everyone on the planet knows these two tips but I read them and I'm like, why have I gotten this far in life and I didn't know these two tips about baking powder and baking soda?

Teighan Gerard: You know why I know these types though? It's because I was getting readers asking me how do I know? Because I would always say, "Is your baking powder fresh?" Because that is a thing. I go through baking powder so quickly that it's... I don't typically worry about it not being fresh. I know I was getting readers ask, "Well, how do I know if it's fresh?" So I Googled it and it is true. It really works. I've tested it and it's kind of a fun little science experiment.

Teighan Gerard: But for baking powder you want to just add a teaspoon of hot water and then it will immediately start bubbling up. Then for baking soda, it's vinegar. You want to add two teaspoons of baking soda to vinegar and it'll bubble.

Kerry Diamond: I'm looking at our producer. Did you know this?

Teighan Gerard: You guys didn't know that?

Kerry Diamond: Oh, you didn't know that either.

Teighan Gerard: I feel like you guys should know that stuff.

Kerry Diamond: Now we do, thanks to you.

Teighan Gerard: Yeah, it is kind of fun.

Kerry Diamond: You're saving the world Tieghan.

Teighan Gerard: I know. Do it with your kids if you have kids.

Kerry Diamond: Oh, right. Fun little trick.

Teighan Gerard: There's another little tip for you.

Kerry Diamond: So who are your pals in the industry? I feel like you, in some universe, you and Molly Yeh are like best friends.

Teighan Gerard: Molly is the sweetest because she lives on a farm and gosh-

Kerry Diamond: Because she's on a prairie.

Teighan Gerard: I know, she's the sweetest. Oh my gosh.

Kerry Diamond: It's your brand.

Teighan Gerard: She just had a little one. It's so cute. Molly's really sweet. I mean there's all kinds that you connect through Instagram and everything and it's really fun. It's such a great community.

Kerry Diamond: Are you... Maybe you can't talk about this, but how do you not have a TV show yet?

Teighan Gerard: Well, I mean I can talk about it. we're working on it. It's really hard. It's a really hard process. We are working on something definitely for sure. I would love to do some kind of Netflix, Hulu. Would love to do it. All the readers say they really want it. So it's definitely something that I'm hoping is in the works for 2020 for sure.

Kerry Diamond: We 100% want to see more women in our community on Netflix and Hulu and Amazon and all of the above.

Teighan Gerard: There's not enough of it. I think that they need to start opening up to the people that are... I mean with Instagram,, it's just a whole different world. There's so many people that follow that I think would really love to see that. It's not something that's on Netflix or Hulu or those channels right now so I think it'd be really fun.

Kerry Diamond: Yeah, absolutely. Well, we endorse that 100%.

Teighan Gerard: Thank you.

Kerry Diamond: So let's talk about you as a business person.

Teighan Gerard: Yeah. Wow.

Kerry Diamond: So I know your mom is your business partner.

Teighan Gerard: Yeah, she does, from the start as you guys would hear from the story, she does all the backend really of the blog. So any of the ads you see on there, the upkeep of it, which is so much, I don't think that people realize how much goes into upkeeping a blog and keeping it running and making sure that there's not... Things just happen with coding and you just don't even... Things break and sometimes you're like, "How did that happen? I don't know. So she handles all of that, all the stuff with the ads, like the little nitty gritty, the backend of the blog basically. It would not run without her, for sure.

Kerry Diamond: Without your mom. Jen, right?

Teighan Gerard: Jen. Yes. Yeah.

Kerry Diamond: When would you say Half Baked Harvest became a business?

Teighan Gerard: Man, I mean-

Kerry Diamond: When did you realize this could be my career?

Teighan Gerard: It was crazy. I saw really good growth actually within the first year and really within. Even the first six months I worked so hard. I remember, this was back when Twitter was kind of really making a push, so I remember really re-tweeting people's tweets, other people in the food space and really working social media, working Facebook, trying to comment a lot on other people's blogs. I actually think back then it really, really helped. I think that itch got me a lot of coverage and then I had like a feature I remember on Bon Appetit. They had pulled one of the recipes that I did and I don't know number wise if that got me anything, but I'm sure it was helpful.

Teighan Gerard: But I really worked at it in those early stages to kind of get visibility. Within the first six months, I really started to see readers come on, which was really exciting. I think that got me excited. Then within the first year, I was slowly starting to hear from brands. From there, it really slowly started to build very naturally. I would say within the first two years I really knew this is what I want to do. It had to have been because I stuck with it. I did it every single day. So I must've seen something back then that was like this is worth pursuing and not pursuing other career aspects. Because that's what I was working on 24/7.

Kerry Diamond: Because we always talk to people in the show about how they actually make a living.

Teighan Gerard: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah.

Kerry Diamond: There's so much out there that's on Instagram and it's not clear who makes a living from what and a lot of smoke in mirrors.

Teighan Gerard: Yeah, and I think people don't talk about it. Well I mean back then, I was still living at home thankfully. So I was very lucky in that way that I was able to focus and that my parents are so-

Kerry Diamond: We haven't even talked about how old you are. So people might be listening to this and be like, "How old is this woman?”

Teighan Gerard: I'm 26 now, but I was 19 when I started. So I was still living at home. I had the support of them, which was obviously very nice and a great like cushion to not have to be able to stress about money too much. It took me two years to really get actually start making an income. We were making money off of the ads and the blog for the first year, but it wasn't like anything that I could live off of. Then slowly, I started to do larger brand deals and our ads, our sidebar ads on the side of the site slowly started to make more money. As our numbers grew, naturally the income grew as well. So that was really exciting. Now it's a whole different story. We make money through all different avenues, whether it's the cookbook or the ad that's on the site or brand partnerships-

Kerry Diamond: You have great partners like Anthropologie. Who are some of your other partners?

Teighan Gerard: I have really great partners. I've been really, really picky about the brands that I've worked with. I do a lot of work within the Anthropologie, Land O'Lakes, Whole Foods has been a partner recently. I have some really good ones and I'm really excited that I've been able to be picky about the brands that I do work with because I think that I want my readers, I want my community to really trust who I'm talking about and know that these are also the brands that I use in my kitchen. It's really important to me. I think that's also been something that's really helped grow my brand is that my community can trust what I'm saying. It's really important. I'm not doing a million partnerships. I'm doing only the ones that really excite me and the brands that I love.

Kerry Diamond: Did your mom teach herself this whole business? Because it's not like you could go to school back then and learn how to run a blog, how to monetize a blog.

Teighan Gerard: That's my mom. You learn as you go. I guess in the same way, learn as you go. She completely taught herself. No, she did not know any of that. She's just very like, "If you don't know it, figure it out." That's really been our whole process this entire time is if you don't know it, just figure it out, Google it, find somebody that can help you. That's really how we built it.

Kerry Diamond: So your mom is the business side and you're the creative side?

Teighan Gerard: Yeah, I do all the creative. She does the back end of the blog. I'd say business side, we really do that together. Her side is very much the blog side of things. Then I'm all the creative and like-

Kerry Diamond: Like how nitty gritty do you get? Are you reviewing contracts? Are you meeting with lawyers and accountants?

Teighan Gerard: I have a manager based in LA that does all of that side. We're slowly building the team a little bit. I have a manager based in LA who does all the contracts and the brand partnerships and those things. We don't handle any of that. So I'm not sitting there reviewing contracts, no. I would be really horrible at that.

Kerry Diamond: You do have a lot on your plate though. I mean you, again, people might not realize this, but not only are you doing the cooking and the recipe development, you style and photograph all your photos.

Teighan Gerard: Yeah.

Kerry Diamond: How did that come about?

Teighan Gerard: Well, it's not like I had a team when I was 19 cooking out of my parents' house.

Kerry Diamond: Had you been a fan of photography?

Teighan Gerard: No.

Kerry Diamond: No. So that all just started?

Teighan Gerard: Yes. Again, same thing I had to Google whatever I didn't know. My younger brother Malachi has always been interested in videography and filming. So he had like a Canon, I think it was like a Canon Rebel and he made me buy that off of him. It wasn't like, oh I can just borrow it. I had to buy it.

Kerry Diamond: Typical brother.

Teighan Gerard: Yeah. And so he taught me the ropes of that a little bit, but anything I didn't know, I just Googled. I'm really not a tech person so to this day, he's still my, how do I do this guy? So I still am texting him constantly like, "What's happening here? Why is this camera not working?" Because there's always some kind of malfunction or something that doesn't work.

Kerry Diamond: You have such a strong aesthetic.

Teighan Gerard: Well that's more the visual part of my brain. It's not because I'm this pro photographer. I am not a pro photographer. I just kind of know what I need to know in order to get the photo that I really like and that is my aesthetic and that I enjoy. I mean, yes I can use the camera. I know how to use the basics. I can do that. But I think that my skills really are more in the styling aspect of it and the visual piece because that's just much more what I enjoy. I always say I used to style clothes and have a lot of clothes and now I have zero clothes and a ton of food props and dishes and linens and all these things. That's what I style now.

Kerry Diamond: We'll be right back with Tieghan Gerard of Half Baked Harvest after this quick break.

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Kerry Diamond: Sometimes I think people sell themselves short in their bio's, but you must look at pictures and think, oh, I wish they had done blank.

Teighan Gerard: Oh, the truth is, I don't look a lot of other people's feeds. Honestly that is the honest truth. I follow a lot of people in the fashion and lifestyle space actually, because those girls in the fashion space have business sense. If anybody is listening and looking for business tips, they have a serious business sense and they know what they're doing. They are really inspiring to me. But when it comes to food, I kind of like to keep my eyes on my own and not really... I have in the past compared a lot and it's been really hard for me. I just don't like doing that. So I've kind of found a lot of relief honestly. I don't scroll my feed too much. Also I'm just really busy and when I'm on Instagram, I want to be interacting with my community versus scrolling through it. It's just kind of a waste of time essentially.

Kerry Diamond: That's actually a good tip-

Teighan Gerard: It's just what I do.

Kerry Diamond: Because then you'll never have to question where the influence came from.

Teighan Gerard: Right, exactly. I like to find my inspiration through my family members, through friends, through travel, through the seasons. Just getting out of my own head. Sometimes when I'm hiking, I just get ideas and it's just great.

Kerry Diamond: What are some fashion accounts you love?

Teighan Gerard: Oh, I follow Arielle Charnas from Something Navy and Chriselle Lim, Julia Engel. So those girls and they all have really good... I follow them for their fashion sense, but I really follow them too for their business sense because it's really impressive.

Kerry Diamond: Great. So I want to know a little bit more about the cookbook.

Teighan Gerard: Yeah.

Kerry Diamond: What makes it different from your first cookbook?

Teighan Gerard: Well, so my first cookbook was very much a reflection of the blog at the time where I was. I love that cookbook and it has such solid, delicious recipes, but they're a little bit more time intensive and longer. Even just a few years ago, I had this thing in my head that recipes needed to be so overly complicated and creative and just so much. Over the top is a good word for them. Those recipes are all delicious but they are. They're a little bit over the top. Do you need that third topping? Probably not. I've simplified my process so much more and made it so that you can get dinner on the table in 30 minutes or an hour or use the slow cooker.

Teighan Gerard: So that's the really big difference from this cookbook. The recipes are all flavor wise, they're not the same but they all compare to each other. They're all still delicious, have lots of textures. I love different textures of foods and have fun toppings and all that. It's just a much more simpler process and laid back. Ingredients that you have in your pantry is a big focus.

Kerry Diamond: What is a good starter recipe for those who maybe don't have your earlier cookbook or haven't cooked from your website but they pick this up? What's a good intro to the whole world of Tieghan?

Teighan Gerard: Well, people are loving the spinach and artichoke mac and cheese and there's like a skillet chicken pot pie. There's also a whole vegetarian chapter that people are really loving. There's so many good ones. There's pizza. There's pasta.

Kerry Diamond: You can't just pick just one.

Teighan Gerard: I know everybody's like, "What's your favorite?" I'm like, "I can't pick." It's like choosing a favorite sibling. That's not very nice you guys.

Kerry Diamond: So what's next for you?

Teighan Gerard: Oh man, I'm so excited for this next year. I have a lot of things I really want to do. Whether they all happen in the next year, I don't know. But I'd love to start product. I'd love to get into those conversations and give my community some Half Baked Harvest. I would love to do some tableware and things like that and hopefully some TV and I'm being pushed for more cookbooks and all those really exciting, fun things. But, of course, always just my main focus is still the blog and Instagram and social media and really giving our Half Baked Harvest community what they love so much because that's what's built the brand and I'm excited about it. So there's a lot of fun things coming up, hopefully.

Kerry Diamond: Last question before we get to the speed round. So you did get into this so young and at that age, 18, 19, we hear a lot from young women who are just so unsure about where to head in terms of their careers and education. What advice do you have for them? For someone who's that age and not sure what the next steps are?

Teighan Gerard: I think that's so hard, but I think what you really need to do is get out and experience the world. If you don't know what it is you want to go do, go try different things that you feel you could have an interest in. You could be something totally out of the box, but that excites you. Three months in you might be like, "This, no, I need to try something else." I think you never know until you try. It can be a frustrating process, but you'll learn a lot along the way and any mistakes, all the mistakes that I did make were such learning experiences and only helped me grow into what Half Baked Harvest has become and helped me learn. So I think it's just really important to not be afraid to try different things.

Kerry Diamond: Great.

Teighan Gerard: Yeah.

Kerry Diamond: All right, Tieghan, we have a little speed round for you.

Teighan Gerard: Okay, I'm excited.

Kerry Diamond: Favorite kitchen utensil?

Teighan Gerard: Definitely my cast iron skillet, always.

Kerry Diamond: Song that makes you smile?

Teighan Gerard: Oh this is so cheesy, but right now it's Mariah Carey's All I Want for Christmas.

Kerry Diamond: That's okay.

Teighan Gerard: It's so cheesy, but my mom and I would listen to that baking cookies and it's like my favorite memory ever.

Kerry Diamond: What is one of your most treasured cookbooks?

Teighan Gerard: Actually, it's the one that my mom has that was handed down to me. It has family recipes that are just so old school. Those old school ones, I only make a few recipes out of it, but it's just special. It has handwritten notes in it and it's not any fancy cookbook. It's literally like printed on cardboard paper kind of thing. But I love it. I love that it has stains all over it and I love that it has my mom's notes on it. Those are the best recipes. It has her Chicken Florentine.

Kerry Diamond: Oh, that's amazing that you have that.

Teighan Gerard: Yeah, I'm excited. Hopefully, I won't ever lose it. I won't.

Kerry Diamond: What is the oldest thing in your fridge?

Teighan Gerard: Cheese. I'm serious. It's got to be cheese.

Kerry Diamond: How old is the cheese?

Teighan Gerard: Well, it just depends how long it's age. I don't know if it's good cheese, but not more than like a month or so.

Kerry Diamond: Oh, you're good.

Teighan Gerard: I go through cheese pretty quickly.

Kerry Diamond: Okay.

Teighan Gerard: Yeah, unless it's aged on its own and then it could be much older.

Kerry Diamond: That's true. One thing you would never eat?

Teighan Gerard: I say this all the time, but Spam.

Kerry Diamond: Spam, really?

Teighan Gerard: And people get offended, but it's just not my thing. I've never tried it so I don't know and I just said you should try everything once.

Kerry Diamond: You should try it. Spam is actually pretty tasty.

Teighan Gerard: I will try it, but it's not something that excites me. Same thing, hotdogs. It's just not something that I-

Kerry Diamond: Don't even tell me you've never eaten a hotdog.

Teighan Gerard: Oh no, I've eaten a hot dog but like I've had-

Kerry Diamond: I was like you're sheltered up on that mountain.

Teighan Gerard: I've had not the greatest experiences of upset stomachs and things, when I was a kid.

Kerry Diamond: We have some friends who started a company called J&E Small Goods. They are doing really wonderful quality hotdogs-

Teighan Gerard: Hotdogs.

Kerry Diamond: And we are going to get you some of those hotdogs.

Teighan Gerard: They're kind of having a moment, especially if you do all the fancy toppings and everything too. They're definitely having their time right now.

Kerry Diamond: We're going to make sure you get some hotdogs.

Teighan Gerard: All right. I can try one of those.

Kerry Diamond: And Spam. Tag us when you finally try Spam.

Teighan Gerard: Yeah, I know people are like, "No, you need to at least try it." I'm like, "I know, someday." It hasn't been presented to me.

Kerry Diamond: What's a dream vacation destination?

Teighan Gerard: I really right now just want to get to Italy. I want to get to Italy. Make some pizza and pasta. Fresh burrata.

Kerry Diamond: Absolutely.

Teighan Gerard: Yeah.

Kerry Diamond: Absolutely. All right, Tieghan, if you had to be trapped on a desert island with one food celebrity, who would it be and why?

Teighan Gerard: Ina. I mean she's just like the sweetest and I have never met her, although I just met Rachael Ray and she's the sweetest too, so it's a toss up at this point. I've watched both of them honestly since I first started cooking and learned a lot from them and Ina is so classic and she's cozy recipes, which I love.

Kerry Diamond: We love Ina.

Teighan Gerard: It's a toss up between the two.

Kerry Diamond: Okay.

Teighan Gerard: Yeah.

Kerry Diamond: Okay. We're full on team Ina and team Rachael.

Teighan Gerard: Yeah.

Kerry Diamond: We just got her on the podcast for the first time a few weeks ago and she was a hoot. I think that's the best word.

Teighan Gerard: She is so fast paced and you're just like, whoa.

Kerry Diamond: I was like, "How do you have so many projects?" She ran through all the projects she had and I was like, "You are Wonder Woman."

Teighan Gerard: She's an inspiration. I love how much she has done throughout all of these years and it's just incredible to see. She's such an incredible business woman. She is totally inspiring to me.

Kerry Diamond: Absolutely.

Teighan Gerard: Yeah.

Kerry Diamond: Absolutely. All right. Well Tieghan, it's been so nice getting to know you.

Teighan Gerard: It's been so fun. Yes.

Kerry Diamond: Thank you for the time. I know you're very busy while you're in New York, but next time you're here we'll have to hang out and take you to some of our favorite restaurants.

Teighan Gerard: Absolutely. You guys need to give me all the suggestions.

Kerry Diamond: That's it for today's show. Thank you to Tieghan Gerard. Her latest cookbook, Half Baked Harvest Super Simple is out now. Be sure to pick up a copy at your favorite indie bookstore. Thank you to Le Cordon Bleu culinary schools and Emmi cheese from Switzerland for supporting Radio Cherry Bombe. We really appreciate everything you've done for us all through the year. And thank you, our listeners, for supporting the show. This is our last episode of 2019. It's been an honor telling the stories of so many incredible women.

Kerry Diamond: Happy New Year to all of you from me and the entire Cherry Bombe team. We have a lot of great things in the works for you for 2020 so stay tuned. Be sure to subscribe to Radio Cherry Bombe wherever you get your podcasts. That can be your holiday gift to me. You can also rate and review the show and leave a suggestion about future guests. I would love to know who you want to hear on the show next year. Radio Cherry Bombe is edited, engineered and produced by Jess Zeidman. Cherry Bombe is powered by Audrey Payne, Kia Damon, Donna Yen, Maria Sanchez, Nancy Pappas and our publisher Kate Miller Spencer. Our theme song is All Fired Up by the band, Tralala. Thanks for listening everybody. You're the bombe. 2020 here we come.

When Harry Met Sally Clip: I'll have what she's having.

Rohoda Levy: Hi, this is Rhodora Levy, sous-chef at Gourmando Catering. Do you know who I think is the bombe? My boss, Alissa Leinonen, founder and CEO of Gourmando Catering in Seattle, Washington. From a tiny box lunch business, she grew her company and is now one of the fastest growing caterers in the region. All the while, she stays true to her company values, encouraging work life balance, and giving back to the community. Alissa, you're the bombe.