Jamie: Rediscovering the Joys of Cooking

“I love being able to offer my son a variety of different foods so that he can grow up to have a similar appreciation for good whole foods and cooking.”

Jamie: Hero in the Kitchen via @CookSmarts
Imagine having a baby, quitting your job, moving across the state, buying a new house, and starting a new job all within a year and half. That was Jamie and her family, and it’s no wonder why cooking became difficult and stressful for her! Even though baking and cooking was always therapeutic for Jamie, that doesn’t mean that all these life-changing events gave her enough time to do so. Luckily, meal planning and prepping ahead allows her to enjoy cooking again, and to spend time with her son. Read her Heroes in the Kitchen story below.

Name: Jamie
Age: 30
City, State: Coconut Creek, Florida
I cook for: my husband, myself, and my 1.5 year old son
Outside of the kitchen I: am an attorney who works at a law firm assisting insurance companies with regulatory and compliance matters, and a mom to a very energetic toddler who eats more than I do at most meals.
Being able to cook allows me to: unwind from my ever-so-often hectic work life. Cooking has always been therapeutic for me during times of stress. I also love being able to offer my son a variety of different foods so that he can grow up to have a similar appreciation for good whole foods and cooking.

How did you learn to cook?

During law school I developed an interest in baking and it became my therapy, and sometimes, favorite procrastination tool during stressful finals weeks. Eventually my interest in the kitchen expanded and I started to develop healthy cooking habits from reading a multitude of food blogs and magazines.

What’s been your biggest cooking challenge in the past?

We have issues deciding what to make on a nightly basis, and we struggle with time management, since we both work full time jobs and want to enjoy the few hours each night we have to spend with our toddler. We get stuck in the routine of frequent take-out or quick, frozen pre-packaged meal far too often, and lack the motivation or time to sit down and plan out a week’s menu like we used to.

How has your cooking routine changed recently?

In the past year and a half, we had our son, Zachary, quit our jobs, moved across state, bought a new house, and started new jobs. That being said, our cooking routine had gone from relaxed and fun to stressful and non-existent. Once I discovered Cook Smarts I fell in love with cooking and meal planning again.

“Menu planning and meal prep are great ways to maximize your cooking experience.”

What new skill or dish have you cooked that you’re most proud of?

My favorite thing that Cook Smarts has taught me is how easy and satisfying it is to make my own salad dressings and marinades. We spent so much money on bottled marinades and dressings with too many unrecognizable ingredients listed. I love the freshness and simplicity of a homemade vinaigrette.

What advice would you give to other home cooks who want to cook more homemade meals?

Menu planning and meal prep are great ways to maximize your cooking experience. Sitting down with a weekly menu and taking the time to prep vegetables and sauces on a Sunday saves me so much time during the week, allowing me to enjoy spending time with my family during the week, as well as provide them a nice home-cooked meal each night.


Thanks, Jamie! We’re glad that we are able to help you out in the kitchen, so that you can cook to relieve stress once again. All your tasty photos are proof that cooking really does wonders.

Learn how to make your own salad dressings and marinades like Jamie, and check out our meal plan service. You can get started for free!

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