Little Blue Hen started as a recipe journal as I challenged myself to prepare more complex and varied dishes during a spate of unemployment. As my skills and knowledge have grown I have been inspired by fresh, seasonal produce, whole foods, sustainable agriculture, and food policy. Surprised by the number of people who don’t know how to cook healthy food that tastes good I was motivated to become a certified holistic health coach. Click here to learn more about my health coaching.

While the archives are more varied, I like to focus on mainly vegetarian dishes with a small amount of fish. The majority of my produce comes from our share in a community supported agriculture (CSA) program. I try to use seasonal, local, and organic ingredients when possible. My current project is improving the nutrition of my favorite baked goods without sacrificing taste. I don’t aspire to make upscale restaurant dishes, I aspire to make good, nourishing, real food.

I love to get feedback and suggestions! I try to reply to questions left in comments, you can always send me an email, or message me on Twitter.

Hopefully this should clear up any burning questions you have.

Who the heck are you?

My name is Stacy. I grew up near Minneapolis, Minnesota, where I spent the majority of my life. In late 2009 my husband and I moved across the country to San Diego, California, where we are still adjusting to the warm, sunny weather.

What’s up with all the food?

I really like to eat. Eventually I decided that the easiest way to facilitate this was to make good food at home. When I first stopped eating meat I subsisted mainly on carbohydrates and had no idea how to feed myself a proper vegetarian diet. My mom always cooked (I don’t think I had a frozen pizza until high school) so I knew the basics, and through trying recipes from cookbooks, food magazines, and eventually blogs, learned more. All the recipes I have posted on the site are collected on the recipe index.

Do you actually eat all that stuff?

Yep. There are very few exceptions where I don’t taste something myself. Other than that, the food pauses for a photo op before it becomes my meal. None of it is sprayed or propped up or tricked out, just en route to the table.

Do you have any formal training?

I was a theater major in college. Cooking-wise, no. However, I do feed myself (and sometimes others) multiple times each day. I get a lot of practice. Most people have not been to culinary school but still need to eat, and I want to facilitate that. Easy/from a box or fancy/from a restaurant is a false dichotomy.

Nutrition-wise, I am currently enrolled in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a certified holistic health counselor. I’m currently taking clients at a reduced rate while I am still in school. Please email me or visit my coaching site for more information.

Disclaimer: I am not a licensed medical doctor or authority. Please be responsible: read labels and listen to your doctor or other specialist about specific dietary guidelines.

Where are all the recipes with bacon?

Sorry, no bacon here. I’ve been a vegetarian since junior high. In the last few years, I have started eating fish and seafood, so you will see some of that. My husband is an omnivore, but I do the vast majority of both the grocery shopping and the cooking around these parts and I stopped eating meat before I learned how to cook it.

What, are you some kind of hippie?

Nope, I love showering regularly. But as I learn more about food and agriculture in the United States, I make more of an effort to eat local, seasonal, organic or sustainable foods. You’ll notice very few processed ingredients in what I cook and bake. While I suggest using as many local, seasonal, organic, and sustainable foods as you can, I prefer informing over preaching and hope you come to a similar conclusion. As a member of a CSA farm I get a box of fresh produce every other week that I try to use up. A goal of mine is also to keep baking, but adapt recipes or ideas to use healthier ingredients.

You must have some fancy camera to take those pictures, huh?

Now I do. Up until this summer, I shot exclusively with a Canon PowerShot SD600, usually on the macro setting. A few snapshots still get posted from time to time. I recently upgraded to a DSLR, a Canon EOS Rebel T1i. I took two DSLR classes at the store where I bought it and read as much as I could about photography online. While I am enjoying learning more about photography, I make no claims whatsoever that I am a photographer. The lenses I own are a Tamron AF 90mm f/2.8, Tamron AF 18-200mm, and the trusty Canon EF 50mm f/1.8.

Do you get free stuff or money to write about products or companies?

Nope. Any kitchen gadgets, books, products, restaurants, or other topic that I write about is because I want to do so. If I do a giveaway, I purchased the item myself. However, if you follow a link to Amazon.com and order that linked item, I do get a tiny percentage of its cost. That amount of money, should I ever reach the threshold where they will give it to me, will mostly likely be invested into food that I will feature on the blog.

If you would like to send me an item for review, please contact me. There is no guarantee that I will endorse the use of it if I don’t like it, however.

Can I use your recipe/text/image/photo/etc?

The majority of my photos are actually licensed under the Creative Commons agreement, so you can use them so long as you attribute the work to me. I don’t get any money for it, I just want acknowledgment. All text is, unless otherwise specified, mine, and please ask permission before using it. I’m pretty good at sharing, but I get cranky when not credited for my time and hard work. Thank you.

What is the most effective method for giving you a piece of my mind?

I would love to hear what you think. The easiest way is to leave a comment, unless your comment is spammy, mean, or completely non-constructive. If you’re not adding to the conversation your comment will be deleted. If you don’t want to comment publicly, please send me an email or message me on Twitter.

How often do you update the site?

I don’t have a fixed posting schedule, but I try to have new content 3-5 times per week. The easiest ways to keep tabs on the site are by RSS feed such as Google Reader, on Facebook, or on Twitter. Or simply enter your email address in the box below to have updates delivered via email.

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Why are there no pictures of you?

Because I always end up behind the camera. Here is one of me with my sweetie:

a walk on the beach

Still perplexed? Please leave me a comment or send me an email: stacy@littlebluehen.com