Hello folks!

How’s it going?! My name is Jessie; I am a New Jersey native, but currently living in the Midwest, in the great state of Iowa, with my husband, Brandon, our wiener dog, Tater… (Yes, just like the potato!), and our newest addition, Drake, a black lab puppy! In May of 2016, we decided to quit our jobs, pack up all of our belongings and head west in search of a more simple life! Boy, did we find it!

I am a lover of many things, food (of course), running, puppies, writing, the outdoors, sunflowers, and coffee. In fact, it is safe to say that I am a coffee addict with no intentions of recovering, just curing my ‘problem’ one cup at a time… and, I like it that way!

Being from the Garden State, my life seemed to revolve around food – literally. Farms are an essential part of our lives across the globe, and I was fortunate enough to be able to grow up surrounded by corn stalks and fields of produce. Now living on a farm in Iowa, I’m still surrounded by corn stalks. But, cows and chickens have made their way into the mix.

I also grew up in a home where we cooked almost everything from scratch. This came in handy when I moved in with Brandon, who has Celiac Disease. (For those of you who don’t know what that is, he has to eat an entirely gluten free diet.)

BUT! Enough about me, let’s get to the whole hangry part of this blog. We all know that feeling… the moment where our body’s fuel tanks have fallen way below the empty line, and while simultaneously out emotions jump on the express bus to Angry Town!With that being said, never in my life would I have ever thought that I would need to ‘diet,’ but, reality does slap you in the face sooner or later. I was that girl in high school that would challenge the boys to an eating contest at lunch. And often, I would win. I was pretty proud of myself, holding my fast-food bag like a trophy. Now? Not so much…

The truth is, there is a time where those fast food double cheeseburgers catch up to you. My soccer coaches and mother tried to warn me, but I didn’t believe them. Hell, I was 95 pounds and stuffing five or so double cheeseburgers into my body’s fuel tank with ease. What did I have to worry about?

But, after graduating college with a heart monitor under my cap and gown, and nearly passing out from exercise, I decided it was time to make a change!

I focused on sourcing high-quality, nutrient-dense ingredients that you wont find in the pre-made frozen food section or hidden on the shelves between highly-processed packages. Living in Iowa, I was able to reconnect with produce, herbs, cheeses, and meats by shopping local and directly with small farmers, picking up my weekly CSA box, and filling my cloth bags with with freshest of ingredients at the farmer’s market. It allowed me to fall in love with food all over again. I’m here to show you that you can fall in love with food either again or at a deeper level.

Food has a way of bringing people together. People with different backgrounds, different skin colors, people with different beliefs. We are able to put all of these differences aside when gathered around a table for a meal. We are able to collectively agree and appreciate the experience at hand. It truly is fascinating… inspiring actually.

In fact, despite working in the food service industry, I find it relaxing to go home after a long day and cook my hubby and me a meal in my own home. Cooking and documenting my stories in the kitchen, has allowed me to rekindle a love of nourishing my body and passing these stories down to whoever is willing to listen.

Now enough chatting, let’s hit the kitchen!