Hi! This is me (Becca), my husband Rich, and our two kids Tessa and Leo. Sometimes it’s nice to put a face to name, so there you go.
I was a high school family and consumer science (used to be called Home Economics – hence the blog’s name) teacher for fiveÂ years in the Radnor School District and my brother-in-law actually gifted me with this website for a Christmas present (he even named it). I would post our class recipes so that the students could refer to them as needed. I have since decided to stay home with my kids and work on a more part time basis, so the blog transitioned to my own, West Chester kitchen.
Twice a month I post on the Be Well Philly website for Philadelphia Magazine (you’ll find my healthiest recipes). Just click here to see those! I also write monthly for a local magazine called the West Chester Press (as their food columnist, obviously).
Finally – a fewÂ years ago I won a televised bakingÂ competition! It was on the Live Well Network (ABC affiliate). Here is the link to the show!Â
A little bit about the way I like to cook and eatâ€¦
- A majority of the recipes we did in class I’dÂ created to educate teenagers whilst not being so gourmet that they wouldn’tÂ eat or want to recreate what they made. This has affected ALL the recipes I make now.
- My husband and I are both healthy eaters, so the things I make for just us will always be light. However, I am a firm believer in that when you entertain, your guests arenâ€™t interested in saving calories. Life is too short to be good all the time, right?
- I try to buy my veggies and fruit as in-season and local as possible, and I also enjoy saving money on my grocery bills. I will suggest ways to do this. As for meat, I don’t like the way meat is produced in our country. As organic can beÂ pricey, I end up cooking sans meat a few times per week.
- Most of the time when I bake, I do it “for real”. No splenda, no applesauce for oil. I don’t eat baked goods on a daily basis, but when I do I want the real thing. Now that kids are in the picture, I will post a few recipes that are “healthified”, but still not fake.
Wondering why the blogs tag-line is â€œRead your recipeâ€? When settingÂ this thing upÂ my husband asked me â€œwhat do you say the most in the kitchens at work?â€. Without thinking I replied â€œREAD YOUR RECIPE!â€ I believe that ANYONE can be a good cook if they understand the basics of measurement and recipe reading. I’ll do my best to explain these basics as I go along.
The Bottom Line
1. Find a great recipe
2. Make sure you have all ingredients and utensils outlined in the recipe.
3. FOLLOW the recipe. Easy!
I’d love to answer questions you might have. Ever wonder what the difference is between baking powder and baking soda? Or light and brown sugar? What IS tapioca, exactly? Just leave a comment with your question and I’ll answer them as simply as possible!
50 thoughts on “Becca”
Does this mean you are up and running?
Congrats and keep those recipes coming.
Yay!! It looks GREAT!! Can’t wait to cook my way through this site!! Love ya lots! 🙂
Love the new website!! Keep the inpiration and fantastic recipes coming!!!
This looks great, Becca! I was looking back at the green bean casserole– I have a ton of mushrooms, and I was thinking of just doing the mushroom part of the recipe and adding some more milk/water to make like a mushroom soup. Yum! Will probably do it tomorrow, will let you know how it turns out! 🙂
ps. LOVE the graphic for the website name. Looks awesome!
YES Char let me know!!!
I feel like i’m writing to Dear Abby, so here goes…
I am cooking an italian themed dinner at church for app. 300 people and i need to keep it as inexpensive -and easy- as possible. We are going to do spaghetti and MBs of course, and buttered pasta for kids who won’t eat red sauce, but i need another main dish, preferably with chicken. A casserole type thingie would be perfect since i can stick them in the oven and use the stoves for the spaghetti. I need to start advertizing the menu in a week, so a fast reply would be greatly appreciated!
Worried in Media ( aka Jaye)
Hi Jaye! I’ve got a great idea. Growing up my mom used to make sausage and peppers, but she’d usually add in chicken thighs/breasts/drumsticks as well as onions and red skin potatoes. Basically, chop up a bunch of green, yellow, and red bell peppers along with sweet onions and red skin potatoes. In a large bowl (or right in the large aluminum tins you will bake them in) add chopped sweet and hot Italian sausages along with chicken (thighs and drumsticks will be the least expensive). Toss with A LOT of olive oil, a lot of kosher salt, black pepper and tons of garlic. Roast at about 400 degrees until the peppers and potatoes are tender and the meat is cooked through. Yum! Let me know how it turns out!
Your website looks wonderful. It’s inspired me to try a few new things this week! Best of luck and we’d love
to meet that new little girl!
Thanks Diane! Glad to hear it!! Hope to see you soon!
Great site. A mutual friend suggested it to me. I made your mac and cheese the other day and am looking forward to many more recipes.
Would you add a “search” button to your site? Even into the archived areas, etc?
Hi Sheryl! I will totally look into that! I haven’t the slightest idea how to do it right now but I will figure it out… great thinking. Thanks!
I LOVE your site! Totally right up my alley. I completely agree with what you say about anyone can be a good cook if you read your recipe! Honestly, you tease us with the questions aboug baking soda/powder, light/brown sugar, and SERIOUSLY I ask ALL THE TIME what is tapioca!? So…what’s the deal? And why do all baked goods have a little bit of salt in them?
Hi Kim! Few quick answers.. baking powder IS baking soda, but it has the addition of a powdered acid. Baking powder will rise on contact with water, while baking soda needs an acidic ingredient (like buttermilk or lemon juice) as well as liquid to rise. Brown sugar has more molasses than light brown sugar. All baked goods have salt because salt pronounces flavor (if you salt watermelon, it would taste more watermelon-y). Tapioca is a substance manufactured from the cassava root – can be pearled or flaked, or ground and is used as a thickening agent. So glad you like the site!
Love the carrot cake post, and Dad’s smile in front of
the cake says it all (tho the 6 Grandbabies are pretty
sweet, too!) xo
Becca! I love your blog! I found it from a link Emily posted on the be well philly page about your granola! Love reading your posts and I love to cook too (must be in our Italian genes:) and the recipes look great! I think I am going to do the Pumpkin Biscottu first:) keep them coming!
Hi Lauren! It’s been a long time! Let me know how you like the biscotti (and since you like to cook, too, shoot me some fave recipes of yours!) Hope all is well with you!!!
I stumbled onto your blog through Pinterest, of course lol, and I love it so far. I loved foods class in high school and kept all of the recipes, I still use them all the time.
We share the same philosophy about cooking. Whenever someone is super impressed by something I made and asked me how I did it, I just say I read and followed the recipe.
I look forward to following your blog, thanks for sharing your knowledge!
Alyssa – love that! It’s so true, anyone can cook once they crack the “recipe code” so to speak. Thanks so much for following the blog – I love feedback/suggestions so since we cook similarly, share away!
Love your blog!!! Stumbled across it through Pinterest. Great recipes!!!
Thanks Susan! That makes me so happy!
Found you on Pinterest and miss you at work… hope all is well.. love at the holidays!! Hope to see you sometime…
Amy – miss you too! Love to your fam and everyone at work. Back at the end of January so I’m very much enjoying my last few weeks off with Tess… hope to see you soon, call me if you’re up by me!
This is Ibis, Zoes mom. I love your blog and your recipes!!!
Its been cool to see it evolving since the first days! Thank you.
Zoe says Hi!
Hi Ibis! Thanks so much! I am so glad you read it 🙂 Tell Zoe I say hi and miss her! I am at RMS now if you’re nearby!
I just stumbled upon your website, and I am loving it right now!! I’m planning all of my week’s meals with your recipes. Thanks!!!
Thanks, Jessica! Love that! Let me know how they go… happy cooking 🙂
I saw the post for your high protein granola on Philly Be Well and was wondering if it would be okay to use light butter? I’m not afraid to use regular but I would prefer to lower the fat if possible.
I’m glad that the post showed up because it took me to your blog. Your recipes look wonderful and I’m looking forward to trying many of them.
Hi Naomi! Glad you like the blog! Definitely try the recipe with light butter – I don’t think it will change things too dramatically. Let me know! Becca
Love the you posted the date, peanut butter and coconut
snack…your great grandmother Lillian Dean Jackson used
them as a ‘healthy’ dessert choice along with traditional desserts on holidays…thanks for keeping the recipe going
like so many others on this post! food is love, right? Love you!
What a lovely website, the pictures are so pretty and the recipes look manageable yet amazing!
thanks for sharing this!
Jaione – what a nice thing to say! Thank you so much! I hope you enjoy some happy baking/cooking experiences from these recipes and remember, I LOVE feedback!
I found your site on Philly Be Well! I am so glad. Blessings to you and your family, C-Marie
You already know the Girton girls think you are a homebeccamonics rock star!! But, wanted you to know we think your blog is really user friendly and your enthusiasm is catchy. Darrin and I have been part of a dinner group for almost 20 years and once a year we host. Meg has been helping us since she was little. Although we didn’t have her help in the kitchen this time she forwarded some recipes to try(she knows I often fly by seat of my pants without a plan). I did try two of your recipes and they were a huge hit. The roasted tomato crostini with balsamic drizzle-yum, and the honey salt pie was a strong finish! As life got away from me that day, I ended up making the pie while our guests were having appetizers so it was fresh out of the oven for dessert( I added a sea salt sprinkle/garnish to the unsweetened whipped cream too). Thanks for the great ideas. Hope all the Boyds are well and happy.
Hi Clare!!! What an amazing message to receive! I love the Girtons and miss getting to see Meg regularly – how is she doing in college? I love LOVE that you tried some homebeccanomics recipes and that they turned out well! Boyds are happy and well and expecting a new little Boyd on June 4th! Thank you again for the hello and I wish the family well! xo Becca
I have been a baking fool since I started following your blog. I have made some of your desserts and they turned out really really good. Your recipies work. I was wondering if you made these up yourself or if you take them from a different source? I even tweak some of the recipies with Greek yogurt and they turn out super good. Thanks again and keep at it!
Hi Kimberly! Thank you so much for commenting… that was so sweet of you to take a minute to give me feedback! If I make up a recipe I won’t list a source – sometimes I will say “adapted from” or “slightly adapted from” if I use a recipe but change a few things. If I change three or more ingredients and rewrite the directions in my own words, I won’t list a source. I trust America’s Test Kitchen as my number 1 source and I also read through the comments on Epicurious.com as I’ve found that to be a great source. Let me know which recipes you’ve subbed the Greek yogurt for or put a comment under that recipe – I’m sure any other readers (and myself!) would love your insight in how to “healthify” a recipe!
Thanks, Debbie!!!! Made my day!!
I love your website Becca! I go here to find yummy things to make before anywhere else 🙂
Hey Kristin! Can’t tell you how HAPPY that makes me! That’s awesome! Thanks so much! Let me know if you have any questions or if a recipe doesn’t work out so I can tweak it 🙂 Hope all is well!
Iâ€™d like to bake your almond flour banana bread but only have almond meal on hand. Will this work or should I use gf flour? Also, can I substitute half the honey for maple syrup?
p.s. I hope you are all holding up ok in this challenging season!
Hi Mary! Almond meal will make a coarser bread since it’s ground almonds vs the almond flour which is blanched almonds that are very finely ground. I think if you put your meal in a food processor for about a minute it will at least make a finer grind. Let me know!
Just tried your lemon bars. They are great! It was easy to do. One small suggestion is to have all your filling ingredients in the pan ready to thicken before you put shortbread in oven. It takes longer to put together and thicken the the time to bake shortbread. That way it is thickened and ready to put on top of hot shortbread. I will surely use your website again
Yes thank you! Great suggestion!
Hi itâ€™s me, Alaina Shuler! Tonight we had your â€œslow cooked BBQ chicken with Avocado apple slaw with the sweet potato fries.â€ It was SO GOOD!!!! Canâ€™t wait to check out more recipes!
Hi Alaina 🙂 This makes me super happy! Keep up the cooking!
I kinda stumbled across your website while looking for a recipe, which I totally forgot about after I started browsing. Your recipes look so good and I can’t wait to try some. But wow, what a well designed website! Most are poorly designed and have intrusive ads and novel length intros. Your blurbs are descriptive but short and everything just looks so nice.
Best of all, you have a print friendly plug in. *Chef’s kiss*
Sherri – so nice to say! My site is probably less annoying because I make no money off it haha! I just like having all my recipes in one place. Hope you find some you like!