If you haven’t already, you need to meet the ever-charming Erin Rehill-Seker. Erin challenged herself to cook a different Cooking Light recipe for 365 days, which just concluded a few weeks ago. Congrats, Erin! If you’re interested in how this challenge came about and what it was like being a social media superstar, check out our previous blog post. Pro tip from Erin: Try the Two-Cheese Mac and Cheese. As Erin and I chatted about this exciting, though sometimes exhausting, year, she mentioned what this challenge meant for her family and friends.

M: Have you always loved to cook?

E: I have! You know, it’s funny. I can always remember being the worst cook. When I first met my husband, I couldn’t even make pasta. It was so bad. And when I always came home to visit my Mom, she would have Cooking Light magazines. I lived in Turkey with my husband. When we came back to the United States and got married, my Mom bought me a Cooking Light cookbook. I remember I was staying home for about 6 months with our daughter, and every week I would make a new recipe. So after a while, I got really good at it. After the last 10 years or so I’ve definitely become the cook in the family. I cook anytime I go anywhere. For any holiday, whenever I go to anyone’s house, I cook. I love having social engagements. We just bought our first house and I couldn’t socialize before. I used to have to go to other people’s houses. I would make them have people over, and I would cook for it.

M: When you mentioned to your son and your daughter that you were going to embark on this challenge, what were their reactions?

E: I probably talked about it for a month before I started. Just working out the details. And I’m very enthusiastic, so when I want to do something, I talk about it a lot. My daughter (15) really bought into it! So I got the blog name and got everything set up. August 1st came and she said “Mom, if you’re going to start, you have to start today.” In that moment I knew that once I started I couldn’t stop. So she picked the first recipe. She’s always been amazing, like a cheerleader. She follows me on Instagram and gives me her reviews. She loves food and ended up cooking one of the recipes herself. My son (10) is a little bit of a picky eater, so I think it caused him a little bit of anxiety that he had to try everything I made. Before I was making the same four or five meals a week, so he was used to them. He had moments throughout where he did not want to try something and panicked. But not always. Actually a few days ago, this was the day after I finished, he was like “What’s your recipe today?” The kids always asked me that question every day. M: Do you think it hass helped him become less of a picky eater? E: I do think so! He has tried things that he would never have tried. He wouldn’t always say he loved it or would eat everything in front of him, but enough to be a little less timid to try new things. We made a deal that if I’m going to put in all this effort to make something, you have to at least take a bite. You at least have to try it. So he pretty much stuck to that. So then he realized he shouldn’t be so afraid of certain ingredients or certain things. I think it was really good for the kids. Follow Erin on Instagram @cookinglight365.

Food for Families: