Cheryl and Jenna in kitchen

This 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 great recipes for all occasions that we hope will speak to your needs. 

Why “kooks”?  It’s Cheryl’s nickname (by her mom) and the same nickname she uses for Jenna (with a different pronunciation).  And yes, a play on the word “cooks”!

Cheryl and Jenna in kitchen

Here are the kind of recipes you will find on our site

Delicious recipes for the busy home cook for all occasions that aspire to the following features:

  • 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.
  • shortcuts wherever possible. We love shortcuts that are convenient, efficient and don’t compromise taste.
  • clear 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. And of course lots of vegetarian recipes (because that’s what Jenna is).
  • 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.
  • 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! And lots of vegetarian recipes
  • pretty on the plate. We love bold colors and beautiful looking food.

101’s on various topics like herbs, onions, cooking oils and salt. This series called Bare Essentials is just beginning. It essentially does the expert research for you and boils down the information into the ‘bare essentials’ of what you need to know.

Slice of Life posts – just life observations such as how Jenna became a vegetarian, what the first few months were like for her after having a baby (chaos), frustrations of a vegetarian, etc.

Reviews on Cookbooks and the occasional local food event.

 

About the Two Kooks

Hi, I’m Cheryl

Cheryl in kitchen in front of counter with food2

I’m a wife, mom, daughter, sister, grandmother, aunt, friend and avid cook for almost 40 years.

Formerly a strategic planner in health care, I have now taken the plunge to explore new adventures – this blog, photography, operating a boomer learning & enrichment program in my community and… who knows what else down the road.

As a major 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, short cuts 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’s 65th and 75th birthdays.

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

Jenna leaning on counter in kitchen

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 restrictions.

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!