Guest Post: Rachel Oberg from DeMaCuisine

Rachel and I met just a few weeks ago- its hard to believe because I feel like I've gotten to know her so well in such a short amount of time. Rachel runs an amazing food blog called De Me Cuisine, where she blogs organic, healthy recipes and offers a menu planning service, perfect for people with allergies, or nutritional specifics. Rachel planned a menu for my husband and I- him being anemic and needing lots of meat and iron, and me not eating red meat. Rachel worked with our needs and wants and now we have a week full of food that we both love! Its pretty awesome.

So here she is! Sharing with us a recipe she made for me when I went over to her cute little house for lunch last week. Trust me, this is a great recipe for any time of the day- it is SO scrumptious... infact I might just make it for lunch today!

This is Rachel, from De Ma Cuisine. Hi! I'm thrilled to be a guest blogger on Waterfall Creative!
Joanna and I are new friends. But let me tell you, in the short time I've known her, I've seen what a wonderful, caring friend, and incredibly creative artist she is! My goodness, she's talented!
My art is a little different than the norm, one might say. I can draw a bit, I can kinda paint, I can even take pretty good photos. But it's really in the sound of a knife slicing through fresh vegetables, the smell of garlic hitting a hot pan, the look of French Bread just out of the oven - crusty, golden, steaming... I love the art of cooking. The presentation on a plate takes thought. The ingredients in a dish need to compliment each other, in flavor and appearance. Even the planning of a menu is like a perfectly arranged symphony of tastes and textures. It's my art, my passion, what I love to do.

Last week Joanna came over for lunch and I made us Stuffed French Toast, in preparation for this post. At that time, I was thinking I'd talk about breakfast. I haven't really talked about it, but now for just a second. I think it's important to eat breakfast. It's your fuel for the day. Same as any other meal. Aside from the fact that I love to eat because I love the taste, I also eat because I know that my body needs nutrients and sustenance to run well. In my experience, when I don't eat breakfast, the morning usually ends up with me feeling weak and shaky and pretty grumpy. I try to avoid this, with something delicious to eat. (I don't always have something as fancy as Stuffed French Toast, sometimes it's just granola, fruit and yogurt, or even cereal.) This recipe is also great for lunch or even dinner.

Serves: 2, Prep: 5 minutes, Cook: 10 minutes
Rachel's Stuffed French Toast
4 slices whole wheat bread
8 slices of peach or apple (or whatever fruit you have that you enjoy), thinly sliced
1/4 C blueberries (thawed, if frozen)
2-3 T peanut butter
2 eggs
2-4 T milk
a good sprinkle of cinnamon
dash nutmeg
drizzle of honey
maple syrup
Greek yogurt
1. Cook peaches or apples with honey, until softened. 2. Spread peanut butter on 2 slices of bread. Top with fruit and another piece of bread. 3. Whisk eggs, milk, cinnamon and nutmeg together. Dip both sides of the sandwich in the mixture, soaking well. 4. Cook, flipping once, until it's hot, a bit crispy and the egg is fully cooked. 5. Serve topped with maple syrup and yogurt.
I asked Rachel to answer a few questions about her business, and why she does what she does. Heres what she said!

How did DeMaCuisine begin?
De Ma Cuisine (for those of you who aren’t French language inclined, pronounced phonetically: deh maa kwe-zeen, and translates to "From My Kitchen") started, in a sense, when I was talking to my mom one day about what I wanted to do when I "grew up" (oddly enough, 12 years later, I'm just beginning to figure it out). I told her I wanted to help people. At the time, I didn't really know what that meant. In the years following that conversation, I had various jobs where helping people could have been described as part of/all of what I did. But they were never really what I'd meant. I didn't know what I'd meant. It wasn't until about a few months ago, when it clicked that I'm doing what I told Mom all those years ago that I wanted to do.
I think it hit me the most when Summer entered a contest I held in July for a free menu. To enter, all she had to do was tell me why she deserved a menu. She wrote that she was overwhelmed by new food restrictions in her diet (no dairy, no soy, no corn syrup, and no sugar) and was struggling to come up with things to feed her family that she could eat too (as they didn’t share the restrictions). Insert shout of excitement from me! Someone actually needed my help! She won then and there. And, thus began the journey of realization that I’ve been on about this little business of mine.
What makes you so passionate about menu planning and cooking?
I think the passion for cooking is ingrained in my genes. My mom is a great cook, my Oma is too. My whole family really appreciates good food. But it wasn't until I got married, that I discovered how much I loved it. I love to organize and plan and arrange and those abilities seem to have translated to the kitchen. I started writing down my culinary creations and began regularly planning our menus. Part of the reason for menu planning is that we try very hard to stick to a monthly budget. We have a certain amount of money designated for groceries, and if I plan our menu, I can stay within the budget because I can go to the store and buy what I need. I also like to be a creative with leftovers so we don't waste food. It's important to me to use what we have and use it well, trying not to be wasteful.
What has been the greatest challenge for you in starting and running your own business?
One of the greatest challenges with this new business is wondering if it's as worthwhile to others as it is to me. It's a lot of time and effort if it's not. This was tough in the first few months, but I've felt so supported and encouraged as of late, so it's not such a struggle anymore.
What has been the greatest reward? 
The greatest thing, and what makes any of the struggles worth it, is when the overwhelmed, the stressed, the burdened, the "hungry because you can’t think of anything to make" person who has received a menu says that they're excited to cook for the first time. When someone says that they're no longer overwhelmed. I'm getting a little choked up just writing about it, because it means so much to me to share this love with others... I love when someone realizes that they can. I'm trying to empower people to eat well and it brings me such joy.
How do you stay inspired to cook organically and eat well?
In general, it's just all around something that has become important, so it's more of a way of life. A lot of my inspiration for specific meals comes from my Abundant Harvest Organics box. When I bring it home and see what's inside, I'm get excited and motivated to plan and eat! Another thing that inspires me is the farmers that I know from when we lived in Central California. Because I've sold berries at the markets next to them and have picked the berries to sell at those markets, I understand a tiny, miniscule fraction of what goes into it. I want to support them.
What is one thing we should all know about cooking and eating healthy? 
I have a few things: 1. It's not as difficult as you may think it is. 2. "Health food" doesn't have to taste like cardboard. 3. It's not going to look the same for everyone. 4. Eating in moderation is important. Just because I have a healthy diet, doesn't mean I don't enjoy potato chips (just ask my husband). I also love to eat out occasionally and love things like pizza, french fries and the rare Dr. Pepper. The difference is that they are a treat, not an every day occurrence and often the pizza and fries are homemade, so at least I know what's going into them. 5. If it's not a "diet", but is a way of life, it's much easier. 6. (This is my opinion. Feel free to disagree.) If I'm cooking delicious food, full of things like veggies, grains, legumes and meat it's probably going to be better for me (and likely more cost effective) than a low-fat, low-carb, low-everything pre-packaged low-taste meal.
A HUGE thank you to Rachel for taking the time to make this post- you can check out her website here.  And more about her menu planning service here. Go ahead- check it out and call her up! Getting a custom menu is so easy and awesome- makes cooking and eating well so much easier when you have help :)

Thanks Rachel for inspiring me and others to go for your passion- and do what you love.
You're amazing!


Alexandra Joy said...

The hubby loves stuffed French toast. Seems like a perfect weekend treat. Great post Rach!

Rachel - De Ma Cuisine said...

Thanks, AJ! Hope you enjoyed the Stuffed French Toast, if you made it. Apparently I got Joanna and her husband addicted to it. :)

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