Welcome to Chisel & Fork! Here you will find directions for DIY projects, recipes for delicious meals and miscellaneous thoughts on whatever is happening in our life.
We're Ryan and Lauren. We've been married six years and have two kids - Oliver and Avery. We also have a Mini Australian Shepherd named Zooey. We currently live in Parkton, Maryland which is about 45 minutes north of Baltimore. We originally met out in Portland, Oregon where our affinity for the outdoors drew us together!
I (Ryan) am originally from Orlando, Florida and grew up in a home with a passion for food and sports. With food, our vacations revolved around the best places to eat and I still carry that with me to this day. I was raised to cheer hard for the University of Florida (Go Gators!), so no surprise that's where I ended up for college. After spending a few years in the sports industry I decided to go back to school and earned my MBA at the University of Central Florida. Since then I've settled in a business analyst role at PayPal.
Lauren grew up in Wilmington, Delaware. While food was never the centerpiece of her family, she developed a passion for baking that only grew when she met me and found out my mom had a cookie business (more on that in a bit). Sports often brought her family together, and countless nights were spent on the softball field where she was a pitcher for her high school and travel ball teams. In fact, her dad even re-arranged the basement so she had her own practice facility for pitching and batting! Lauren attended the University of Delaware and continued to play softball. She then went on to Duke University and earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy. She currently practices in an outpatient physical therapy clinic treating a variety of patients from high school athletes to geriatrics.
While it was the outdoors that brought us close, it was our love of food that helped tie the knot! After going on a couple of dates, I invited Lauren over for dinner. Being excited for an excuse to cook, I made one of my favorite meals - fried chicken and macaroni and cheese. However I wasn't sure if Lauren was the type of girl who liked a plain mac and cheese or something a little more adventurous. So there were two options - cheddar mac and cheese and a goat cheese pesto. While she thought it was a little over the top, she was hooked nonetheless.
The cherry on top though was when I shared my mother had her own cookie business, called Heartsong Cookies. Throughout the years my mom had baked cookies for her clients as thank you gifts and kept hearing how great her they were. Just like we're doing today, it took a little encouragement, but my mom started her own business and started selling her cookies on the weekends at different farmers markets. Her business continues to grow to this day and you can order yourself from www.heartsongcookies.com! I might be biased but they are by far the best I've ever had!
And while my mother definitely has the baking gene, my dad is by far the best cook I've been around. While I always like to look at recipes and then go off here and there with spices or extra cheese, my dad is a true chef who can create something from scratch no problem. Ironically he loves cookbooks but has run out of space for them as I've bought more than I can count! With that in mind, creating a truly great meal from scratch without even looking at a recipe is something I plan on tackling and sharing here, although I get inspired by many other food blogs out there.
Ok back on topic! After being in a long distance relationship for a short time Lauren and I decided to move in together just outside of Baltimore. It was here that I discovered a woodworking shop called Station North Tool Library. A new-found love and obsession was born and I've made several projects from classes at the shop and from other blogs across the web.
With some push from family and friends, we've decided to start this blog as we start our journey together! Our hope is to inspire you to try some fun projects and food recipes at home, while also sharing a little bit about our lives in the process!
What You'll Find on Chisel & Fork
I've always liked the mantra "Everything in Moderation" and try to follow that when it comes to food. I don't want to ever give up my favorite meals but also realize I need to balance it with healthy alternatives. Here you'll find everything from Italian braciole to homemade naan to veggie grain bowls.
The recipes contain detailed instructions to ensure you have success in making them. My goal here is to share recipes I've grown to love and have you be able to recreate them yourself.
In addition, you'll find a variety of DIY projects, whether it's easy gifts like lavender sugar scrub and homemade vanilla extract or furniture like a wine cooler cabinet or lift top coffee table. Hopefully you'll find a project to inspire you as there is no better feeling than making something yourself.
Chisel & Fork has been featured in Bloglovin, BuzzFeed, CountryLiving Foodgawker, FoodYub, Kitchen Thy.me and Yummly among others.
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