A year ago I set a goal to hire an assistant. In fact it was at Blog Brulee last year that I physically picked up an old fashioned pen and paper and wrote a note (which is on my bulletin board as we speak) that said I’d have an assistant by the same time a year later. (Guess what’s happening next week? Blog Brûlée 2016!) It took me 9 months to get off my duff to do it, but it finally happened this past summer.

I asked Stephanie Olson if she would be willing to come on board to help me out. I approached her upon listening to this podcast realizing that I needed to just do it or nothing would change. She said she would give it a go, and now “we” have never looked back!  She has been gradually doing more and more behind the scenes. Then last month, after seeing how she was crushing it with all of her tasks, I asked her if she was interested in morfing from Editorial Assistant to Contributor and she agreed. Last month she shared these healthy back to school lunch ideas, but I confess I should have taken the time to introduce her a bit better. Anyway, I am rectifying that now.

introducing Healthy Seasonal Recipe Contributor Stephanie

I decided that I would do a little Q and A with Stephanie so you all could get to know her a bit better, since she is going to be doing more and more around here. Stay tuned for her posts on Thursdays.

So without further ado, here’s our Q and A.

introducing Healthy Seasonal Recipe Contributor Stephanie

Tell us how you got into cooking?

My Dad’s Mom was an awesome cook and loved to feed her family.  She had a giant chest freezer right in the middle of her little kitchen that stored all of this amazing food she would make ahead, so that she could literally feed over 20 people at the drop of a hat.  One of my favorite childhood memories is standing on a stool making pancakes with her before Sunday School.  She would let me make a huge mess and was always encouraging.  She never measured anything or followed recipes, but everything she made was always so good.  She definitely instilled in me at a very early age a love for not just food and cooking, but also a love for feeding the people that I care about.

What is your cooking and/or eating style?

I like to cook almost anything and everything.  I love to try new recipes and ingredients and am always on the hunt for new and different ideas.  I’m actually a bit of a recipe hoarder.  I have a lot of cookbooks that I love to just sit and read sometimes.  I also have a huge recipe folder on my laptop and many many boards on Pinterest.  So I guess I would say my style is eclectic, maybe a little adventurous.  I love to eat healthy food most of the time, but I also like to indulge every now and then.  Really good truffle fries are probably my favorite thing on the planet! 

Does your family like to cook too?

My 14 year old daughter likes to bake.  The problem is she’s not a huge fan of the cleaning up part.  She’s also a great sous chef when I’m making dinner.  She has great knife skills.  My older daughter is not as much into cooking, but she loves good food.  Both girls love to try new foods.  It’s fun when we travel to watch them get excited to try new things.  It makes me proud.  My husband can make two things… spaghetti with spicy meatballs (spicy Italian sausage that he shapes into balls:) and chicken parmesan.  He’s also not a fan of the clean up.

If you could have any superpower what would it be?

To be able to totally clean up my kitchen by just blinking my eyes. 

What are your favorite blogs? 

Healthy Seasonal Recipes (of course!!), Naturally Ella, A Couple Cooks, Well Fed, Minimalist Baker, Simply Recipes,  NYT Cooking to name a few.

Cake or Pie?

Pie as long as I don’t have to make it.  My favorite would be a chocolate or coconut cream with mile-high meringue.  For some reason I hate blind baking crusts.  It never goes well for me and believe me I’ve tried several different methods.  I’m traumatized at this point.

Do you have any hobbies?

I love to hike.  I hope to have more time to play golf at some point in the future. I like to read and usually have some sort of time consuming and never ending home improvement project going on.

Name one thing about yourself that most people don’t know.

I’m ashamed to say that I love Funyons. I know they’re horrible and I don’t eat them very often.  My kids know about this and whenever we’re in a convenience store they’ll find a bag and hold it up and yell “Mom, aren’t these your favorite?!” just to embarrass me.

Stephanie Olson Contributor at Healthy Seasonal Recipes

Stephanie Olson worked in television production and advertising before moving from Los Angeles to New England. She attended culinary school in Connecticut and has since worked as a pastry chef, recipe tester and food stylist. Stephanie grew up in Lubbock, Texas and graduated from The University of Texas at Austin. She currently lives in Vermont with her husband and two teenage daughters.