a little bit about me
For 20 years, I built a career out of creating healthy recipes at Cooking Light magazine, where I served the last eight years in the role of Executive Editor. During that time, I received two James Beard Foundation Awards: a feature writing award for “Mississippi Chinese Lady Goes Home to Korea” and a cookbook award for co-authoring Cooking Light’s The New Way to Cook Light. Prior to joining Cooking Light, I was an English instructor at Mississippi State University, where I went to college and graduate school. I am currently pursuing freelance opportunities in recipe development, writing, and video.
I am Southern by birth and by choice. I was born in and grew up in Mississippi, a state I still champion even with its complexity and contradictions; all that tragedy and darkness actually give it more depth, I believe, plus a rich culture and foodways with real meaning. I now live one state over—in Birmingham, Alabama, with my husband, Patrick, our twin 13-year-old boys, a big hound dog mix named Walker, and a little chihuahua mix named Champ. Our life in the South is enriched daily by the beauty of such staples as field peas, cicada songs, boiled peanuts, and (my favorite) bourbon.
As the main cook in my house, I believe that making healthy food choices for my family is an act of love. I often say that I am “setting the default” for my kids—establishing patterns of eating that they’ll fall back on when they’re grown and living on their own. That’s perhaps the best, most concrete way I can show love…. and we’ll all be happy and well fed along the way.