Hi! I’m Laurie and welcome to Simply Scratch!
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Over the past few years I have been on a mission to find and create recipes that I can make from scratch. Recipes that use fresh and homemade ingredients instead of those highly processed. Because let’s face it, processed anything don’t always have the healthiest ingredients in them.
I have always loved to cook and when I would attempt something ultra fun, I would secretly take step-by-step pictures as I went. I just would never EVER show a single soul. The first recipe was when I made a coconut-lime cake for my best friend’s birthday (I still have the photos of this on my personal facebook account) and then it was a venison roast and so on and so forth. I started writing down my successful recipes in a composition notebook and after a few years, I had quite the collection and my cooking skills and knowledge in the kitchen grew.
One day I was sitting at my mother-in-laws counter, sipping coffee and talking like we always do. I was telling her about my idea of starting a food blog, how I would title it Simply Scratch and I blabbed about everything I hoped to achieve with this blog. She helped me set up my website and I went from there.
I’ve dedicated so much of my time transitioning from, let’s say, a box of brownie mix to one from scratch and believe me it’s harder than one might think. I have tried a lot of recipes, just to find the perfect one. This snowballed into me finding and creating more recipes for more delicious favorites, ingredients, seasonings etc. just so my family and I can live a healthier lifestyle.
Do I make my own pasta, well no… not yet! Sometimes I do buy canned beans or pesto (hence the name, Simply Scratch), but I make the better choice and buy organic or all natural etc. Bottom line is I do my best with what I can find and afford, and with that said, not only do I feel that food tastes better when it is made from scratch but sometimes it’s a lot cheaper too. It might take extra effort but it is well worth it!
I strongly feel that some of America has forgotten the importance and of cooking from scratch. Life at times is busy; it’s so easy to pick-up something through the drive through rather than making a pot of Bolognese. Hey, I get it. But all the chemicals, preservatives and artificial coloring and sweeteners they put into certain foods now is astounding. All for a quicker fix or longer shelf life…WHAT? Who truly would want that entering their system? I sure as heck don’t. I would rather make it all myself and have the comforting knowledge that what I am putting in my family’s mouths is good for them.
I won’t forget to mention the pure satisfaction I personally get when someone says “From scratch… really?” or “I made your recipe and it was SO good!”
I think my passion for cooking from scratch all started with baby food. Yes, baby food. I was 20 years old when my first baby girl was born and my husband and I had no clue whatsoever on what we’re doing. Luckily my oldest sister just had a baby 9 months prior and kind of held my hand and guided me through the first year.
As babies, my mom made our baby food and so did my sister for her kids. It was my goal to do the same and just because I worked full-time, and back then 5 days a week, that wasn’t going to stop me from trying. I still remember how excited I was to get a blender at my baby shower. I made everything in that thing from avocado to sweet potato, even asparagus (and you can guess how well that went over) to papaya, prunes and applesauce. Since then the whole cooking from scratch slowly evolved over time.
My mission and end goal is for people to go back to the “from scratch” days. Start making your own pancake mix, your own brownies and salad dressings! As this blog grows I will show you just how easy and attainable scratch-cooking is… and not to mention cost efficient. Plus cooking from scratch is FUN!
Everyone hears “from scratch” and immediately think it will be too time consuming. Really it isn’t always as hard as it sounds. If it’s going to take me all day to make a recipe, I either save it for a Sunday or skip it entirely. I really try to only post easy and attainable recipes here.
One thing I’ve learned is that if you ever find a recipe doesn’t work out the first time, don’t be afraid to try it again. I must have made 10 different kinds of scratch macaroni and cheese (even one in a slow cooker! Utter disaster.) before I created one that I fell in love with. Truth.
I’ve always loved to bake, it was something that always came kind of easy, but cooking a three course meal was what really took some time and patience. Since I have mastered homemade regular and whole wheat pizza dough, a delicious chicken pot pie including the pie crust.
These past 10-plus years I have taken the time to teach myself how to cook. I’ve honed my culinary knowledge and skills by watching obscene amounts of Food Network,
hoarding reading food magazines and most importantly, by trial and error. I have the best friends and family who also love to cook and we will trade recipes and share tips which keep my wheels turning constantly. I’m still continue to grow; as a writer, photographer and with cooking but I’m having so much fun as I go.
I hope you enjoy the recipes on this blog as they are tried and true from my kitchen to yours!
So let’s start from scratch and get cooking!
Enjoy! And if you give any of these recipes a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!