Who Am I?

I’m a writer, mom & home cook. I believe knowing how to make yourself a good meal is empowering.

During my childhood learning to make ends meet while still making satisfying meals was just the way things were done. We didn’t have much, but we felt like we had plenty. That’s the power of food and knowing how to use what’s on hand. A hearty bowl of stew, bread made with your own hands, even a steaming pot of homemade beans – all of these simple pleasures have the power to nourish both body and soul.

My family saved even the smallest bits of leftovers so that they could be combined into a “mix up bowl” and make a meal for someone. We made lasagna with cottage cheese because we couldn’t afford ricotta. And if my brother and I wanted a stick of gum (a treat) my grandmother would split one stick three ways – 1/3 for me, 1/3 for my brother, and that last bit for Nana, because she liked chewing gum too.

You may think these experiences made us kids feel deprived, but just the opposite was true. We felt taken care of and empowered. Frugal living, knowing how to stretch a meal, and understanding which food substitutions will do goes a long way. To this day I never worry about putting food on the table because I know I can make a meal everyone will love using whatever is available.

My cooking journey began in Nana’s kitchen and continues to this day. I enjoy gardening, cooking, and baking, much like Nana did back when I was a child. At the right time of day you can see a lake sparkling through the trees in my backyard, which makes harvesting in the garden feel even more magical than usual.

Popular Recipes

A chicken casserole in a blue baking dish

Million Dollar Chicken Casserole

Quesabirria tacos, one with a bite taken out

Quesabirria Tacos

A slice of strawberry rhubarb pie is lifted from a pie pan.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Rice pudding in mason jars topped with cinnamon

Easy Rice Pudding with Cooked Rice

My Culinary Background

I’m a home cook who learned how to make good food the old fashioned way: in my grandmother’s kitchen. We made everything from scratch not only because we had to, but because that’s the way Nana had always done things.

In my 20’s and 30’s I used this culinary knowledge to teach cooking classes in CT and NY. I planned the course curriculum and taught people how to make everything from apple strudel to saffron rice.

I’ve also taken many cooking classes over the years. There’s always something new to learn and I love learning new techniques (especially when the end result is edible!). I’ve taken classes on Indian, French and Italian cuisine. As far as what you’ll find on this blog, I mostly share American, Italian and Mexican recipes because that is what I make most often at home. I hope you enjoy the recipes as much as my family does!

My Favorite Recipes

Close-up of huevos rancheros with a corn tortilla, refried beans, diced avocado, pico de gallo, and cilantro.

Huevos Rancheros

Close up of a cut steak quesadilla on a plate.

Steak Quesadillas

Apple cobbler in a pie pan with ice cream

Apple Cobbler Recipe

Overhead shot of Honey Vanilla Challah on cutting board

Honey Vanilla Challah Bread

What is Rustic Family Recipes About?

This blog is about recipes that anyone can make. There is a growing collection of casserole recipes, chicken dinner ideas, and make-ahead breakfasts for you to explore. This little blog has only been around for a couple years so I don’t have as many recipes (yet) as larger sites, but all of the ones I have published are delicious!

Mexican and American dishes are my favorite cuisines. I spent much of my childhood in my Mexican grandmother’s kitchen, so I often make her recipes at home and love sharing them on this site. As a result, you will find authentic Mexican recipes using Mexican ingredients. I do my best to show you how to make everything step-by-step and always welcome questions if you have them. I also enjoy cooking American recipes, and dishes from my other grandparents. This means Italian, Polish, and Spanish dishes will definitely be making an appearance.

I really like mug cakes. And mug desserts in general for that matter. They’re perfect for satisfying sweet cravings without leaving any leftovers that might go to waste.

I do like to experiment with “fancy” ingredients. While most of my recipes are fairly simple, I sometimes like to incorporate less common things into my recipes. Nothing crazy, we’re talking blue matcha for blue velvet cake, or green matcha for Grinch cookies. Colorful food is fun to make and eat! I also like to make “fancy” cakes for special occasions, cause nothing says mama loves you like a homemade cake. 🙂

Game meat is on the menu. In addition to more common meats, I enjoy cooking with venison, rabbit, and elk. My uncles hunted a lot when I was growing up as a way to supplement our food and their bringing home a catch was always a big to-do. One time they even brought home black bear meat! Let me tell you, that bear made some tasty tacos and hamburgers.

Drinks and cocktails are fun to make and learn about. Many cocktails are filled with interesting historical tidbits, which I enjoy learning about. Plus, a sip of something special at the end of a long week can be a treat!

My recipes are what I make for my family and we love them. But every family is different and I encourage you to substitute spices, cooking oils and make other changes that will please your taste buds.

Experiment with my recipes and make them your own. Use a different kind of meat, swap out the fruit, add nuts, adjust the sugar, change up the spices. In the process, you’ll gain confidence in the kitchen and learn how to use what’s in your pantry.

Why Are There Ads on Your Site?

I struggled with the idea of putting ads on my blog. Ultimately, I decided to add them to help offset the cost of running this little site.

Even though I run Rustic Family Recipes “for fun” there are still countless hours spent testing recipes, editing photos, and writing posts. Plus, have you seen how expensive groceries are these days? Goodness!

In addition to supporting this site, every month I donate a portion of my ad revenue to One Tree Planted. So by reading this blog not only are you making it possible for me to continue sharing recipes, but you’re also doing something good for the planet.

Want to Connect?

If you’d like to keep in touch the best way is to subscribe to my email list, which will send you an email when new recipes are published.

Although I do have social media profiles, I don’t update them every day. I would rather be digging in the dirt, reading a book, or cooking in my kitchen. Maybe that’s a crazy thing to say, but in an era where our attention is pulled in so many directions, I try to be intentional about where I spend my energy.

Thank You For Reading

This site is relatively new and I’m grateful that you stopped by my neck of the virtual woods. If you like one of my recipes, please share them with your friends. I’m thankful for every reader and hope you will enjoy this little blog.