I enjoy the sense of accomplishment when I can eat and share something I made myself.
We can only imagine how tough it is to juggle being an attorney and a new mother. It sounds difficult enough without the addition of getting a healthy, home cooked meal on the dinner table in a reasonable amount of time. This is the life of Kitchen Hero Emily, and she has discovered the key in making this happen in a way that she and her family can enjoy delicious living – organization! With all the recipes that are available nowadays, it can be very overwhelming just deciding what to make for dinner. But by staying organized and meal planning, Emily is able to stay on top of things, cook amazing meals, and spend quality time with the new bundle of joy in her life. And all the time spent practicing and learning to cook means that she is becoming a better cook and a pro in the kitchen! Read her Hero in the Kitchen story below.
Name: Emily Franco
City, State: Austin, Texas
I cook for: myself and my husband.
Outside of the kitchen I: am a wife and an attorney currently enjoying maternity leave with my baby boy.
If I could have any superpower, it would be: teleportation so I could see more of the world.
I cook because: I like to know what goes in my food so I can eat healthier and feel better, and I enjoy the sense of accomplishment when I can eat and share something I made myself.
Favorite Cook Smarts meal so far: Mussels and Chorizo! I’ve always been intimidated by the idea of cooking mussels, and this recipe was easy, delicious, and reminded me of food I ate in Spain.
How did you learn to cook?
I started cooking with my mom when I was little – mostly watching, with a little help stirring or measuring here and there. After college, I lived in a small town where there were a few delicious, but pretty unhealthy, restaurants, so I started cooking a lot, largely out of necessity and to control what I was eating.
What’s been your biggest cooking challenge?
Before I started using Cook Smarts, I used recipes from everywhere (assorted cookbooks, internet, friends, etc.) so I could NEVER find it again if I wanted to remake it months later. My husband often commented that I never remade the things he said he liked, but it was because I couldn’t remember where I had gotten the recipe!
How has your cooking routine changed since starting Cook Smarts’ meal plans?
I feel much more organized, and my husband appreciates that I remake some of the favorites now because I can always go back and find old recipes. Trying new things with Cook Smarts has also given me the confidence to cook new types of food and to experiment with substitutions when I don’t have an exact ingredient on hand.
“Trying new things with Cook Smarts has also given me the confidence to cook new types of food and to experiment with substitutions when I don’t have an exact ingredient on hand.”
Tell us about your proudest kitchen moment.
A friend was talking about her difficulty cooking for company when she looked at me and said, “But that doesn’t apply to you — you’re a good cook and you cook all the time.” I was so excited to have someone call me a good cook when all I think I do is follow recipes. I think I’ve learned more about what goes together and how to cook certain things than I realized.
What are your tips for a healthy life and success in the kitchen?
Planning in advance makes a huge difference. I always eat healthier when I have 3 or 4 meals planned for the week instead of scrambling that afternoon to put together dinner an hour or two later. Making healthy meals for dinner also gives me delicious leftovers for lunch the next day.
Congrats on the new addition to your family, Emily! We hope your little man is giving you plenty of rest, but we’re sure that all your homemade meals are keeping you and your husband nourished and energized. Your beautiful food photos on Facebook are proof that you are not just a good cook, but a great one! Your son must be looking forward to the day that he can eat Mommy’s cooking!
To join Emily and cook meals like her favorite Mussels and Chorizo, check out our meal plan service. You can get started for free!