Welcome to No Empty Chairs!

This blog was created as a way to record and share the joy our family enjoys around our kitchen table.  With a family of seven people constantly going seven (or more) different directions, family meal time is a tradition that we hold fast to.  It is a time to gather together as family (and often friends) to share good food and to talk and laugh about life. Hence-No Empty Chairs. I want no empty chairs at my table. I want all to come hungry and leave nourished, both at mealtime and in life.  And when we all put aside this mortal life, I plan to joy with family and friends where there are No Empty Chairs  at my table through Eternity.

For a more detailed look into the philosophy behind No Empty Chairs, click HERE.

The regular chair warmers in our home include:

  • Kelly, also known as cook, chauffeur, maid, gardener, tutor, psychologist, seamstress, genealogist, teacher, doctor, general handyman, and now blogger (i.e.: Mom)
  • Brian, husband and dad, and great sport about all of the adventures in the kitchen from his wife and children!
  • Justin (Big J), who will generally eat anything and everything, and is my source of knowledge for all things technical. He is manning his own kitchen now far from home in sunny California and has recently discovered the joy of a Crock Pot.
  • Alyssa (Big A), a lovely young woman who loves to cook for others.  She is also far from home finishing her final year of college.
  • Kelsey (Middle K), baking is her preference, but she also steps up to provide full meals when needed. We are keeping her chair warm while she is serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in San Diego, CA.
  • Aaron (Little A), an always hungry, full-of-life teenage boy who eats most everything except chocolate (which does cause some strife in our house at dessert time!).
  • Julia (Little J), a precocious teenage girl whose food likes and dislikes change with the wind. She is rapidly becoming a fabulous cook in her own right.

So please, pull up a chair, and welcome to our table!

No Empty Chairs Signature2

My Credentials:

  • Schooled at my mother’s knee on the fine art of feeding a family on a limited budget.
  • Interned as a teenager in same kitchen. Much experimentation and recalculation. My major textbooks at this point included back issues of Southern Living Magazine.
  • Residency as a poor, starving college student who was always willing to trade cooking for cleaning duties with culinary-challenged roommates.
  • On-the-job-training: 28 years of marriage (and counting!), resulting in over 10,000 dinners cooked (not to mention breakfasts, lunches, and snacks);  more than 100 children’s birthday cakes and party fare; untold numbers of church pot-luck dinners, neighborhood block parties, holiday meals, cookie exchanges, baby and bridal showers.
  • Specialization: Cooking with whole, natural ingredients and limited sugar and processed food (although some days you just need a good, sweet chocolate chip cookie).

10 responses to “About

  1. knobby/dad


    I am sure impressed. I knew all those cooking lessons I gave you would serve you in good stead….

    Love to all the family and keep up the good work.


  2. Kay/Cousin

    Kelly, I really enjoy your recipes. I print them, punch them with a three hole punch, and put them in a binder. I made the Mediterranean Frittata for some friends who stayed over. I thought I would have way too much food, but they ate it all. I can’t wait to make the one I got today, the flank steak stuffed with pesto….yum. I e-mail the recipes to all my friends. Thanks so much for all you hard work, and I definitely don’t believe your father, can he boil water?
    Love ya,
    Kay Conley Cammarata


  3. HI Kelly I love both your crediatial and recipes. Thank so much for sharing. I am learning some good stuff on here. Once again thank you. I book mark your recipe I want to try out by like. I think I have too many bookmark since I came across you:)


  4. Kat

    Stumbled across your site and I’m really enjoying it….your recipes are simple and delicious and don’t require hours and hours and hours of time in the kitchen…..and I HATE cooking! LOL


  5. Pat S.

    my first time here, but I wil be back!


  6. maishah

    wow such thoughtful recipes :]


  7. I love the title of your blog!


  8. Renee

    Hi Mrs. Smith! I’m Big J’s co-worker and lover of your Christmas cookies. Thank you for sending them to him and thank you to Big J for keeping his slim figure by sharing these delicious cookies in the office. They are a hit!

    Liked by 1 person

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