Fall Changes + Tahini Crusted Baked Tilapia

Fall is here, kids are back in school–and I’m definitely feeling  the shift in the season. From a carefree work environment to one with more structure. Seriously, my first day back from vacation at the end of August felt like October was booked already! With fall comes the smell of cinnamon, hot drinks, and cozy fires…but before I pull out my scarves or dust off my boots, I want to share some things that I learned on our break this summer.

The biggest thing that was on my mind: why did I begin a company?


I’ve never really been able clarify why I began Mary Lee Kitchen. Sometimes, I claim that it began because my grandmother (who the company is named for) wanted me to be happy. Other times I say things like, “I want all people to have a space at the table.” Both are true. I realized that I began something different because I couldn’t find anything that fit all my passions.

My personality doesn’t fit with the kind of structure that the jobs I could find were giving me. I longed for freedom but also success. When I first began Mary Lee Kitchen (then Mary Lee Catering), I wanted overnight success and money. I heard tons of stories about other entrepreneurs who had a great idea, and it gave them fast cash. I LONGED for that, and honestly, still do.


But beginning something like this is so difficult. Even now, three years later,  it has taken me hours to sit down and write this post. There are just too many things for me to do, and not enough time. This business has been more than just blood, sweat, and tears–there have been doubts and frustrations, but also great joy!


I am proud of what I have created thus far, and I also need to put more focus on the branch of the company that is currently booming. This is hard to admit, but I can’t do it all. I would love to do this blog ALL of the time, but my focus is going to shift a bit this fall to our corporate catering–something I am super excited about!

My voice and new thoughts will still be a part of the blog, but I will also be including some old, familiar stories that will help companies I hope to work with know what this blog is all about. So, apologies in advance if you see some repeat stories.


Ashley and I took the summer to think about the best way to tie this new direction into the blog. We are both excited to dive deeper into writing a blog that is conversational and informative, as well as finding a balance with continuing to write about food inclusion.

Fall is about shifting and starting new. I am so proud of what this blog has done, and excited about where we are going in the future. Also, to tell you the truth, I’ve noticed that my cooking has shifted as my company shifts. So, we will see what’s in store!

What is shifting in your fall season?

Tahini Crusted Baked Tilapia
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
  • Tilapia fillets
  • Tahini (1 tablespoon per fillet)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley for garnish
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 ℉.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil, or a non-stick silicon mat
  3. Gently rinse the fillets, and place on baking sheet.
  4. Spread tahini (I used about a tablespoon per fillet for a thicker crust) on top of fish, coating as much or as little as you would like.
  5. Add salt and ground pepper to taste.
  6. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the fish is thoroughly cooked and the tahini begins to lightly brown and harden.
  7. Serve topped with parsley alongside your favorite salad or side!


About the Author:

A native Texan who, after being diagnosed with food allergies and Celiac Disease in her mid-twenties, wanted to help others who drastically had to change their diets later in life. She now lives in Los Angeles with her husband, where she operates Mary Lee Kitchen.

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