As a mid-western farm girl from Kansas, I grew up on fresh, homemade food. So when I turned 18 and moved to the city, I discovered, after just a few restaurant meals, how much more satisfying (and cheaper!) meals could be if I made them myself. And no matter who I was cooking for, I found that when I chose the freshest and most colorful ingredients, my dishes were not only healthy and fresh, but I believe they tasted better than any restaurant meal ever could!
When I bought the Mauger Estate B&B, I went overnight from making meals for my family and friends to creating breakfasts for large groups of strangers with a variety of needs and tastes. As the owner of the B&B, it is important to me to offer both quality and value to my guests, and breakfast is no exception! I made the decision early on that while I couldn’t afford to buy organic or locally grown food, I could buy fresh, and the freshness and flavor of these breakfasts are now a hallmark of my B&B, and it is one of the main reasons guests return for another stay.
If you love the idea of making and eating homemade meals, start by following a simple recipe that allows you to buy whatever fresh ingredients are available to you locally. When I’m cooking small quantities at home, I use locally grown and organic foods from the farmer’s market. For the B&B, I usually find large quantities at Costco, and buy smaller quantities at Sprouts, both provide good quality at a reasonable price. I also make sweet bread, muffin batters and cookie dough from scratch, and refrigerate them or freeze them so that I can make them fresh anytime in small quantities.
Other ideas for healthy, fresh and homemade meals using organic and locally grown food include homemade pizzas, homemade baked sweet potato fries, homemade quiche, and homemade tacos (use fresh soft corn tortillas), and you can delight in eating an inexpensive and TASTY meal! Even if you have a craving for something that isn’t so healthy (like nachos!), if you make it yourself, it will be so much more flavorful and healthier than going to a bar or restaurant. I’ve found that baked flour tortillas make a great substitute for fried corn tortilla chips, and I use chicken instead of beef. Other favorite substitutions include whole black beans instead of refried beans, and fresh jalapenos instead of canned. Once you get started, you’ll become so creative with your cooking, and you’ll always feel better about knowing exactly what you’re eating, where it came from, and how good it is for you!