It is difficult to explain how genuinely excited I am to start my blog, Cooking with Grace. I have been thinking about this project since I was in college (I graduated with a degree in Elementary Education in 2012). While I was discovering myself in college and learning about my passions, I began exploring some of the many family recipes that have been passed down through the generations. Many recipes come from a restaurant that my family owned in Chicago (there will be more to come about that restaurant in future posts).
The last three years have been very hectic, my husband and I got engaged, married, bought a house, and had our first child (Grace – the impetus for me to start my blog). This blog will be my way to experiment, share, and organize recipes for my future readers and for my family as well. I hope you enjoy my posts as much as I will creating them. As a way to add a little context to my new endeavor, I wrote up ten quick facts about myself, my life, and my family.
- I live in the same town I grew up in. After searching for a house for over a year, my husband and I finally found a home only a few blocks away from my parents and a short mile away from my in-laws; I couldn’t be happier. I grew up living right next door to my maternal grandparents while my paternal grandparents also live a mile away, so living so close to family just seemed right.
- My husband asked me to marry him in 6th grade. He did! He actually asked me to marry him when we were in grade school, then with a real ring after we both graduated from college. We have always been exceptionally close friends, but we didn’t start truly dating until our third year in high school.
- All my dogs are rescues. I officially adopted my first dog when I was a senior in high school. She was only 8 weeks old, living in a garage and covered in fleas. She is currently 9 and lives with my parents! We named her Lucky. The summer after my husband graduated college, he adopted Roddy from a high kill shelter in Kentucky. The following December I adopted the love of my life, Tinsley. She had severe mange, giardia, and an infection from her spay and was the most timid dog I have ever met. After a year of treatments, a whole bunch of money, and a lot of patience, she became a happy and healthy member of our family. Last but not least, in February 2014, we adopted our cutest of the bunch, Little Miss Dixie Cup (Dixie). Her family could no longer care for her and handed her over to us. If it were up to me I would just keep adopting, but my husband put a stop to that and in September 2015 we had our first two legged daughter.
- I am extraordinarily close with my family. My mom, my sisters and my brother are my best friends! We hang out all the time and I really love living close to them. Then with my grandma living next door to my parents I get to see my aunts and cousins all the time! It’s the best!
- Sweets are my ultimate weakness. While I love to cook and try new recipes, sweets are my weakness; I will eat them all!
- I love a good glass of wine. When my husband and I go to the liquor store, he’s done his research and talks with the consultant in the store, whereas I like to pick out bottles based on the cute label on the front; both methods work just fine. We do try our best pairing our wine with the food we eat, it’s so fun to experiment and can really enhance some of the flavors. We are also wine club members at our favorite restaurant and we chose Napa Valley for our honeymoon.
- Coconut oil is addictive. I am just obsessed and I try and find ways to incorporate it into everything I do.
- I try to live a natural life. Often I do not eat as healthy as I want, but it’s hard when you love food! I try to cook from scratch as often as I can and I try to reduce waste by shopping at the local farm stand, using reusable containers, cloth napkins, and even cloth diapers on our baby! I like to use essential oils for many things from making my own chap stick to using them in a diffuser. And I try to get enough sleep and exercise so I feel great everyday! Don’t get me wrong, I am only human and I slip up often, but I do my best to live naturally and healthily.
- I swear a lot. I really try not to, but sometimes they just pop out!
- Finally, I am obsessed with Dave Matthews Band. I grew up listening to DMB in the car with my mom and aunts and in 2005 I went to my first show at Alpine Valley. My daughter, Grace, and two of my dogs, Tinsley and Dixie’s names are all DMB inspired.
Stay tuned for my Apple Pie recipe!