This food blog, Two Kooks in the Kitchen, has two contributing authors – Cheryl and Jenna (mom and daughter) – that’s us.
We lead very different lives, we are at different stages in life and we both love creating, making and eating good food.
Through this blog, we are sharing simplified, adaptable, easy-to-follow and delicious recipes for all occasions that we hope will pique your interest and meet your needs.
We have been food blogging since 2016 and love sharing our recipes with you. Your wonderful feedback has encouraged us, warmed our hearts and given us some great suggestions.
Here are the kinds of recipes you will find on our site
Most importantly, we aim for recipes that taste delicious. We love to use fresh ingredients (but we do love convenience and shortcuts where possible). And we recognize that most people are busy and don’t want recipes with obscure ingredients and a zillion steps.
We hope that you will find a few recipes that you will love enough to add to your rotation. Almost all of them have variations that you can experiment with and tailor to your preferences.
Here’s what you can expect:
Well researched, tested and loved. You wouldn’t believe how many recipes don’t make the cut because they are just OK or simply not good enough. Cheryl puts her 40 years of research to good use!
Shortcuts wherever possible. We love shortcuts that are convenient and efficient as long as they don’t compromise taste.
Clear easy-to-follow instructions even for beginner cooks
Tailored to your taste, allowing for substitutions and variations based on what you love or what you have on hand. This is very important to us. And of course lots of vegetarian recipes (because that’s what Jenna is).
The least amount of steps possible. In fact, we LOVE recipes that can be made in 30 minutes or less or with minimal hands-on time.
Make ahead, especially when entertaining, to reduce stress and allow more time with guests. Every recipe has instructions for storing, make ahead and freezing (if applicable).
Variety of cooking methods like stove top, grilling, oven, no cook, sous vide and instant pot. In many recipes, we give you different options.
Nutritious. We love our treats, but on a day to day basis, we try to pack our meals with lots of good nutrition. You will see tons of baby spinach in our recipes for example!
Pretty on the plate. We love bold colors and beautiful-looking food. We are true believers in ‘we eat with our eyes’ and the important role that visual appeal plays in our enjoyment of food.
Beautiful pictures of the end result AND how we got there – so you know what to expect and hopefully get inspired.
About Us – The Two Kooks
Hi, I’m Cheryl Avrich
I’m a wife, mom, daughter, sister, grandmother, aunt, friend and avid cook for over 40 years. Born and raised in Montreal and now living just outside Toronto Canada.
Formerly a strategic planner in health care with a BSc and MBA, I am now on to new adventures – this blog (full time!), operating a volunteer lifelong learning program in my community, pickleball and… who knows what else down the road.
As a major food and research-lover, I’ve learned a great deal about cooking over the years from experience, books, videos, classes and experimentation. I am eager to share great recipes and tips. And new cooking methods like Sous Vide and the Instant Pot (well, not so new anymore).
I love planning and hosting dinner parties (I admit I’m a bit obsessive with the planning part). I love comfort foods, shortcuts that still taste great, recipes that get you from point A to B the fastest way possible and food that looks beautiful on the plate.
Together with my sisters, I wrote and published 2 editions of a family cookbook in honor of our mother who was a great inspiration to us in cooking and a lot more.
Jenna is my beautiful daughter who dreamed up this food blog for the two of us and presented me with this gift in December 2015.
Hi, I’m Jenna Avrich-Stevens
I have transformed from a girl who was once told by a nutritionist that I had a fear of food to an emerging foodie who collects cookbooks and spends weekends trying out new kitchen gadgets and recipes.
As a vegetarian since the age of 8, I have often had to dig a bit deeper to find amazing cuisine that accommodates my dietary preferences.
My favorite weekend activities include walking to farmers markets, a nice dinner out with my husband or friends and/or attending one of the many food festivals in Toronto. I also love to travel and explore the food scene in new cities/countries.
Through fundraising and participating in Cook for the Cure (which raises money for The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation), I have had the incredible opportunity to meet and cook with some amazing celebrity chefs including Marcus Samelsson, Elizabeth Falkner, Mark McEwan, Lynn Crawford, Vikram Vij, Corbin Tomaszeski, Susur Lee, and Ricardo.
I married in 2014 and continue to learn how to cook for someone who is used to eating meat at every meal. Fortunately, he’s enjoying a lot more vegetarian meals!
By the way, if you’re curious, here is how my mom reacted to me becoming a vegetarian at 8 years old. And another ‘by the way’, I’m a mom now!
Fun facts about us and Two Kooks
It’s Cheryl talking here. My mom/Jenna’s grandmother has always called me kooks (pronounced cooks) and I, too, call Jenna kooks (pronounced kooooks). And yes, a play on the word “cooks”! Jenna actually came up with the name when she created the blog for the two of us to work on together.
We do (most of the time). We are big fans of each other and bring different skills and experiences to the table. We respect each others’ opinions and, thankfully, have the same goals for the blog. And, we both love cooking and eating of course.
Do we annoy each other sometimes? Absolutely! Hey, we are mother and daughter!
Without question, it’s our super moist banana bread recipe (with a spoon). Based on the comments, readers absolutely love it.
Close behind are spicy honey lime chicken, foolproof Gordon Ramsay scrambled eggs, chicken gravy without drippings and Vietnamese grilled chicken.
We both love comfort foods and internationally-inspired foods. Jenna only eats vegetarian so we have lots of those on our site. Jenna also loves pasta (she married Italian!) and Cheryl loves sous vide cooking and grilling.