Jessica: A Mother’s Cooking Journey

Being able to cook allows me to have a creative outlet for myself and provide nutritious meals for my family.

-Jessica
#KitchenHero

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Jessica: Hero in the Kitchen via @CookSmarts
One of the great things about what we do is being able to help people. We do our best with tasty recipes, careful meal planning, and video tutorials. But no matter what we do, at the end of the day, knowing that we made a difference for someone makes our day even more awesome. So hearing that we have a hand in helping Kitchen Hero Jessica get back to cooking lets us know to keep doing what we are doing. Read more about Jessica, her struggles, and her Heroes in the Kitchen story below.

Name: Jessica J.
Age: 33
City, State: Durham, NC
I cook for: husband and 3 year old.
Outside of the kitchen I: am an active stay at home mom.
Being able to cook allows me to: have a creative outlet for myself and provide nutritious meals for my family.
Favorite Cook Smarts meal: Paleo Caramel Chicken Brussels Sprouts Stir-Fry

Five years ago, I felt like I was the queen of cooking. I spent most of my free time in the kitchen, making dinners to freeze, always had the slow cooker running, making homemade desserts… You name it, I wanted to try it.

I even started my own food blog and was very active in it. There were a number of local bloggers that even gathered for meet ups. We were a bunch of young twenty-somethings, childless and starting out in our newlywed lives.

During that time I was struggling with a very personal matter – we have been trying to conceive for almost 3 years. Finally in the fall of 2010 we got the wonderful news that we were pregnant!

Once my daughter was born in the summer / spring of 2011, I found myself extremely overwhelmed as a new mother. I was mothering my daughter practically on my own with no extended family in the area, and my husband found out that he was struggling with a recoverable yet difficult disease.

“I love all the fresh ingredients, the easy-to-follow prep and cooking steps, all the flexibility that the recipes allow, and yet it’s mindless for me.”

At that point my cooking became nonexistent. I ordered weekly family dinners from a local market in town.

As my daughter got older, I got more settled and my husband got control over his disease. I gradually began cooking again. It was mainly quick and easy thrown-together meals as I tried to nourish our family.

Just a few months ago Cook Smarts came into my life. I am ever so thankful! The creative and artistic recipes are finally back in my life. I love all the fresh ingredients, the easy-to-follow prep and cooking steps, all the flexibility that the recipes allow, and yet it’s mindless for me.

I prep and get all dishes and ingredients out in the early morning and try to have only about 20 minutess of actual cook time in the evening when we’re hungry. I also save enough for lunch the next day.

Cooks Smarts just keeps getting better and better.


Aww…thanks so much for your wonderful words, Jessica! We wish nothing but the best for you, your husband, and your daughter. Here’s to many more tasty (paleo) meals to come!

Jessica's favorite @cooksmarts meal: Paleo Caramel Chicken Brussels Sprouts Stir-Fry
To join Jessica and cook meals like her favorite Paleo Caramel Chicken Brussels Sprouts Stir-Fry, check out our meal plan service. You can get started for free!

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