A few weeks ago Nicole from Time, Inc. contacted me with the opportunity to interview one of the MyRecipes.com Food Editors. I was beyond excited when I discovered that I would be interviewing one of the fabulous Senior Editors at MyRecipes.com, Anne Cain. She has assisted in writing several of the cookbooks I own from Cooking Light to Weight Watchers as well as several of the recipes I’ve made from MyRecipes.com.
MyRecipes.com is one of my absolute FAVORITE recipes sites that I use all the time. They host all the Cooking Light recipes that you frequently see me make and I am addicted to the daily Dinner Tonight as well as weekly newsletters that they send out. I can honestly say that I LOVE everything about their site .
Before I jump into my interview with Anne, here is a little about her from their website.
Image and profile courtesy of MyRecipes.com.
Anne Cain, a registered dietitian, is the senior food editor for MyRecipes. She comes to MyRecipes after a 17-year stint at Oxmoor House, where she edited over 25 cookbooks including the award-winning All-New Complete Cooking Light Cookbook, Wine, Food & Friends with Karen MacNeil, Best-Ever Secrets from the Cooking Light Test Kitchens, Cooking Light Superfast Suppers, The Cooking Light Way to Lose Weight, Down-Home Diabetic Recipes, and The All-New Complete Step-by-Step Diabetic Cookbook. From 2000 to 2001, she was the editor of Successful Living with Diabetes, a diabetes food and lifestyle magazine. Living with Type 1 diabetes for over 39 years, she has particular expertise in the area of nutrition and diabetes.
She received her undergraduate degree from Auburn University, and master's degrees in both clinical nutrition and public health from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
When I first spoke to Anne I have to say her cute Southern accent stood out and I LOVED it. She was incredibly friendly and a pleasure to speak with. I really admire the fact that she LOVES her job everyday and looks forward to it. I can see why ~ she gets to create, edit, make and taste test recipes for a living! (I wonder if she wants to trade jobs with me :D LOL….)
1. What was the first cookbook and/or recipe that you ever published?
The very first cookbook Anne wrote while she was working for Oxmoor House was The Complete Step by Step Diabetic Cookbook. She also shared the story of her very first recipe that she had to create for a job interview ~ A meatless dish that she was pretty sure wasn’t too good. However, it was a start and she landed the job so I bet it was amazing.
2. What is your favorite "go-to" recipe for summer gatherings? What did you make to celebrate July 4th?
Here are a few links to some of her favorite cookout recipes that she makes all the time. But, like the true chef, she does modify and throw additional things into the recipes based on what sounds good. She likes to put a healthy spin on her dishes and often adds extra chunky veggies to her salads.
She shares the same passion as I do about recipes and cookbooks. Her favorite go-to cookbook that she uses all the time is Cooking Light Superfast Suppers: Speedy Solutions for Dinner Dilemmas. Her husband thinks she is the BEST cook when she makes the Beefy and Black Bean Soup pg.66 (use soy crumbles to make it vegetarian). Her latest favorite appears on page 249 ~ the Sesame Tuna made with Ponzu Sauce instead of Soy Sauce.
3. People seem to have so many different diets these days with the most recent focus being on vegetarian/vegan. Do you have a favorite diabetic, vegan and/or gluten-free recipe?
She focuses on choosing recipes based on how she feels and what she is craving. During the summer, it’s often salads (Caprese salad is her favorite – mine too!) She will pair her salads with a fantastic Myrecipes.com grilling recipe such as these:
We ALL need dessert ~ Two of her favorite low-sugar recipes that she makes for company are:
Cookies ‘n Cream Crunch – you can modify this one by using different cookies or ice cream! How good does that sound?!
Grapefruit Sorbet – her go to recipe that she has often during the hot Alabama summers.
Diabetic Desserts – an excellent link for those look to find more recipes like the ones above.
4. How has your food philosophy changed over the years with the food trends? (For example, mine would be that I have followed several “diets” which lead me to Weight Watchers to counting calories to Clean Eating and even Clean Eating mixed with vegan...)
Anne has been diabetic since she was 12 years old so she has always had to watch what she eats with an emphasis on low to no sugar. Over the years, her eating has evolved from a low-fat stage to a low-carb stage with her focus now being on a healthy balance to include whole grains (whole wheat pasta, brown rice) and healthy fats (nuts, AVOCADO, salmon). She loves to eat what is “in season” and often shops at farmer’s markets. Like many of us, she is always focusing on how she can eat healthy while spending less.
5. I noticed that you had interviewed an author about the Beck Diet Solution. In many of the interviews that you have done with others, is there any common thread of "diet advice" or "nutritional advice" you’d give to everyone?
Anne used to provide counseling to patients at hospitals before she went into publishing. She offers up some fantastic advice for all of us. You really have to find something that works for you and your lifestyle. You may need to make some changes, but, they need to be changes you can live with. If you are a meat eater, you probably would not be happy going vegetarian. You need to find balance in your healthy eating and have it be something that is sustainable.
The best place to start is to look at what it is that you do now and find “little” changes you can make that you can live with to find balance. Little changes can go a long way and we all have to start somewhere.
6. I am a BIG fan of Myrecipes.com and I have an insane recipe and magazine addiction. I actually think I own several of your cookbooks too. What is your personal recipe collection like and how do you go about organizing your recipes?
Anne might be a tad bit more organized than I am when it comes to recipes. In addition to tagging her cookbooks with yellow post-its, she also uses the My Recipes file from Myrecipes.com.
Did you all know that Myrecipes.com has a fantastic “Recipe File” that you allows you to save and organize recipes -- both your own and those from the Recipe Finder. It also allows you to save menus along with customized Shopping Lists. You can sign up for your FREE recipe file by clicking HERE.
7. Is there anything you’d like to add or let everyone know?
Anne shared her philosophy on healthy eating, cooking and finding balance. Through the years she has learned that when you get diagnosed with something like diabetes, etc, that it isn’t a “death sentence”. It really isn’t that hard to make changes to eat healthy because there are so many good things and delicious foods out there to help you out. She has never felt deprived in all her years being diabetic and has learned that there are so many resources available along with easy tricks that allow her to enjoy the foods she eats.
The last thing we discussed I thought was really cool. It was about the Myrecipes.com Test Kitchen and all the thought/testing that goes into each recipe. Some of the things they consider in the test kitchen are:
* How is someone going to remake this at home?
* Does it taste good? Is it worth the Weight Watchers Points or calories for the serving you get? How can the reduce the calories?
* If they use 1/2 a packet of something, then, what will you do with the rest? They try to avoid making people buy something for one use only when possible.
* Picky eaters, time to cook, the shopping list needed to create the recipe, what it takes to get the dinner on the table….the lists go on. They really put A LOT of thought into each and every recipe.
All of the recipes in the Myrecipes.com are tested in a Professional Test Kitchen. They are looking into adding a symbol so that everyone knows this and providing a video for everyone to see the process of what it takes to get a recipe approved in the Test Kitchen.
Thanks again, Anne for taking the time to answer all of my questions and provide everyone with such fantastic advice (plus recipes links too!)
Please leave a comment below if you all have any questions you would like to know about Myrecipes.com or Anne. Anne said she would be happy to answer and I will pass them along!