About Nicole

Hi there!

I’m Nicole Cook. I am a Writer. Blogger. Photographer. Mother of 5. Social Media Junkie. Crafter. Frugal Gal.
I live in the St. Louis area in a crazy household with 5 teenagers. It is crazy, but it’s my crazy and I love it. You can find out more about that here.

St. Louis Food Writing

I became a food writer in 2003, shortly after I moved back to my hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. I was already working as a freelance writer focusing on topics such as frugal living, parenting and local St. Louis life.

Naturally food plays an important role in all three of those topics, so eventually I found myself writing about food, and then St. Louis/Midwestern Cuisine. Anyone for a Gooey Butter Cake, Pork Steaks or Toasted Ravioli?

Food Blogging

In 2004 I started a Frugal Living/Food blog to share my general love of food, recipes and family cooking, as well as to share tips on saving money on food, groceries, food preparation and kitchen products. Mostly because everyone in the world was looking for these same ideas. Plus, cooking from scratch is always cheaper and has many added benefits.

A year later, in 2005, Daily Dish Recipes was born and began on a free site (remnants of that site still exist) to keep my recipes and the frugal living separate as I expanded to other areas of Frugal Living.  In 2009, I made the switch to my own domain and purchased www.dailydishrecipes.com and have been building this site ever since.

Food Style

My style of cooking is simple, down home, feel good family food. I consider myself the Queen of Comfort Food. My recipes have not only a bit of Midwestern flair, but also a bit of a southern flair. My recipes come from a million different sources, sometimes its a family recipe, sometimes it’s something I got from a friend, sometimes I find a good pinterest recipe, I might scour my hundreds of cookbooks for something new and other times I don’t use any recipe at all, I just throw stuff together and call it a day. Recipes tend to take on a life of their own in my kitchen despite how they were originally written. My goal is to provide you with easy, made from scratch recipes so you can cook at home.

In 2006 I made the transition from cooking for 3 to cooking for 7. That was a pretty huge change. My food styles changed a little in that transition as I needed to explore recipes that 5 children who had different tastes would eat. One child is especially picky and has been challenging since the start. In fact, in 2006, she had never before eaten a Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich or a Cheeseburger. She was 11 years old. Can you imagine? That changed quickly.

I set out to make family meals that everyone loved and would keep coming back for more. Admittedly many of my recipes are not traditionally “healthy”. I cook with butter and shortening, we eat bacon often, and we have few Meatless Monday’s, know what I mean? But it’s always made from scratch, with mostly all natural ingredients and I try to use local when I can.

Grow Your Own Healthy Food

However, with that said, we have an herb garden as well as growing lots of veggies and some fruit.

2013 Garden Contains:
Herb Garden: Garlic, Onion, Chives, Parsley, Cilantro, Sweet Basil, Lemon Thyme, Lavender, Oregano,
Veggie Garden: Zucchini, Several Varieties of Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, Several Varieties of Squash, Two varieties of Eggplant, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Corn, Every color of peppers out there (green, orange, yellow, red, purple), jalapenos, banana peppers,
Fruit Garden: Strawberries, Blueberries, Grapes

There are plenty of dishes on my blog that utilize these vegetables and fruits, and we love them. Yes, even the picky eater who is now 19 and isn’t quite as picky anymore. There are plenty of healthy recipes found on this blog and I encourage you to modify any recipe that you can make healthier for your family – we do it too.

One of the key elements of my life is that all of my recipes have to be approved by hungry teenagers, which is what continues to guide my recipe creation. My hope is that someday, the time they’ve spent with me in the kitchen will be a tradition they want to carry on with their own children. I don’t expect any of them to start food blogging or recipe creating anytime real soon. (updated: My 16 year old daughter has started her own food blog, though she never updates anymore Brie’s Bites)

Thanks for visiting!

A very old 100 Things About Me thing that is so outdated it is not funny!