About

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Hello!  My name is Aura and I’m thrilled to meet you!  A few things about me and my blog:

I grew up in a tiny two bedroom Finnish farmhouse on forty acres in the heart of the Upper Peninsula.  The kitchen was the heartbeat of the home.  From a very early age, the kitchen was my favorite room in the home.  I would read to my mom as she cooked and did most homework and crafts at the kitchen table.  This love of the kitchen carries on today.  Whether I am cooking for myself or friends, typing up a blog post, or reading magazines, you will most likely find me in the kitchen.

My love of cooking started when I was ten, having received a subscription to Hearth Song’s Cook It! Club.  Each month, I eagerly awaited the arrival of a new utensil and set of recipes to add to my recipe binder.  I was hooked.

Our family had a two-acre vegetable garden.  Armed with fresh broccoli, kohlrabi, carrots, and lettuce I learned how to cook a variety of vegetables into healthy dishes.  Being raised by hippie mom taught me how exciting and flavorful vegetarian food can be.  Although I am no longer vegetarian, my diet is primarily plant and grain based for health, environmental, and taste preferences.

Dinner With Aura came about a couple of years ago.  I would often call my mom to catch up as I was cooking dinner and we would chat briefly about what I was making.  She would exclaim, “Oh!  I wish I could have dinner with you, Aura!”  Because she is a seven hour drive away, I decided that the best I could do was take photos and share the recipes with her.  Dinner With Aura started out as a private blog, with only my mom, sister, and best friend able to view the recipes.  After a little while, and with inspiration from other fabulous food bloggers, I decided to launch it for the public to see.

So what should you expect to find here?  Some years ago, I started focusing on whole foods cooking (although as it happens, I had eaten whole foods my entire childhood) and felt I had found my niche.  I also discovered that if you use good, whole, fresh, preferably local ingredients, food simply tastes better.  I am a vocal advocate for eating whole foods and most of the foods on my blog are entirely composed of whole foods ingredients.  

I hope you enjoy the recipes–I wish we could have dinner together!

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29 thoughts on “About

  1. Pingback: Food Matters Project #20: Walnut Pâté Sandwich with Arugula & Pears | Fifthfloorkitchen's Blog

    1. auracaplett Post author

      Hi Vinita–thanks so much for the comment and the follow! I just checked out your blog and am so excited–I have been thinking about doing a vegetarian Indian meal for friends soon–thanks for the inspiration and looking forward to reading your posts.

      Reply
  2. vinicooksveg

    Hi Aura! I need little help of yours! Am new to baking and I ‘m going to buy an oven or microwave. I want to bake cakes and stuff. Can you please guide like what to look while buying it and also can you please tell which oven do you use?

    Reply
  3. Pingback: Boston Marathon & Food Matters Project #37: Central American Red Beans & Rice | Fifthfloorkitchen's Blog

  4. Jacob Miller

    Hey Aura! So glad I got to meet you through Jill this weekend. I will be trying out some of these recipes on here soon! Your pictures are actually really awesome too!

    Reply
    1. Aura Post author

      Jacob, so great to meet you! Please do let me know if you try some recipes and I’m always all ears for new ideas from other foodie friends 🙂

      Reply
  5. Jeff Turner

    Sam and I very much enjoyed our conversations with you and Drew at the campground on Lake Superior last week. I will leave it to Sam to glean some cooking gems from your blog since she has the cooking talent in this duo. Please tell Drew that I can’t wait to try out his flies on AuSable next week!

    Reply
    1. Aura Post author

      We loved meeting you and Sam, Jeff! Thanks for leaving a comment. I hope you caught something with those flies in the Au Sable. Oh, please tell Sam that I went to Drizzle and Dip and left a comment to let her know that Sam recommended the blog. All the best to you two!

      Reply
  6. Zoe

    Hi Aura, I heard about your blog from Jacob Miller and I love it! I’m a food blogger as well, my recipes are gluten-free (as well as refined sugar-free and sometimes paleo/SCD). I really like the look of those spring rolls you posted, they sound good!

    Reply
    1. Aura Post author

      Thank you very much for the comment, Zoe! And thanks to Jacob for the recommendation! I’d love to check out your food blog if you can send along your website! 🙂

      Reply
  7. Jack Etsweiler

    Hi, Aura,

    Glad to see you preparing for another snowy West Michigan Winter. This summer I discovered a lazy way to handle the avalanche of end-of-season tomatoes, Heirloom or modern, slicers down to paste varieties. Cut them in half around their Equator, place them cut-side up on a big rimmed cookie sheet or other pan, season them with whatever catches your imagination. My fall-back was Lime Pepper this year. Place them under the broiler until the outside edges are blackish, and finish them in a 350-degree oven for another half hour or so. Let them cool (in the oven, on the counter, wherever), and transfer them to a storage container for later use. I like to fill a pitcher with them and then I add good olive oil and I take the stick blender to them. The easiest marinara, and some of the best, you have ever made. I’ll snip up some roasted tomatoes in a stew or a soup or a dip or anything that will profit from added depth of flavor. They’re a great side to brunch, and can be added to scrambled eggs before mixing/cooking. They freeze beautifully, either intact or pureed. They have the richness you find in excellent raisins and dried plums, with a hint of sour and sweet. Now you are armed for next summer’s onslaught!

    Have a great Winter,

    Jack in Ann Arbor

    Reply
    1. Aura Post author

      Jack! It was so good to hear from you. I’m thrilled you found your way to my blog and hope you enjoy it. Thank you for your ideas and eloquent descriptions. I had just eaten a late dinner and your writing got me thinking of and hungry for a simple roasted tomato sauce tossed with good quality noodles. Now I’m missing the tomatoes of summer and wishing I had taken the time to prepare some like this. Thanks again and enjoy the last bits of fall!

      Reply
    1. Aura Post author

      Thank you so much, Ashley! I just clicked through to your blog and it looks beautiful–amazing photography. It makes me wish I was at that dinner table. I’m really looking forward to following your blog. I appreciate the comment!

      Reply
  8. Tracie

    Hi Aura, I watched you today on WZZM Take Five and Company. I am anxious to make the black bean and butternut squash chili, looks so delicious! However, the list of ingredients missed celery, just wondering how much to use?
    BTW, made your roasted sweet potato puree ( also seen on Take Five) for Christmas, delicious. However, the coconut oil was difficult to work with, solidified while trying to coat the potatoes w oil and agavae. Any suggestions, or just need to be quick?
    Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Aura Caplett Post author

      Hi Tracie,

      Thank you for watching the segment and trying out my recipes!

      Thank you for catching the error about the celery. I am posting the recipe on my blog tomorrow and was sure to edit the recipe to include celery. I used 2 stalks of celery for the recipe.

      For the coconut oil, it does tend to harden so you do have to be quick and use melted coconut oil. I’m not sure if you saw on TV (the camera may not have shown this clearly) but after I mixed the sweet potatoes with the agave and the coconut oil it began to harden a little as I spread the mixture onto the pan. Not to worry–the heat from the oven will quickly begin to melt the coconut oil and you can give the sweet potatoes a quick stir to coat the sweet potatoes after they’ve been in the oven for a few minutes.

      Thanks again!!

      Reply
  9. Mia Myers

    Aura, what an inspiring blog!

    May I put a link to you on my website? I sell heirloom vegetable seeds and people don’t think they like beets. I think they’d be inspired by your Baby Beets/Goat Cheese recipe. Beets are the bomb!

    I won’t put up the link without your permission. You never know what fanatical vegetable gardeners might show up!

    Thanks for the beauty and inspiration.

    Mia

    Reply
    1. Aura Caplett Post author

      Hi Mia,

      I would love that! Thanks for asking and for thinking of me. There are some other good beet recipes in the archives to suit different tastes:
      A salad with roasted, raw, and pickled beets: http://dinnerwithaura.com/three-beet-salad-with-feta-and-honey-balsamic-glaze/
      A “red flannel hash” for a hearty breakfast: http://dinnerwithaura.com/lighten-up-america-its-red-flannel-hash-and-a-giveaway/
      A golden beet salad with dill and pine nuts: http://dinnerwithaura.com/lighten-up-america-its-red-flannel-hash-and-a-giveaway/
      And finally, baked root vegetable chips! http://dinnerwithaura.com/baked-root-vegetable-chips/

      I have a recipe for beet and wild rice burgers but have not yet gotten around to posting it. But they were great.

      Thanks again!
      Aura

      Reply
  10. Lily Cohen

    Dear Aura,

    I found your wonderful recipe Baked Root Vegetable Chips here http://dinnerwithaura.com/baked-root-vegetable-chips/.

    I work for a small company in California called Lifestyle Dynamics (Lifestyledynamics.com). We sell our own brand of healthy kitchen cooking tools on our own website and on Amazon.com.

    We are currently creating a recipe eBook for our newest product, the Dynamic Chef Mandoline Slicer. This eBook will be emailed out to each and every customer who buys our product as a bonus.

    The purpose for my email is to ask you if you would give us permission to share your Baked Root Vegetable Chips inside this eBook. We would, of course, include a link to your website along with a short bio about you and/or your website.

    We currently sell about 3,000 units per month between our 7 products. We expect the mandoline slicer to increase this number quite a bit. This would give you and your website some good free exposure to new audiences. We may also use this eBook as a promotional tool, which would just mean more exposure for you and your website.

    Thank you so much for taking your time to read this. If you have any questions at all, please let me know. Feel free to browse our website and look at our mission, our blog, etc.

    I look forward to your reply.

    Best,
    Alnessa
    Lifestyle Dynamics

    Reply
    1. Aura Caplett Post author

      Hi Lily,

      Thank you very much for reaching out and for asking permission. I’d be happy to have my recipe included in the ebook.

      I’m not sure if you ever offer compensation in the form of a product but typically the companies that utilize my recipes offer compensation in the form of a credit or a product.

      Let me know what you think.

      Aura

      Reply

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