Expert Interview Series: Crystal Ponti of MommiFried on Parenting and Cooking

Crystal Ponti is the voice behind the award-winning blog, MommiFried, where tired parents go for advice and ideas. We managed to catch up with Crystal to hear her take on parenting, cooking, and the joys of being part of...

Parenting and cooking

Crystal Ponti is the voice behind the award-winning blog, MommiFried, where tired parents go for advice and ideas. We managed to catch up with Crystal to hear her take on parenting, cooking, and the joys of being part of a large family.

Why did you come up with the name MommiFried?

I have five kids. At the end of the day, I'm tired. Beyond. I think the best way to describe this feeling is being "mommifried." It's a play on mummified. That's how I came up with the name for my blog. I went with a heart wrapped in linen bandages (like a mummy) to tie everything together.

You're one of about only 1.3 million people who live in the state of Maine. As a lifelong resident, what's the best thing about living in the Pine Tree State?

The best thing about living in Maine is having access to the ocean. I love spending a day by the shore collecting sea glass and just taking in the sights and sounds.

You're the (very busy) mother of five kids. Do you have any parenting insights or advice that you'd like to share?

Every kid is different. Embrace their originality and help them embrace what makes them unique. These differences will become their strengths.

When you're cooking dinner, how do you go about satisfying the dietary needs, appetites, and preferences of five children (and a husband)?

I try to prepare meals that I know everyone likes. When I do something different, I try to prepare something on the side just in case. We eat a lot of veggies and a lot of smoothies to compensate.

Do you have a go-to recipe that every single person in your family loves?

My family loves my chicken croquettes that I make from scratch. It's an old family recipe, which makes the meal even more special. Now if only we could agree on white sauce or brown gravy.

You also feature a couple dozen "copycat" recipes on MommiFried. What are these all about?

I love to play around with recipes to make them different and one of a kind. I have a bunch posted on MommiFried that I have tweaked in one way or another. Many are crock pot recipes which are quick and easy to prepare. I also have some dishes that are uniquely mine. Right now, I'm playing around with a grilled turkey and herbed pea paste sandwich. Have you ever tried pea paste on a sandwich? Delicious! You can even grill it before placing it on bread.

What is the one kitchen tool or utensil that you cannot live without?

I cannot live without my whisk. I prefer mixing and blending things with a whisk rather than a spoon or other utensil. Unless it's cookie dough, of course. Then a heavy duty mixing spoon comes in handy.

If your family were to buy you a Mother's Day gift for your kitchen and money were no object, what appliance, gadget, or other item would you want most?

I need a new set of cookware. I prefer commercial-grade pots and pans because food cooks better and they last so much longer.

If you're also in need of some new cookware, check out Cilantro's selection here.