Welcome to Feasting at Home. I’m Sylvia Fountaine, chef and caterer, and this is where you will find healthy, seasonal recipes to inspire your own creativity in the kitchen.
If you are like most avid cooks you want to cook healthy, fresh, delicious meals made from scratch, that are plated as beautifully as restaurant dishes – but lack the time, energy and inspiration. You are intrigued by ethnic dishes, but are turned off by complicated processes and hard to find ingredients. For some, cooking has become a complicated chore, especially when trying to please different family member’s palates, and you end up having to make several different meals during dinner time. This can be exhausting and draining!
No wonder we end up buying the same old produce (regardless of the season) and cook the same old recipes over and over. Easy, predictable … but uninspired, and no fun!
Imagine that cooking not only feeds the belly, it feeds the soul. Imagine that time spent in the kitchen can actually energize you rather than deplete you. That cooking can become one of the most satisfying, creative pleasures you get to participate in everyday – a way to unwind after work and feel restored. And most of all, imagine feeling energized after a meal, because what you have created is not only made from wholesome, seasonal ingredients that will nourish your whole family, it’s a way to feed your creative spirit.
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.
Working in the food business for over 20 years, first at my former vegetarian restaurant Mizuna, and currently at my catering business, Feast, I’ve learned there’s nothing more nurturing you can give another human being, than a wholesome meal, made from scratch with love. But the surprising thing is – how satisfying it feels to BE the one making it.
The truth is, cooking saves me daily. It centers me, grounds me and brings me back to present. And when I’m here, I’m at my best. Even after catering big fancy events, on my days off, when I feel exhausted (catering is a very physical job) I find myself back in my home kitchen finding solace and comfort. Simply making a pot of soup or baking a loaf of bread can be so restorative and healing. I believe it’s because the act of cooking is creative. And creativity has this mysterious way of infusing our lives with energy and vibrancy. Especially during the hard times.
What inspires me most in the kitchen are fresh seasonal ingredients, grown in their own true season. I love going to farmers markets here at home in the Pacific Northwest and where ever I travel to. This is because fresh produce, grown closest to our proximity 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 it is picked at its peak. A peach tastes like a real peach. A tomato tastes like a real tomato. This is the foundation to creating delicious food – and starting here will immediately elevate your cooking.
That’s why the recipes you will find here are are grounded in the seasons and plant-inspired. We begin with “what is in season” and then build a meal around it. In spring this may be asparagus; in summer, juicy peaches or heirloom tomatoes; in fall, butternut squash, cauliflower or apples. 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.
Many recipes are ethnic-inspired, vegetarian, vegan, and yes, some have fish and meat. I grew up in 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. It really doesn’t take much 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, often with vegetarian and vegan options and ways of adapting them for mixed households. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe, even if the title doesn’t seem very “vegetarian” at first, there often will be a way to adapt.
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 friend brought over her 4 -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 go through periods of eating “cleanly” (see my Detox Page), I don’t judge or label foods as “good” or “bad”. Most of the time, I simply try to eat a lot of fresh produce and practice moderation with the rest, and yes, indulge when appropriate.
I always love hearing from you. I really appreciate those of you who have emailed me and told me 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!!!