Julie: From Shake and Bake to Baked Fish in Parchment Paper

  • By Jess Dang
  • February 5, 2014

“Being able to cook allows me to decompress at the end of each day.”

Julie: Cook Smarts Hero in the Kitchen via @cooksmarts
After a day of work in the tech industry, Julie decompresses by cooking dinners, sometimes even with the help of her middle school sous chefs who now appreciate ‘adult’ dinners over hot dogs and butter and pasta. Read her Heroes in the Kitchen story below:

Name: Julie
City, State: Mountain View, California
I cook for: my husband and 2 kids.
Outside of the kitchen: work in the tech industry.
Being able to cook allows me to: decompress at the end of each day.
Favorite Cook Smarts meal: anything involving salad dressing or avocados!

How did you learn to cook?

My mom went to graduate school when I was 12 so I learned the stuff of the 1980’s first (shake & bake chicken, hamburger helper). So it wasn’t until I went to grad school that I started to make things more from scratch using recipe books!

What’s been your biggest kitchen challenge?

Finding enough time.

“Kids’ tastes change as they get older . . . make food that the adults will like and eventually the kids will catch up with you.”

How has your cooking routine changed recently?

We definitely cook at home more since we started using Cook Smarts’ meal plans. Before I’d do a big cook on Sunday, and we’d do leftovers most nights and then start to order out. Now we have a more steady pattern of cooking something new every night Sunday through Thursday. And then sometimes going out on the weekend nights.

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

Parchment wrapped fish! Using the immersion blender for soups (a new tool and a skill!).

What advice would you give to other home cooks on reaching their cooking goals?

First, kids’ tastes change as they get older. I used to just make pasta and butter and hot dogs and suddenly they started to ask to eat what their dad and I were having. If anything, I’d say to continue to make food that the adults will like and eventually the kids will catch up with you. Now that my kids are in middle school, I have them help with the recipes too. Lots of good learning for both reading and some fine motor skills.

Thanks Julie! We’re sure a lot of our moms are all hoping their children will grow out of their ‘kids menu’ tastes soon, just like yours did.

Julie's favorite @cooksmarts meal: anything with salad dressing and avocado!
To join Julie and cook meals like her favorites – anything with salad dressings and avocados, check out our meal plan service. You can get started for free!


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