About Me

Karen back road journal
Hi I’m Karen, It Is Nice To Get To Know You

Welcome to Back Road Journal…Little treasures discovered while exploring the back roads of life. My name is Karen and this is my journal where I record and share my passion for food, travels, both near and far, and the good things in life encountered while on my adventures.

My husband and I left suburban Miami to live in rural New England. Half our year was spent living in a New Hampshire 1730’s restored farm house with an apple orchard and garden. The other was spent at our small lakeside cottage in Maine.ย Afterย one of the coldest winters in history, my husband and I made the hard decision to leave New England. We now live on Florida’s Treasure Coast, so named afterย treasure was recovered from wrecked Spanish galleons off this portion of the Atlantic seacoast.

I share stories about New England and Florida as well as our many discoveries traveling along the back roads of Europe. Whether visiting a small village or a famous city, we like finding an out of the way eatery that has simple good food just as much as we enjoy dining at a famous three star restaurant.

Besides writing about our travels, I create and share original recipes inspired from meals I’ve had while living in Texas, Florida and New England as well as from my travels to other parts of the world. Whether you are new to cooking or an experienced cook, I believe you will find all my recipes easy to recreate.

I hope that the wonderful moments, beautiful scenery and delicious food that I share with you will inspire you to explore the back roads, cook some of my recipes for your family and friends and that you will return often to visit me at Back Road Journal.

All of the content on this blog, including photographs and writing, is original content unless otherwise noted. If you are interested in using any of it, please contact me via email at backroad-journal@comcast.net.

127 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Hi Karen,

    You make me nostalgic for New England. I grew up in Massachusetts along the New Hampshire border. I left for the West Coast thinking I would only be gone two years. It’s been seven and I am will likely be a few more before I can move back. I will stop by your site whenever I need a good dose of home.


    PS. I love your travel style. Small towns. And good food.

  2. You and your husband kind of sound like us, only retired. We like the backroads when traveling and we focus on where we’ll stay and what we’ll eat. I’m living in our 1863 townhouse in a small town in France while my husband does another year before retirement. I’m going to follow yours; I think I’ll discover some new backroads to share with my husband.

  3. It is like kitchen talk without the clean up after people leave. I love recipes and new food ideas. I have travelled and worked in India, love the food, France is another fav and later this year I will be going to Thailand. I too have an old house from the 1860’s and would not change where I have it except for the cold.

  4. What an adventure! We’re just returning home from a driving tour through VT, NH and a week spent at a house in Down East ME. We definitely planned the week around eating – food and wine! I could easily spend an entire summer in ME and New England!!

  5. I’ve enjoyed reading through your blog and loving the tomatoes, we’ve had an awful tomato season here, summer has been dreadful, so it’s heartwarming to see such delicious toms

  6. My husband and I would love to visit Maine so we will be following your site closely! Wow, a 1730’s home sounds wonderful. I’ll add your site to my blogroll so others can follow you also.

  7. Hi Karen! First of all I’m loving your blog! Second, it sounds like the two of us have switched places. I great up in New Hampshire and then my family moved to Hershey, Pa. Now i’m living in New York City. Even though I love the city so much I might never live anywhere else, I truly appreciate the country side and everything it has to offer! looking forward to reading more of your posts in the future and enjoying all the gorgeous photographs you take!

  8. Hi Dear Karen, I am so glad to meet with you. You are welcome to my humble world. How nice to meet with your blog, I loved it and I added to my favurite blog list. It seems you are living in a dream land. Blessing and Happiness, with my love, nia

  9. I love it! My family usually plans the trip around where we are going to eat first, then where we are going to stay and finally we think about what we might actually do. Can’t wait to explore your site… and love sauerkraut.

  10. Hello karen…awesome compilation of this site…loved how you have combined food recipes with other interests…a very unique way of presentation indeed

  11. Dear Karen,

    I’ve seen your comments on several of my favorite blogs, so I knew I ought to visit yours. I just had to finally look you up, and now that I’m here I can see I’ll enjoy hanging around and visiting! The kind of travel and life interests you describe are ones I share avidly, so I’ll be glad to learn from you. Glad we’ve now met!

  12. Hi Karen, You’ve got a really nice Blog here! Well done on that! ๐Ÿ™‚ I like your style of travel and presenting food here. So original! Warm regards, Subhan Zein

  13. Karen, I can see I’m going to have SO much fun on your blog! In just a few minutes I’ve seen three recipes I can’t wait to try!
    I’m so envious… New England, and a lovely home straight out of a “Norman Rockwell” scene… I’ve always pictured something a bit smaller, and across from you on our East Coast. I think maybe when I grow up!

  14. Good blogs are beacons of hope in a world otherwise filled with so many sad events and negativity. I’ll be looking through more of your posts this w/e, Karen. I enjoy your work!

  15. I went to New England Literature Camp as a sophomore at the University of Michigan. We lived in cabins on the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee a couple of miles outside of Wolfeboro for six months, and I loved it. I am looking forward to following your blog.

  16. It’s nice to meet someone else who plans her travel around food! That’s the way my husband and I do it as well. Thanks for sharing your experiences!

  17. What a lovely blog you have! My grandparents lived in New Hampshire, and I have very fond and loving memories of that part of our country. ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. I too am from an urban area, and moved to a rural (farm) town. However, Hubster is from a mountain town, so the rural thing isn’t too strange. We’re exploring the backroads together. We don’t have enough land at our house for 300 apple trees, but we do have an orchard on the acerage at our cabin a little further upstate.

  19. I just discovered your real passion is traveling and food. I too, love traveling and simple, healthy food. I wouldn’t say my travels are primarily based on where I will stay and what I will eat but it is near the top of the list. Also, what I will drink! ๐Ÿ™‚ I look forward to reading more about your experiences!

  20. Karen, so glad I found your blog as I loved New England when I visited a few years ago. I am a sucker for the rural communities found there, picture postcard houses and white steepled churches. Your lifestyle sounds ideal, NH and Maine, plus Italy too. Look forward to your posts.

  21. Hi, Karen! I am really enjoying your blog and I still can’t get over your Romesco sauce…I’m making it again tomorrow night for cousins I have invited over for dinner ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Welcome! And I hope you don’t mind but I passed on the Romesco sauce recipe to a couple of friends at work coz I know they will love it. Told them about your blog too ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Oh my… Your blog is stunningly beautiful and puts my humble little start of one to shame! I am drooling over your beautiful pictures, your orchard and home, and your travels. Such a wonderful life and I’m looking forward to living vicariously through you! And I cannot believe you’re an amateur gardener because everything looks so perfect- great work! ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. I’m fairly selective about what I follow, but I love New England (lived there for 5 years) and your food photos. So, I’m signing up.
    I also like your “little bit about me” section. I hope you take it as flattery, that I plan to add something similar to my blog.

  24. What can be more beautiful than living in a 1730โ€ฒs home with 300 apple trees!!! Seemed like reading in fairy tales. Look forward to more coming out of the Back Road:)

  25. Your life sounds idyllic! it is also my dream to live in a big old house with a lot of history and a huge gardening space one day! Lovely blog, thanks for entertaining me this morning!

  26. It certainly looks like we have a lot in common. I’m glad to have discovered another foodie, slow-living enthusiast, and lover of the great state of New Hampshire. (I spent a wonderful exchange semester at UNH way, way back when). Look forward to reading more of your adventures. Best, Michele

  27. We see that you’ve already been recognized as a Versatile Blogger, but would like to let you know that we wanted to give you one too. Thanks for your lovely posts.

  28. What a beautiful blog you have! I love your new lifestyle, this is my husband and I dream when the children grow up (but they are stil only 3 and 6 !!!), we would like to move to the Italian countryside, travel and drink good wine….a dream. Rita (you know me as ritacoooksitalian.com which is my main blog!!!!)

  29. Hi Karen, I’ve just nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award and The Versatile Blogger Award! I so enjoy following your blog, and it’s my pleasure to introduce more people to it.

  30. Love your blog! My boyfriend – and hopefully future husband ๐Ÿ˜‰ – and I are always travelling and exploring too ๐Ÿ™‚ The only way to live!! Enjoy x

  31. I have been reading through your lovely recipes and decided that I should comment here rather leaving a comment on each and every one since I loved each one I read. Beautiful, delicious dishes, each and every one! Your ideal holiday sounds like ours as well. We like to rent a car and get off the highway when possible. One of our favorite meals was in a little country restaurant on the road from Bologna to Venice last year. Rustic Italian food with wine on tap included which, despite the unusual dispensing, was a great wine. Who would have thought?! I look forward to spending more time reading through your posts.

  32. Hi Karen, I’m happy to discover your blog! I’m feeling very nostalgic reading your posts. I grew up in Massachusetts and love the backroads of NH. My husband and I honeymooned in Maine, too (on Monhegan Island). I miss the small towns of New England and delicious food – I look forward to exploring your blog more since you share about both beautifully. I love the photo of your dining room decorated for Christmas! Merry Christmas!

  33. NIce to meet you, Karen. You have a nice blog, here. After living in big cities all my life, we moved to the country, too. City dwelling was a necessity (jobs), but my heart has always been among the trees. โค

  34. Hi Karen, What a life you are living. I’ve being in the city for 40 years and certainly looking forward to move to some place like yours. There is so much I can gain from what you are sharing. Expect me to drop by often. …danny

  35. Your words resonate with me – we have moved to a very rural island location, I grow most of our veg as well as soft fruit. Our trips too focus on food in priority over sightseeing, backstreets or anywhere interesting off the beaten track. Thanks, Tracey

  36. Hi – just wanted you to know I really love your blog and for the last couple days, I’ve saved so many yummy recipes to try !! I’m battling breast cancer and can’t eat much nor have the strength to cook till I get over my chemo…. But reading your blog and your travels puts me in the happy place as if i am with you cooking or holidaying… Thank you for keeping my spirits up and know I really appreciate your sharing your life… I love gardening, cooking and travelling as well and hopefully this year is only a blip in my life and I’ll get back on track to normal next year… Thank you!!

    1. Thank you Wishbonesx, for your kind words…they are very much appreciated. I’m happy that you enjoy visiting my blog and that it lifts your spirits. I do hope that you will be fully recovered in the near future. Take care!

  37. Hi Karen, I love your blog! My husband is from western Massachusetts (still have trouble spelling it) and we’ve been out that direction many times. My son went to college in Maine as well. I’m so appreciative of your lifestyle! What a dream! It’s so beautiful up in that part of the country. Anyway… I’ll be following you and look forward to reading more!

  38. Hi,
    I enjoy your website. Today, I ready this post: “Apple Blossom Time In New England”
    Posted on May 10, 2013. There are some photos of pear trees. Do you happen to know what kind of pear trees these are? I notice that some leaves have some red in them. If you happen to know, I would appreciate it. I only know of one pear that has reddish leaves and that’s Nashi. Curious.
    Thank you.
    PS. Beautiful photos, by the way

    1. Hi Michael, Thank you for stopping by for a visit…I’m happy that you enjoyed the photos. I have several varieties of pears in our orchard but I think the photo in question is probably Bartlett (William). The tender leaves open with the reddish tint but turn green soon after.

  39. Hi Karen, I am embarrassed to confess that I have just now been able to visit your site, which I thoroughly adore! Your recipes have me salivating and your delightful commentary has me smiling–okay maybe that image doesn’t convey exactly what I am trying to say–I will be a regular reader of your blog now! Thanks Karen for sharing your recipes and thoughts with all of us!

    1. Thank you for your visit, Alison. North America is divided into different plant hardiness zones. In zone 5 plants must be able to survive the possibility of low temperatures of -20 to -15 F. I appreciate your comment and look forward to your return.

  40. I am so glad that I stumbled on your blog. It is fantastic. When I read through your various posts, I am reminded of New England, where I lived for over a decade. Look forward to reading more…Cheers, Mrs. J

  41. Your posts on Maine make me so nostalgic. For many years my family spend several weeks during the summer in Maine. My parents had a summer place near Bar Harbor, and I have so many wonderful memories of gathering mussels right from the shore and eating them that night while listening to the loons and the waves lapping the shore. I’m a zone 4 gardener who merely pretends she lives in zone 5. Midwestern winters, despite global warming, are still brutal, but it makes us appreciate summers all the more!

  42. Great pictures and colours from your trip in the Alps.It looks like you had a great time. I live in Switzerland and I never grow tired of watching this show each day.

    1. Hi Fanny, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice compliment. I’m happy that you enjoy my blog and the posts about our trip to Germany and Austria…my husband and I try to visit Europe each year. Many years we fly in and out of Zurich, so I do know how lovely your country is. I never grow tried of the beauty my husband and I see while traveling in Europe. ๐Ÿ™‚

  43. Karen, I love the fact that you live in a historical home, w/ a huge apple orchard on it, in a quaint little town; New Hampshire. I find that very interesting and serene. I’m looking forward to reading about your adventures and sharing some of your recipes.

    1. Thanks for visiting… A cottage sounds so lovely. I love cottages. In fact, my husband and I are moving up north this summer and I am looking for a home that resembles a cottage w/ some acreage. I may not be able to find “The One”, but will keep looking.

      I have a brother who lives in Maryland. I have always wanted to travel to that part of the coast. I find it quite intriguing. Hopefully, my husband and I will be able to visit in the near future. So, I am looking forward to your adventures in New England and other parts of the world.

  44. wow! I want to swap my lifestyle for yours Karen! I live in New England too but have a very busy lifestyle with our young kids. Maybe sometime we shall be able to live like you do! thanks for stopping by my blog so I could visit you.

    1. Hi Indira, I’m happy that you stopped by and enjoyed my blogโ€ฆthank you. Young children are always a priority in our lives but once yours are grown I hope your lifestyle will be similar. ๐Ÿ™‚

  45. Hi, I just came across your blog and am looking forward to looking through it. I use to live in Connecticut and moved to South Florida when I was younger. I hate it with a passion and can’t wait to move back up to New England. Thank you for the great pics and reminding me of my home. ๐Ÿ™‚

  46. Karen, I was so interested in your blog in the Lakes area of Austria. Can you help me identify a lake I visited some time ago…over 25 years. Many, many colorful buildings (almost like gingerbread houses) lined the lake. We drove from Salzburg and I am at a loss as to which lake-perhaps Fuschl???? I am going back with my husband and want to share this beautiful lake. also I remember looking up at a golf course high up in the mountain. Many thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Marie, I’m glad that you enjoyed my posts about the Lakes region of Austria. We have visited that area four times in recent years and I know you and your husband would thoroughly enjoy the region. I think it is a very possible that the town you remember was Fuschl. It is not far from Salzburg and has one of the oldest golf courses in Austria. We enjoy staying at Ebner’s which is right across the road from the lake. It is a nice family run hotel and is perfect for day trips to the other lakes that are nearby.

  47. Was just looking at all the pictures around naples. I was born in bridgton and raised in naples. I joined the marines in 1960 and retired in 1980 . I now live in fort walton bch fl. As I get older (73) I’m beginning to miss maine more and more.i hope to go home next month for a visit and then I’m going to start visiting more.

    1. Hi Allane, I’m happy to have had you stop by. It was nice visiting your blog to meet someone living in one of my favorite cities, Munich.

  48. Hi Karen, I have enclosed my email address and would like to talk to you about using one of your photos in the upcoming issue of West Coast Maine Magazine. Would you please drop me an email and I will immediately reply with the details. West Coast Maine Magazine has a print and online edition. Thanks, Judith

  49. Hi Karen– Fun to read your “About”. I know every life has it’s ups and downs– but yours seems pretty perfect! Traveling and living in such a beautiful place as New Hampshire!! Fun to read your adventures… xo

  50. I just love the name of your blog… I had to come and take a peak. That was 20 minutes ago… fantastic pictures and stories. Thank you for sharing. I can only imagine what it must be like to have a 300 tree apple orchard! Oh, the possibilities. Looking forward to reading more of your posts ๐Ÿ™‚

  51. Hi Karen, I came across your blog and I am glad I did. Your recipes sound and look deliciously. I like your blog, also, that you have this section “Friends who inspire”. I am going to add such a section to my blog too. I have a few bloggers from whom I got inspired to cook new recipes. I just followed your blog.I invite you to visit/follow my blog at: https://zest4foodblog.wordpress.com
    Cheers, Angelika

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