If you were sitting in my kitchen right now, I’d make us some peppermint tea, and I’d sit down with you so we could chat. I’d spend a long time explaining my heart behind this blog. I’d tell you about the time I had an Oprah-esq “Aha” moment while on a business trip in New York, and how that moment ushered me into a season of soul-searching, which ultimately led me away from my corporate job and into the kitchen. It’s a long story, and someday I really do hope I can share it with you, but we probably don’t know each other yet—so today I’m going to keep it simple.
Here’s the best way I can explain it: I endeavored to start this blog for two reasons.
First, I wanted to provide a space where kitchen newbies and veterans alike could find simple, healthy, and delicious recipes to cook for the ones they love.
When I was first experimenting in the kitchen, I remember thinking, “How will I ever be able to cook with confidence?” In a world with a lot of Rachel Ray and Martha Stewart figures, I felt like too much of a novice to even attempt basic recipes.
What’s worse? When I did summon the courage to scope out a recipe or try something new, the only resources I came across either stuffy or written for an older generation (no knock intended here—it’s just, I didn’t know what “place into prepared pan” meant, let alone terms like “blanche”, “coddle”, or “emulsify”).
I didn’t want to read Cooking for Dummies (call it pride—or call it a desire to read something more aesthetic). I simply wanted access and understanding of how to make good, wholesome food.
I also had an ingredient dilemma. Growing up in the pacific northwest (the birthplace of gluten-free, and the mecca of "organic" everything) I had developed an affinity for healthy, nutrient-dense food early on. But in my early twenties, I married a giant/athlete who loves hearty dishes. I felt like my recipe options were either limited to “healthy” but flavorless (usually kale-ified) smoothies, or “delicious” but unhealthy, overly processed entrees. My waistline liked the kale recipes, but my husband needed hearty. For a long time I tried to find recipes with a balance of flavor-rich and nutrient-dense foods, but I usually came up empty-handed.
For years, I wished I had someone who could break down delicious, yet healthy recipes in simple terms.
When I couldn’t find anything of the sort, I decided to create a space for such recipes to exist. No frills or fancy terms, just lots of husband- and kid-approved healthy recipes, encouragement, and practical tips to make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable.
Secondly, and most importantly, I started this blog because I want to encourage people to eat together.
Historically, food has been something that worked to bring people together. But in recent years, the world has gotten really busy. As a result, we're spending less time in the kitchen and around the table and more time on the go.
Regardless of what your background, religious beliefs, or political preferences are – I believe you can benefit from sharing meals (or breaking bread) with people in your life.
Without getting too academic (I’m a total nerd at heart) there’s a lot of data about the benefits of sharing meals together. According to a study reported by Cornell University, children are 35% less likely to engage in disordered eating, 24% more likely to eat healthier foods, and 12% less likely to be overweight in families who share meals together. (Hamons & Fiese, 2011)
Other reports have indicated the long list of benefits that eating together can provide to married couples. Some of these benefits include: a place to connect emotionally and intellectually, a place to express gratitude together, a place to practice mindful habits together, and a reported increase in marital satisfactions with couples who eat together.
I understand that schedules are crazy and every night can't be family mealtime; but my hope is that you're inspired to make eating with community a little bit more of a priority.
My hope is that the recipes, tips, and tools I share on this blog will be a source of encouragement for you, if you identify with anything I’ve said here. Cheers to wholesome meals, healthy living, and more time spent around the table.