Behind the Scenes Peek

We get a lot of questions about what our “jobs” actually entail around here and there are actually a lot of aspects to this little gig.  We obviously cook, photograph, and share recipes here on the blog.  We also stay busy writing cook books, public speaking, collaborating with press and media, and doing a little traveling.  The business side of things takes up an enormous amount of time and I think most people would be surprised to see how much goes on “behind the scenes!”  (I also think people would have instant panic attacks if they saw our inbox.  Because we IphoneApp-have panic attacks.)  We constantly have side projects we’re working on, like right now, we’re spending hours upon hours getting our App all ready for ya (I know we keep saying it’s close, but really…it’s close!)

All that being said, I have to say one of my favorite parts of my job is freelance recipe development.  It’s fun to be inspired by a certain type of food, or brand, and get to play around in the kitchen until we come up with something perfect, that represents both who we are as cooks and creative minds, and also the client for whom we’re cookin’ things up for.  I recently worked on a project developing some recipes for Simple Truth and since that’s taken up most of my week, I thought you’d enjoy taking a little “behind the scenes” peek!

I’m going to be sharing the recipes with you in the coming weeks, but here’s a little taste.  (I wish it an actual taste, but technology has only brought us so far.)  And yes, this first one tastes as good as it looks!  I came up with some Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake Bars.  They have a sweet cookie crust, a vanilla-lemon ricotta cheesecake layer, fresh berries, and a lemon crumb topping.  And I topped it with an easy berry sauce for good measure.

Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake Bars from Our Best Bites

To balance the sweet with the savory, I also came up with a really yummy Curry Cashew Quinoa Salad.

Curry Cashew Quinoa Salad from Our Best Bites

These recipes are being turned into little video segments.  I say “little,” but no one was more surprised than I was to see the amount of gear the crew showed up bright and early in the morning to turn my house into a set!

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This is Rex, the sound specialist who I swear could hear a pin drop from 800 miles away.  He picked up sound from my son playing a game on an iPad turned almost completely to silent on a different floor and opposite end of my house.   It was kind of amazing.  (Sidenote:  What should I do with my mantle?  We’re still getting settled in our new place and that mantle is stressing me out.  Right now I just put candlesticks up there every time I unpack another one.  I’m going to run out of room.  Or be forced to buy actual candles.  I’m thinking maybe a mirror…)

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I worked with a really talented cinematographer, who after seeing his work, makes me feel confident that even I couldn’t ruin these videos.

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There were fuzzy microphones that reminded me of my sister’s chinchilla,

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And lights that they promised would make me look thin with perfectly glowing skin.  Okay, they didn’t promise that.  They actually laughed at me when I demanded that sort of equipment.

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It was a long day- about 12 straight hours of filming, and a total blast.  I’m really excited to see the finished product, not because I’m in it (I actually hate seeing myself on video, I makes me cringe and cover my eyes) but because I think the creative team behind the project are so talented.  I can’t wait to share the yummy recipes too; I was thinking of all y’all when I was brainstorming ideas.  I always think, “What would our OBB readers like…”  So thanks for inspiring us, too!

I hope you guys enjoyed a little behind-the-scenes action today.  I’m off for some much needed R&R this weekend, but Kate and I will be back next week, a week of LOVE, for Valentines!  And before you take off, make sure to check out the deal right below.  BOTH of our cook books, our first book, and our second book, are priced at a crazy-good deal right now for a limited time only.  It’s time to stock up- for you and for gifts- you won’t find a better deal than this!  It’s only through Deseret Book, and the deal is both on-line and in-store.  Get ’em while they’re hot!

Book Sale

woman in denim shirt holding a salad bowl
Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. I guess I waited too long. Your first book is no longer on sale. I’m hoping someone bought it for me for Valentine’s…I’ll find out when I get home from work!

  2. The Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake Bars sound delicious! It will be fun to see photos of your kitchen and the new video.

  3. Yes a mirror would look beautiful up there and reflect the warm tones in the rest of the toom. Your new house looks wonderful! Don’t stress. It will all come together just the right way.

  4. That is so neat and looks like so much fun! Your home looks great! Keep up the good work, you both are an inspiration!

  5. Looks like you’ve got a family photo on the other wall so a mirror would be great, but since there is nothing for it to reflect, it’s super cute to hang a wreath with a ribbon on it. Looks beautiful!! Hoping in your kitchen post you share your details. I am looking for a backsplash, hint hint!!

    1. Yes- I’ll share all the details! I actually found my backsplash tile at Costco, and the metal tiles were just from Home Depot. Easy Peasy!

  6. So happy for your success. your kitchen is lovely, and you look amazing. also so excited to see your cookbooks on crazy sale. i do have a question for ya. i noticed you had a couple cookbooks in one of your cupboards. i was just curious to know which ones you have. onece again, congrats on your success. God is faithful.

    1. I have so many! I keep my favorites within quick reach in that cupboard though, most of them are Cooks Illustrated ones, family ones, and the Better Homes and Gardens Book.

  7. My sister-in-law called me the other day to tell me that “one of the OBB girls” just moved into her ward. She knew I loved your blog/cookbooks aka everything, so she though she should tell me, haha! Anyway, your new kitchen is BEAUTIFUL and I think the idea of puting a large family photograph above the mantle would look awesome! Can’t wait for the app!

  8. Over your mantle? Get a 16 X 20 inch or larger beautiful, professional photograph of your family and put it over your mantle. No candle or candlestick or mirror will make it more your home than that. The walls of our home are covered with family pictures and gospel art. There is no doubt when you are in our home what we treasure most.

  9. Thanks for all the inspiration ~ blog, pictures, cookbooks!!! I so enjoy it all! A note about the idea of putting a mirror above the mantle (others have also discouraged you as well) ~ mirrors are meant to reflect something beautiful. People tend to put a mirror over the mantle, but often you end up seeing the ceiling or the light fixture. The candle holders do look groovy, but if they’re not calling to you go for something else. Good luck! Your house looks beautiful!

  10. You look great, your house looks beautiful, and the good news (for me) is that one day soon I WILL be able to taste you amazing recipes.

  11. I think that gorgeous mantle is the perfect spot for a Christus statue. It’ll fir between the candlesticks!

  12. Loved it! I can’t wait for those recipes, they look delicious. Your house is beautiful…I am also having a mantle issue, I’m pretty sure that I want to do a mirror but I’m still looking around.

  13. Thanks for the sneak peek….and I can not wait for your app!

    Your house looks beautiful!! I definitely would stay away from a mirror over your mantle since it is too high to reflect anything. A big clock would be great or maybe a large canvas family picture (my favorite piece of artwork!) You do look fantastic, too, by the way. Way to go, Sara!!

  14. Oh that dessert looks divine! And I love your kitchen and all the beautiful woodwork detail and that chandelier! I want a new house now haha!

  15. So cool to see more pics of the set-up! Good job and I can’t wait to see the videos. And those cheesecake bars look sooooooo good!

  16. I just recently got an iphone so prior to that amazing, life changing piece of technology entering my life, I am positive I skimmed over your previously mentioned app-in-process. Now that I know what that even means… I CAN’T WAIT!!!!!

    P.S. I actually like your mantle like that! I like how you used colors that pulled in from other places nearby. I think a mirror could look strange because your mantel is set sort of high compared to where the fireplace ends (or maybe it is just the photo?) I am into that eclectic look though 🙂

  17. Okay, first…Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake Bars sound heavenly…how mean of you to show us that scrumptious pic and make us wait for the recipe!!! (on the other hand, my husband would thank you because if you *had* posted the recipe, I’d be making him stop for ingredients on the way home from work tonight.) Regarding the mantle, I think a big framed piece of lovey-homey vinyl wall art would look beautiful up there!

  18. Love your kitchen. The mantle needs either a big mirror, or my preference would be a big family picture framed, leaning up against the stone.

  19. Your house looks beautiful, you look amazing, and I’m so excited for you guys and how well your business is doing! I don’t have the second cookbook yet, but I’m definitely headed to buy one right now! My first one definitely gets a lot of use! And just curious, where did you get your green shirt? It’s so cute and I’ve been looking for something like that!

  20. Those recipes look divine! I can’t wait for the quinoa recipe since I have a partially used box of quinoa in the pantry giving me the stink eye for being neglected! 🙂 On a side note, I asked for (and received) both of your cook books for Christmas from my sister-in-law. She laughed and said I was the only person she knew who got excited about cook books. Little does she know how much she’s missing. The Baked Oatmeal even converted my husband who generally detests oatmeal in most any form other than cookies! Great job OBB!

  21. Oh my gosh where did you get that light fixture?! The branch/twig looking one in the shot of you and the fuzzy microphone. It looks amazing!

  22. Sara, you look great!! And, your home looks amazing! Thanks for giving us a sneak peek… I am in awe how you girls manage families and a successful business. 🙂

  23. Can’t wait to see the videos! And your kitchen looks amazing! What color are your walls? I’m looking for the perfect color and yours looks great!!

    1. Well if you’re looking for a gray, I went through about 50 shades of them before settling on that one so I can give you lots of ideas! We went with Sherwin Williams “Sensible Hue” in the kitchen, and the rest of the house is just one shade lighter, “aloof”. As you probably know, all grays have an undertone- some are really purple, some blue, etc. This one has a greenish undertone and we really love it.

      1. Thank you!! I am looking for gray, so I will definitely try those out! Why does it have to be so dang hard, but so pretty?! Thanks again 🙂

      2. Paint frustrates me to know end… I ALWAYS pick the wrong color!! Love your grey though, definitely will need to keep that in mind!!