Probably more than you ever wanted to know but just in case you are wondering...
Do you have culinary degrees?
No, we are home cooks. We read cookbooks recreationally, we plan menus, and we experiment in the kitchen.
Do you really try all of the recipes you post?
Yes, at least one of us has tried every recipe posted.
Are there any foods that you don't like?
Well...while we try to have open minds when it comes to food, we do have one or two things that we don't prefer.
Alaina - fennel, anise, olives
Stephanie - ditto to Alaina's list, but I'll add beets
Where do you get all of your dishes?
We frequent thrift stores and look at garage sales for the perfect plate or dish for photographing. We are still growing our collections and working on our photos and food styling.
Do you do your own photography?
Yes and we are still learning a lot - so please bear with us!
What's your first cooking memory?
Alaina - making scrambled eggs in the microwave for my family. My brother had just been born and I was probably around the age of 6. I also have vivid memories of cooking and baking for 4-H and even have a scar from burning myself on a cookie sheet. One of my biggest flops was accidentally substituting baking soda for baking powder (or vice versa) - yuck!
Stephanie - This isn't specifically a cooking memory, but one of my first kitchen memories is when I was around 4 1/2, I remember decorating a cake for my mom's 32nd birthday. I have strong memories of learning to bake bread, pies, and lentil soup (all probably between the ages of 7-9).
What's your favorite cooking/food memory?
Alaina - There are so many! Here are a few - canning with my mom, learning to make fudge with my grandma, and cooking straight from the garden and orchard at the living history museum.
Stephanie - During my growing up years, the kitchen was the hub of home life, so many of my memories are associated with cooking and food. Some I remember fondly: choosing a favorite food for my birthday meal (for some reason, I have a strong memory of choosing Cheese-puff Pork Chops and peas for my 7th or 8th birthday meal); making cut-out sugar cookies at Christmas time; canning with my mom (though I think maybe I begrudged it at the time); any food eaten when we were camping (one year when we camped with our cousins, I swear we ate dozens of ears of corn dripping with butter...delicious!); cooking with my sisters for youth conferences; spending time in the kitchen with my mom.
What's your favorite dish to cook?
Alaina - Probably pizza - it's delicious and easy and my family loves it! It also represents family time for us. I also like to bake and there is nothing like pulling a cobbler or pie hot out of the oven and enjoying it with ice cream. Cookies are actually my baking speciality.
Stephanie - I admit I'm not one who keeps a list of favorites, but some dishes I enjoy cooking/baking are frittatas, pies, salmon, roasted veggies.
What's your favorite aspect of cooking?
Alaina - Sharing the end result with others. It's the perfect ending to all of the preparation!
Stephanie - I find pleasure in a colorfully balanced, healthful meal that I know will be enjoyed by those I share it with. I enjoy cooking much more for others than just for me.
What's your idea of a perfect meal?
Alaina - Roast, Potatoes, Carrots, Salad, Hot Rolls, and Pie shared with my whole family. Or maybe brunch. But really, the people I share it with is what makes it so perfect. Oh and every memorable meal ends with coffee!
Stephanie - My mom's Italian beef with roasted potatoes, Italian salad, and homemade bread/rolls, followed by pie and coffee. Meals like this are meant to be shared with lots of family, conversation and laughter!
Who/What inspires you in the kitchen?
Alaina - My mom and my grandmothers - they are all excellent and inspiring cooks. Fresh ingredients, beautiful food photos, and new recipes also inspire me.
Stephanie - Most definitely my mom and Alaina. Plus seeing my husband healthier because of how I cook. And I'm an avid reader/looker at cookbooks, cooking magazines, and cooking blogs.