Profile Details


Whitney Pipkin

My hometown

Wichita, Kansas

Where I live now

Alexandria, Virginia

Roots: Tell us a little about yourself

Whitney Pipkin is a freelance journalist, food and farms lover and fitness instructor. She currently lives in Alexandria, Va. with her husband and puppy. She writes at about recipes, food and farms, agricultural policy and the environment. See her recent work at

What is your family’s culinary heritage?

I grew up in the breadbasket of commodity wheatland, and my grandmother was really the only one I remember cooking not “out of the box.” It wasn’t until my husband and I moved near Seattle that we discovered from-the-farm food and the kind of cooking that access can inspire. I covered agriculture for a newspaper there, started getting CSA boxes and just fell in love with my kitchen.

Best family recipe? Share it!

View the post here:

Makes 8 servings (or double it for leftovers!)
PREP 30 minutes
COOK 30 minutes

Sweet Potato Mixture:
3 c. cooked mashed sweet potato (bake or boil them in chunks, peel before or after)
1 c. sugar (trying raw cane this year)
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 c. milk
1/4 c butter (or half it)

1 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 c. all purpose flour
1/4 c. butter (cold)
1 c. finely chopped pecans

Combine sweet potatoes, sugar, eggs, vanilla, milk and 1/4 cup butter; beat with electric mixer until smooth. Spoon into a greased 2 quart shallow casserole dish.
Combine brown sugar, flour, 1/4 c. butter and pecans; sprinkle over top of sweet potato mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Makes 8-10 servings

Favorite childhood food memory

Eating tomatoes hot off the vine from my grandmother’s garden, along with basically every other thing we ate a grandma’s — grilled cheese (she had a grilled cheese maker that made perfect pockets), my Papa’s milkshakes and, of course, apple pie.

Favorite dish to share

My fallback recipe when we take meals to new parents (which happens a lot in our world) is sweet potato and black bean enchiladas. I can make them spicier or less so, I can add chicken or leave it out for vegetarians, I can leave off the cheese for lactose intolerance… it’s versatile enough that it can be catered to please any eater.
Other favorites are Thai-spiced lettuce wraps or this healthier Shepherd’s Pie with sweet potatoes (I’m obsessed) and ground turkey: