Resident finds success as an author, food critic - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Arts & Life

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Resident finds success as an author, food critic

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Posted: Saturday, May 19, 2012 12:24 pm

With her first book, she found a niche market. Recent national success has shown it is not a one-hit wonder.

Ahwatukee Foothills resident Jaclyn Douma, 25, published her first cookbook, “Our First Year: Cost Effective Recipes from the Home of Newlyweds,” in 2009. It was picked up by a national publishing chain in October of 2011 and is now available online and at local bookstores like Barnes and Noble.

As the name implies, her book teaches the basics of cooking, with some added flair, for people who are on a budget or those that maybe just don’t want to break the bank when they go shopping for dinner.

“It all started when my friends were talking to me and they didn’t really know the basics of cooking,” Douma said. “I started writing down some recipes and added a ‘how to’ section, and the book just really took off after that.”

Her success has followed a similar path.

Douma recently entered an original recipe into and won a national competition put on by Philadelphia Cream Cheese. Her recipe for “One Maple Bar” will fill an entire page of the Real Women of Philadelphia Cookbook. She won $500 as well for her dessert, which was named winner of the category Make To Impress Desserts Contest.

Douma draws inspiration from her family, she said. He mother and father own and operate Chaparral Homemade Ice Cream in Wickenburg, Ariz.

“My passion for food come from growing up in my family,” she said. “I was inspired to make this dessert because of a maple bar donut that they used to sell. I went through six recipes before landing on this one, and when I tried it — I had like three of them actually — I knew it was the one.”

The Real Women of Philadelphia Cookbook will be on sale in the coming months, and Douma wants to continue her climb up the chain of food writers. Along with working as a contributing writer for Sugar Loco,, she has an idea in mind for another cookbook.

“You have some people say they want to write a cookbook or they can, but they don’t actually follow through with it,” she said. “But I did, and I want to keep going with it.”

For more, visit Douma’s website at

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or

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