CoastalKitchen.net: Ferguson trio unveils new food blog
CoastalKitchen.net is a new blog created by the women of the Ferguson family – Kim and her daughters Sydney and Kirsten – as a way to stay in touch while they are scattered around the country. Although the Fergusons have been living in Jamestown since 1996, circumstances have temporarily relocated Kim and Sydney to the San Francisco Bay area, while Kirsten headed south for Miami.
Scott Ferguson is the patriarch of the family. He is a naval architect in charge of rig design for Oracle Team USA, the American team currently engaged in the battle for the America’s Cup. The event will take place next summer in San Francisco. Oracle is headquartered there, which led Scott and his wife Kim to move west.
Sydney graduated from Wheaton College earlier this year where she was a star on the lacrosse team. When her boyfriend Rome Kirby took a job as a crew member for the Oracle team, Sydney moved to California as well. Meanwhile, Kirsten, a publicist, moved down to Miami. According to the girls’ mother, it was hard being in San Francisco last year with Sydney in Massachusetts and Kirsten in Miami.
“I really missed them,” Kim said. “This summer we talked a lot about being connected and eventually doing something businesswise. Everyone in our house is creative on so many levels. We set up the blog as a way to stay connected.”
A new post appears on Coast alKitchen.net five days a week. Three days are devoted to recipes with an emphasis on healthy eating and simple preparation. On Wednesdays, adventures are featured, such as Sydney’s recent snowboarding trip to Lake Tahoe. Fridays are for favorites, which may include packaged foods, fashion or beauty products.
The first post on Dec. 2 was an introduction to the blog written by Kirsten. “Over the past few months the Ferguson ladies have been crafting and designing this blog, which will serve as a platform for sharing our love of food and adventure, as well as bridge the 3,000-plus mile gap from East Coast to West Coast,” she wrote.
The first recipe came one day later. It was Kim’s recipe for crispy ginger crab cakes. Since that time the food offerings have included simple baked fish and salad, chickpea falafels with yogurt dip, and black bean and beet veggie burgers. The recipes are either Ferguson creations or something that they have found elsewhere and added their own twist to.
“Food has always been a big part of our household,” Kim said. “It may look good in the pictures and taste OK, but we’re not going to post it unless we love it.”
Modern technology plays an important part in the planning of the blog. Most of the decision making comes via three-way Skype sessions between the three women. The family tries to plan a week ahead, but sometimes decisions are made the night before a post is due. All the photography for the blog is also done in-house.
While the bloggers are all health conscious, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to the nutritional value of the recipes. They try to keep them as healthy as possible, but the occasional dollop of sugar or butter manages to creep into some of the recipes.
“If you eat a little bit of it, it’s fine,” Kim said. “We try to make it so it tastes good, it’s relatively healthy, and it’s easy to make. Not everything’s going to be gluten free or vegetarian.”
Sydney moved to San Francisco in September and took a job with a software company in the city. She said that all three of them believe in a healthy lifestyle and created the blog as a way to stay in touch with one another. They also want to share what they know with other people.
“I started embracing a healthy lifestyle in college,” Sydney said. “That’s when food and my health became of serious value to me. I started taking my fitness and what I ate really seriously.”
Sydney said that adventure and fitness are also important components of the blog. Writing and photography are passions of the Ferguson women, and they welcome the opportunity to share their travels and favorite picks.
“I don’t want to slave away,” Sydney said. “Since I’m on the go and there are things I need to bring to work for lunch, I’m all about effi ciency, making sure it’s healthy, good and quick.”
Social media outlets like Facebook are used to promote Coast alKitchen.net. They say it has resulted in increased visibility for the blog. Sydney said the response has been good thus far, and sometimes surprising, like when she got a positive reaction from a co-worker who she didn’t think would pay any attention.
“The most unlikely people admit that they’re following the blog and totally love it,” Sydney said.
Kirsten is the only member of the team with previous blogging experience. She had her own fashion blog while she was in college. Once she graduated and began to work full time, the blog became too much and she was forced to abandon it. Kirsten was happy to have the opportunity to begin blogging again.
“As much as I loved fashion, I didn’t think it was a major part of my everyday lifestyle,” she said. “But I’ve always been interested in alternate foods and ways to eat healthier.”
Kirsten said that when she moved to Miami and her mother and her sister moved to San Francisco, the blog became a great way for them to stay in communication.
“We’ve all be interested in food forever,” Kirsten said. “This is a new way for us to explore and to have new adventures.”