I tried writing several versions of a biography to post on here… but I hated them. One had too many jokes, one seemed too braggy, and one seemed like the life story of a nun. So instead of an “about me,” I wrote a bare-bones bio, and then had a few people come up with questions for a question-and-answer page. This was way more fun, and you can see a little of my real personality.
My name is Courtney Lynn. I’m 26 years old, but feel like an old soul. I’m part Paula Deen, part Scarlett O’Hara, and part Joey Gladstone.
Cooking and writing are my main hobbies, which turned into a job. I also love to read, go antique-hunting, and go fishing.
I wrote a cookbook called The Supersize Family’s Guide to the Kitchen because I felt that the world and the families in it needed recipes that serve more people than the average recipe. The book is available at Amazon.com and will soon be available here on my website. I will write more cookbooks in the future.
I also write this blog, Supersize Family Kitchens. It’s mostly a food blog with recipes from my book and also never-before-seen recipes. I also write posts on crafts, decorating, gardening, and family life.
I sell books and other merchandise at select craft shows throughout the year. I typically post on this blog when I know I’ll have a booth somewhere.
I live in Southern Missouri, where we have four seasons: winter, winter, still winter, and drought.
I’m glad you stopped by. Thanks for reading and God bless! Happy cooking!
THE BIG Q & A with Courtney Lynn
Why did you write a cookbook?
I guess here is where I start at the beginning. For the first 20-ish years of life, I could not cook. Not grilled cheese. Not toast. Not Jello, or hot dogs, or nachos. Somewhere in my early twenties, I picked up a magazine and saw a recipe for Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars. No eggs, no raw meat, and only had to bake for 12 minutes. I could do that, and I did. Those bars made me feel like a rockstar. I found my brother Judson frantically scraping the crumbs off of the table like a madman. From there, I made Oatmeal cookies, and then peanut butter cookies. At that point, I realized I Can Do This. I then discovered casseroles, and I really took off. My sister Chelsea and my mom were already fabulous cooks, and they graciously welcomed me into the dinner rotation.
The only problem was, I usually cooked for 8-10 people, and most of the recipes I found in magazines and cookbooks made about 4-6 servings. #failure. With this in mind, I started collecting big-batch recipes for my own personal use. And I went through my mom’s recipe box and found quite a few forgotten recipes that I could double. I hunted for big potluck-style cookbooks, but I found the well to be practically dry. After I had 30 or so recipes, I had a crazy thought… “Maybe someday when I have a few hundred recipes I’ll write my own cookbook.” While I was collecting recipes and really stretching my wings as a home cook, I was simultaneously doing hours and hours and oodles and oodles of research about writing, formatting, publishing vs self-publishing, and on and on and on. I eventually decided that the best format for my control-freak self was to try self-publishing via Amazon/CreateSpace. I could then control every aspect of my cookbook. I enlisted Chelsea—a photographer—to take the food pictures for the cover. Chelsea and my sister Halle provided tons of props as well. The book is now available for purchase from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Before you were a cookbook author, what did you do?
This may take a while. I’ve reinvented myself more times than Taylor Swift. Let me see… Throughout the years I’ve set myself on the career path of being an accountant, a hairstylist, a wedding planner, a florist, a novelist, a barrel-racer, a songwriter, an Olympic track star, and a model. And these are just the ones I can think of at the moment. In that same order, these were my reasons for stopping: I don’t want to be cooped up in a desk, I don’t like making small talk, I don’t like dealing with cranky families, I don’t really know anything about flowers, I ran out of steam halfway through every novel, I lost interest in horses, I wrote 250+ songs before I got burned out, I had a serious foot injury, and I was in one fashion show and hated it.
(Side note: The only thing I’ve done consistently since I was a kid was write. I’ve constantly been writing poetry, songs, short stories, novels, and a short film. I didn’t have the patience and dedication when I was a teen to finish those novels, but I do now. Someday I’m going to write that novel that’s playing in my head, maybe several. I love all aspects of writing. More than anything else in my life, I’ve been a writer.)
Finally at 19 I enrolled in college to have something to do while I figured out what my next step was. Ha ha ha. I hated everything about it. I lasted for 3 years before I finally quietly dropped out in the middle of the summer semester. My parents didn’t find out until November. That was a fun conversation. I said then and I will stand by this “Whatever I’m supposed to do with my life, I don’t need to go to college to do it.” And I was right. I’m not against college, but I was going for the wrong reasons. I had no particular aspirations, no major. After that, I bummed around for about a year before I took up cooking, and the rest is history.
Why did you start a blog?
This blog is a companion to my book, but it also stands alone as a food blog. I’ll post recipes here from my book, and also unpublished recipes, excerpts from upcoming cookbooks, and other fun stuff like DIY projects. And also I’d like to make web friends. At some point or another I’ll probably have PMS and post a long tearful review of a Nicholas Sparks movie, or a random commercial.
More cookbooks in the future?
Yes. I had enough recipes left over from my first cookbook to write half of my second, which I’m already hard at work on. And I have have a dozen more cookbooks thought out.
What are your big dreams?
I’d like to own a restaurant and mercantile, supplied by a farm, ranch, and garden. I also do a pretty good stand-up comedy routine, and I’d like to do something with that. And also I’d like to be time-warped into the 1950’s.
Married with children?
No and no. I’m 26, and where I come from, I’m considered a terminal old maid. I can’t say that I agree. I’m pretty sure I won’t get married till I’m at least 30, though. I actually like being an independent woman. I have family and friends that keep me busy, and I don’t mind being the third wheel as long as food is involved.
Favorite movies and TV shows?
If I had to pick a favorite TV show, I would probably say 7th Heaven. But in general, my favorite shows are westerns. Bonanza, Rawhide, Gunsmoke, Maverick, The Big Valley, The Wild Wild West (Robert Conrad! Oh my word!)… I’ll watch any western TV show I can get my hands on. The same for movies—Silverado, and anything with John Wayne (Rio Bravo especially!).
I’m a little bit of a movie buff. I love old movies (The Sound of Music, Gone With The Wind, It’s A Wonderful Life, How to Marry A Millionaire), romance (Sweet Home Alabama, The Longest Ride, Runaway Bride, Safe Haven, Fireproof), action/military (Battleship, Red Dawn, The Guardian, The Bourne Series, The Expendables).
Favorite Supersize Family recipe?
Chicken Stuffing Casserole.
What would you pick for your last meal?
Cheesecake, with a side of cheesecake, served on a bed of cheesecake, with cheesecake for dessert. Hey, if I’m going to die, I’m not counting calories.
A beach house on a private island, a cabin on a lonely mountain, a farmhouse in the middle of a thousand acres, or a houseboat on a private lake. I’m not picky.
Who is your celebrity crush?
My celebrity crushes are mostly TV cowboys from the 1950’s and 60’s. Which means now they’re all either getting up in years or have already passed away. Bummer for me. Robert Conrad is my absolute favorite (most beautiful man ever! Seriously!). I’m also crazy about Jack Kelly, James Garner, and Clint Walker. (I have a thing for broad-shouldered manly men with hairy chests.) As far as modern men my own age, it’s Scott Eastwood. Hands down. He’s gorgeous.
What do you do when you’re not cooking?
Thinking about cooking or looking for new recipes. Reading, fishing, and antique-hunting are my favorite non-food related activities. I also do a pretty good stand-up comedy act, and maybe someday I'll do something big with that.
Coffee! I love coffee! I drink it because I love it, not because I need it. Strangely, coffee doesn’t give me energy or a buzz or anything. Bummer, because I wish I could drink a cup like normal people and then feel magically energized.
So there you have it. That's me. Of course as with every person, there's far more to me than meets the eye. In person I'm painfully shy and quiet if I don't know you well, so if we ever meet and I sort of whisper "Hi." please don't be offended. In a few minutes I'll be making jokes and talking about food and you'll probably wish you hadn't said anything at all.