In the Kitchen With: Nikki of Pennies on a Platter

| Mar 4, 2010 Food & Party

  • Meet the Family


    Nikki and her husband, Ben, and son, Judah.

    My husband, Ben, is a college professor of Biblical Studies. We welcomed our first child, Judah, last December. It has been a joyous transitioning period for us. We love parenthood so far.  

    Judah brings us so much laughter and keeps us on our toes every day. I've been lucky to spend 12 weeks of maternity leave with him but will be returning to my full-time job in quality assurance this week.

  • The Blog


    Nikki's son, Judah.

    Pennies on a Platter started in 2007 as a way to share money-saving recipes and tips with my friends and family (hence the title). It quickly became a fun hobby for me and is now a way for me to keep learning new things in the kitchen. I like to try anything that sounds appetizing to me—from savory dinners to sweet indulgent desserts.

  • The Kitchen


    Nikki's kitchen.

    Because we are in a transitioning period of our lives, we currently rent our home. Because of this, my kitchen is not exactly how I would choose it to be in my own house. But I am grateful for it and love the space that I have.

  • The Kitchen


    Nikki's kitchen.

    The best part about our kitchen is how white and bright it is. It's a very cheery place to be! 


  • The Kitchen


    The kitchen table.

    Although we do have a separate dining room, I also love that we have room for a table in the kitchen. This table was a steal: I found at a garage sale five years ago. The best part about it? I can set my hot pans and dishes right on it! So, even though I don't have an island in my kitchen, this table serves me just as well!

  • The Kitchen


    Wall art in Nikki's kitchen.

    One of the walls in my kitchen includes illustrations of our engagement, wedding, and honeymoon drawn by a friend of mine.

  • The Kitchen


    Nikki's work station.

    Rght outside of my kitchen is my work station where I write my blog and edit my food photography. Before I set up this area, I used to sit on the sofa with my laptop and write my blogs. It was hard to edit my photos on such a tiny screen, so having my own work space and large monitor has helped immensely!

  • The Kitchen


    Cookbook holder in Nikki's kitchen.

    I could not do without this cookbook holder, which was a gift from my sister. It is so useful to me in that I'm not constantly bending my head down to read the recipe. It also provides more counter space when I'm cooking and makes for a nice decorative addition to my kitchen when I have a cookbook turned to a mouth-drooling photo.

  • The Food


    Pretzel Bites from Pennies on a Platter.

    Among our friends, I think I'm best known for serving fun and tasty appetizers. We host a lot of parties in our home so I'm constantly thinking of what can be served.

    Lately, the app that has been the biggest hit is these Ham & Cheese Pretzel Bites

  • The Food


    Pumpking Fruit Cups from Pennies on a Platter.

    Every year, for the past five years, we have held a BYOP (Bring Your Own Pumpkin) party, where friends come over and carve pumpkins with us. Each year, everyone anticipates what new dishes I'll serve, like these Snack O'Lantern Fruit Cups. Ben always requests pumpkin bars as well.

  • The Food


    Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos from Pennies on a Platter.

    Since Judah arrived, I have less time to cook. To help with this, I've been concentrating lately on finding make-ahead meals and freezer-friendly recipes, like these Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos, especially since I'll be returning to work full-time.


  • The Favorites


    Zeppole doughnuts from Pennies on a Platter.

    My one indulgence? This is crazy, but I can't get enough of boxed mix brownies!  I have no desire to make homemade brownies (although, I did once and they turned out just fine).

    If I could only pick two favorite food blogs, I would highlight Our Best Bites and Bakerella.  I also love using AllRecipes because its readers' recipe reviews are very helpful. The Food Network is an additional source I use often. My favorite food personalities are Giada De Laurentiis (who inspired me to make these Italian doughnuts), Michael Chiarello, Paula Deen, and Ina Garten.

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