I’m the author of the cookbook & good meat guide Pure Beef, a professional cook and freelance writer. Feeding myself and my family well is my real job—just like yours.
Seasonal cooking is part of who I am. It’s how I plan every meal—as well as my food articles and the posts on my blog. I hope you enjoy browsing here, subscribing to Rural Eating posts and leaving comments about what you’re cooking. Drop me an email anytime or find me on Twitter and Instagram @ruraleating.
I focus on flavor, whole foods and the pleasures of sharing food with others, especially when we don’t have to talk about table manners. I favor local and seasonal foods because they are the best tasting and best quality, but I’m no purist.
Look in my cupboards right now, and you’ll find Goldfish crackers, boxed cereals and ramen noodles. In the fridge, there are conventional vegetables mingling with organic. I stick to pastured milk, yogurt and butter (except for baking). On meats I take a strong stand: for me, fish is wild, beef, lamb and pork are locally raised and chicken is, well, another story. Let’s just say I don’t buy it often.
As a longtime vegetarian, I think veggies rule. So meat is always used in moderation. In our house, it’s not only Meatless Monday, but often Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays, too.
I believe in good simple food and the joys of home cooking. The dishes are another thing altogether.
Technique & Training
I focus on techniques because they are the best way for anyone with any level of experience to become a better cook and enjoy the process of cooking more. These are based on my training and experience as a professional cook and baker. I love to teach cooking classes and do cooking demonstrations at farmer’s markets.
I attended Seattle Culinary Academy and received scholarships from the International Association of Culinary Professionals for Le Nôtre in France and from Women Chefs & Restaurateurs for Amy’s Bread in New York City. Most recently, I was co-owner and chef of the farm-to-table Lostine Tavern and previously cooked at The Herbfarm and The Willows Inn, among other restaurant stints on both coasts. Committed to making good, local food more widely available, I founded the Wallowas chapter of Slow Food USA.
I am a contributing writer for Zester Daily. My food writing and recipes have appeared in major newspapers and national magazines, including Fine Cooking, Saveur, the Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post. I have published food essays in Leite’s Culinaria, Food and Booze: A Tin House Literary Feast and The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Food & Drink. You can read my recent articles here and more writing clips here.
My first cookbook Pure Beef: An Essential Guide to Artisan Meat with Recipes for Every Cut was published in 2012. It is still a favorite of anyone who buys direct from ranchers and grassfed beef producers because it teaches you what to do with every single cut—and to do it wisely. Find more about my next cookbook and good food-related posts on the Pure Beef Facebook page.
I grew up in a food-loving family in New England where we fished, dug clams and talked about our next meal. I moved to the Northwest coast in my twenties and began baking bread, canning jam and poaching fruit trees. I now live in Joseph, Oregon with my husband and two young daughters in an old house with a garden below the Wallowa mountains and snow on the ground five months of the year.
In the off hours, I am a newbie trail runner, a born-again knitter and a recent travel trailer enthusiast learning to back up without breaking into a sweat.