Hey there, I’m Brooke McLay.

Food blogger, life writer, recipe developer, piano lesson carpooler,  food photographer, long walk lover, professional cooking show host, and unexpectedly divorced mama who believes in living a technicolor life. My personal musings can be found right here at Cheeky Kitchen, but don’t miss out on my video blog project, with best friend Eldon, over at HisXHers. I work as a full-time freelancer for BettyCrocker, Good Cook,  Tablespoon, and Disney’s Babble.com. I’m also currently developing a cookbook with a fantastic publisher (stay tuned!). To see more of my professional cooking endeavors, check out my Gigs page.

Food is my playground and I am constantly trying new incarnations of cooking in my kitchen. I believe in eating for total, and have been transitioning my fam to a plant-based diet with a focus on other foods that scientifically appear to support our health in the greatest ways possible. This may sound like an impossible task, considering how scientificky it sounds, but I love the idea of finding a way to bring our bodies into proper alignment whilst still have a kickass blast in the kitchen.

If you’re new to truly healthy eating, good news! So am I! I’ll step you through all the things you need to know to get started, from grocery shopping tips to insanely delish meat-free meals. And we’ll learn the rest together from there. We can do this, you know. We have to do it, for the health of our own bodies, our children’s bodies, and the future of this beautiful planet of ours.

I support the current focus of eating local, sustainable food, but am too budget-conscious to shop that way exclusively, so you’ll see a focus here on realistic food you can actually make, no matter where you shop or what your budget is. 2012 will find me particularly focusing on following Michael Pollan’s fabulous Food Rules. If you don’t yet have the book, promise me you’ll go get a copy today.

I am sassy and stubborn, love a good fight, and am given to fits of gratitude over the beauty of humanity, family, and acts of generous kindness. I hate bread, shun pasta, avoid factory-farmed meat, and love fresh garden tomatoes. Though, given the option, I’d eat scotcheroos for every meal. I try very hard not to look at gossip magazines and force myself to pore over classic literature. I never have to force Shakespeare.

My practical sensibilities are often at odds with romantic whimsy. I’m too practical to be absurdly artistic, and too absurdly artistic to be sensibly practical. I love guest cottages, good books, and adventure. I believe fears are meant to be faced, and hard things are for living through.

Ultimately, I believe a room full of people I love is the highest form of worship. I believe in parties, living big, and breathing fresh air daily. The joy of children, playing good music loudly, the zen of a brisk walk.  The most important project of my life is mothering four of the most remarkable humans I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. Being a mother to my children is the ultimate gift, and I consider it the finest honor to watch them discover their own essences, grow into their true selves, and discover what it feels like to walk barefoot on the raw dirt of this grand earth we inhabit.