{Who, What, Why, How} We Are FSC


{Making} Food Matter Together

We are a small group, living within the Capital Region (Albany, Troy, Schenectady, Saratoga Springs) striving for a sustained connection to our kitchens, our gardens and our communities by being advocates for local food, farming & home cooking.

We host a food swap a month, in Saratoga Springs at Healthy Living Market & Cafe and occasionally in the Troy/Albany area, where home-cooks swap homemade foods. We also participate in monthly community outreach at various local farmers markets where we demonstrate various cooking techniques & food projects in hopes of advocating home cooking & creating.

We also host a no-pressure food book club on our Facebook page and a Podcast, From Scratch Club Podcast, which features interviews with everyday people making a difference in farming, home cooking, urban farming, farmers markets, policy and food-related media. Find us on Itunes.

Lastly, we run a DIY Food Projects & Cooking School: FSC Academy. The classes offered are a variety of DIY projects from Home Dairy (soft cheeses, yogurt & butter) to bread baking to canning & preserving the harvest. We intend the classes to be affordable, accessible, low-key, fun, small-enrollment demo classes taught by the ladies and friends of FSC in a casual atmosphere, your home or at various sites around the region, including The Arts Center of the Capital Region.

The rest of the month we are here, on the blog, sharing stories, recipes, DIY projects, homesteading tutorials, kitchen tips & tricks and food policy news in hopes of inspiring people to jump back into the kitchen, their gardens and communities as a daily way of life regardless of income, space & time.



Finding her true calling, connecting people to their local foodshed, Christina is the Demo Coordinator & Book Buyer for the upcoming Saratoga location of Healthy Living Market. At the homestead, she is the Chef de Cuisine, Master Baker & Head Food Preservationist to her husband Charles and their 4 year old son, Miles Jae. Although always a supporter of local, sustainable, humane and whole foods, Chris is now on a serious mission to bring those principles into her kitchen due to Miles Jae’s multiple food allergy diagnosis, asthma and the rare disease, EE. All of her recipes are dairy, tree nuts, peanuts, pea & sesame free.


AKA Pirate Jeni
 As a child, Jeni fell in love with the Little House on the Prairie books, mostly because of all the wonderful things that were made at home from the simplest ingredients. Most weekends, Jeni can be found in her kitchen creating the basics for future meals. Culturing cheese and yogurt, breaking down larger cuts of meat into usable portions or for future grinding, fermenting cabbage, preserving fruits and veggies or dehydrating snacks of any variety keep her busy pretty much all weekend. When not involved in culinary pursuits, she enjoys knitting, crocheting, spinning and sewing as hobbies. She lives in Albany with her partner and their bullmastiff. Find her on her blog, Pirate Jeni.



Photo Nov 06, 12 43 50 AM (1)

From nine-to-five, Christine works in the non-profit world of affordable housing and community development. After hours, you can find her cooking up a storm in her teeny tiny kitchen, curled up on the couch with a stack of good books, or hosting wild one-person dance parties. Christine lives in downtown Albany and likes to imagine a life filled with freshly baked bread, tea parties and 1970s kitchenware. She is passionate about the need to build vibrant communities that are connected to healthy, sustainable food sources and she thinks From Scratch Club is a great place to figure out how to do it. Christine runs the FSC Programs: FSC Podcast & FSC Book Club.

Christine writes about her efforts to create meaningful traditions and experiences over at her blog Unspeakable Visions.



I am the mother of 4 (Sophia 9, Abby 7 and twin boys Simon and Charlie 5) I work very hard to provide my children and husband with healthy, delicious meals whenever possible. We enjoy cooking as a family and I believe the kitchen is the heart of my home. It is where we eat our meals, talk about our days and spend time really listening to each other without the distractions of the world. I am also on the board of the Delmar Farmers Market, where I spend my Saturday mornings meeting the farmers/vendors that grow and raise much of the food my family eats.

Elizabeth Barbone, an alumna of the Culinary Institute of America, is the author of Cooking Gluten-Free: Over 150 Recipes That Really Work and Easy Gluten-Free Baking and the founder of GlutenFreeBaking.com. Born with severe multiple food allergies, Elizabeth is committed to creating gluten-free recipes that taste just like their wheat counterparts. All of Elizabeth’s recipes are tested countless times to ensure reader’s success in the kitchen. Using easy-to-find ingredients, Elizabeth makes gluten-free baking accessible for everyone. In addition to creating recipes for her books, Serious Eats and GlutenFreeBaking.com, Barbone travels the country speaking to celiac groups and teaching gluten-free baking classes.
{Editor’s Note: We are absolutely honored to have Elizabeth on FSC. -Christina}

Over the past few years, Betsy has discovered a love of vegetable gardening and home preservation, and she is crazy about FSC food swaps! She lives with her husband and daughter near Albany, and is an assistant professor in teacher education at SUNY Empire State College.

Lauren is twenty-something, newly married Certified Public Account with a serious passion for making things. She loves learning new recipes and techniques, crafting quilts and other handmade goods, and the challenge of keeping and decorating her new house on a budget. With crafting in her soul, she started the blog Craft My Life Away in 2010 and has successfully completed a number of projects from her bucket list, including several heirloom quilts and wickedly addictive salted caramels.

I have been a staff attorney at Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York since 2004.  I went to law school as a mid-life career change in my early 40s; prior to law school I was an agricultural entomologist and college teacher.  We used to have goats and chickens and live in the country when our three sons were small, but now we live in Saratoga Springs with a cat and a dog.  We don’t have much of a garden in town so we share crop by gardening in other people’s yards and splitting the produce.   My dream job would be running the inmate garden at Riker’s Island.


Amy Halloran lives on a half an acre in Troy, New York with her husband and two sons. She writes for regional and national outlets about the changing food landscape, and records dispatches from her family’s gardening, cooking and chicken raising enterprises on her blog, Home Economics. Her nonfiction and comics are archived at Amy Halloran.Net.


Hi! I’m Becky H. Born and raised in a small town on the Texas/Mexico border, my family has somehow wandered to upstate NY, living on a small, soon to be farm in Galway, NY. Mama to Noah and Rachel (ages 4 and 1) and wife to Mark. My love of good food started as a teenager walking across the Mexican border for the real Tex/Mex (and beer). In my adult life I’ve lived, traveled, and eaten my way across much of Europe, the Middle East and Africa.  Today, due to lots of food allergies and more, we practice a Paelo/ WAPF type diet. Love to cook and love my local farms!

Alexis works as a psychotherapist but is most appreciated for her role as cook by her husband and 4 year old  and 1 year old daughters.  She has always loved to cook and finds preparing meals to be a source of rejuvenation even on days when exhausted.  Her interest in food was developed early with the encouragement of her mother who fed her home-made hummus way back when it was still considered a mystery food.  Alexis’s cooking is now driven by healthy ingredients, especially those found in farmers markets, and a desire to find new, creative ways to make eating a pleasurable experience every day.

ellie markovitch may 2012small ELLIE MARKOVITCH
I am a multimedia storyteller and creator of storycooking.com.

I use food as a starting point for conversations. My journey started when I realized food and cameras are at the center of my life and art. Food and cameras are the tools I use to communicate and build interpersonal connections and community.
I live in Troy, New York with my husband, two children and our dog Abi. I was born in Brazil and spent most of my childhood weekends on my grandparents’ small farm.

There was a story behind everything we did with our food, from how it was picked to how it was cut and cooked.

Gina Martin
 lives in Coxsackie, NY with her husband and two children. Gina is a Contributing Writer” for Albany Kid Family Travel, family travel and educational enrichment blog, and serves as Empress at her personal blog, ModSchooler which allows her to indulge her tech fancy and gadget-hound tendencies, all in the name of making learning fun and engaging. Multiple food allergies and family health issues have challenged her to develop healthy but delicious homemade treats and staples that can pass for “regular” food, and in her not-so-spare time she helps rescue abused and abandoned dogs and cats through Rottie Empire Rescue

Alan R headshot

Alan Richardson is the New York Times best-selling co-author of the Hello, Cupcake! book series. Alan also co-authored The Four Seasons of Italian Cooking, and The Breath of a Wok for which he received The 2005 Best International Cookbook Award from International Association of Culinary Professionals, The IACP Jane Grigson Award, as well as the 2005 Golden Ladle from Le Cordon Bleu Media Awards for Best Food Book. Whole grains are Alan’s idea of a perfect pairing with a cupcake, or maybe the antidote. His goal is to make whole grain cooking so easy he forgets he is doing it.

You can find out more about his cupcakes at www.hellocupcakebook.com

Erika Tebbens lives in Ballston Spa with husband Chris and 8 year old son Jack. Chris is a nuclear instructor in the Navy and loves cooking traditional French cuisine and curing meats. Erika loves cooking and baking. She especially loves figuring out how to make commonly store-bought items from scratch. She plays derby under the name “Brass Snuggles” for the Albany All Stars Roller Derby league. She sports a “No Farms No Food” sticker on her helmet. Her leaguemates know her as their personal Martha Stewart and she loves baking for them. She is also their go-to-gal for many DIY projects. She is a freelance writer and social media specialist and can often be found working for various vendors at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market. She writes the weekly newsletter for Kilpatrick Family Farm and assists with their harvest/market prep on Fridays during the summer.

I’m an events planner by day, a food blogger by night at Wendalicious. I have always loved cooking and baking (especially), and was organically trained in culinary skills by my talented and resourceful mother. My enthusiasm for food and cooking began with a simple gift from my mother when my sister and I were small- an Easy Bake Oven. Which she never let us use. She denies this. That frustration made me what I am today. When it comes to food, I am sometimes inspired, sometimes lazy, and just about always hungry. My favorite food is hummus.

20121124-Jennifer_2012JENNIFER WILKERSON
Jennifer Wilkerson is a graphic designer, business owner, teacher, mother and founding board member of Schenectady Greenmarket. Raised in New York’s suburbia, Jennifer’s family had chickens and ducks and a front yard vegetable garden (much to her teenager’s dismay).  Jennifer now has her own front yard vegetable garden, shops farmers markets year round and is happiest when scheming about the next thing to make.


I’m a mom of two home-schooled girls who are 5 and 7 years old, one of whom is severely allergic to dairy, eggs and peanuts; a local food lover; wife to a guy who fits me better than any other; mama to [only] one cat (my old lady cat just died, sniff sniff); farmer’s market “worker” (I use the quotes because all I do is talk, talk, talk to everyone who comes my way while I’m at the market, and I don’t consider that work); and steward of Mother Nature.
Jillian writes her personal story at Everyday Four Seasons.

Heather was brought to living a “from scratch life” when her children were diagnosed with food allergies. Out of a desire to keep her family safe she began try her hand at all things domestic. She and her husband enjoy cultivating their small piece of land with a large garden and flock of chickens.

Deanna N. Fox is a twentysomething entrepreneur and business owner. She lives in Delanson, NY on an old farm and apple orchard with her husband David, four year old daughter Edith, and two year old son Eric (and a bunch of mangy animals). Deanna is dedicated to leading a stylish, sustainable lifestyle (while having fun!) and teaching others how to live similarly regardless of living situation via her blog Silly Goose Farm. Deanna was raised on similar principles amongst farms in Chenango County, NY, and believes that most of the world’s problems can be solved by first ensuring everyone has access to good, wholesome food. When not hatching up new business ideas, renovating the farm or playing in the dirt, Deanna can be found trying to balance a love of baking with her husband’s Type I Diabetes, obsessing over boats, practicing for the World Bocce Championship with an adult libation in hand, or holding impromptu dance parties with her kids. More about Deanna can be found on her website.

I am an almost 40 year old Albanian wife to Nick, mother to 6 year old Katie, baker, small business owner, musician and singer, writer and food activist! Nick & I own the bakery and Community Support Bakery, All Good Bakers in Albany, NY.

Becky is a mom of two, and spends her days baking and creating alongside her kids, enjoying the creativity and togetherness that the kitchen provides. At night, once the kids are tucked into bed, she pulls out the mixing bowls and measuring cups and bakes alone, creating, recreating, and taste testing her way through old favorites and new creations.  Visit her blog, The Mixing Bowl Diary, to follow along on her baking adventures. When she is not baking or playing with her children, she is often at local fruit and vegetable farms with her husband and kids, sharing with them the joys of picking your own food and knowing your food’s source.

Emily works in an art museum and enjoys throwing theme parties. She grew up in a suburban Midwestern household obsessed with fat-free everything, and then moved to NYC where she didn’t eat much of anything except maybe chocolate eclairs for dinner. Everything changed when she met her current husband who wooed her with his Bolognese sauce and made her realize cooking has as much to do with love as community, memory, a happy life, and good health. Follow Emily’s adventures with food and beyond at Capital Region Dining Blog.


Liz’s job as mama to three young children, Andrew (4), Eleanor (3), and Amelia (born late 2012), could absolutely be considered full time but she also manages to teach fitness classes at the local Y, work part time as an e-discovery consultant,  raise sheep and chickens and manage a respectable kitchen garden. Liz is also the Region 6 Director of the NCWGA. Liz loves to keep her hands busy and makes is a priority to create every day, whether at the sewing machine, spinning wheel, knitting needles or in the kitchen. Eating responsibly is a huge priority for Liz so cooking is a natural extension of the importance of food for Liz’s family. Finally, Liz is raising a flock of nine natural colored (black and moorit) merino sheep as Brown Betty Farm.

{the original From Scratch Club}

Sarah is the Director of Education and Museum Experience at The Children’s Museum of Science & Technology in Troy, NY.  She is currently embracing the local food movement and relearning how to cook everything “from scratch” for her 4 year old son Collin.  She is also applying her new found love of food to her training as a runner.  Sarah began running just over a year ago.  Since then she has completed the Lake Placid Half Marathon in June, the full Mohawk Hudson River Marathon in October and Schenectady’s 15K Stockade-athon in November. Sarah also writes about her running journey at her personal blog, Chasing Down a Dream.

Erica is the Deputy Director and Transitional Client Advocate of St. Paul’s Center and mom to a very active four year old.  After her son decided to boycott any and all vegetables, Erica began trying new ways to sneak in vegetables to her food which has in turn lead to lots of new (and deliciously healthy) foods in the Gosh Sandy household over the last year.  Erica is also proud to call herself a runner as of July 2010. Read Erica’s first piece on the blog, Cooking with the Terrible Twos.


Leslie is a pediatric Occupational Therapist turned stay-at-home-mama of two girls; 5 and a 3 year old, and family chef.  She’s passionate about feeding her family healthful, delicious, and responsible food, and is continuously on the hunt for new recipes and ideas. One of her favorite things to do is to share delicious homemade meals with friends and family.  See some of her favorite recipes on her blog, Lainey’s Plate.

Amanda is a working mom of three girls:  Ellie 10, Jordan 8 and Jacklyn 5. Previously a special education teacher, Amanda joined her parents in the family business, The Costumer, nine years ago. Now working side by side with her mother and husband she enjoys the flexibility that being part of a family business can provide. A year ago Amanda became a runner and has completed her first marathon, The Mohawk Hudson River Marathon on 10.10.10. Amanda quickly learned that food needed to become fuel.
A quote from Nancy Clark: “Fuel wisely, eat well, and enjoy a satisfying running experience.”
Amanda’s picture credit: Thea Coughlin Photography

23 Comments on “{Who, What, Why, How} We Are FSC”

  1. July 30, 2010 at 2:49 pm #

    This is a wonderful collaborative blog! I look forward to following along with your stories, musings and recipes.

  2. April 22, 2011 at 6:38 am #

    Moms on a mission! Good food for your family is smart.

  3. allaboutgoodlife
    July 19, 2011 at 5:11 pm #

    My admiration goes for these beautiful & talented women!

  4. December 18, 2011 at 6:07 pm #

    Wow, I wish you amazing women lived in Ontario so I could meet you and crash one of the food swaps! I’ve only read one post and all of your profiles so far so now I’m going to poke through the rest of your offerings….for the next hour or two I bet! Thanks!

  5. Miss. Zoe
    February 10, 2012 at 12:51 pm #

    I’m absolutely inspired by all of your wonderful work.

  6. May 19, 2012 at 7:42 pm #

    Do you know the conversion rate of potato starch to sugar to make confectioners sugar if a person like myself has allergies to corn products and can’t use commercial confectioners sugar due to cornstarch? This seems like the ideal place to be able to ask this question…finally…asking the sugar corporations was no help…

  7. June 3, 2012 at 5:41 pm #

    Hiya, I’ve nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger award :-)


  8. July 2, 2012 at 8:11 pm #

    Found you via a WordPress recommendation- can’t believe you’re from the Capitol District! My dad’s side of the family is from there! So cool to see this kind of thing going on in and around Troy.

    • July 2, 2012 at 10:00 pm #

      Hey Gmtnunez! Yup Yup- we are trying our best to get home-cooking, DIY projects rocking & local farm & food stuffs happening all around this area. If you ever come back to visit, and our Troy swap is happening at the same time- you must stop by! All the best to you, thanks for stopping by!

  9. July 29, 2012 at 5:27 am #

    I am passing on the sunshine award to you. Even though I am far away from you (Berlin, Germany), I really love reading your blog.

  10. November 21, 2012 at 11:53 am #

    I love your blog and return time and time again. I am always inspired! Because of this I am nominating you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. See my latest post for how to participate! Thanks!

  11. March 8, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

    Hi there! Your blog is awesome, which is why I nominated you for the Super Sweet Bloggers Award! Find out more here: http://pocketfulofsugar.com/2013/03/08/super-sweet-bloggers-award-who-me/ and keep up the good work :)

  12. April 16, 2013 at 5:47 am #

    Brilliant collective and ethos, look forward to reading more, thanks, Tracey

  13. September 18, 2013 at 12:01 am #

    Hi! I have nominated you for a Liebster Award because I think your blog is fantastic and I enjoy your posts! The purpose of the Liebster Award is to promote bloggers like you to a large audience so you can spread your good words on! Have a great day! I have tagged your blog on a post called “Liebster Award” so my followers can find your blog, have a look: http://purityin365days.wordpress.com/2013/09/18/liebster-award/

  14. September 5, 2014 at 11:37 am #

    Great blog, loving all the new ideas!

    • September 5, 2014 at 3:18 pm #

      Thanks Brooke for your support! Welcome to FSC!

  15. January 2, 2015 at 12:37 pm #

    Great blog keep up the good work in 2015 !!

  16. July 21, 2015 at 10:57 am #

    This is a great blog! Keep up the great work! please Visit http://www.helloworldmagazine.com sometime, too. Thanks!


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