Hey! However you found this page (did my mom email you?) – I’m so grateful that you did. Whether you’re sneaking a break from work or scrolling your phone before bed, I just want to say welcome.
My name is Samantha and this is American Home Cook- a site dedicated to delicious, healthy weeknight recipes for busy home cooks.
You might be here as a reader of my old site, Sam’s Dinner Diary, so I’d like to offer a brief explanation. The site started as a catalogue of my dinners; it was a way to remember what I ate, how it tasted, and how to make it again and again. It was my personal recipe keeper and I had so much fun adding to it for the past year.
But there are so many personal food blogs out there, and I’m done adding to the noise.
This site isn’t for me.
It’s for real home cooks: people with a passion for cooking, a desire to share what they make with family and friends, and a belief that good food is the best part of a long day.
Maybe you’re just beginning or want to become a better cook. Maybe you’re looking for an enjoyable, creative hobby that gets you off the couch and in the kitchen.
You’d like to eat more healthful weeknight dinners that don’t taste like diets, and meals that inspire you to cook again tomorrow night. You want a delicious way to connect with other people, to love and feel loved through a shared appetite for good food.
Many years ago, I wanted all of that too.
I realized that my knack for frozen pizza and my familiarity with an Annie’s Mac and Cheese box weren’t skills I could share with friends. Those epic peanut butter (crunchy, obviously) sandwiches on potato bread wouldn’t bring my family to the table, and I was never proud to enjoy a plate of microwaved nachos in front of the TV.
After Freshman year of college, my metabolism also decided to change.
I needed to take my culinary prowess beyond frozen spinach and cheese ravioli, dusted with shelf-stable parmesan cheese.
Luckily, I went to the college cafeteria every night so I didn’t have to worry about cooking. Not yet.
Instead, I learned about the power of food (even cafeteria food) to cultivate community and enrich even the most stressed-out lives.
Dinner became a ritual I looked forward to at the end of each day.
Sometimes it was just me and my roommates at the dinner table, sometimes it was 16 of our closest friends.
We sat in metal chairs around bright tables for at least an hour, eating, gossiping, sometimes silent. The stress of homework and exams evaporated into the steam of a less-than-average meal.
It was perfect, and I consider those dinners some of the happiest moments of my college experience.
When we all got older and moved into our own kitchens, cooking became the 1 hour per day (or 1 minute it takes to microwave leftovers) where we could just focus on one task- and reap the delicious benefits.
Cooking gave us a creative outlet, a simple way to stay healthy, a chance to sit down and take time for ourselves on a Tuesday night.
So what now?
So what do we do when we’re not surrounded by dozens of peers with like-minded appetites?
What do we do when we love food but it doesn’t always love us back? I’m looking at you, Reese’s Puffs.
I believe the answer is in the kitchen.
Embracing my love for cooking has made me the healthiest, happiest, and most confident I’ve ever felt (once you ace your first roast chicken, you’ll know what I mean). I made tons of mistakes at first, and still do, but now it’s the highlight of my day.
If you cook, there’s no need to obsess about calories and fat.
You’ll learn that a balanced meal is a joy to eat, and vegetables can taste like candy when treated properly. Portion sizes at home are much smaller than at restaurants, leaving you satisfied but not stuffed, with room for a glass of wine.
You’ll become more mindful to the actual taste of your food, and you’ll learn how to make things taste better and better.
Meals will become a joyful break in your day, a delicious pause button that forces you to (literally) savor the moment.
Most importantly, cooking is a skill you can share with others and use to enrich your relationships.
American Home Cook
Let’s change what it means to be an American Home Cook. Let’s go beyond hot dogs and hamburgers (but like, totally still make those too) and learn to enjoy meal preparation and eating, embrace dinner as a time to be with loved ones, and slow down to eat with full pleasure.
If you’re inspired to cook any of these recipes (or recipes of your own!) don’t hesitate to share it with me via email (email@example.com) or Instagram. Cooking can feel like a chore but it’s so much easier when you have support.
I’m excited to have you here and hope we can support each other on our journeys to a happy and healthy lifestyle through cooking. Let’s eat!