Who Am I?

I’m a writer, mom, and home cook with a passion for the old ways of doing things.

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.

These days 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.

What Is Rustic Family Recipes About?

This blog is about “back to basics” recipes that anyone can make. Almost everything we eat can be grown at home, sourced from a local farm, or purchased in bulk. I’m a big fan of recipes that can be easily adapted for what you have on hand. I also believe in storing food for lean times, whether that’s by dehydrating, canning or freezing. If you want to live simply, then we are of the same mind.

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 Bantha Milk or green matcha for a lemon cake glaze. Colorful food is fun to make and eat! See these Baby Yoda Blue Matcha Sugar Cookies for the perfect example. 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 and let me tell you, that bear made some tasty tacos and hamburgers!

Mexican and Italian 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. I also enjoy cooking dishes from my other grandparents, which 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.

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 tastebuds.

My recipes also assume a basic amount of cooking & baking experience. I learned to cook “by feel,” which means when I make homemade pasta sauce I taste it and adjust the seasonings according to what I like. (My recipes assume you will do the same.) Similarly, in bread recipes, the amount of flour can vary according to the humidity in your area, how old your flour is, etc. Instead of giving you an exact amount that is set in stone, I will give you a range and tell you how the dough should look and feel.

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.

How Many People Read Your Site?

I started Rustic Family Recipes on a lark in mid-2020 as a way to connect with other home cooks and bakers. I’m surprised to say that as of August 2022 this little blog has about 64,000 readers (what?!) a month and growing. How this happened I have no idea, but my sincere thanks to each and every person who decides to drop by. ♥

Find Me On Social

If you’d like to keep in touch the best way is to subscribe to my email list, which will send you an email once a week with new recipes.

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.

You can also find my recipes and save your favorites on Smackeral.

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.