Hello, and welcome!
If you were sitting at my kitchen island 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 when 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 do hope I can share it with you, but we 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 could find simple, healthy, and delicious recipes to cook for the ones they love.
When I was first experimenting in the kitchen, I remembered 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 were either stuffy or written for my mom’s 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 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 “tasty” 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 a resource to 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. Jesus’ first miracle was at a wedding feast. Then there was that miracle of the loaves and the fish. Or the time when Jesus invited himself over to Zacchaeus’ place (for what many believe was a meal and deep conversation). And then, of course, there was the last supper – where Jesus declared himself the bread of life. In many ways, the idea of eating together is aligned with biblical messages of hospitality. For me, it’s actually spiritual.
I’m a believer in Jesus, and a believer that we should try our best to model our lives after Him. But eating together isn’t just something that He lived out. There’s also a lot of scientific data supporting the notion of eating together. 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 higher levels of marital satisfaction and better communication.
I believe the table is a place to connect with people in our lives spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually. It's a place to gather and pray, to have openness and honesty, to savor and cherish. My hope and my heart is that this blog can be a place of encouragement for you in the kitchen, and that time spent in the kitchen can lead to meaningful moments enjoying food (and life) around a table.
I look forward to posting recipes on Thursdays, starting August 11th.
Meet you in the kitchen,