FLS reporter Katie Thisdell serves up news on local food finds, tales from home cooks and inspiration to help you have fun in your own kitchen.
Home Cooking with Donna Hetrick
Home Cooking is a regular feature on The Front Burner that offers a peek at how home cooks around the Fredericksburg area work in their kitchens. If you’d like to answer our questionnaire, download it here and return your responses to firstname.lastname@example.org with a digital photo of yourself, or pass it along to anyone you think would like to participate.
Tell us who you are and why you cook.
I am a clinical nutritionist, personal trainer and representative for Wildtree – a whole foods company. My children are all grown now but my main focus for years was to feed my children a varied and nutritionally dense diet. Now I cook because I love to eat!
Describe your cooking style in three words.
How did you learn to cook?
My mother was a whole foods cook before it became popular. She cooked everything from scratch and never, ever made anything from a box. We always had a garden and raised a variety of farm animals that were butchered.
I’ve had many over the years but of the moment it is The Primal Blueprint Cookbook by Mark Sisson.
What is one dish on your menu this week that you’re excited about?
Five Spice Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry
What is one thing that must be in your pantry at all times?
What one kitchen gadget could you not live without?
Oh…there are so many but the one I use the absolute most is the Magic Bullet.
It’s 6 p.m., the people in your household are hungry and you just walked in from work and need to get something satisfying on the table as soon as possible. What’s your favorite thing to whip up in this situation?
Wildtree’s Mexican Skillet meal which is filling & delicious and provides the perfect carb/protein ratio and is done and on the table in less than 20 minutes start to finish.
It’s a snowy Sunday, you’ve just done the grocery shopping and have the rest of the day to spend in the kitchen cooking a meal that will bring comfort. What’s for dinner?
My amazing Sweet & Spicy Crockpot Chili with gluten free mini corn muffins!
What is your favorite dish to make for pot-luck dinners?
I almost always take a large green salad loaded with roasted nuts, fresh fruit, dried fruit , goat or feta cheese & a homemade dressing or I will roast whatever vegetables are seasonal.
Do you have a favorite food source in the Fredericksburg region?
Purchasing food for my household weekly is like a part-time job!! I make weekly runs to Harvest Market in Spotsylvania County for amazing free range eggs and other organic staples, at least one stop at Bloom (which will soon become a Food Lion – boo hoo!) and a weekly run to Wegman’s. My favorite source for grass fed beef is Mount Vernon Farms from Sperryville and I get amazing chickens from a fellow member of a Whole Foods group I belong to. I’m also very fortunate to have a brother –in-law that keeps my freezer stocked with fresh venison.