About me – and my blog

Hi! I’m Helen – The Lazy Gastronome. Welcome!

Apron custom made by my amazing sister!

I live in the beautiful upper Willamette Valley in Oregon with my husband (since 1984) and four rescue cats – all spoiled beyond rotten. I am retired and loving the extra time to learn more about cooking and gardening, and simply doing what I want pretty much when I want.

I grew up with a German grandma that made strudel at every chance and a Czech grandpa that made the absolute best garlicy potato and cheese soup. My mom loved to grow food. Every summer we had fresh tomatoes to have on our grilled burgers. Her zucchini was huge and delicious – and she grew peas (for eating and sweet pea flowers), and sometimes even cucumbers. I thought it was so cool to eat food from our backyard.

When I moved out on my own, I lived in a city apartment. No veggies there. But when I got married, my husband and I planted an apricot tree, a plum tree, and a kumquat tree in our tiny backyard. It was wonderful!

When we moved to Oregon, we joined the mycological  society and learned how to forage for edible mushrooms – and how to prepare them. And I planted my first vegetable garden. A 30 X 30 plot with corn, potatoes, artichokes, peas, a variety of peppers, tomatoes, raspberries and strawberries, and more. I canned jam and made pickles every year. I learned about seasonal food in Oregon – something that I didn’t fully understand in Southern California. And I learned I loved to cook.

While I was learning about gardening and practicing cooking, I also worked as a director at an Early Learning Center. I was also certified to do training for continuing education for child care professionals in the state of Oregon. I worked full time (plus) and we had kids at home. I was pretty active in my church so I was pretty busy. Then the kids grew up and moved out. We left the first Oregon town for another (which is where we are now). I decided I wanted to try a blog. Just for fun. And so I did.

My blog started off as Northwest Fresh. I wanted to post only seasonal recipes in the season they were available. It didn’t do very well – and I had a hard time coming up with recipes. I was too inexperienced to understand planning for posts and prepping.

Then my life changed for a time. I had a gallstone the size of my pinkie fingernail – and no insurance to have it removed. I tried to learn as much as I could about triggers and, somewhere I read, gluten and grease are huge triggers. So I went gluten free for awhile.

I stopped eating gluten for three years – I went from eight to ten-hour episodes 5 to 6 times a week, to only four short episodes in the three years. So, I changed my blog to the Gluten Free Gourmet.

After I got insurance and had that gallbladder removed, I feasted on gluten. My blog was no longer relevant. That’s when I went with being a lazy cook (which I totally am). Hence, the Lazy Gastronome. It was supposed to have all easy, few ingredient recipes. But as I grew, it changed. I started the Lazy Gastronome in 2015. Go check out that first post!

And it promises to change again.

I’m working on some format changes for 2024 – and some fun new posts. I am the recipe developer, photographer, planner, writer, and tech person. My husband is my taster. He’s not afraid to tell me something needs to go to the failed file. And I have a whole post of those coming up! Stay tuned.

Questions I get asked alot – 

  • What is a Lazy Gastronome?

    • What is a lazy gastronome you ask?  Let’s start with what is a gastronome….The Oxford dictionary defines a gastronome as a judge of good eating.  Well, I’m not sure I qualify as a judge, but I certainly do enjoy good food!  A synonym of gastronome is “epicure” – one who cultivates a refined taste for the pleasure of the table.  Well that suits me well.  I love to enjoy a good meal, usually with friends or family.  I have to admit though, sometimes I’ve done it alone!

      But here comes the lazy part.  I work full-time managing a child care center – I work almost full time researching and writing three blogs – and I am a photographer!  And I have a husband and three cats.  I’m tired in the evenings.  But I also find total relaxation puttering in the kitchen.  So how do you put those together?  You do it with uncomplicated ingredients and easy pairing…then sit down and enjoy.

      So there you have it.  I love to cook – I love to eat – but I don’t like complicated or time consuming (unless it’s the crock pot and it’s doin’ all the work!).

      So keep coming by and see what new things I’ve come up with – and let me know if you made anything and how it worked!  I’d love to hear feedback and see pictures –

  • What is my specialty – POV?

    • I like to do recipes that are easy and not so technical they can’t be played with. When I try a recipe from a magazine or cookbook, I simply use it as a springboard (not counting the baking stuff) and then just do my own thing. I don’t usually measure. I want to create recipes like that, that people can easily tinker with.
    • I’m working on tightening up my point of view for 2024. I’m looking for more easy and fresh foods. But don’t think I won’t throw a strange one in there too – Like hobbit food or Harry Potter treats.
  • Why are there ads?

    • Although the blog started as a hobby, I decided a few years ago to try to earn some money and use it as a retirement income. It’s been a slow build, but I’m working on it. Feel free to “buy me a coffee”  or share a post or two with friends to help.
  • Do you ever do sponsored or guest posts?

      • Some of the posts on this blog are sponsored or guest posts. I get paid to post them and include links. I am also an Amazon affiliate. If you use the Amazon link from my blog and purchase something, I get a small commission.
  • Can I use your photos?

    • Everything on this blog is copyrighted. If you want to use one photo and link it back to the original post, that’s ok. Anything more, please contact me for written permission.


Well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it! Thanks for stopping by and come back soon.

Now go on and check the posts out!! I bet you’ll find at least one recipe to try!