Hi there! I’m Lindsey Johnson. Welcome to Cafe Johnsonia!
I didn’t set out to become a food stylist + photographer, blogger, writer, recipe developer, or the other things I now do for work. I studied Biology in school and thought I was headed for medical school. But things changed and so did my path. I found myself living in the New York City suburbs as a single, 20-year-old. It was an impulsive move – not like me at all! During my first year living in NY, I bought myself a film SLR camera and fell completely in love with photography. During that time, I also developed my mad skills in the kitchen. I have always known my way around the kitchen and loved experimenting, but living in New York meant I was exposed to a gamut of new-to-me ingredients and cultures. It was quite the tasty adventure!
A year or so after I moved to NY, I met my husband and we got married. Our newlywed days were filled with a lot of cooking together and dining out. Our favorite thing to do to this day is a jaunt to the market to find some new things to try. Coincidentally, we also enjoy “scrounging” at antique and thrift stores for great props and other items which comes in handy for our work in photography and film.
I’m self-taught in photography, cooking, and baking, which in a way is its own kind of triumph. I pride myself on taking challenges head on and doing my best to conquer them. The work I do now allows me to do that, and I love (almost) every minute of it!
We recently moved from Salt Lake City, UT, to Boise, Idaho. We are loving it so far! You can contact me at cafejohnsonia(at)gmail(dot)com.
I do a lot of other sorts of work too, you can read more about that here.
//FOOD PHILOSOPHY + HEALTHY EATING//
I believe in eating seasonal, whole, unprocessed foods whenever possible. I believe that food can heal us or hurt us and it’s up to us to decide which path to follow.
I grew up eating a lot of processed food – like most Americans. Something started to change for me when I really taught myself to cook. I started paying attention to the ingredients I was using and how they tasted compared to prepackaged, processed, artificially flavored stuff. I realized that I didn’t actually like that processed stuff after all. I had never really been tasting food until I started making everything from scratch and using quality ingredients. The difference was huge!
I am a recovered veggie hater, and proud of it! My favorite joke was that I could be a vegetarian if only I liked vegetables. I was in my twenties before I ever tasted broccoli and cauliflower. (True story.)
In 2010, I took on a personal challenge to spend thirty days eating an entirely gluten-free, vegan, sugar-free diet. And it changed my life for the better. I’m not against animal products or gluten by any means. But that in those thirty days I realized how out of touch I was with my body and health and how much I had relied on dairy, meat, and bread in my diet. I had never felt better than I did during those thirty days. After that month, I decided to continue eating that way most of the time. I realized that I am gluten-intolerant, which was a little sad, but mostly liberating. I also noticed I can’t eat a lot of dairy without it affecting me. Also a little sad, but liberating. It was a new frontier for me to explore – healthy eating.
How do we eat now?
We follow the advice of Michael Pollan – “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” And it’s good advice. We haven’t completely limited animal products from our diets, but we do eat mostly vegetarian. We occasionally buy high quality fish that is wild-caught or sustainably farmed, organic pastured chicken and eggs. I am the only one who is 100% gluten-free, though I think I’m wearing the others down with my GF baking. (wink, wink)
Bottom line – we eat homemade, whole foods and we like it. So that’s what you’ll find here along with the occasional treat.
I started Cafe Johnsonia in 2006. It used to be a blog about my family and I posted a bucket load of pictures and stories about my pregnancies, babies, toddlers, and some embarrassing things that are now safely hidden from public view. I eventually started a separate food blog called Just Recipes, but changed the name to Cafe Johnsonia for simplicity sake and because it was tough keeping up two blogs. I started to put all of my effort into learning my way around a Digital SLR (I still loved film best!) and acquiring new cooking and baking skills while my babies napped. My blog was a record of that and I love looking back through the archives and remembering what I was doing back then.
Cafe Johnsonia (pronounced John-soh-nee-uh) is the name I chose because we lovingly call our family The Johnsonian Institute. Cafe was because I loved to cook and one day have my very own restaurant or cafe. (Maybe someday?) The name stuck and so did the blog.
Let me introduce you to my family! They are a huge, if not the hugest part, of what I do and why I do it.
This is my husband, Fred, and his Aunt Robin. Fred plays a big part as main recipe tester and also works behind the scenes. Aunt Robin is one of my dearest friends and shares a love of cooking and food. The three of us have had some fun adventures together, including a few days in Hawaii, where this picture was taken.
This is my oldest daughter, Lilly. She is always having fun wherever she goes (except when she’s tasked with cleaning her room!) Her favorite foods include Brussels sprouts and broccoli. True story. She also love Stilton, steak, and is game to try anything I’m making. She even loves curry. (Bless her heart!)
Next is Fritz. He is always happy and loves to cook. His favorite foods are toast, anything sweet (especially chocolate), and strawberries. He’s also been known to sneak a jar of Nutella and lick it clean in the matter of an hour. He is the sweetened boy you’ll ever meet and loves to cook.
Betta is my youngest. She is a true redhead and we adore her fiery personality. She loves yogurt and fruit of all kinds, but her favorite food of all is oatmeal. She also loves to help out in the kitchen, try new foods, and sip any and everything from a straw, particularly green smoothies.
Thanks for stopping by!