Callie Blount grew up in a Southern home and was taught that hospitality is a fantastic way to show love. Carrying those traditions forward, Callie talks in this interview about how to be hospitable while still maintaining time for self care, yet not being afraid to be vulnerable and allow people into her home. Callie teaches, “People aren't going to remember what your house looked like. They're going to remember how you made them feel.” Callie loves beauty, people and creating, which she uses in her career as a food stylist. She blogs at Luv-Cooks.com. She lives in Nashville with her husband Jake and their cute dog, Bigsby. 

Nuggets of Wisdom from Callie:

“Life is either a grand adventure or nothing else.” ~Helen Keller

“I was raised in a very southern household with a very southern mama who I absolutely adore. I grew up in this culture of – whether it was a wedding or a funeral or a baby shower – her motto was ‘Well, ya gotta eat!' so you might as well be eating at her house. This culture of beautiful tables and beautiful spreads and this enjoyment of food and of people…. There's something about this love of food, love of people, and love of beauty that resonates in my spirit and brings me such fulfillment.”

“My mom modeled for me this culture of hospitality. For her it was her way to love us well.”

“The best way to love somebody is to cook for them.”

“Hospitality is more about the people who are sitting in your living room than it is about you looking fancy or like the coolest hostess in the world. It's about loving them well and making them feel special.”

“It's about having a good time and celebrating life with the people around you. It's really more important the way people FEEL when they're in your home than the way your home appears to them.”

“Today is the day that I have. Today is my grand adventure. I'm not promised tomorrow. Today is my chance to love people, to be kind to them, to have a good time with whatever situation I'm in and to let my intention be TODAY.”

“At the end of the day, land on the side of relationship.”

“People who can celebrate food are the best people!”

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Some of Callie‘s Favorite Things:

Personal habit: “I pray all the time. I try to still myself and maintain a place of peace in my spirit.”

Easy meal: Roasted Veggie and Quinoa Bowl with Creamy Asian Dressing (See below in the Resources for the recipe)

Favorite Kitchen Gadget: “Buying a Vitamix Blender has changed our world!” (See below in the Resources for Callie's Chocoholic Smoothie recipe)

Callie's Favorite Book: Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist

Best advice received: “The enemy of good is perfect.”

Callie's Happiness Formula:

“Encourage, Feed, and Inspire People.”

A Challenge from Callie:

“Go out there and practice hospitality. Choose to land on the side of community!”

Resources

Luv-Cooks.com

Turkey Pumpkin Chili

Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist

Callie's Pump-Me-Up Chocoholic Smoothie  

1 cup (8 ounces) chocolate coconut water
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
1 tablespoon cocoa powder (if you want it SUPER chocolatey)
1-2 tablespoons powdered peanut butter (I like PB2)
1/2 banana
5 ice cubes
 
Pour all ingredients into a Vitamix (or other blender of choice). Blend on low, slowly increasing speed to high to thoroughly mix ingredients and create a foamy texture. Enjoy!!

Roasted Veggie and Quinoa Bowl with Creamy Asian Dressing

Serves 2 for a meal or 4 for a hearty side

For the vegetables:
1 sweet potato, diced
1/2 pound okra, sliced into thin circles OR 3 carrots, sliced on the diagonal
1/2 head broccoli, sliced into florets
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

For the quinoa:
1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth

For the Asian dressing sauce:
3 tablespoons Sun Butter (or peanut or almond butter)
2 teaspoons soy sauce (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon lime juice
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Green onions, sliced (for topping)
Toasted sesame seeds (for topping)

What You Will Do:
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees, and line two large baking pans with aluminum foil sprayed lightly with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, toss together vegetables, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper until all the vegetables are coated with oil and spices.
3. Place vegetables on cooking sheets, spreading evenly.
4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring vegetables halfway through cooking, until yummy and a bit crispy on the edges.
5. While the vegetables are cooking, bring broth and quinoa to a boil. Cover; let simmer for 15 minutes, or until all water is absorbed and the whites of the quinoa are showing through.
6. Stir together Sun Butter (or nut butter of choice), soy sauce, honey, lime juice and red pepper flakes.
7. To assemble; layer quinoa and vegetables in bowls. Top with Asian dressing, green onions, and sesame seeds.

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