Hi, Welcome to Midwestern HomeLife!
I’m Cara, the author, recipe developer, photographer, and dishwasher extraordinaire at Midwestern HomeLife.
I live in central Minnesota with my husband and golden retriever. And when I’m not cooking or writing about food, you’ll find me hiking the trails around our beautiful lakes and golf courses, reading, or indulging in my ultimate guilty pleasure: watching Hallmark movies.
Midwestern HomeLife is where I share easy, approachable recipes with simple ingredients you can find in almost any grocery store.
Every recipe has been tested and tasted (and tasted and tasted!) and includes all my tips and tricks to help you create it perfectly at home.
About Midwestern HomeLife
I started Midwestern HomeLife when I transitioned from a 20+ year career in the hospitality industry to freelance writing.
It was created to be my own little place to practice writing about whatever I wanted. As I built up my business writing about other people’s passions, I realized I only wanted to write about my own: FOOD.
You see, I’ve been creating my own recipes for years and have been told many times I should write a cookbook (someday!) or open a restaurant (hard no). I read cookbooks like novels and have thrown parties just so I could cook for them.
The recipes you’ll find at Midwestern HomeLife are influenced by how I grew up, my love of cooking, and YOU — what you’re looking for.
I grew up in a small town in northern Minnesota with a busy mom who often relied on cans and boxes to create delicious family dinners.
Weekends and holidays were often spent at large family potlucks and church gatherings with banquet tables lined with heaping bowls of savory and sweet salads, CrockPots of homemade hotdishes (that’s casserole for you non-Minnesotans), and 9 x 13 pans of delicious bars and gooey desserts.
And my grandparents’ platters of homemade holiday goodies shaped what Christmas tastes like to me.
As a result, I tailor my recipes to ingredients my family and friends back home can easily find in their grocery store. And I find great inspiration (and comfort) from my collection of hometown community cookbooks with tried-and-true recipes from my aunts, neighbors, friends’ moms, and the people I just know because I grew up there.
They’re usually something I dreamt up (is it weird that I fall asleep thinking about recipes?), inspired by a classic favorite, or straight from a family recipe box. And sometimes, I share my experience making a popular recipe so you can easily recreate it at home.
I believe you can make delicious food regardless of the amount of time, money, or energy you have. So I sometimes use time-saving (yet oft-ostracized) ingredients like boxed cake mix, condensed soup, and Cool Whip (gasp!).
I also make scratch recipes with fresh ingredients.
As much time as I spend cooking in the kitchen, I probably spend 10x more at my computer researching the types of recipes you are looking for.
I choose the recipes I share on the blog by analyzing recipe and ingredient trends, seasonality, popular and unusual flavor combinations, and nostalgic classics.
My goal is to create recipes you will turn to again and again for weeknight dinners, weekend entertaining, holidays, game day, and more.
And if you follow me on Facebook, I’ll probably ask you at some point what you like to eat or what you made for dinner that night. It’s not just because I’m being nosy (okay, maybe a little), but I am genuinely interested so I can make more of what you like.
Because even though this is my “About Me” page, Midwestern HomeLife is really About You.
Get in Touch
I'd love to hear from you! Whether you have a question or just want to connect, don't hesitate to reach out at cara@caralanz(dot)com and let's chat.
Thank you for being here.
Drive safe and watch for deer,