Welcome to Feasting at Home! I’m Sylvia Fountaine, chef & caterer living in the Pacific Northwest and this is where you’ll find healthy delicious recipes to help inspire you in the kitchen.
If you are like most avid home cooks you want to serve simple, nutritious, and flavorful meals made from scratch, that are plated as beautifully as restaurant dishes – but perhaps lack the time, energy, or inspiration. You are intrigued by ethnic dishes, but are turned off by complicated processes or hard-to-find ingredients. For some, cooking has become a chore, especially when trying to please different family member’s palates (vegans, gluten-free and meat eaters – all living under the same roof) and you end up having to make several different meals during dinner time. This can be exhausting and draining. Let’s work on this together!
Working in the food business for over 20 years (first at my vegetarian restaurant, Mizuna, and currently at my catering business, Feast) I’ve learned there’s nothing more nourishing we can give ourselves and families than a wholesome meal, made from scratch with fresh, seasonal ingredients. It doesn’t have to be complicated or require hours of cooking.
You can create many of these healthy recipes in under 30 minutes! Let me show you how.
What inspires me most in the kitchen are fresh, seasonal ingredients, grown in their own true season. This is because fresh local produce has the BEST flavor. It doesn’t have to travel, so it’s allowed more time to ripen on the tree or vine just a little bit longer – then picked at its peak. A peach tastes like a real peach. A tomato tastes like a tomato. Not only will the end result taste better, it’s a beautiful way to embrace and celebrate the seasons and cycles of the earth. It’s a very grounding way of cooking and being. This is the foundation to creating delicious food – and starting here will immediately elevate your cooking.
Many recipes are ethnic-inspired, vegetarian, vegan, and yes, some have fish and meat. I grew up in a Finnish-Egyptian household, both parents right “off the boat.” They were very frugal when it came to meals. But through their frugality, I learned that the humblest of ingredients could be turned into a feast with a little creativity. Even though I had a vegetarian restaurant for 10 years, I’m not strictly vegetarian, and I’m married to a wonderful carnivore, Brian. So I share these recipes here, as well, with vegetarian and vegan options and ways of adapting them for mixed households. For more of these kinds of recipes – go to the “adaptable” category.
Granted, there are days like Sundays, when I enjoy spending time in the kitchen putzing around while something slow roasts in the oven for hours – and you’ll find those recipes here too, because they are nourishing on a soul level. Cooking, if we allow it, can center and ground us, and bring us back to present moment. Even after catering big fancy events, on my days off, when I feel exhausted, I find myself back in my home kitchen finding comfort. Simply making a pot of soup or baking a loaf of bread can be incredibly restorative and healing.
AND YES, occasionally I’ll throw in recipes that may not seem very “healthy” on the surface, but I’ve found that there are times in one’s life when decadence and comfort food is not only reasonable, it’s necessary. When my mother passed away several years ago, a good friend brought over her Four-Cheese Macaroni and Cheese. To this day, I believe that was the most healing, nurturing thing I could have put into my body at the time and I have never ever forgotten it. Though I try to eat relatively “cleanly” (see my Detox Page), I don’t judge or label foods as “good” or “bad.” I don’t moralize food, or my choices. Most of the time, I just try to cook simply, using a lot of fresh, healthy produce. And yes, I allow myself indulgences (in moderation).
I always love hearing from you. I really appreciate those of you who have emailed me and told me a little of your story. It makes this whole thing feel more “real.” I want to hear what your challenges are in the kitchen, or what new magnificent things you are creating, or simply tell me one thing you want to learn how to cook this year. Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or simply hit “reply” when you get your weekly email. It’s always nice to know who’s on the other end of this.
I’m so excited to have you be a part of our community!!!
Cooking is something most of us have to do every day – why not shift it from being a chore, into the being the one creative act that fulfills us daily.
“I found you online 18-24 months ago and I love, love, love all the recipes I have tried so far and my husband can’t be happier. My husband and our guests thank you over and over. Who thought I would get goosebumps from reading your recipes! P.S. I’m 71 years old and never enjoyed cooking until I found you! Love at the first recipe❤️”
“My name is Caroline, and as I had some guests this morning for a picnic and some other guests this evening for supper, I decided to make your recipes. Thank you for giving your recipes life and bringing your creations out into the world! They bring back a new-found joy for cooking and I feel extremely inspired to try out many more and come up with new ideas myself. May you keep on inspiring others along with you. You surely did with me.”
When you join FEASTING AT HOME you’ll learn simple, approachable ways to create healthy time-saving meals for the whole family, while elevating your flavors and boosting your creativity in the kitchen. You’ll begin to love cooking again and feel inspired and excited.