Stephanie Allen is Co-founder and President of Dream Dinners and a New York Times best-selling co-author of The Hour that Matters Most. Naturally a visionary and optimist, Stephanie hopes to inspire America through her nurturing voice of encouragement, assuring families, “You’re doing a great job!”
Tell us about your family…
I’m married to Vern Allen, together we enjoy our four children and two grandchildren. We adore being outside, story time, and ‘sparkly’ orange juice with our grandkids. I indulge little Olivia with everything polka dot, from anklets to dresses; just to hear her say, “poko dots!”
How did you learn to cook?
When I was 4 years old, I got my first toy oven for Christmas!
I began cooking dinners at the ripe age of 10. My mom assigned our family of four each a different night of the week to make dinner. I dug into mom’s red Betty Crocker cookbook, called Grandma for my favorite recipes like ‘Tater Tot Casserole,’ and joined the ‘Recipe of the Month’ club!
I began catering at the age of 27 and, to this day, I love a big party. I’m not intimidated by large numbers and limited facilities!
With a business named Dream Dinners, what’s was one of your childhood dreams?
As a child, I caught sight of a huge Washington state ferry and wistfully told my mom I wanted to buy one someday. I imagined inviting all my friends to travel the San Juan Islands together, spending the night and enjoying a big breakfast that I would prepare! It’s sweet how God has met my little-girl longings. With Vern at the helm, every summer we enjoy trips with friends and family exploring the scenic inlets of Puget Sound and the Gulf of Georgia. (We don’t own a ferry-boat, of course)!
What’s something quirky about you?
I LOVE to sleep outside. So much so… that Vern surveyed our yard when we moved and asked, “Where are you going to put your bed?” From the old days of camping outside with my kids to today’s boat trips with outside benches that fold into beds, I find a way to enjoy a night under the stars!
What do your co-workers know about you that we wouldn’t?
I’m a speed walker. My best meetings are definitely not sitting in a boardroom, but, walking a 3 mile loop around my hometown of Snohomish. I know it like the back of my hand. We tie up our shoes and hike around the expansive soccer fields (where I practically lived with my kids), cut over historic tree-lined neighborhoods, pass the High School with a hum to the Panther Alma Mater, and return along the river trail behind Old Town Snohomish.
Another quirk is that my co-workers would say I’m notorious for not reading to the end of an e-mail. I’m a skimmer and a speed reader. It drives them crazy. I guess they’ll have to go on a walk with me to get their answer!
What do you like to do?
I have a zest for life and will initiate any chance to enjoy the outdoors, golfing, skiing, biking, hiking, and rollerblading. My best day would include my ‘favorite three:’ running, walking, and yoga.
How would you like to change the world?
I want to inspire families to create a legacy for their children…
a loving and nurturing home complete with regular family meals.
My hope is that they will grow up becoming confident, successful, and committed parents who repeat the process of investing in the next generation.
Together, we can make a better world!