About the Students

We don’t know if any of you have realized this yet, but we’re working with cookbooks and the community.

It’s okay. Take a moment to compose yourselves. It’s understandable to be shocked.

But seriously, with a topic such as this that drives us to examine the role of our university’s cookbook collection in the community, we feel that we would be remiss if we didn’t add a bit of ourselves into this project. You know, to hold true to the whole communal aspect of it all. We’ve spent weeks looking at differences between cookbooks within the collection, from commercial ones to ones more reflective of personal experiences, and more often than not we find ourselves comparing our discoveries to our own experiences growing up and cooking, both with our families and by ourselves.

And besides, isn’t the whole point of a project like this to engage with it?

So without further ado, here we are—the lives of the humble site runners/projecteers Dakota and Kinsey, as told through our own miniature cookbooks.

Though I’ve lived nowhere but North Carolina, my parents hail from New York, so the products of our kitchen have always been an interesting mix of the two cultures (though I only really realized it when I sat down with this project). Both of my parents cook, but not overwhelmingly frequently; I know that my mom isn’t a huge fan of it. (I feel you, Mom.) I do know, though, that all of us can admit that there are a few meals that just kind of click with us, and they’ve been staples of the household for a long time.

To put it quite frankly, I don’t know how families and friends operate if food isn’t a part of that relationship, because it has always been a part of mine. My dad’s family is rooted in the South, where food and family go hand in hand. My mother’s side of the family is enormous (she’s one of nine siblings), so when we all get together, there needs to be food-a lot of it. This abundance of food definitely impacted my life; I have trouble cooking for any group of people smaller than four or five, my first reaction to help others is  to feed them, and I will always volunteer to help cook or do dishes. It’s ingrained behavior stemming from a childhood of being in the kitchen. As soon as I was old enough to stir batter, Mom and Nana had me in the kitchen helping them bake. I learned to love all that goes into making food from the flour all over the counter to the dishes at the end.

For me too, it cooking isn’t just a woman thing, but an entire family thing. My Grandpa is one of the best cooks I know, even if he uses, to quote Nana, “every pan and pot in this house for one meal!” Dad and I also cook together whenever I go see him and that is a special kind of fun. We have staples that we eat, like eggs with cheese and sage sausage for breakfast or salmon with brown rice and creamed spinach for dinner. It’s a lot simpler than the kind of cooking that I do with Mom, but it is just as much fun. Plus, it’s only something we’ve started doing together in the past couple of years. I promise that the conversation between us about whether or not I possessed the culinary ability necessary to make a grilled cheese without burning down the house was hilarious.

The motto of my Nana’s house is “If you leave this house feeling hungry or unloved, you did something wrong.” Food, family, and friends go hand in hand. The recipes below are an amalgamation of various family recipes and ones I picked up from others. I hope you enjoy!


  • Pickle H’orderves: What are these you ask? The answer is quite simple really: pickles wrapped in cream cheese wrapped in dried beef and then sliced. I know, I know. These sound at best odd and at worst horrible, but the combination of flavors is really quite good. They’re always a party favorite at our house!
  • Quiche: Quiche is one of my favorite un-healthy healthy foods. Anything with that much heavy whipping cream in it can’t possible be the best thing for you, but the rest of it is pretty healthy and delicious. Plus, it’s great for people who are constantly on the go since it’s easy to transport and can be eaten warm or cold.
  • Baked Salmon with Red Onion and Pineapple: Baked salmon is one of the easiest dinners to prepare. Even large pieces of salmon don’t need more than about 15 minutes in a 400 degree oven to cook. The trick is finding different ways cook it. My go-to is lemon juice, garlic, and pepper, but this version is delicious and great for the summer!
  • Summer Pasta Toss: What I love about pasta tosses is their relative ease. Everything gets cooked and then everything gets tossed into one big pot. Tada! This toss is meant to be served room temperature and has lots of fun flavors to work with.
  • Hot Chocolate: As much as I love a good mug of tea on cold nights, some days you need to pull in the heavy hitters. This hot chocolate recipe began as your standard from scratch recipe, but evolved over this past fall into the decadent mess that it is. Caution! You don’t really need more than a regular’s mug worth of it.