i havent done one of my "in the middle" highlights in a while so perhaps i can catch up by highlighting all the cookbook people! this is from the first couple of pages of the cookbook- enjoy the preview!
Hey! You made the cut- congratulations! ☺
So, I wanted to write a little about each contributor for those who are curious who they are sharing a recipe book with. I couldn’t think of any good way to do this other than a most self-centered way and that is by saying how everyone is connected to me. So, I hope that you will all see this as a declaration of my admiration and appreciation for our association and not just a chance for me to talk about myself some more. ☺ Also, I went ahead and included the maiden name of some of the contributors if I thought that some people in the book would only know them from their past life before marriage. So, without further delay, here’s who’s who in order of when I received their recipes! Feel free to refer to this anytime you are cooking a great recipe and would like to know who it is from.
Rachel Whetten (Salem, Oregon): is a mother of two boys with another baby on the way. Her husband is one of Thomas’ best friends from the growing up years and she has always impressed me with her ability to make me feel as though we have been friends for a long time even though we only get to see each other about once a year.
Natalie (Hawkins) Buck (Bakersfield, California): is the first born in my family and is a mother to three funny, smart and active children. She is the nice one out of us four girls and the one I can always count on to be efficient, supportive, and to make me feel good about whatever I am doing. Natalie was always a second mother to me growing up and I still think of her that way sometimes.
Taylor Beebe (Laie, Hawaii): is the closest thing to a real life chef that this recipe book can claim. In any time of need since I have lived in Hawaii, Taylor has been there to take over my kitchen with mouth watering smells, and restaurant quality results.
Meg Thomander (Hauula, Hawaii): Since I have known Meg, I have never seen her doing anything halfway or mediocre. She is not only extremely creative, but she has the skill to carry her ideas out perfectly. She has a business with her husband making really hip and totally affordable handbags and is a new mother to a sweet baby girl.
Megan (Bayha) Swanson (New York City, New York): is a talented actress and dancer and has been a dear friend of mine since kindergarten. She just finished a couple nation-wide theater company tours and now is auditioning, working, and living in New York City with her husband (and high school sweetheart) who is also very creative and talented and is a grad student.
Morgan Mecomber (Bowling Green, Kentucky): is also a dear friend of mine from the days when we were both total and complete drama nerds. We were both sure that either our: acting, dancing, singing or just personalities in general would make us famous someday. Well, hers actually has and has taken her all the way to Kentucky where she is a successful radio personality, but I still think of her as a fellow Spice Girl wannabe.
Melissa Peterson (Smithfield, Utah): is a person that I know I was destined to be friends with. We met on the BYU-Idaho British Literary tour and spent a whole month touring great sites and forming what I am sure will be a life-long friendship. I think we have seen each other at least once every year since and that is mainly due to the fact that Melissa is the kind of friend who makes you feel like you are important to her and worth seeing.
Audra Karlinsey (Roberts, Idaho): is a dedicated mother to a growing baby girl and someone I met my very first semester at BYU-Idaho. We lived on the same floor and were in the same ward and were both new freshmen. She lived in a fun apartment of freshmen girls and all those girls took me in as some of my very first friends in Rexburg and made me feel included.
Sheila Rich (Kaaawa, Hawaii): is a creative crafter, a mother to a baby girl, and the wife of a man who loves to fish. I met Sheila through another dear friend and she also stamps with my mother-in-law. I can always count on Sheila to be as crazy and excited about holidays as I am.
Susan Roecker (Simsbury, Connecticut): is my aunt on my mother’s side. I have a memory (which I hope I have right all of a sudden) from when I was seven of visiting my aunt in Connecticut and her making, “Spaghetti Pie.” This recipe quickly became a family favorite of ours and is included in the cookbook my mom made several years ago. I think of that every time I make it.
Alicia Quackenbush (Oceanside, California): is my sister Ashley’s sister-in-law. I have only spent a short amount of time with her, but in that time I observed her not only taking care of her large immediate family, but taking care of her whole extended family. It is obvious that everyone looks up to her and looks to her as a source of strength and love and I was really impressed by that.
Jillana (Young) Ridgeway (Bakersfield, California): is a mother of two: her son is also a fellow drama nerd friend from high school, and her daughter is a friend since elementary school. I remember Mrs. Ridgeway coming over to plan a school event with my mother one night and the whole family being in the room by the end of the evening laughing and talking with her because she is just so inviting and hilarious.
Logan Hazard (Cleveland Heights, Ohio): is my cousin on my mother’s side, a dental student, and an adoring husband and father. He keeps his family blog up to date with all the great things they are up to and can’t seem to say enough about how wonderful his wife is, what good food she makes and how great his baby daughter is… I think most women can agree that this is something to be admired in a man. Keep up the good work Logan!
Ashley Moffat (Laie, Hawaii): is a surfer. She surfs a lot and is really great at it and that alone is cooler than cool. She is also really great at being a wife, mother of two blonde baby girls, crafting, organizing the local mommy/baby Friday beach day, and looking around her to see who needs a meal, a friend, or someone to pitch in and help out.
Molly Tanuvasa (Hauula, Hawaii): is a mother to many and is so in love with her husband. These are the things that stand out to me when I think of Molly. She has four children and is pregnant with the fifth. She loves being pregnant… she actually told me that once. She was the Relief Society President in my ward when I met her and she was truly like a mother to everyone, including me.
Carrie Tracy (Albuquerque, New Mexico): is someone I have never met in person but feel like I have. Is it nerdy to say that we became friends through blogging? Too bad, because that’s the truth. She is a friend of a dear friend and I am so glad we met. She inspires me because she’s the mother of two young boys, and she is young like me, and she recognizes the frustrations of motherhood but still likes to have a delicious dinner on the table and have her and the boys looking good when her husband gets home every day. Way to keep it together Carrie- I hope to be like you someday.
Suzanne Bjork (Madison, Alabama): is a mother of two and a wife to Barry Bjork who was a counselor in our old ward. Suzanne always reminded me of someone from another time- she is so classy and no-nonsense. Suzanne is also a great singer and obliged me a couple of times when I asked her to sing in church for one function or another.
Alison Flegal (Boiling Springs, South Carolina): is one of the first friends I ever made as a freshman at BYU-Idaho. She is a lover of her husband Andrew (whom she wrote while he was on a mission in Germany and whom we all knew everything about from her adoring scrapbooks and stories), her two children, Harry Potter, and Edward from Twilight (but this is Edward we are talking about so can you really blame her?).
Danielle Radon (Bakersfield, California): is a great writer, photographer and long time friend. She is also of the beloved drama nerd variety and was another one of us many girls who spent weekend nights in Jr. High dressing up as the various Spice Girls (she was Ginger, I was Posh) and practicing the songs over and over until we videotaped our “music videos.” Classic.
Ashley Burnham (Kirkland, Washington): is the mother to one of the luckiest babies I know. Years after meeting her at BYU-Hawaii, she now lives in Washington with her husband and new baby son who is not only the most well dressed infant boy I have ever seen, but the most well documented through milestone updates and excellent photography on her delightful blog.
Stacie Hawley (Las Vegas, Nevada): is the sister-in-law of one of my childhood best friends. She is a very enthusiastic mother of two and wife of a soon-to-be dentist. Stacie is an optimist and a very dedicated mother. She takes every opportunity to make something fun and celebrate.
Bille (Grandy) Gniewosz (San Francisco, California): is a close friend of mine who I met in Spanish class at BYU-Hawaii. We survived working at the big old mansion in Laie for a most demanding boss, and we had so much fun doing it (well, when we could work together… which was rare since the boss lady knew we would have fun and would therefore separate us). Bille is crafty, she is a great reader, she is sophisticated and stylish, she is loyal, and she is fun.
Liko Miller (Kaaawa, Hawaii): is a good find! I say that because I only just met her this year and I feel so lucky to have been introduced to her. She is the kind of friend who will be there for you, who will show up and add a lot to the group, and do her part. She is inspirational in the way she tries hard every day to do more and be better and show love and patience for her family and her friends.
Melissa Crosby (Laie, Hawaii): is another local friend of mine who seems like someone I have known forever when really it has only been a year or two. A mutual friend of ours knew the both of us a long time ago before we knew each other and told each of us that we should be friends. Melissa is creative and hilarious. She has her hands full with her active toddler just like me and so whenever she finds herself in one of those stressed out and humorous mothering situations I see myself in her more and more.
Allison (Willden) Hansen (Tulsa, Oklahoma): I remember Allison the most from our teenage years growing up in Bakersfield. Most teenage girls are silly and annoying (I was anyway), but Allison has always been down-to-earth and cool. When I think about Allison I remember the patience she showed me when my mom hired her to tutor me in Algebra. We were close in age and she was so smart and mature that I was able to learn the concepts and not feel inferior or embarrassed.
Lizzie Heiselt (Brooklyn, New York): is quite honestly living my dream life. After running a marathon, they had a baby boy, moved from Hawaii to New York City and she is the recent graduate in Creative Writing and Journalism from NYU. I really can’t think of a better life and am so glad she is a part of this book since they fed us the best meal of our life while they lived in Hawaii.
Starlyn Wiley (Monterey, California): is my English major twin. When we were both foraging our way through English classes at BYU-Hawaii, Star and I would sit next to each other every day with our black rimmed matching glasses, brown hair and light complexions and get mistaken for sisters and teased for actually doing our homework.
Jacob Roecker (Fletcher, Oklahoma): is my cousin. He is always, always, always doing some big project at school, in his community, with family history, with computers, and in our extended family. He’s tough enough to be in the military, but mostly he is just a nice guy who cares deeply for his immediate and extended family.
Julie (Rozier) Frederiksen (Aurora, Colorado): is also my cousin. We are the closest in age on the Hawkins side and when we were little we were called “the tummy twins” due to our large, protruding bellies. Since she has been married for a respectable amount of time, I keep hoping that she is secretly pregnant right now and is just not saying or showing photos so that we can all be surprised and be tummy twins once more! ☺
Echo Allred (Hauula, Hawaii): is a very dedicated family woman. She has one little daughter, another baby on the way, and hopes for twins, hopes for six kids, and hopes to homeschool them all! She loves to craft and sew and is so good at it she sells headbands and the like for an actual profit. She is a good example of a hip, modern-day homemaker.
Betty Hawkins (Bakersfield, California): is my mama! She is a true wonder woman who puts hours and hours above and beyond into her fifth grade classroom. She persevered my entire childhood and finished her degree, which taught all her daughters about the importance of education. Aside from her career, she was the ultimate example to me of what a homemaker should be. She sewed a lot of our clothes, cooked a family dinner every single night, actually enjoyed keeping our house sparkling clean, and spent a lot of time reaching beyond our home to help people in need in our church and community.
Brittany (Hawkins) Greene (Las Vegas, Nevada): is the second out of us four girls. She is the one who redecorates my parent’s house, keeps track of three curious little boys, and teaches a preschool in her home twice a week. She is also the one I call with cooking questions, baby questions, and to quote lines from our favorite TV shows and movies.
Mindy Taylor (Midland, Michigan): is the wife of another one of Thomas’ best friends from the growing up years. She is smart, she is compassionate, and she is a lover of her son and husband. She is adjusting to the cold Michigan climate and impresses me with stories of shoveling heavy snow off her driveway on frigid winter days when her almost-doctor husband is away working.
Becca (Davis) Jones (Pocatello, Idaho): is the reason I look back on my time in Rexburg with a wistful sigh of contentment. She and I were instant soul mates and her family was my home away from home. We spent many a weekend in Idaho Falls eating her parent’s food and doing our laundry and on the week days she showed me how to be a good student, how to see humor in everything, and introduced me to some seriously cool music.
Jaime Prigmore (San Diego, California): is a very endearing person. I say this because she is not afraid to not only share her shortcomings with anyone, but see humor in them too. I admire this about her because it makes everyone feel at ease and like they know her really well (even though she claims to be anti-social sometimes). She is a lover of animals, Disneyland, her husband and son, and Hawaii. She is also the person who got me my job at NSMH and I don’t hold it against her… haha. ☺
Megan (Olson) Walton (Arlington, Virginia): is my dear cousin-in-law (Thomas’ cousin) who just so happens to also be one of my best friends. She is moving to Buenos Aires, Argentina very soon to pursue an International Career and perhaps also start a family… some people seriously do it all and live the dream! I am grateful for Megan and her example to me in the newsroom, her perseverance in running some marathons, in the affection she shows for her husband, and her religious strength.
Diana Palmer (Boise, Idaho): is who I affectionately refer to as “my bestie.” I think my friends around Hawaii must be tired of hearing me refer to her in such tones of adoration and reverence. ☺ She is a beautiful person in every way. She is a talented photographer and a true artist, she is compassionate and soothing, she makes people feel interesting and valid, she is an in tuned mother of two girls and romantic, passionate wife to Martin (another “Bestie”), and she is a runner, vegetarian, music lover, M&M and popcorn consumer, and someone I hope to call my best of the best for…forever.
Matti Parker (Hauula, Hawaii): is a free spirit who has her own way of doing things and her own way of making everyone feel at ease. She can be the life of the party and an understanding listening ear all in the same day. She has taught me a lot of on the fly recipes that are not only healthy, but delicious. She can create a fun day without spending a lot of money. She can claim to be feeling fat and/or not be wearing any makeup and still look prettier than anyone in the room.
Jenny Robertson (Kansas City, Missouri): is my sister-in-law who seems to do it all. I was really hoping she would be a part of this book since I have sampled her cooking on several occasions and never once been disappointed. She homeschools four children and leads several homeschool group activities and clubs. She is easy to talk to and fun to be around. I am always impressed by the things her family is doing and how they all seem to be good friends who are excited about life and learning.
Emily (Warr) Patterson (Athens, Ohio): is a friend from growing up years in Bakersfield who I always looked up to as someone who was well-known and well-liked, but also did what was right. She was my roommate at BYU-Idaho until she got married and even asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding. Since that lovely day she has had two boys, embarked on a career as a dental hygienist, and moved to Ohio where her husband is pursuing more and more education. They are great examples to me in so many ways
Lorraine Olson (Layton, Utah): is my grandma-in law and a woman who I would list as a life-line if I were ever on go on the show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire.” She is so knowledgeable about so many subjects, but is also wise and matter-of-fact about her knowledge. She is a fabulous cook, a great reader, a source of spiritual inspiration to her family, and a loving grandmother. We love our visits to Layton because we are always so well taken care of.
Chrissy Roecker (Fletcher, Oklahoma): is my cousin Jacob’s wife. She is a mother of three, she is a maker of barrettes, quilts, and several other crafts. She is a hard worker and a woman who can handle it all. When Jake is away for long periods of time due to military responsibilities, she holds down the fort and takes care of home and family- very impressive indeed.
Ashley (Hawkins) Jones (Orem, Utah): is my sister who is third in line and closest in age to me. She is sassy, but kind hearted. She was married this year and we are all loving her in this new role since she is trying her hand at so many new things that we have never known her to be interested in before. She is a hard and smart worker and has read more books than anyone I have ever met. She is a close friend to me and a great Aunt to all the grandkids in the family.
Linda Robertson (Laie, Hawaii): is my very own mother-in-law! She is considered quiet by many, but I know her as a woman who has a lot to say about so many things I want to know more about. She is a great source of knowledge, compassion, help, and support to me. I know I am lucky to live so close to such a trusted babysitter and friend to Ambrose. Several times when I have thanked her for watching Ambrose she has made my heart happy by telling me that, “it was a joy!”
Stephanie (Hawkins) Robertson (Hauula, Hawaii): is the crazy person who nagged you to be a part of this recipe book. I am grateful for you and the chance to do this book. I am a lover of Thomas, Ambrose, the growing baby inside of me and any future children, creativity in any form, music, the LDS church and the happiness and peace I feel by being a member of said church, my association with all of you, good food and great tried and true recipes, and my family past and present for being loving, true, steadfast, humorous, and fun.
Shauna White (Beaumont, Texas): is another sister-in-law who impresses me with her ability to keep it all together through several moves, while raising six children, and through her efforts to ease her daughter into a new lifestyle as a person with diabetes. She is creative, fun, and honest. She has good times and bad and keeps a good attitude through it all. She is good at keeping in touch with extended family and making everyone feel like she cares.