How The Sticky Kitchen has changed my life…
I serendipitously met Alison Cooper in September 2011. I had completely relied on leftovers, convenience choices and the mercy of others, primarily my husband, to get food on the table. He will concur that in eight years of marriage, I cooked him dinner only three times, and twice it was meatloaf (the kind covered in ketchup). People who know me will not believe the transformation that I have undergone to embrace cooking healthy, inspired and delicious meals for my family!
I am a busy Family Physician who practices maternity care and believes deeply in the value of nutrition and healthy lifestyle for my patients. I am a triathlete and most importantly a mother to three active children. My mom is an incredible cook, and my parents raised my siblings and I on a farm with delicious homemade meals, garden vegetables, organic meats and a love of healthy, natural foods. Despite all of these extremely good reasons to cook well myself, cooking never became a priority for me, and organizing meals was a constant source of stress. Even though I have always wanted to eat healthy meals, and especially since having children, I wasn’t sure where to start to learn how to cook, plan meals or carve out the time embrace an entirely new set of skills. Then, one day after dropping off our kids at school, Alison offered to teach me how to cook by testing her recipes for The Sticky Kitchen. Alison’s delicious recipes are coupled with meal plans that foster cooking together with others, which makes cooking fun, promotes staying connected with friends and loved ones, and invites children to participate in making meals.
Cooking with Alison easily became a regularly scheduled event in the calendar: I needed to make dinner and the kids love to get together to play or cook with us. We take turns hosting and getting the groceries and then cook while the kids play together after school. We engage the kids to cook with us, and share in their delight at having helped make dinner. Indebted to Alison’s ideas, creativity and talent, I am now proudly regularly cooking for our household and am thrilled to be living a more healthy lifestyle myself.
Alison Cooper is a passionate and inspired chef whose recipes are accessible to both novice and experienced meal makers. She is also a busy mom of three active children and really embraces the importance of eating healthy meals together as a family. Alison is the co-founder of Fitgirls, a health, fitness and wellness club for girls. The inspiration for this blog comes from Fitgirls in the Kitchen a summer camp. Alison’s recipes are designed to give people a social connection while getting dinner on the table – it’s fun to cook with a few friends! And getting kids involved teaches them healthy values around food, skills for cooking and having a healthy lifestyle.
In an era of busy schedules, convenience foods, mass food production, sedentary lifestyles, high fat, high sugar and high salt foods, fad diets, overwhelming food marketing and pesticides, it’s important simplify things by bringing healthy eating back to your home with Alison Cooper’s recipes. These yummy recipes and preparation tips will guide you to get together with a few friends in the kitchen, connect, enjoy, create and bring healthy delicious meal
Laura from Etobicoke:
“Cooking with friends is a great way to stay connected with each other while enjoying one of the greatest pleasures of life – good food! Alison’s recipes allow people to divvy up the work easily while pragmatically solving the problem most of us have in cooking large amounts with only four burners on the stove. Most importantly, the food is delicious. I highly recommend Alison’s cooking style – cooking great food with friends. “
“I cook with my neighbour once a week to prepare family meals and Alison’s recipes have become some of our favourites. The kids love Kung Pao Chicken and Greek Chicken on the BBQ. I have made Meatball Quinoa Soup–a great way to use up leftover meatballs when cleaning out the freezer! Cinnamon Granola is a house favourite. Keep up the great recipes Alison!”
”I’ve been cooking with Alison & 2 friends for almost a year, and it has been an awesome experience!! Our kids try new foods, I’m inspired to try new recipes regularly, and our afternoons of cooking together are always fun. I feel like we’ve returned to how cooking should be: enjoyable, healthy, and with friends!”
Alison has transformer me from an President choice/ M and M Meats instant meals to someone who understands the values of cooking good meals for health and learning it can be enjoyable and easy too.
Laura from Calgary:
“Thank you, Alison, for your fantastic recipes and community style cooking inspiration. I’ve enjoyed cooking in groups, with my family, and flying solo. What I like about cooking with friends, is the opportunity to catch-up while preparing a delicious dinner…and, you can enjoy a coffee (or some other lovely beverage) at the same time. Great way to multi-task, in busy times. Keep the inspiration flowing. ”
The cooking events are all special memories doing something I am not particularly good at nor do I usually enjoy. Alison has made cooking FUN!
Probably the best thing Alison has taught me is to make extra and when. My left overs become new meals when I cook extra Greek Chicken to use the next day in a Pasta. It sound simple but it works so well and saves me stressing the next day when I come home for work.
Jane from Toronto:
The most important lesson I have taken away from years of cooking with Alison is to – PLAN YOUR MEALS. It saves my family money because I don’t waste as much food and we enjoy the food we are eating. Dinner does not feel slapped together when I am following The Sticky Kitchen recipes.
If you can, do have Alison come and organize your kitchen and write a list of basics you should always have on hand. My spice drawer was a mess and Alison told me so. It is so much better to have spices with taste and the necessary ones on hand for all those great recipes.
I can’t wait to host a cooking party in the fall. I think it will become a monthly event to learn more about cooking while enjoying time with friends. Instead of meeting friends for dinner out; the community cooking idea has so much more value.