Welcome to Healthy Family Cookin! I started this blog in order to share with friends and neighbors healthy recipes that our family has come to love. I feel gratitude in my heart for the many things I’ve learned these past four years of blogging. I’m grateful for the encouragement that I’ve received from you, my readers and friends. May this journey be an inspiration for all of us as we create healthy families together!

My Background
I grew up in Northern California in a small town – there were six of us kids. One of my fondest memories growing up is of my mother making homemade bread. When we got off the school bus, we could smell the fresh bread half-way down our driveway. I wish I had the words to describe the feeling of love that came from mom’s bread. We felt warm, welcomed and cherished. Of course I didn’t realize those feelings at the time, but now years later, I look back and remember. These fond memories have created a desire in me to share this same experience with my own children.

My number one goal as a mother is to create a happy home environment where my family feels loved, welcomed and cherished. I have learned that creating this environment takes work, it takes effort and persistence, but I believe it’s worth it!

I'm a Mormon.
Click here to learn about my faith
The Beginning
My husband could tell you that I started off on this adventure very inexperienced and very inadequate. When we were first married (thirteen years ago) we were both full-time students. I finished up my Bachelors degree in physics the year after we were married and started on my Masters degree. Obviously creating healthy food was one of the last things on my mind. We struggled through school eating top ramen, boring pasta, mac & cheese, and basic tasteless rice and stir-fry as our regular fare. When time did allow (mostly just weekends), we enjoyed creating a yummy meal together.

Brandon, who is an artist, loved to create dishes that to me were very unusual and exotic, in spite the fact that we only could afford basic ingredients. He would combine recipes, change or ignore ingredients and sometimes just ignore the recipe altogether, which pretty much drove me crazy. I admit, though that most of the time I was impressed with the new dishes and I learned to enjoy trying new foods. Of course, there were sometimes when his meals didn’t pan out quite how he wanted them to. I remember one particular time he had made biscuits and I don’t remember exactly why, but they turned out harder than rocks. We took one bite each and then proceeded to throw the entire batch in the garbage (which is really saying something since we didn’t usually throw food away). After that experience, we now lovingly use the phrase “my biscuits didn’t turn out” when we make a dish that flops.

I, being the scientist, started out cooking by only following tried and true recipes. I loved to use exact measurements and became very distressed when we didn’t have an ingredient and had to make an unknown substitution. Mostly the meals I cooked were boring, plain and tasteless. My repertoire was limited. My experience was limited. And my cooking pretty much stunk!

Then Everything Changed
Within 4 days of finishing my masters degree, I became a full-time stay-at-home mom of one of the most adorable little boys on the face of the earth. It was a huge culture shock for me going from full-time student to full-time home-maker and mother. My cooking sure didn’t improve quickly. Brandon had started his Masters degree and I had stopped working so our income quickly cut in third. Along with that our expenses skyrocketed with two surgeries and extra baby expenses to pay for. I was busy with a new born baby, sleep deprived and trying to adjust to being at home all day. Needless to say, we continued to eat boring, cheap and quick meals that I could come up with last minute with ingredients that I had in the house.

Our New Home
Five months after our baby was born, we were blessed by Brandon getting a full-time job. After a few more months, we were blessed again as we were able to move out of our tiny one-bedroom apartment into our very own home. My cupboard and pantry size tripled and I felt like a queen in her castle. With the expanded space and extra time (and eventually extra sleep), I began venturing out of my comfort zone in cooking, trying new recipes and even adapting them. With each success, my confidence was built and I ventured out even more.

One of our favorite things about our new home was the large lot with a beautiful garden spot. The year after we moved in, we expanded our garden and with that came more produce than we knew what to do with. We started being creative to come up with recipes that we could make using our home-grown produce. It led us down a wonderful, exciting journey of making food for our family healthy, simple, and enjoyable.

"Angelus" by Jean Francois Millet. 
One of my favorite images...that reminds me to give thanks to God who is the Giver of all things!
Fast forward a few years…and that brings us to now…

We now have two of those adorable little boys and one cute little girl. We still live in our castle and still love it just as much. I’ve learned that cooking is a joy and I look forward to creating wonderful food in my kitchen for my family.
Building a healthy family takes work and effort, but I believe it’s worth it! I hope as you browse my collection of favorite recipes, you find those that your family will love. Best wishes to you in all your endeavors and thanks for dropping by!

Got a recipe you’d like me to try or a cooking tip to share? I love hearing from you – please feel free to send me an e-mail or leave me a comment.


Ms. Figgy said...

Hi, there--

I came across your blog a few days ago (linking from Sustainable Eats.) I've enjoyed your posts and I'm collecting lots of good ideas related to frugal homemaking.

One thing I'm looking for is ideas for frugal date nights. My husband and I are trying to build regular date nights back into our schedule, but we don't want to spend a bunch of money doing it.

Have you blogged about this? I saw your posts on summer and winter activities with kids,) or do you have any thoughts on other web resources?

I'm sure that you are quite busy, but I appreciate any time you can give to answering my question.

Thanks so much for your time and effort on this blog. It is already a blessing to me.

(near Seattle, WA)

Heather {Healthy Family Cookin} said...

Thanks for your question Anne. A lot of ideas in the frugal family activities posts that I've done for Winter, Spring, Summer & Fall can be used for date nights as well. But coming up here soon I will do a post specifically on Frugal Date Nights because you're right, they are SO very important for a healthy family. :) So look for that in the future. Thanks again for stopping by and leaving your comment. Have a great day!

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