Hey everyone, I’m Amy. For as long as I can remember I’ve loved food. If you don’t choose to read any further, let me tell you what sets me apart from other food bloggers, and there are plenty of amazing ones out there!! I am obsessed with whole grains. I use them in almost everything I cook and bake. I know, there are plenty of other people out there doing the whole grain thing too.
Here is what else makes me different. While I love whole grains, I am married to a southern man and have 2 teenage boys. What does that have to do with anything? Let me explain- Southern people aren’t known for their healthy diets, I love the south, so please don’t be offended by that comment. Whole grains were not a part of my husband’s diet growing up. He was raised on white bread and white rice. Now to the teenage boys. As much as I would love for them to be attracted to healthy food, they aren’t. They will eat it, but it really wouldn’t be their first choice. Sorry, this is a wordy explanation, but I am getting there… so what does this mean for my readers? I have developed a style of baking and cooking that is whole grain-based, but it is a partial whole grain, making it appealing to ANYONE! All my baked goods can be adapted to a 100% whole grain bake or all white if you prefer. Interested in reading more about me? Keep reading.
My Family Growing Up
I grew up in a large family, I have 9 siblings. N-I-N-E.Yes, all from the same parents. There were 10 of us. Although I’m sure the thought crossed their minds, maybe even several times a day, my parents are saints for not strangling any of us.
We grew up in a small town in Alaska. We had one stoplight when I lived there, if that gives you any indication of just how small I’m talking. I loved growing up there, but moved away as soon as I was able.
My First Culinary Experiences
My mom didn’t particularly enjoy cooking or baking when I was younger, with all those kids to feed everyday I can’t blame her. When I was 10 or 11 I complained to my mom about us eating the same meal several days in a row (wasn’t I such a brat?). I’m sure she was recovering from another birth and completely exhausted- I still have guilt about this. As referred to above, my mother is a saint. She responded by suggesting I try cooking a few meals. In all the confidence of a child that age, I was excited. She even bought me a huge cookbook with plenty of photos for me to ogle over. If I could draw back on one experience that led to my fascination with food, it was probably the moment she handed me the cookbook. I spent a pretty substantial amount of time studying the book and dreaming of making the fancy foods hidden within the pages. Foods like baked Alaska (insert dreamy sigh..). She also taught me to make bread for the family, offering to pay me 25 cents for every loaf I baked. Besides being a saint, my mom was also smart. Money was a motivator, and I was pretty sure I would be a millionaire in no time. In the least earn a whole $100. Can you guess how many loaves of bread a family of 12 goes through in a week? 21, that’s how many. Every Saturday was baking day. I never did earn my millions, but it was enough for whatever trivial things I was interested in at the time.
After cooking and doing the baking for several years my mom also suggested I might want to learn to do the grocery shopping, I told you she was smart. This gave her the opportunity to run her other errands while I was shopping. She gave me our budget for the week and taught me to purchase within it to feed the family. I had $100 for a week, occasionally $120. Can you imagine that now? I spend way more than that on my family of 4. I thought it was awesome and absolutely loved it. Not only did I get a feel for choosing food items, but also learned to stay within budget. Thank you, mom! Grocery shopping is still my favorite kind of shopping. It’s kind of like therapy for me. I continued to cook until I turned into a rotten, older teenager and wasn’t interested in cooking anymore.
I should note, that my mom does enjoy cooking and baking more now she is only cooking for 2.
After graduating high school, my love of food drove me to culinary school. Imagine my surprise when I learned there was a whole new world out there aside from the sheltered and somewhat limited view I had growing up in. It was so exciting! I loved the atmosphere and environment. After graduating I worked in several restaurants and bakeries. The food industry is super competitive, just like it is now, and I loved it.
When I turned 21, I decided to serve a mission for my church, The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I was called to serve in Goiania, Brasil. I wouldn’t trade anything for what learned during this time in my life. Not only did I draw closer to God, come to understand more about my Savior, but also learned to love serving my fellow man. It’s been the foundation I have based my life on. It was also when I decided I hated cold weather. For the past 20 years, warmer weather has been my preference :).
The Love Story
After returning from my mission, I started working on an offshore oil platform as a cook and night baker. While it wasn’t the best environment I’ve ever worked in, it’s where I met my main man. He was no fool, food talks. It still does. He is such a good man, I couldn’t ask for anyone better matched for me. I decided to start back to college, this time pursuing a degree in food science. Shortly after, my husband I were married.18 years later he is still my very best friend, and although I am a very independent woman, I would be lost without him.
While I loved school, I was also ready to start having babies. Some people are able to balance both school and family and do it well, I’m not one of those people. Someday I’ll go back to school, but in the meantime, I have NO REGRETS! I love being a wife and mother. We have been blessed with 2 boys. Even typing this I feel kind of emotional, I love my boys so much. Even in the midst of their teen and preteen years, they are amazing.
Our lives are far from perfect, but to me it is everything. I have a husband and 2 sons who love and respect me and I feel the same for them. This is such a blessing.
My husband has always been my number 1 fan. No matter what I decide to tackle, he’s right there with me. Trust me, with a short attention span, and a drive to always be creating, I have tackled plenty of new projects and ideas. Plus, every meal I serve him, he makes me feel like a rockstar! He loves it, and I love him for his support.
Where Does Quilting Fit In?
For the past 10 years I’ve been a longarm quilter. I love anything creative and quilting caught my eye. As I mentioned earlier, I’m a little too obsessive to do very many things at once. My focus, hobby and obsession was quilting. I opened a longarm quilting shop when my youngest went to school. I loved it and was very successful. The only problem was it started to consume a larger portion of my life than I was wanting or willing to give. Although I loved the creativity and challenge it, after a few years, I knew it was time to step away. I am still quilting today, in fact I always have several in process.
The Path To Where I Am At Today
This leads me to where I’m at today. Food has once again turned into my outlet. This time around, my foods are much more healthy. I developed some really unhealthy habits when I was working full time. As a result, I found myself about 50 pounds from where I wanted to be. I realize weight isn’t everything, but in my case it was pretty good indicator of my overall health, health which was really poor. I joined weight watchers and learned how to eat a more balanced and moderated diet. While I don’t do WW anymore, I still give them praise for helping me to change my mindset. The program got me started down the path I’m on now.
When you scroll through my feed you will notice I’m not extreme in any of my food views. I strive for moderation. I strive for variety. I strive for a diet high in veggies, fruits and lean protein. I strive for whole grains and try to stay close to actual food sources. But…even with all this, I’m not worried if I go overboard occasionally. Life is meant to be enjoyed.
You’ll notice plenty of my photos are taken with my family and around our table. Although I absolutely love cooking for other people, my family is still my first and foremost love. I love feeding them, and they are willing recipients ;).
So come in, stay awhile. Anyone who knows us, knows anyone is welcome at our table. So, make yourself at home.