When my family discussed baby names for me, several names were brought to the table. Mom mentioned, “Francis,” “Molly,” and “Lilly.” My older brother suggested, “Cinnamon Roll,” because I would be the sweetest baby sister, ever ;). While somewhat ordinary, my family eventually settled on, “Samantha.”

Today, I’m a driven, nineteen-year-old girl, who is interested in swimming, art, and most importantly to this blog, cooking. My kitchen affair began early, due to two important women. Primarily, my mother taught me that the kitchen is a place for joy and experimentation. After her novel-worthy days as a shrink, she came home to our family, pulled out the current recipe magazine, and started to cook.  Her selections were always exciting, and most of the time, they were good. While now I refuse to admit that her culinary knowledge once surpassed my own, Mom taught me about fennel, blood oranges, and balsamic vinegar.

Secondly, my nanny deserves credit. Her cooking was 100% love and I will never again have scrambled eggs as good as hers. After long vacations from home, she made sure that our fridge was stocked and a crock pot of braised pork and vegetables was ready. She fed the memorable duo of mashed potatoes and green beans. Maybe it’s inappropriate, but the butter sandwich, a true passion of mine, was her signature. Nanny made the kitchen comfortable.

I brought my own skills to our kitchen as soon as I could. At age five, I entered a Southern Living recipe contest, and I won! My recipe was the, “Gouda-Lover’s Chicken Sandwich.” (As a side note, they kind of mutilated my recipe. There also used to be a big article about it on the internet, but I can’t find it now.) Anyway, I’ve come a long way since then.

Throughout my childhood, my relationship with food has been all over the map. Roles include, but are not limited to:

  • Mommy, make me a snack.
  • Can I stir the pancake batter?
  • What is there to eat?
  • I’ll just make it myself.
  • How many calories does that have?
  • I’m not eating. . . anything.
  • Get out of my kitchen!
  • Mom, I’m going to bake bread today.
  • Boyfriend, we’re going to bake cookies tonight!
  • Let’s make dinner together.

My role in the kitchen has change from the one being fed to the one doing the feeding. During the transition, I’ve listened, read, and watched my way through thousands of cooking-related media. In the culinary arena, my knowledge is quite strong. Just to give you an idea, I’ve tested and documented hundreds of recipes, ranging from Gourmet’s duck confit to my aunt’s pumpkin cookies. My passion for cooking transcends the limits of one specific style.

P.S. For extra reading about me, you can go to my swim page. It explains my other passion and the story behind my “food roles.”

73 Responses to “Me”
  1. Art says:

    Enjoyed the entries. Look forward to seeing more.

  2. Jenny says:

    Hey girl! Welcome to blogworld! Thanks so much for stopping by my page. Yours is just fantastic! Your pictures are astounding and I can tell you have a true eye for beauty. I look forward to reading more :)!!

  3. Jae says:

    Hey! I’m a soon-to-be senior as well :)
    I look forward to reading your posts :)

  4. Ranch says:

    Hi, my name is Ranch and I go to high school in San Diego. I am 15 and will be starting Junior year. I saw your comments on Kelsey Edwards blog and then found your blog. I don’t have a blog but I have a facebook under Ranch Mubay and a You Tube channel under Ramubay’sChannel. I like swimming, boating, kayaking, hiking, rock-climbing and riding horses.

  5. Boyfriend says:


  6. itzexodus says:

    Very nice blog. I like it.

  7. molly says:

    Did you struggle with an eating disorder? I ask because of the “I’m not eating. . . anything.” line of your info

  8. Patti Green says:

    Ever so clever!

  9. Woo hooo! Another SAMI in the blogworld :)

    Can’t wait to read more! <3


  10. soteriasarah says:

    AH! I’m so happy to see someone that seems to love food as much as I do. I am notoriously known for my aggressive eating habits. :)

    Looking forward to reading more.

  11. Boyfriend says:

    I see you got Foodbuzz setup.
    Congratulations babe.

  12. Jane says:

    Samantha, how wonderful to find your blog. You are evidence that your generation is not just all the negative stuff we see in the media.
    My daughter started the family cooking at 8 (as I was ill) and went on to become a chef. Now a mum to 3 girls she has been passing on her skills. Miss 8 & Miss 6 can whip up a cake as fast as you can blink. They run a ‘family restaurant’ on Sunday nights.
    I am going to send the link to your blog to
    several mothers and daughters I know.
    I look forward to being a regular reader. I am sure you will go on to better and bigger things.
    Let me know if there are any Australian recipes you are interested in.

    • Oh, thank you. :) Your comment is so kind! I’m not very familiar with Australian cooking, to be honest. I’d love to try some vegemite though, hahaha. I’ll check out your page for some ideas!

  13. Jane says:

    you can find me at

    Daily Blog tab, but feel free to visit any.
    the contact isnt working atm so leave a comment on my blog
    Jane in Australia(again)

  14. wasserblog1 says:

    Love the blog! Makes me wish I had gotten interested in food (other than eating it) earlier on in life :)

    Keep cooking (and writing!)

  15. Kara says:

    Hey Sami!

    I just came across your blog. Some really groovy recipes!
    Then, I noticed you are from KY. Where?
    I’m from Lexington :)
    I live in Los Angeles now and am myself a foodie :)
    Keep up the good work!
    You should pass your stuff on to the OWN network.
    It’s Oprah’s new network. You never know, a cooking show may be a great place for you to head for :)
    Happy Eating!

  16. teenagebookaddict says:

    I love your blog (and swimming too!).

  17. antobahasa says:

    Hi, meet me anto. I found your blog on the wordpress search. I was surprised because you were very young, but already have a blog whose contents weigh. In my country, Indonesia, the child’s age you more play and less popular with the blog. Yet still there and some have learned to blog. Well, Congratulations.

    If you do not mind, please visit my blog ( I’m still new in blog world. Still have a lot to learn to write a blog. From you, I got an inspiration and a lot of things in the world of blogs. Thank you.



    • I’m on my way to your blog! Thank you for your comment. I’m able to blog so much because I’m away from school and it’s the summer time. When school starts again, it will be much harder for me to post!

  18. Hello! It sounds like you have really channeled your energies into you passions early in life! Love your blog…and your recipes.. just wonderful. Congrats!

  19. erinsloves says:

    love your blog girl! great to stumble across a fellow southerner! cant wait to check out your page again!

  20. islandmomma says:

    Just wanted to say congratulations on your blog. I found it through WordPress freshly pressed. I clicked on it because I love watermelon (esp in this weather – we have a heatwave here in the Canary Islands!) and it looked perfect. Can’t wait to try it. However, when you’re thinking about your future, you should also think about writing. You have talent. Lots of luck with your senior year, and have a great summer.

  21. Claire says:

    How did you get so many readers? Is there anything I can do to publicize my blog ( I read that you were shown on wordpress’s homepage but how did you get to that point? Well done! :D

    • I’ve stayed active in “blog world” by commenting and posting daily. I’ve also joined FoodBuzz – a community of food bloggers. :D I didn’t apply to be “Freshly Pressed” though. WordPress chose me!

  22. heey! my name is ashley and im kinda new to the blog world. im loving your blog so much, the recipes and everything is just amazing! its so amazing how you come up with the phonomenal recipes on your own like how do you know how much of what ingredient! your passion for cooking is so inspiring! keep it up <3

  23. Sherah says:

    What a nice blog you have. It’s impressive! 100 girl power points! Keep it up; loving every minute.

  24. angiosperms says:

    Hi Sami!

    I absolutely love your blog. You have an awful lot of talent! :)

    Enjoy your senior year! By the way, I’ll be going into my sophomore year (of high school).


  25. eatmovewrite says:

    I love your “roles.” I can identify with many of them.

  26. Celeste says:

    This is so awesome! I struggled finding my “role” with eating/food in the kitchen as well..I’m entering my sophomore year as a driven pianist and XC runner, and I can’t wait to try your recipes!

  27. Little Bookworm says:

    Found your blog through HEAB’s (Heather’s) blog. Looking forward to reading your posts. :)

  28. You’re so much fun! I love reading your blog! And your recipes sound absolutely delicious!

  29. Happy Birthday Sushi Roll Sam :)

  30. mom says:

    WAY TO GO SAMI!!! Congratulations on all your college admissions. Could not be prouder of you, little boo.
    Love, mom

  31. Tara says:

    Great blog! I’m glad I came across it. I wish I had been introduced to the whole food blog world when I was your age :)

  32. hanna says:

    hellooo just stumbled across your blog through a post on smittenkitchen (don’t you think deb is just frickin amazin??!!) and got curious (teenage gourmet? what a cool blog name!!) i’m 16 and a fellow teenage gourmet as well =)) hoping to go to cooking school in France after I graduate next year and become a chef. have you considered doing something like that? or writing a column for a foodie magazine? we seem to have very similar interests lol i love writing, cooking and swimming :PP altho i’m british/dutch and live in africa. keep up the good work, fellow foodie!!! love your blog and will be following your posts from here on out. :P

    • I have considered culinary school; I really want to go! Food writing or marketing interest me too. I know that I want to be in the culinary world somehow. Thank you for the compliments. I’m actually going to London in a couple of weeks! Do you have any recommendations?

      • hanna says:

        heyy i’ve been looking at the cordon bleu cooking school in paris which is supposed to be the best culinary school in the world!! There are eight different campuses around the world, including America if you’re interested. They do medium-to-long term courses, cover everything (pastry, meat, pasta, eggs, etc) and it takes the place of university after you graduate school. (pretty expensive though!!) There’s also a very good great cooking school in South Africa called the South African Chefs Academy.

        London is an amazing place!! Have you ever been before? Every couple of years my family travels from Africa to visit relatives in England & Holland. Definitely go and see all the tourist-y places (Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, etc) they’re really worth it. See if you can get some info on the National Trust, which will advise you on the best history sites (if you’re into history!) and tourist attractions. Also keep an eye for street markets which are just absolutely fabulous! Most of them seem to sell just about everything. You can pick up some great outfits and souvenirs not to mention sample traditional British food from the stalls. Don’t overlook the little street-side cafes either. They serve simple, utterly delectable stuff. A few must trys: a cream tea, a full Sunday roast with Yorkshire puddings, ice-cream from an ice-cream van on the beach, bangers and mash, WagonWheels, fish and chips wrapped in newspaper and doused in vinegar and salt (scampi is yummy!) and toad in the hole to name a few. Be adventurous!! There will be loads of Japanese, Italian, Chinese, Lebanese, etc. restaurants so it’s definitely a gourmet paradise!!

        Have a great trip, I’m sure you’ll have a lot of fun :))) One really really important thing to remember: bring sweaters. And jeans. Warm clothes basically. Yeah I know its summer. Don’t be fooled. It’s England. The sun only shines for a few weeks a year. It will probably be drizzly, foggy and chilly for a lot of the time. So don’t just pack shorts, spaghetti-straps and bikinis!! (although you may need those too so you can take advantage of those few precious sunny days lol!!) Enjoy!! :P

      • Wow! That you so much for your through response and great tips! I’ve heard about cream tea, but now I will definitely give it a try. Your packing tips will be really helpful too because I was wondering what I should bring! I haven’t been to London before, so this will be a completely new adventure. My brother and I will be in London for a few days, then to Paris, and then back to London before we leave. I can’t wait. Thank you so much!

  33. hanna says:

    you’re welcome!! glad to help out in any way i can lol.. i’m gonna be in the UK this summer so will be enjoying the sites and shopping same as you!! have a lovely holiday :)) btw adore your blog.

  34. Elizabeth B. says:

    Hey! I just created my own blog and it’s about one of my passions which is baking :) I hope you guys read it as I share what I bake everyday and my thoughts and feelings when I do it. There’s a cultural aspect with that as well.
    View it here — :)

    I always want to hear feedback as it’s important what you think of it.

  35. Elizabeth B. says:

    Btw, I honestly admire how you’re running this blog !

  36. I just found your blog, I love it!! The thing about your name is cute. You put your relationship with food really well, with the things you said. :)

  37. Talia says:

    I never realized the community of teen bloggers was this big! I just recently found a bunch of teen blogs (like yours!) and I love it! It’s so cool to see teens with a passion for health. I love your blog!

  38. The Teenage Taste says:

    Hi Sami! I was just about to send you an email to see if you were interested in doing a guest post on my blog. I can’t seem to find your email address listed anywhere on your blog, but I would still love for you to do a post on my blog while I am away on vacation. It’s a bit of short notice (I will be leaving next weekend) so I understand if you can’t since you are going away to college so soon. Either way, please email me at Hope to hear from you soon. :-)

  39. Joyce Pinson says:

    Hello Samantha! I’ve been trying to get around to all the KY bloggers sites. Congrats on speaking at Food Blog South…that’s a big deal! Best wishes in the New Year!

  40. cannellavita says:

    I love your blog! I am also a teenage food blogger (15 at the moment) and I am always so inspired to see other teens who have a passion for food and photography as much as I do.

  41. Just found your blog and love it! It’s great to find another 19-year old with a lot of the same passions :)

  42. Mira says:

    I was so inspired by your blog: I’m 14 and I could completely relate to your different ‘Role in Food’. I went through the exact same stages…
    I wanted to start my own blog, but thought I was too young. Yours was the first teenage one I came across and it opened up the world of young food bloggers to me.
    I just started my own blog and I’m cooking every day this summer.
    Do you think you could have a look and tell me what you think? (I know you’re really busy with college!)
    You just KNOW how to cook and invent things… any advice for a rookie?
    Do you know anyone else who might like to read it?
    Thanks so much xx

    • I’d love to, and the name is very cute. I’ll take a look at it later today and let you know what I think.

      Best, Sami

      Samantha Rivard University of Virginia 2015 Second Year Council, Dinner Series 859 319-5696

  43. Luke says:

    Hey Samantha. I’m a rising college sophomore (Colorado College) and am a big fan of your blog. I started blogging last month and anticipate it will be more challenging within the confines of a dorm. Were you able to post to the blog much during school?

    • [Somewhat] sadly, my posting essentially stopped. Time in college is precious, and I don’t want to sacrifice opportunities at UVa for blogging. My blog will always be available, but I only have four years here. Now that I have a kitchen, I may post more often during my second year, but I’m not worrying about it. I’m having a lot of fun!

      Best, Sami

      Samantha Rivard University of Virginia 2015 Second Year Council, Dinner Series 859 319-5696

  44. Sarah says:

    Just found you blog, it’s so cool to find another teenage foodie like myself! You have some great recipes, and i’ll definitely have to give some of yours a try :)

  45. diego says:

    Hey samantha I am new to ur blog vy the way. Woww that is soo cool and interestingg of how much passion and interest u have for cooking by the way. It sounds like u really are into it and put ur creative. That is also cool of how u describe urself on this blog. My name is diego I also love to cook since the age of 11yrs old. My cooking style is italian and asian cusine put together. If its cool ill leave my email here so we could talk some more and hear ur awesome cooking stories and ur lifestyle.

  46. TheCookiez says:


    it´s Cédric from german fooblog “TheCookiez” looking for interview partners, who would like to tell us something about american eating cultures. We are actually looking for young foodbloggers like you and me for an interview series about food and teenagers in different countries.

    If you are interesseted in answering a few questions and seeing your blog featured at please mail me at

    I hope to read from you soon,

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