About

Who Is Andrea?

Andrea MeyersI’m a wife, mom, grad student, educator, photographer, avid cook, and gardener writing about my adventures in the kitchen and garden with my husband and three hungry boys in the Northern Virginia/DC Metro area. In my education career I have worked as an e-learning instructional designer, trainer, and teacher.

Awards and Media

In 2010 I was thrilled to learn that Babble.com include me in their list of the 50 Best Mom Food Bloggers.

I was incredibly honored to have my blog (then Andrea’s Recipes) nominated as a finalist for the 2008 Food Blog Awards in the Family/Kids category. You can read more about how this blog has been mentioned in the media on the Media page.

2008 Food Blog Awards logo

Where Do the Recipes Come From?

The collection of recipes here is a mix of my original recipes, old family favorites, and other recipes that I have collected over the years. I’m not a professional cook, but food is one of my passions and I’m fortunate to come from a line of good Southern cooks. I spent eight years working overseas and had opportunities to travel around the world and sample local foods and collect a few recipes as I went. All these recipes are actually used in my kitchen on a regular basis and undergo careful scrutiny of family and friends, none of whom have any credentials other than the fact that they like to eat good food.

Andrea Meyers - Fresh Picked Tomatoes

If I know the source of a recipe, I give credit. That being said, some of the recipes have been in my collection for a long time and I may not have written down the source when I collected the recipe years ago, or the recipe came from my mother or grandmother who got it from a friend or another relative and the original source of the recipe has passed into legend. I do my best to give credit where credit is due.

Omnivore, Vegetarian, or Vegan?

We eat a varied diet, mostly vegetarian, though we do eat meat a couple times a week. When I feel it’s appropriate I cook vegan dishes for my family.

Spanish Rice with Shrimp, Artichokes, and Sofregit

Why Start a Cooking Blog?

I started putting my recipes in an (ugly) online archive when my husband and I were dividing time between homes in two different states for a couple years. I would get annoyed when I wanted to cook something and the cookbook or recipe was at the other house. So I started planning meals ahead and would add recipes to the archive that I planned to use the next time I was at “the other house.” My online recipe archive was born out of necessity, and it was a whole lot easier than schlepping my large cookbook collection back and forth. What started organically became a big project when I started collecting family recipes and adding them to the archive. But nothing was photographed and my notes about each recipe were very sparse or even nonexistent, and there was no search functionality. I just had to remember where everything was.

When my archive outgrew the static, hacked-together-in-a-few-minutes site it lived on, I decided to move everything to WordPress just to make it more manageable. WordPress has the MySQL/PHP back end already in place, which was very convenient. When I found WordPress, I was in the process of teaching myself MySQL so that I could create a searchable online recipes database, and I’m forever grateful to Ryan, Matt, and all the other good folks who give so much time and effort to making WP a great package.

The funny thing about this food blog hobby of mine is that I never intended to have a food blog, so you can imagine my surprise when I got my first comment. I was still a WordPress newbie and I didn’t even realize the comment was there! It never occurred to me that other people outside my family would visit the site, so that comment was an epiphany.

Some of the recipes that I first added to this blog are in a very rough state, i.e. no photos, etc. The style guide I’ve created for my recipe posts has evolved since I began the blog, so bear with me when you look at posts from the first year. As I get a chance to make the recipe again, I attempt to take a photo although conditions are not always ideal. I don’t like to keep everyone waiting while I shoot a dozen or more photos to choose from for publish, so it may take a while before some of those early posts are cleaned up.

Gardening and Grow Your Own

I’ve had edible gardens wherever I lived since 1997. Some were balcony gardens with a few containers of tomatoes and herbs, in some homes we had enough room to put in a raised bed or two, and now we have over 200 square feet of edible gardening space. We try to grow as much of our own food as possible, hence the inspiration for the blogging event Grow Your Own.

Andrea Meyers - Blueberries

[Updated November 2014.]

Comments

  1. Recipe says

    Mmmm, I know what you mean. I to am currently going throught the same thing ^_^. WordPress works good…

  2. says

    Andrea – I can associate with the ”being annoyed when the recipe was in the other house” thingy. I started my Estonian language online recipe collection in 2000 exactly for that reason – I was studying in Scotland, my then boyfriend was in Estonia, and got tired of me emailing him and asking to find a specific recipe & emailing it to me :) So he designed the software and I began adding recipes whenever I was at home. Now I”ve still got the recipe site, plus I started the English-language food blog 2 years ago, which I”m still enjoying enormously.

  3. Roy Huling says

    I was looking for how to make horseradis and came across your site. I love it, thanks, I added it to my favs and am in it all the time now.. Do I need to join this site or what ? need a nick and pass wrd ?
    Thanks again…..Roy

  4. says

    Pille, thanks for introducing yourself! I knew that there had to be other people out there like me, dividing time between two locations and trying to still cook what we love.

    Thanks, Roy, I’m glad you enjoyed the horseradish. No nicknames or passwords required! Everything on this blog is available without needing to join anything.

  5. Melissa Pasanen says

    thanks Andrea for the thoughtful test of our apple sauce and butter recipe (my kids don’t like anise either so sometimes I leave that out too) – hope you liked the cookbook! Melissa Pasanen, co-author of Cooking with Shelburne Farms

  6. Debbi Holley says

    I found your query about digital SLR’s on another site and wanted to invite you to another blogsite that may be helpful to you. Confessions of a pioneer woman is one of two sites penned by Ree (the other is The pioneer woman cooks) who loves to blog about living and raising her family on an Oklahoma cattle ranch, cooking, and photography. She has a link at the top of her page “my camera” where she tells about her camera and its features. She also blogs frequently about “how to’s” with her camera, lens’s and photoshop in lesson formats. Her writing style is wonderful, as she has a marvelous sense of humor, and really keeps it real. Hope this may be of some help to you. I have earmarked your site, as it is beautiful as well very very enjoyable. Keep on cooking and blogging!!!
    Debbi in East TX.

  7. says

    Hi! I just came across your blog and think it’s great!!
    I’m moving to the DC area next month. Even though I hate moving, I am looking forward to the AMAZING restaurants in the area!

  8. says

    Ooohhhhh, everything looks so delicious! I don’t know how I stumbled onto your site, but I’m so glad I did. This is one of the best cooking sites I’ve come across…and yes, I do read PW as well. Love her main site, but not a huge fan of the cooking site. Love this one!!! Can’t wait to try a few!
    :)

  9. says

    Hello Andre
    I started our blog about 8 months ago, following pressure to do so from friends. (2 years worth!) We’ve had so much fun sharing recipes and trying out new recipes, I can’t believe the time has flown so fast.
    i love your blog, you give an honest account of cooking as I hope we do, it what it all about.
    I too use WordPress & have been pleased with simplicity of it, (can’t cope with heavy in depth stuff at my age lol)
    keep it up!
    ;0)
    Lesley

  10. says

    Dear Andrea, I’m trying to find your email address to send you my submission for grow your own… but I don’t find it!

    Please help :D
    Thanks!

  11. says

    Hi there,

    Wanted to make sure you’d heard about the Bloggers for Good happy hour Thursday at O’Faolain’s in Sterling.

    Check out our Facebook group or BloggersforGood.org.

    Hope to see you there!

  12. Miguel says

    I just checked out your website on my Blackberry, it looks great, very similar to viewing it on my computer. Thanks for making it accessible this way! Cheers from Europe.

  13. tina fear says

    I found your site well looking for a half moon receipte . I live in upstate NY and my family loves these. It’s getting a little expensive buying these with family of 6. This will be helpful and my kids are going to love this

  14. Sherrey says

    I was looking for an iced coffee concentrate recipe for my coffee loving husband! Googled that and yours was the first place I hit. Not only did I find that recipe, I found one for blueberry butter (yummmmm) and also the sauteed squash recipe on your kids page. Buying fresh squash this morning for that one!

    We are Meyer, no S, but we assume that with five letters the same in our last names we are probably kin somewhere down the line, and all of our cooks are exceptional! By reading your recipes, so are you! Love your blog — keep up the good work!

  15. Sharon Welsh says

    Half Moon Cookies are a fave in our fam, but we don’t get them often as we live in Central Ohio. I’ve tried several recipes, but nothing has come close to the Rasmussen or Geddes Bakery cookies we grew up with. I’m really looking forward to trying these!
    We lived in Germany for six years, and bakeries there had a cookie called an “Amerikaner” that was a lemon version of a Half Moon. The cookie was the same size and consistancy, but was flavored with lemon, glazed and had the outline of a cowboy hat piped on top. It was the closest thing we could get to a Half Moon Cookie while living overseas. :-)