Welcome to Stephencooks

Hi, and thanks for stopping by. I'm Stephen and I do all the cooking, photography and writing for

I've been passionate about food, cooking and photography since I was in college. I cook daily for my family and friends and people often ask me what I've been cooking lately. I started Stephencooks in 2005 so they could see for themselves.

Here you will find hundreds of recipes from my kitchen. I range widely in my food interests, from favorite family recipes to the cuisines of Italy, France, Japan, China and India. I like traditional methods and rarely use anything but whole, unprocessed ingredients. I particularly like to take advantage of locally-sourced food and wild-caught or foraged ingredients, which keeps my cooking tuned to the seasons.

Still Eating Well on a Diabetes Regimen

In August 2008 I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. When I got that news I assumed it was the end of my joyful relationship with good food.

I lost weight, learned to control my blood glucose levels and became more attentive to my exercise schedule -- and I started to adapt my cooking to the realities of my new life as a person with diabetes.

Real Food
Real Cooking
Healthy Recipes

I can now happily report that good food didn't end for me with my diabetes diagnosis. In fact, even though there have been a lot of changes in my kitchen over the last year, my passionate enjoyment of food and cooking is just as high as it ever was, and the people who come to my table say they've noticed virtually no difference at all.

So the new 2010 model of Stephencooks is still a journal of my cooking adventures and explorations, but – after a summer of tune-up and revision of nearly 400 recipes – it now includes nutrition estimates for the recipes along with resources and links for anyone who is learning to eat (or cook for someone) on a diabetic regimen.

Thanks for asking...

One year on, my glucose levels, cholesterol and blood pressure are all well-controlled and I feel great...better, really, than I did during my pre-diabetes period. I'm looking forward to sharing my recipes with you for a long time into the future.

Where am I?

I live with my wife Elise and our cats Hank, Harry and Sylvester in an 150-year-old house in Portland, Maine. We've lived in Maine for nineteen years and we love it. Previously we lived in downtown Boston and before that in Manhattan.

My Kitchen Helper


I pretty much just cook, so I'm lucky enough to have my wife Elise as a willing and energetic partner who does most of the cleanup. Cooking the way I do -- daily, with traditional methods (read: lots of pots, pans and bowls) and then photographing the food and blogging about it -- wouldn't be possible without her help. Click HERE for more information about Elise Smith -- also known as Holly Chamberlin, the author of twenty-seven novels and counting.

Nutritional Estimates

The Nutritional Estimates on Stephencooks are based on the ingredient quantities and portioning shown in the recipes. Stephencooks does not have the resources to analyze food components independently so the estimates are developed using MacGourmet, a software application that draws its information from the U S Department of Agriculture food database. Occasionally if MacGourmet or the USDA is stumped I use the food databases at or

For the dishes which include Nutritional Estimates, the following guidelines apply:

  • About 10% of marinades are assumed to remain in the finished dish.
  • About 33% of accompanying sauces are assumed to remain on the plate and are therefore not included.
  • Optional ingredients are not included in the estimates.
  • For a dish to be included in the "Low Carb" listing it must have less than 10 grams of carbohydrates per serving. 
  • Dishes included in the "Low Fat" listing must have less than 8 grams of fat per serving.  

In general, no-calorie sweeteners are used in place of sugar in Stephencooks recipes. If you are using sugar, add 46 calories and 12 grams of carbs per tablespoon of sugar used.

Note that WeighWatchers International, Inc., introduced a new points system called "PointsPlus" in November, 2010. Stephencooks will transition to the new system over the coming months. Going forward, nutritional estimates will continue to show "WeightWatcher Points" using the old system, with WeightWatcher PointsPlus calculations added as soon as possible. If you have a PointsPlus calculator you can quickly calculate the PointsPlus values for Stephencooks recipes with Nutritional Estimates, since carb, protein and fiber values are included. For more information about WeightWatchers click HERE to go to their website.

[References to WeightWatchers, WeightWatchers Points and WeightWatchers PointsPlus are informational only. has no relationship with WeightWatchers International, Inc.]


Carot-raisin-salad I love receiving comments on posts and I almost always respond via email because I've found that communicating with people all over the world about similar interests has added a wonderful new dimension to my world. Please confine comments to topics related to the associated post. Comments are moderated and may not appear if I deem them inappropriate. Comment spam will be dealt with by banishment, flaming spears and caldrons of oil. Comments submitted with fake email addresses will not be published, since fake emails are little lies and therefore not welcome here.

Food Source Issues

While I'm vitally concerned about the quality and sustainability of our food supply, the health impacts of food choices, ethical treatment of livestock and the environmental risks due to industrial food production operations, this site is limited in its scope – due to my limited time and expertise – to discussion of preparation of food in the kitchen and to related topics about diabetes. I certainly recommend that all my readers seek out the information they need to make decisions about food choices consistent with their concerns.

Disclaimers and Other Housekeeping Items

All recipes published on are original, unless credited to others, so usually I can't blame anyone else!

I'm a self-taught cook and cookbooks have been my teachers, but these days they pretty much stay on the shelf. If I've adapted my version from an identifiable source I will credit the source.

I'm not a doctor, nurse, nutritionist or Certified Diabetes Educator. Comments and unattributed information here about diabetes, weight loss and other health topics are based on my experience as a diabetes patient and are not intended to be viewed as professional or expert advice.

No paid product placements are accepted at Stephencooks. If I mention or recommend a product it's because I use it and like it and I want you to know about it. That said, you will occasionally find links from mentioned products to a third party online retail site. I receive a small commission if you buy something after following one of these links. As with advertising, the income from these referrals helps to defray the cost of producing Stephencooks.

All text and food photographs Copyright ©Donnersmith 2005 - 2022, unless otherwise noted.