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I’m Shaina Olmanson, the home cook and photographer behind Food for My Family. I fell in love with the art of cooking while spending countless hours hanging on my Yugoslavian-born grandmother’s apron strings, watching her roast meats, simmer sauces and bake elegant treats. I made my first cake from scratch using my mom’s cookbook when I was 6 years old and haven’t stopped cooking since.

Working from home as a freelance writer, editor and photographer and raising my four young kids with my husband Ole, I strive to teach them the importance of growing, preparing and eating real food. A native Minnesotan, growing up surrounded by farms served as a daily reminder of the importance of local and seasonal food. Should you be lucky enough to live close, I believe the best kind of gift is one that fills you up.

I can usually be found in one of three places: cooking, at the computer or behind the camera. More often than not, these three things occur in the kitchen simultaneously, only now it’s my apron strings that have kids hanging from them.

About Food for My Family:

Feeding a family isn’t the easiest thing to do. From dating to marriage, birth to college, allergies to preferences, affordability to quality, processed to organically grown, there are choices and decisions that have to be made along the way. Food is all about choices, and there are plenty to make, especially when other people are involved. We’re a busy family of six, wading through the process, trying to eat right and enjoy our food while still saving money and time.

What you’ll find here:

Our Favorite Recipes
From my grandma’s Christmas cookies to authentic enchiladas, you’ll find them here. I love recipes, but I can’t help but make changes to ones I find. I am constantly tweaking recipes online or that are given to me to figure out what I think works best for us.

Menu Planning
It’s a look at your week (and ours) with room for spontaneity. Embrace spontaneous combustion.

One Deal, Five Meals
How to save money when you find a deal you just can’t pass on. Like a $3.00 turkey after Thanksgiving. This is how you take that price cut turkey and turn it into five different meals that you’ll enjoy eating without getting so tired of turkey that you throw the last third of it in the garbage. (You would never do that, would you?)

The Kitchen Sink
Money-saving tips, cooking techniques, random facts, timesaving secrets, dining out on a dime, product reviews of my favorite things: they’re all in here.

Make-Ahead Meals
There are days when cooking a meal isn’t going to happen. Things come up; there are places to be – whatever the reason, having a meal you can pull out of the freezer and stick in the oven saves you from spending unnecessarily on fast food restaurants, pizza delivery and takeout.

From the Patio
Ole takes you all around the outdoor eating arena, from grilling in the winter to showing you how to make your own smoker.

Manic Organic
A look at nutrition and what you put on your plate.

Going Green
Whether you grow your own food at home, buy in bulk packaging to reduce waste or recycle everything you touch, being environmentally friendly is a trend that’s not going away.

The Cast of Characters:

Shaina and Ole
I’m the one writing (the majority of the time).
Ole is the man of the house. He “mans” the grill. And the smoker. Dad to our four children, we fell in love when I brought him to the farmer’s market with me. On his motorcycle. (The motorcycle totally did it for me.)

You’ll see Ole here. He’s the one talking about meat. And smoke. And the tasty things you can do with meat and smoke.

A food lover, especially if there’s steak or salmon on the plate.

Kola Nut
Never stops, constantly playing with his food at the table and looking for an audience.

Cute and sweet and just as tart.

Kidney Bean
The youngest little man makes you want to squish him. In a good way.

Food is many things to many people. For our family, it is something we enjoy doing together, whether it is in the preparation or the consumption. It gives us energy, keeps us healthy and helps my little ones to grow. It provides a reason to get together with friends and talk and makes a wonderful gift. Food is a necessity, a passion, a way of life.

Come share our food with us.