Jessica H’s Story

I am a semi-retired English teacher by trade, a wife to the most patient guy I know, a mother of two beautiful children–a 3 year-old girl and a 3-month-old boy, and a foodie by heart. I am thrilled to be able to combine my passion for words that being a student and teacher of the English language has lent me and my passion for food that spending year in a trade culinary program has lent me into writing on Bountiful Baskets’s blog. My food philosophy is that cooking from scratch can be just as easy as opening cans of super processed condensed soups and packets of MSG-laden seasonings, and a whole lot healthier too. I love Bountiful Baskets because the wide variety of ingredients forces me out of my culinary box and gives me cooking challenges every week–it’s the closest I’ll ever get to being a contestant on Chopped. Many of my recipes feature Basket ingredients that I’ve never purchased but that I was determined to make something yummy out of. You can read more of my recipes at .

Cindy C.’s Story

Hey blogging world. I am a 36 year old mother of 4 who has a passion for travel, photography, cooking and writing (with two books and a blog in the works). For my “day job” I work as a reservations agent for an airline which gives me many opportunities to travel and try out new cuisines. Prior to working for the airline I stayed home with my kiddo’s for 5 years and worked as a NICU nurse for 5 years. When I am not taking actual adventures I enjoy taking adventures of the palate. I love trying new flavors and working them into my everyday cooking.

Bountiful Baskets came into my life when I was weighted down by the everyday pressures of being the mom and CEO of our household. I have loved the simplicity of someone else picking out my produce. Before Bountiful Baskets I would struggle to find an entree to prepare and then throw a vegetable at it as an afterthought. Now I pick up my basket and plan my meals around what the basket has to offer.

Having dealt with depression for 7+ years now I am trying to incorporate an Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle into my daily routine. I know that the food we eat affects every aspect of our being. I hope you will come along with me on my journey to find happiness through food, yoga and meditation.

My recipes will explore new flavors, bring back some of the old favorites and hopefully express my excitement for getting into a mindful state as you prepare your meals and serve them up to your family. Composing a meal can be every bit a work of art as dancing ballet. Center yourself and as Sarah Ban Brethnach put it, get ready to become an “artist of the everyday.

Lilibeth U.’s Story

I am in love with food. When asked, “What is your favorite food?” My answer is, “Yes.” As a mother and wife in our family of five (plus a few four-legged loved ones) food is a constant focal point of our day. Most recently, because I am a breast cancer patient, we are on a mission to document “mom’s famous dishes” so my family can grow up knowing how to make all of their favorites… to preserve YUMM for everyone! I have taken many detours in the past 15 years and blogging is new fun for me. I am so excited to share my love of fruits, vegetables, and eating as healthy as I can stand it. Check out my blog for posts on 50% Healthy and Organic at as I embark on this fun journey.

Debra B.’s Story

On the plains of Eastern Colorado, my primary job is homeschooling my five children, ages seven to sixteen. The whole family stays busy with Scouts, American Heritage Girls, church, and other assorted activities.

Getting wholesome, real food on a reasonably consistent basis without spending a fortune is always a priority. For the past two and a half years, Bountiful Baskets has made that easier, and more fun too!

The entire family has discovered some new favorites, like persimmons, fennel and Brussels sprouts. A highlight of the week is discovering just what is going to be in the baskets, and figuring out what to try this time. The teen boys are getting pretty adventurous in the kitchen as well, and they especially like experiments that involve either LOTS of food,or dessert, or both. I’ve always enjoyed tweaking recipes to use what is on hand, or what is on sale. “Well, I did start with a real recipe, but…” is frequently heard in this home.

My recipes are not going to be fancy. You can expect family-friendly meals on a budget, ideas for canning and freezing, and maybe some thoughts on using some of the items that are a bit past their prime. And hopefully some encouragement to just experiment a little bit yourself.

Cathy A.’s Story

Because I am older than many of the other bloggers, I guess you could say I have been cooking for over 50 years. OUCH,  Many things I learned from my Mom, and many others by reading cookbooks.  I have cooked for large ranch crews and family, now down to my husband and myself.   I have always gone toward good simple recipes and cooking, but after being introduced to Bountiful Baskets about 2 and 1/2 years ago,  we began eating a lot more fresh fruits and vegetables.  About 18 months ago, we decided to remove as much processed food, white flour and sugar as was possible from our diet.  Many of the current recipes I am working with reflect the new way we are eating.  Bountiful Baskets has been a wonderful help with our new way of eating.  My love of cooking and our fresh foods has given me a reason, to look for new recipes and ways to use food, that I would not have given any thought to a few years ago.

Laura F.’s Story

I’ve been going to Bountiful Baskets fairly regularly over the last four years. One of the best parts about it for me is that I don’t have to worry if I’m getting food my family can eat. I’ve been eating gluten free for as long as I can remember. It’s not a choice for me. It’s gluten free or sick as can be. You could definitely say I was in a rut before I tried Bountiful Baskets. My meals rotated fairly regular through the same 10 to 15 things. Simple things-relying primarily on frozen veggies like broccoli, corn, and carrots (with which ever meat was on sale that week) because I knew I could make them quickly and were pretty much guaranteed that the meals would be gluten free.

I have a pretty normal life other than that. I have 2 smallish kids (my oldest is 6, my youngest 4) and a husband that hates to cook. I teach high school English online (for NVVA), and have a degree in library science as well. Maybe one day, I’ll get a job in a library, but right now, working from home fits into my life perfectly. Our newest edition to the family was four baby chicks (Fluffy, Planecars, Princess, and Rachel). My little homestead is off to a running, or should I say “flying” start.

Debby M.’s Story

My name is Debby and I have always felt that good food was meant to be shared.  When I was a child, I received a Betty Crocker Children’s Cookbook as a gift. Little did I know that cooking and cookbooks would grow to be my favorite things!   I  am an avid cookbook collector.  I read cookbooks from cover to cover!

My grandparents moved to Arizona in the 1930’s and brought with them southern and Texan style recipes.  There is always a pitcher of southern sweet tea in my kitchen and cookies in the jar. After several health incidents in our family, I have revised our foods and developed healthier meals focusing on fresh fruits and vegetables. In the past, we enjoyed southern fried foods and have since found that healthy eating using Bountiful Basket produce as our base, have greatly improved our life.

I have experimented with recipes and found it a great joy to work with the fresh foods that we get each week from Bountiful Baskets. My love of cooking and fresh foods has given us a healthier and happier way of life.  I hope you will enjoy the recipes and ideas I share!

Carrie K.’s Story

My name is Carrie and I am a mother of 4. I have basically two families. My two older children are from a previous marriage. They are disabled and are 20 and 18 years old. I was lucky to find love online and married a wonderful man 13 years ago and we have 2 beautiful little boys ages 5 and 3. My house is not your typical one as you can see. My 18 year old daughter is on a very strict diet so every day I have to basically make 2 different meals at each mealtime.

I wish I could say that I grew up in the kitchen. My mom tried to get me into kitchen to learn things with cooking and canning but I wanted no part of it! Are you familiar with Ellie Mae Clampett and her cooking skills? Well, that could have be me a few years ago! Now, I love to cook, can and create new things for my family to eat. My dream one day is to open my own bakery. I have a passion for creating sweet treats (and it shows).  Until my dream can become a reality, I bake goodies for friends and family.

I was told about Bountiful Baskets a few years ago when I was on vacation back home in Utah. My sister in law was participating with some of the ladies in her church. I was very jealous because I wanted Bountiful Baskets where I lived! 2 years ago this past spring a site in Kansas opened up and boy was I excited! I was driving from my home in Oklahoma to Kansas to get my basket. I was approached by the VSC  in Kansas and was asked if I would be interested in having a site in my town. I seriously about kissed the lady! I wanted to have Bountiful Baskets in my area because I knew how much I loved it and knew that others would too! For the past 2 years I have been a VSC in my town and love every minute of it! We went from 1 site to 2 and have entertained the idea of 3rd. I have made many new friends through Bountiful Baskets and feel truly blessed by it.

Since I am a baker and have felt the need to sample my goods, I have put on a LOT of weight! I have committed myself for the next 10 weeks to do a “Biggest Loser” challenge with 30 other ladies. I am now looking even more forward to baskets each week as I do this challenge to see what healthier choices I can create not only for me and my family but also for the other ladies in the challenge. Most of them participate regularly with Bountiful Baskets too.

Jamie S.’s Story

I am 29 years old, married, and the proud mama of a beautiful little boy named Mac. In “real life” my job title is a Residential Supervisor for a great company called Pride Inc. I work for individuals with developmental disabilities, but I like to say, I advocate for people who can’t advocate for themselves. Up until two years ago I was the pickiest eater you would have ever met! I wouldn’t try anything new. The name of a food determined whether I ate it or not. I thought the only vegetable ever made was corn, and it came from a can. I refused to eat anything healthy because I believed the long standing misconception that “if it’s good for you, it has to taste bad!” Cooking has always been easy for me, but for a long time I stuck to the few meals I knew I liked because of my pickiness. Through the years, my husband opened my eyes to all of the varieties and different tastes this world has to offer. That’s when my creativity in the kitchen started flowing.

It changed from a hobby to a passion the day I realized that food didn’t need to come from a box, and I wasn’t confined to some recipe on a piece of paper! That I could take an idea and make it into something my own….something so much more! My husband will often ask me after I have tried a new recipe “did you write that down?” (That’s a sign that he really likes it), because I am always trying new things, changing “this” or adding “that”.

When I met my best friend, Marisa. We shared a love for cooking and I finally met someone who understood my passion, she understood my art. You see, I can’t dance, I can’t draw or even carry a tune. My form of art comes out in the kitchen. It’s the time and energy I put into making a healthy, rounded, meal. It’s combining ordinary ingredients and making them taste extraordinary. It’s changing people’s perceptions on how healthy food is “supposed” to taste. It’s the satisfaction I get when someone enjoys my food and it’s the pride and joy I feel knowing that I’m teaching my child healthy eating habits and a better way of life.

When my cousin first introduced me to Bountiful Baskets, I immediately fell in love and dove in head first. I am so blessed that she opened up this world for me. Bountiful Baskets has opened up so many doors in my life and expanded my horizons. I love being a Volunteer Site Coordinator

And I love the other leaders at our Pride site. The volunteers humble me and remind me what this co-op is about. I enjoy getting to know the participants who keep coming week after week. One thing I enjoy is how we share tips, recipes and ideas on the different ways to use our basket items. We have some pretty creative people in our group! Every single person involved in this co-op is beyond dedicated. From the participants, and volunteers to the Volunteer Site Monitors, Volunteer Site Coordinators, Volunteer Area Coordinators (Emily!!), the people who put together the add-ons, all the way up to Tanya and Sally. Every person gives their all because they believe in what they’re doing. The thing that makes us unique is that we all recognize that we need each other. We value each other and the role each of us plays. I live in North Dakota so quality, fresh produce isn’t cheap or easy to come by. Bountiful Baskets has changed that. It has also brought new and exciting food to our dinner table! The vegetables my 2 year old eats on a daily basis is ridiculous! Getting to share Bountiful Baskets with my best friend is my favorite part of this co-op. It is expanding our mutual love and passion for food and healthy living.

Sharing that with someone who understands me makes the hard work worth it for me.

In my world, I show you love by cooking for you, because I put my heart and soul in every one of my meals.

Angela D’s Story

I grew up in my granny’s kitchen watching her cook from the time she held me on her hip, to when I was sitting on the counter all on my own, to the age where I was helping her cook.  My grandparents came from a time where they either raised or shot what they ate, and my parents did a little of that as well.  A lot of what I do comes from years of absorbing what I saw, and I usually don’t have to think much about what I do.  I’ve also watched a lot of Food Network and other cooking programs and have picked up ideas as I have gone along.

I was introduced to Bountiful Baskets a year and a half ago and within a few months, I was running our town’s third weekly site.  I enjoy talking to other participants about how they use the produce, and have learned many good ideas from our talks.  The thing that I regret most about running a site is that I don’t have enough time to share with participants the numerous ways they can use that basket item that they just can’t figure out or just don’t like.  This is the main reason I have started blogging.  I hope my ideas can help those participants reach out of their comfort zone and try something new and love it.

Bountiful Baskets has helped my children have a more well-rounded diet than a lot of adults I know, and I am grateful for that.  My friends are always amazed at what I cook at home, and I hope my blogs can help them see how easy these dishes are to make for their own families.

Running an early morning site (I’m there at 5 A.M.) is not always easy with two small children, but it honestly makes my day to bring those baskets to my community.  It always makes me smile when I can share an idea with a participant on how to use something “new.”  So don’t be afraid to think outside the box!