Preheated podcast hosts Andrea Ballard and Stefin Kohn met 17 years ago while cubicle mates at a large Seattle law firm. Since surviving the 2001 Nisqually earthquake underneath those cubicles (and leaving the law firm), their friendship has also held fast through other major life events including marriage, children, long distance moves and early morning boot camp fitness classes. Through it all, a love of cooking and baking, and a love of talking about cooking and baking, has been a constant.
“Andrea and I have a lot in common, but one of the things that ties us most closely together is that we’ve been interested in food – and making food – since we were kids,” Stefin says. Both women count encouraging relatives for helping them get started in the kitchen, and both went through a similar “passion project” while young. Andrea made cheesecake every week for a year in college, and Stefin went through a similar stint with lime meringue pie while in middle school. To this day, the women maintain a curiosity about trying new recipes and techniques, while also honing their reliable standbys.
“I almost always have something rising, fermenting, chilling, or otherwise transforming in my kitchen,” Andrea notes, adding that, in addition to sweets, both she and Stefin enjoy making cheese, bread, eggnog and sauerkraut.
Though both consider themselves “passionate amateurs” when it comes to baking, they both have won awards for their skills. Andrea recently took top honors at the Eastside Urban Winter Squash Pie Contest, and Stefin won the Better Homes & Gardens magazine prize-tested recipe contest in December 1997. (“A good year,” she notes. “I also graduated from college, got my first full-time job and met my husband!”)
Outside of the kitchen, the friends share a passion for reading, and love incorporating “book club” segments into some of the Preheated episodes. Andrea is also an avid biker, and enjoys walks with her 2-year-old lab/retriever mix Phil. A Louisiana native, her favorite desserts include brownies, homemade ice cream, chocolate chip cookies, crème brulee, bread pudding, and soft peanut brittle.
A Puget Sound native now living in London, Stefin loves running, traveling, writing and gardening. She has a soft spot for apple pie, gingerbread, soft molasses cookies, baklava, Guinness chocolate cake and Disneyland toffee. Listeners can expect to see the duo’s favorites featured in upcoming episodes.
“We’re both busy moms with busy lives,” Andrea says. “Our hope with Preheated is to let people know that we don’t let that interfere with something we love and are good at and that contributes to our happiness. We also hope we’re learning right along with our listeners.”
“That and we both really love to hear ourselves talk,” Stefin adds, which sets them both laughing. Sounds like having a good time is just one more thing these two have in common.
Andrea’s Podcast Feed
Stefin’s Podcast Feed