In My Winter Kitchen + A Blog Redesign!

By Amanda Paa – Updated April 21, 2023

Happy New Year everyone! I am so incredibly excited to share my new blog design with you today, a project I’ve been working on with Lindsay of White Oak Creative for the past 5 months. As I’ve grown personally and professionally, with Heartbeet Kitchen and freelance work now being my full-time job, I felt it was time for this space to grow along with me.

Designing a food blog is not an easy task, and I am so incredibly grateful for all the work that Lindsay did. From the layout, the visual elements, and the functionality, she custom built what I had in mind in a beautiful way. Through several iterations, we worked on keeping my clean and natural branding the same, but polishing things up and making the site easier for you to navigate.

Here are a few of my favorite changes that I think you’ll enjoy too:

  1. A whole new look and feel. The redesigned layout is much more user friendly and visual, without being overcomplicated. On the homepage, the slider at the top rotates with different seasonal recipes, and below that, you’ll find my most recent posts.
  2. A visual RECIPE INDEX! Definitely the thing I’m most excited about. I was even having a hard time finding some of my recipes. There’s also different sorting capabilities – by meal, season, and types like vegan, paleo, nut-free, etc.
  3. A recipe card for each post that you can save or easily print.
  4. Designated space for my Travel and Lifestyle columns. The latter will be a spot for me to do more opinion based writing about self care, DIY natural skincare, and things I’ve got on my mind at the moment.

What hasn’t changed is how much I love real food, and real life. I can’t wait to share more of it with you this year. That being said, if there’s anything else you’d like to see on the blog, I’m all ears!

Now since cooking with the seasons is my jam, I thought I’d show you what’s been happening in the kitchen that doesn’t necessarily get posted on the blog, and some outtakes from everyday life. From the looks of it, winter so far has been filled with nourishing meals, appetizers + holiday celebrations, and sweet {gluten-free} treats.

Fuyu Persimmons

This year was my first time trying persimmons, and wow – sweet as candy! I’m itching to try them in this cardamom milkshake.

Once I saw my friend Alison post this recipe for Spiced Lentils & Roasted Brussels Sprouts, I ran out and got the ingredients. We loved the flavors, and it was super simple to make. Makes great leftovers too.

Spiced Lentils & Roasted Brussels Sprouts (gluten-free, vegan)

And there were sweet treats, and sugar plum fairies dancing throughout the kitchen during the holidays. I slightly adapted a recipe from Robin Asbell’s terrific new book, The Whole Grain Promise, and made this snappy Pepita Granola Brittle, conquering my fear of the candy thermometer at the same time.

Pepita Granola Brittle

And it wouldn’t be Christmas without {gluten-free} Chocolate Peppermint Crinkles, am I right? Something so magical about them. Oh, and I finally found an organic powdered sugar – hooray! There wasn’t enough time to get this recipe on the blog, but next year.

gluten-free Peppermint Chocolate Crinkles

This orange glazed brussels sprouts & butternut squash recipe has been on repeat…….

Orange Glazed Brussels Sprouts & Butternut Squash {gluten-free}

Some vintage thrifting scores…. I want to make one recipe a month from the Gourmet Cookbook, which was published in 1961. It’s so interesting to see how food has changed, and stayed the same over the years.

vintage kitchen finds

Our Christmas appetizer, which I aptly named Aloha Bites: Bacon Wrapped Pineapple with a brush of honey. Salty and sweet, my weakness!

Aloha Bites: Bacon Wrapped Pineapple with a honey glaze

And a holiday hello from Grace and I.

Amanda of Heartbeet Kitchen, and her cat Grace.

Would love to hear how your winter is going, so let me know in the comments below! Or you can always say hi on Instagram too. Cheers to a great start to 2016! xo

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Did you make this?

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January 4, 2016


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  1. Traci | Vanilla And Bean

    Absolutely love the new layout, features and clean lines, Amanda. The new self care section is so fun, too. I make a lot of DIY skin/hair stuff and am always looking for new recipes. Grace looks apathetic to your celebration.. Looks like you were giving her the hold treatment. Something I always loved doing with my cats! hehe! xo Congratulations my dear! Happy New Year!

    • amandapaa

      Oh thank you so much Traci! Aren’t DIY skincare projects relaxing to make, and use? And yes, Grace definitely got the hold treatment. Not her favorite. :) xo

  2. Faith (An Edible Mosaic)

    Lady, I would love to spend a day (or three!) with you in the kitchen! Everything you put your hands to is lovely. And congrats on your new site! I <3 it so much, and yay for the visual recipe index!!! I wanted that so badly for my site, but honestly, my pics from when I first started are soooooo terrible it would not have been a good thing, lol. Your vintage finds are fabulous! I have the same vintage Gourmet cookbook and I Iove it! xoxo

  3. Faith (An Edible Mosaic)

    Lady, I would love to spend a day (or three!) with you in the kitchen! Everything you put your hands to is lovely. And congrats on your new site! I <3 it so much, and yay for the visual recipe index!!! I wanted that so badly for my site, but honestly, my pics from when I first started are soooooo terrible it would not have been a good thing, lol. xoxo

  4. Lauren Gaskill | Making Life Sweet

    I adore your new site dear! So excited for this new chapter for you. Well done!! I know the best is only yet to come! ;)

    • amandapaa

      Thank you Lauren! Excited to see all the joy that Iowa brings for you this year.

  5. Nicole

    This looks amazing, congrats!! I’m especially fond of the paint-like wisps of color everywhere, and the prominent photos. Love your new pic with the coffee mug, so perfect.

    I am excited about your 1961 cookbook!! I can’t wait to hear what you make. I have a few old cookbooks myself and I’ve only made a few recipes from them. Perhaps it’s time to dig them out. :)

    Happy New Year! Would love to get together soon. – Nik

    • amandapaa

      Aw, thanks Nicole! We worked really hard on those little wisps so I’m glad someone else likes them. :)

      We should cook from the vintage cookbook together someday! Wouldn’t that be fun?

  6. Julia | Orchard Street Kitchen

    Happy New Year, Amanda! The redesign looks so fabulous! It’s so clean yet maintains your fun atmosphere here. Perfect :) Those lentils + brussels sprouts and cookies certainly caught my eye, but most of all I love the picture of you and Grace. She is such a sweetie! Xo

    • amandapaa

      Hi Julia! Grace is not always a fan of that hat, but I have to stick with tradition, lol. It’s all in the name of love. :)

  7. Mary

    I love the new site! And the photography! It’s amazing as always, but I’m so drooling over that orange glazed Brussels sprouts and butternut squash. I could eat that every daaaay. Love you, lady! Your passion for food and life is a beautiful thang!!

  8. Lily | Kale & Caramel

    YES YES YES!!!! So pumped about this gorgeous redesign. What a brilliant way to start the new year. Can’t wait for all the beauty and yum to come. Congrats, Amanda!

  9. Lisa @ Healthy Nibbles & Bits

    Lindsay did a great job with the redesign!! I LOVE it, Amanda! Cheers to another year of tasty recipes and cat photos!

    • amandapaa

      Same to you Lisa! I’m so glad there’s another cat fan in the house. :)

  10. Meg @ Beard and Bonnet

    The site redesign is GORGEOUS!!! So happy for you!

  11. Paula

    Beautiful!! I love it!

  12. Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health

    Your new site is so beautiful! It suits your aesthetic perfectly. I love it!

    • amandapaa

      Thanks so much for stopping by to take a look Sarah! Kind of a nice way to start the new year. Good health and happiness to you!

  13. Madeline

    Absolutely loving the new redesign! So simplistic yet visually stunning. Can’t wait to see what all you do in 2016! : )

  14. Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough

    GORGEOUS redesign, my friend! It’s so elegant and simple and beautiful and perfectly you. :)

    • amandapaa

      Aw, thanks girl! We need to have a coffee date at Nina’s soon. All I crave these days is warm drinks and treats. :)

  15. Emily | Gather & Dine

    Love the new design, Amanda! So clean and fresh feeling! Looking forward to following along in 2016. And I want to try those persimmon shakes too!

  16. Sara @ Cake Over Steak

    Congrats on the redesign – it looks gorgeous!! I particularly love the little paint brush swatch buttons. :-D

  17. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles

    Your blog redesign is gorgeous – I love the subtle but impactful touches – the mauve paint brush strokes and the adorable beet graphic. So you! Full of fresh and vibrance ♥

  18. renee (will frolic for food)

    THE SITE LOOKS AMAZING! So clean and pretty and functional. Love this whole post, too.

  19. Abby @ The Frosted Vegan

    I love it! I feel like redesigns are so hard because you don’t really know what you want until you see it on someone else’s site :) Lovely talking to you yesterday, can’t wait to get a trip on the books! xo

    • amandapaa

      Yes, they take a lot of tweaking and then you change your mind… lol! Similar to how I am with trying to pick out clothes. So good talking to you yesterday as well, and so looking forward to a little getaway!

  20. Frances Friedland

    Looks so sharp! Congrats and Happy 2016!

    • amandapaa

      Frances, thank you! Means so much to have you stop by. Hope all is well.

  21. Tasya Kelen

    Gorgeous, fresh and fun just like you! Hubbie and I are salivating over the Aloha Bites may have to try very soon! Keep the delicious recipes a comin!

  22. Tessa | Salted Plains

    I LOVE it! The redesign looks beautiful. So exciting and what a great, fresh way to start a new year. I hope you get to try out the shake – persimmons are a new favorite for me. Also, those beets are crazy pretty! xo!

  23. Liz @ Floating Kitchen

    Eeekkk! I love it! Everything looks amazing and I can’t wait to poke around more. I’ve been itching to re-design my site for so long and now you’re making me all sorts of jealous with this beautiful creation! Cheers to 2016, friend!

  24. Stephanie Meyee

    Just stunning. Like you! Authentic, fresh, healthy. LOVE IT.

    • Stephanie Meyer | Fresh Tart

      Oh hilar I misspelled my own name. ?

      • amandapaa

        Thank you, girl! It feels good, a fresh slate. And it’s your birthday tomorrow! Let’s get together soon to celebrate the awesomeness that January was having kids. :) xo

  25. rebecca | DisplacedHousewife

    Looks beautiful and fresh!! Happy New Year Amanda! xoxo

  26. Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor

    Beautiful site! What a great way to start 2016. Everything looks great and I want to dive through the screen and grab those beets. I love the pic of you and Grace too!

    • amandapaa

      Thank you Ashley! Gosh, those beets were just such a fantastic color. And I couldn’t resist putting that hat on Grace – our yearly tradition even though she isn’t a real fan. Hope you are well! xo

  27. Gena

    The new site looks fantastic, Amanda!