By Monica Lobo
If you quickly scan through Kristina Jones’ Instagram account, you will certainly notice her eye for composition. She captures a sense of wonder and exploration from charming DIY home décor to homemade treats, which makes one assume that she always had a penchant for homesteading. That is not the case however. Growing up, Kristina Jones was a stranger to the kitchen. Raised by her hardworking, single mom, Kristina’s meal times typically consisted of stopping by fast food restaurants and consuming food on the go.
She claims that her culinary identity started when she met her husband Jeff Jones. Jeff, like a true Southerner loves cooking and all things adventurous. As a mother to three adopted, curious and energetic sons (Elijah, Mattais and Liam), Kristina finds joy in being a homemaker and continues to work part-time as a Social Worker for a private adoption agency. She advises: Cooking and entertaining is not about finding imperfections (in the kitchen), but about the connections made with people you love. Focus on that.
Easter Dinner with Kristina Jones
We chose to have an Easter dinner with a set of friends that has three boys just like us. We love having them over because they are creative, fun-loving, adventurous, great cooks. We always wanted to do a nice Easter dinner with friends since we usually don’t have big plans with our families. Though you can’t choose your relatives, thank God you can choose your friends! Our boys always play very well together. We decided on an intimate dinner theme. We played some American swing era music on our record player, which set the tune for the party. After dinner, we served the dessert along with French press coffee and relaxed, while the boys played and ran around the house happily. We definitely plan to make this a yearly tradition with friends from now on.
Tips and Tricks
- Place a burlap runner on your table. It helps create a laid-back atmosphere.
- Compose a menu of updated seasonal classics. We served: Sage and Garlic Lemon Pork Chops, Asiago Potato Stacks, Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus Bundles, and Sautéed Green Beans.
- Ask guests to contribute! Our friends brought a spring-inspired salad, baked mac and cheese for the kids, and a Tres Leches cake.
- If flower arrangements feel complicated, ask your local florist for advice.
- Set chocolate bunnies and Peeps marshmallows as part of your place-settings for a fun, casual vibe. Bonus: they double as after-dinner treats for the kids or the indulging adults.
- Create a playlist of fun and upbeat Swing-era music, like Charlie Shavers and Billie Holiday.
Photos by Nicholas Gang