Q: You offer online classes to help people meal plan, food shop, and cook at home. How do you help others see cooking as a form of self-care as you do?
A: I believe cooking is your foundation and that the way you choose to nourish yourself affects everything you do. This is why I started Cook+Chop, my online cooking school, to teach people cooking that fits into their real lives. I love meal plans, shopping lists, and recipes, but when is the last time you cooked 21 recipes in a week? For me, it’s all about dropping the fear and perfection around cooking, figuring out what works for you, creating ease, and giving yourself grace – once you do that, everything starts to flow.
Q: The dynamic of your family has likely changed since spending most of your time at home. How has your family grown closer during this time?
A: I work at home as a recipe developer, food stylist, and photographer. I also have my online cooking school. My two kiddos, 5 and 3, have been working alongside me since they were born. They are very aware of how I work and love to get involved. I often have my kids’ hands in my Instagram feed. What’s been really interesting is to see my children create their own art during this time. We as a family spend a lot of time painting, coloring, playing with clay, and recently making origami. My kids also love taking their own “shots” on my phone. I love seeing the pictures my daughter takes of the pink clouds during sunset.
Q: Are there any “hacks” you and your family have incorporated into your routines to stay healthy, both body and mind?
A: My kids have always seen me move my body – doing Barre 3 online at home, walking, using weights. As they got older, I left to go to the gym or Pilates. A few weeks into the pandemic, I bought a Peloton. It’s been really fun to get out the kids’ yoga mats and have a dance party while I work out. As a family, we use the Kait Hurley app to meditate. I recently had Kait on my podcast, Cooking Is the New Healthy, to chat about using anxiety to work with you.
Q: How are you and your family taking advantage of the “last month” of summer?
A: Our happy place for the past few years is Windy Brow Farms, a New Jersey farm that’s about 45 minutes from our home. We’ve made it a weekly ritual to visit the farm; we feed the goats and pick up local produce and flowers. It’s such a joyous experience. I’m very grateful to be able to spend this time with my family, especially my partner, Ed, who is usually gone from around 7am to 9pm on weekdays. He’s now working part-time from home.