My blog, “Liz the Chef”, was inspired by a love of cooking I inherited from my mother and both of my grandmothers. I grew up in their kitchens, watching and helping all of them prepare healthy, delicious meals for our family. Now that they are gone, I continue to draw from happy memories of being in the kitchen with each of them, and have many recipes from those early years, some even from my great- grandmother.
Before I even thought about writing about food, I was into studying recipes and enjoying cooking, even when I was working full-time as a clinical social worker. I took some hands-on lessons with a terrific Italian chef, but am really a self-taught cook.
Once I closed my psychotherapy practice, it took me four years to get to the point of beginning a food blog in September of 2010. It was as if a new world opened up to me, one of recipe-writing, cooking contests and meeting other home cooks. Blogging gives me an opportunity to reach out to my readers and share ideas, recipes and other challenges that come my way, either directly from my kitchen or from reading about other home cooks and their cooking adventures.
Inspiration comes to me from cooking magazines and shows, and from other food blogs. If I had to pick two cooks who influence me, I would select Ina Garten aka “The Barefoot Contessa” and Melissa Clark, author of many cookbooks and her weekly column in The New York Times. I turn to their recipes and techniques frequently, admire Ina’s easy-going style on TV, and Melissa’s equally readable writing style. I have adopted a “agree to disagree” with Ina regarding her heavy hand with butter and salt.
I hope to offer new and, when needed, healthy twists on classic recipes, as well as adapting old family favorites to modern usage for home cooks everywhere. My husband’s heart attack last year influenced me to cut back on salt in my cooking, and my recipes reflect that. I might weave some family memories into some of my posts, just as I will sometimes tackle a new kitchen skill and write about that, too.
It is always my goal to offer recipes that are not overly complicated or require fancy equipment. My cooking skills have evolved over many years, and I hope to always remain open to new ideas and techniques that make me a better cook, as well as a passionate, culinary story-teller.
Elizabeth Schmitt aka “Liz the Chef”
San Diego, CA.