I am very excited to introduce you to Ashley. If you follow the Ossining Public Library social media accounts you might have seen her giving cooking classes or attending library events with her son. She is an active member of the Ossining Community and is always supporting other Ossining businesses like First Village Coffee and her favorite: Brothers Fish and Chips!
On her website, Ashley has thousands of recipes and is now offering virtual cooking classes for kids and adults. In addition to regular entrees and appetizers, drinks salads and sandwiches, she shares vegan and vegetarian options as well as recipes for slow cookers and the Instant Pot. Some of my favorite articles she has written are Easy Homemade Cold Brew Coffee Recipe + Tips for Success, Rich Cocoa Brownie Bites and Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes, where you can see a video of Ashley making the recipe live.
1. TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOU.
I grew up in the Midwest (Indiana then Wisconsin) and moved to New York when I graduated from college back in 2004. I’ve lived in Ossining since 2005 and absolutely love it here! I live with my husband, Dino, and our son, Ian, who is currently in 3rd grade. We didn’t pay any attention to school districts when we moved here and feel very fortunate that it’s such a good one since we now that we have a child in the district.
In my free time, I love playing video games (I even worked at GameStop back in college and may have made more money than I spent there), board games, and card games. I’m super into trivia (shoutout to my trivia night team, The Big Kapowski!). I’m a huge fan of live music – my husband is a musician and we both absolutely love going to live shows. I watch a decent amount of movies and enjoy a good TV series binge at the end of a long day. This year I got into virtual Zumba classes and I also do yoga, boxing, and spending time outside in nature. I’m lucky to live somewhere with so many beautiful parks, walkways, and trails!
2. Tell us about your business.
I started Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen back in 2006 as a creative outlet when my full-time graphic design job wasn’t feeling creatively stimulating. I decided to start taking photos of the recipes I cooked at home and sharing them online as a way to keep up with my friends and family who were curious about what I was cooking.
After several years of treating blogging as a hobby, I started getting hired by brands to create recipes using their products. I slowly started working with brands I knew and loved to develop my own unique recipes. I’ve created content for brands such as Stonyfield Organic, General Mills, The Kellogg Company, Bob’s Red Mill, Drizly, King Arthur Flour, Genova Seafood, The Coca-Cola Company, Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q, Tyson Foods, Inc., Le Creuset, Nature’s Path Foods, OXO, ShopRite, UncommonGoods, Wayfair, and many more.
A few years ago, I began teaching cooking classes and workshops for kids and adults at local businesses like the Ossining Public Library and Speak Easy 10562. In mid-2020 I pivoted my business in order to offer virtual cooking classes for kids and adults as a way to reach people from the comfort of their own kitchens beyond the Westchester area. It has been so rewarding to be able to help encourage people to get in the kitchen and cook for themselves and their loved ones. My goal is to help people gain confidence in the kitchen regardless of their skill level or other restrictions.
There are thousands of free recipes available on my website, and they cover a wide range of ingredients, cuisines, and skill levels. I’d say my favorite thing to do at the moment is teaching kids to cook and bake. I love all of my classes but getting kids excited to try new ingredients and spend some time in the kitchen is especially rewarding. I was a super picky eater as a kid, so any time I’m able to help someone find a way to enjoy an ingredient that they previously disliked, it makes me so happy!
3. WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS FROM OSSINING?
My tiny kitchen is located in Ossining, and I’m a HUGE fan of all things Ossining. I love sharing local gems with my followers on social media, and working with local businesses when I’m able. Doing programs for teens and adults at the Ossining Public Library is so much fun, and I have had a blast doing cooking and baking programs with some of the local elementary schools as well. I taught 4-year-olds at a daycare center during my senior year of high school, so working with kids is always something I get excited to do.
A lot of my followers on social media are from the Ossining area, and it’s so much fun to run into people when I’m out and about or to get messages from them when they try out a new local restaurant or shop that they saw me post about.
Ossining has just gotten better and better over the 15+ years I’ve lived here and I’m always happy to share the love and get others excited about all things Ossining!
4. FOR SOMEONE NOT FAMILIAR WITH YOUR BUSINESS: WHERE SHOULD THEY START?
If you’re looking for your next favorite recipe, check out my website, bigflavorstinykitchen.com. There are categories for different courses and diets and a whole section dedicated to our favorite recipes.
You can read more about my virtual cooking classes here to see if they’re right for you. I offer several classes each month for both kids and adults. One of the reasons these have been going so well is that participants able to cook from the comfort of their own kitchens. I find that it helps put people at ease to know exactly where everything is versus being in a different kitchen with different tools in a more traditional cooking class. It’s a great way to be able to explore new techniques and cuisines from home. And I’m there live to answer any questions you have along the way. My classes are very laid back, interactive, and a ton of fun!
I have a few membership and package options for those who want to take classes and cook with me on a more frequent basis. Gift cards are also available for my classes, and I have a constantly growing library of on demand video classes so you can take them on your own time.
You can also sign up for Extra Helping, my email newsletter. I send it out about twice a month and share lots of recipes and food-related resources there.
I have a few upcoming virtual cooking classes and discussions with the Ossining Public Library, so be sure to keep an eye on their calendar (or sign up for their newsletter) for more information on those.
I’m on social media @bigflavors (@bigflavorsblog over on Twitter) and love connecting with people there. Don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions!
5. GIVE US YOUR BEST OSSINING TIP OR RECOMMENDATION.
I have SO many, but if I had to pick just ONE I’d say to check out Brothers Fish & Chips. Chef Elmer Oliveros is phenomenally talented and creates a wide range of seafood dishes that can rival some of the fanciest restaurants I’ve been to in NYC. His passion for food comes through in his menu, and there’s a wide range of dishes available. You can choose between several types of fish or shrimp when you order the fish & chips, the ceviche is fresh and delicious, the paella is the best I’ve ever had, and the tasting menu is a fantastic experience. They also have a wonderful selection of wine and craft beer as well as an exciting cocktail menu. I can’t recommend them highly enough!