About Heather

Welcome to The Kitchen and Beyond, where life, food, and travel are real. I believe in every person there is a craving for more. To see more. To learn more. To taste more. But sometimes it gets shoved down with the practicalities of life. Sometimes learning new things feels daunting. Time consuming. Threatening to everything you’ve known.

It is. Life is big, exciting, and sometimes scary, but there’s a story you need to live that is just waiting to unfold.

Hi. My name is Heather, and I’d love to invite you to pull up a chair around my table. The kettle’s on. Choose the mug that speaks to you today. Steep a cup of tea or (Aero)press a cup of coffee from my local roaster.

Let’s chat food, travel, and life. Let’s savor life together.


Once upon a time I felt stuck in a rut of boring meals thrown together in too little time. I was busy, stressed out, and my family was eating food that wasn’t exactly quality. Truthfully, I was a little embarrassed about what I was feeding them, but I felt like I had no option until I started making baby steps to change our diet. Over the last 13 years, we moved from couponing and boxed foods to using mostly fresh ingredients.

Now? Well, with 3 teenagers in the house, the chips are sneaking back in, but fresh quality meals that are easy to throw together are still important to me. The dinner table just looks a little different these days with a college student (19), a dual high school/college student (17), and highschooler (15) going in what feels like 20 directions any given day.

I don’t believe you have to have loads of money to eat well, and I don’t believe you have to be poor to save a buck on groceries. My philosophy is that you should enjoy every bite you can wring out of your budget.

But wait! I’m not just a whole-foods-and-nothing-else kind of girl. I believe in eating mostly whole foods but also enjoying everything in life, including cheese puffs and lattes, so you’re entering a guilt-free zone here.

Please, check guilt at the door.

I’d like to help you change your narrative from that same boring old rut to learning to savor life in the kitchen and around the dinner table with family and friends.

Baked Apples and Rutabaga Recipe 1


“Where are you from?” is a super hard question….

Do I go with where I was born? Upstate NY.

The house I lived in the longest growing up? 4 years in rural Pennsylvania…or rural Upstate NY.

The place I lived before where we’re settled now? Suburbs of the Philly suburbs.

New Hampshire, where I’ve lived in one house the longest I’ve ever lived anywhere?

When we broke the news to my parents that we were moving to New Hampshire, my dad said, “You never could stay still.” I always wanted to know what was on the other side of the window, the other side of those trees, the other side of the country, across the ocean….

Worlds awaited, and I was ready to fly before my parents were quite ready to give me wings, but wings they gave me – first as a voracious reader who traveled to new worlds within a book’s pages.

Then, yet again, as a teenager when I traveled from Pennsylvania to New Mexico with a team of teenagers to volunteer on a Navajo Reservation for the summer at age 14. Then traveling internationally to help build a church in Nicaragua (17), dig and pour a foundation in El Salvador at an orphanage (18), and encouraging ministry workers in South Africa (19).

Then it all screeched to a halt in 2001 with a quick succession of college, marriage, work, and kids. And yes, I juggled all 4 of them at one time.

Our travel roster remained dreadfully empty until the fall of 2014 when we planned an epic road trip from Pennsylvania to Arizona and back in 2 weeks.

We saw so many amazing things, and I was reminded how much of the world there is left to see. From that trip, (some of) my family caught my travel bug, and we made it our goal to see all 50 states before our oldest turned 18! (Spoiler Alert: The world shut down a year later. He’s now 19, and it didn’t happen.)

We don’t travel as far and wide as I’d like to due to finances and kids’ schedules, but we love visiting National Parks, agritourism, and sleeping in hotels.

I make road tripping and tent camping part of the adventure if it means I get to see new places. Some of my family, not quite so willing. Come along for the ride and have an adventure with us. It’s never too early (or late) to start traveling with your family. 

Kids at Grand Canyon 2014
Picture of my kids in 2014 when all were willing to get their pictures taken still.

Contact me: realthekitchenandbeyond@gmail.com