DSC_5229Living , loving, and laughing through life in Halifax, NS.  Born and raised in St. Stephen, NB a true east coast girl.  I am a wife, mother, friend, crafter, baker, plant-based cook, and decorator, who enjoys the artistic elements in all things.  I’ve been very blessed with wonderful family and friends who support me in all that I set out to accomplish.

For years, I have wanted to start a family cookbook/how to book for my two young adult children, Chelsea and Cameron.   Over the years I have taught them both some of our family’s favourite recipes, and basic household chores, how to’s and tips.  During the past years leading to my first blog post, I had many friends who encouraged me to start ‘The Handy Homemaker, so they could also refer to for ideas.

Technology has shown that even though I love my cookbooks and read them like novels, my children would probably rather go to their computer and search for a recipe than dig for that cookbook mom made.  There it was…. start a blog for my children.   An online reference,  a how to, and a cookbook that they will always be able to refer to for a recipe, an idea, and mainly a connection to home no matter where they should be.  The Handy Homemaker is dedicated to my daughter Chelsea and son Cameron.

I’ve baked for a very long time, starting at the young age of 4 with my Mom.  When I think of most of favourite childhood memories, they were usually in the kitchen.  Learning the basics of  cooking and baking made me smile.  My mother is quick to tell others that, I could make bread all by myself by the age of 9.  However, I still lean on my Mom’s memory, calling her in the midst of making bread for a measurement that my brain has somehow forgotten.  She was and is a great cook and baker who of course, learned from her Mother and Grandmother.  I feel blessed for the love of baking she planted in me at a very early age.

I was very interested in baking and decorating cakes when I was around 13.  At that time, my Aunt Pam (a very talented and crafty woman) was making decorative cakes for friends and neighbours from her home for their special occasions.  She agreed to teach me how to decorate cakes.  She had a cake decorating shop for a short while in which, I worked in my teenage years.  I will always be indebted to her for the time she spent teaching me her skills and love of all things crafty.  Over these 25+ years, I have made many cakes for birthday’s, weddings, and just for the pleasure of showing up with a cake, cupcakes or cookies for a friend or loved one.

Now that started it all, then along came Martha Stewart (of course).  I couldn’t wait to receive that magazine in the mail.  As a young new mom, we purchased a farm-house with lots of land.  Perfect for a growing family, with plenty of yard space for play, and a huge garden.  That property developed the first of many loves, laughs, and learning for me.  I developed many basic skills on home upkeep and repair, cooking, baking, sewing, decorating, crafting, gardening, and canning.  There were, I’m sure lots of other ideas that were planted because of the love for that property.

Feel free to wander around and use the recipes and ideas that I have found great success with.  I hope that my step by step instructions and pictures help guide you and provide an answer to the question that lead you here.

*If you have been following me from the beginning you may have noticed a change in the recipes that I post.  In 2013, I started research on plant-based nutrition for my mom.  After two years of research, I decided that I would try Whole Food Plant Based eating style for  my health.  After a year eating this way I decided to take the Plant Based Nutrition course that was developed by Dr. Colin T. Campbell, author of The China Study and Professor at Cornell University.  A few months after taking the course I got to meet Dr. Campbell after hearing him speak.  A truly remarkable man.  Thank you Dr. Campbell for your research.

I had no major illnesses but I was pre-diabetic (almost every member of my family on my moms side has diabetes), was having stomach and intestine pain that no tests could confirm what the issue was, and had issues going to the washroom for as long as I could remember.

Within weeks of starting this way of life, I felt so much better.  I stopped needing to eat gaviscon and anti-acids like candy, I no longer had bathroom issues, and I had so much energy.  I never felt like I needed a nap after a meal, never felt that “I ate that now I feel disgusting feeling” (Physically and emotionally)  It’s been over 3 years now following a WFPB (whole food plant based) no oil lifestyle.  My recipes reflect this way of eating.  If you find a recipe that may not fit, it might have just gotten overlooked.  I am slowly one by one trying to convert my old recipes to plant-based versions.  Good food with whole food ingredients.

Thanks for stopping by, come back soon

xo Mina