Hi, I’m Laura, the voice behind Family Spice. I’m the proud mom to three glorious children. We live in mostly sunny San Diego and we love our life here!
I have been cooking since I was a kid. My idea of fun was to read my mom’s cookbooks and make a meal from scratch using recipes from Paul Prudhomme. My mother is Persian, my father is American. I quickly began cooking Persian recipes on my own, sharing them with friends.
I started blogging in 2008 as a way to express myself creatively. I left my career in advertising as an account executive and graphic designer to stay home and raise my kidlets. I create the recipes, photograph them, video them, write the blog posts, study SEO and pretty much do it all for this blog of mine! (learn how to work with me here).
I have also completed the Rouxbe’s Professional Cook Certification. The course was an intensive immersion in culinary skill and knowledge development. I have used the skills I learned in class, as well as my 30+ year experience as an avid home cook to create unique and delicious recipes.
Getting creative in the kitchen, combining fresh ingredients, contrasting flavors, exotic spices and multiple cooking techniques from all over the world continues to be my passion today.
My philosophy to cooking is: Make it fresh, make it pretty, make it delicious. But more importantly, if you can read, you can read a recipe. And if you can read a recipe, you can cook.
Kinda like in the movie, Ratatouille.
“Anyone can cook”.~ Auguste Gusteau
OUTDOOR COOK & COOKBOOK AUTHOR
Both of my boys are Eagle Scouts. Because of all the camping my family and I enjoyed, I found myself cooking outdoors all the time. I decided if we eat well at home, why not outdoors? So I brought gourmet meals to our campfire cooking, as well as to our scouting families.
This passion for preparing fabulous meals over the fire inspired my second cookbook, The Camp and Cabin Cookbook (May 2018 Countryman Press). I created and photographed 100 recipes that you can prepare outdoors over fire using a number of different techniques: grilling, foil cooking, ash cooking, Dutch oven cooking…
The recipes feature my cooking philosophy of using fresh ingredients to create beautiful and delicious food.
OLIVE OIL EXPERT & COOKBOOK AUTHOR
For my first cookbook, I collaborated with fellow food blogger, Mary Platis (California Greek Girl), to design, write and photograph Cooking Techniques with Olive Oil. Our ebook received the Gold medal winner of the Global Ebook Award from Dan Poynter.
We both took University of California Davis’ Sensory Evaluation of Olive Oil Certificate Course and became expert olive oil tasters.
The response to our cookbook was so positive that we were encouraged to bring our book to print. And we did. Mary and I have self-published our own 132-page hardback cookbook.
We added more information, more recipes and more photographs! My graphic design background came in handy as I did all the photography and book design myself.
Educating the world about extra virgin olive oil has grown into another passion of mine. We are so extraordinarily careful about the ingredients we cook with and put into our bodies yet so many of you are cooking with rancid, poor quality oils.
And with all of the myths out there about cooking with extra virgin olive oil, Mary and I tackle them all. To learn more, you can purchase our cookbook here.
My passion for photography began at a young age, way before digital photography. My father gave me my first camera, a Pentax, and he also gave me the photography bug. I took classes, joined my high school newspaper, developed my own film and photographs in the dark room, and began shooting sports events for my community newspaper.
I was an intern at The Houston Chronicle where I learned all about photo-journalism. But my very science oriented family convinced me to not pursue a fine arts degree in college. I graduated from the University of Arizona with a business degree.
And here I am, some years later, doing what I still love the most: photography. But this time, food photography. I not only do all of the photography on my blog and my cookbooks, but I also do free-lance food photography for companies, too. You can see my portfolio here.
My photos and recipes have been featured in a number of publications in the US an worldwide. I do not use computer generated photographs.
To sum up who I am: I love getting creative in the kitchen. I love photography. I hate washing the dishes.
For advertising and PR requests, you can learn more about working with me here or just email me at Laura AT familyspice DOT com.
Avid miniature lover
I have also started a second blog, Life In Mini where I share my love of miniatures. From making mini foods with polymer clay to rehabbing my dollhouse with popsicle stick flooring, I share my passion and dollhouse tutorials on dollhouse diy tutorials.