Each month, people visit (a)Musing Foodie to learn more about making tasty recipes that are simple enough to throw together on a weeknight, but also made from scratch and with local, organic ingredients whenever possible. Visitors also enjoy connecting socially via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, where daily conversations broach subjects like favorite desserts, food holidays, foodie pop culture, great restaurants, news stories and topics about farmers’ markets, CSA programs and much, much more.
I’ve always said that my goal is to appeal to the everyday foodie, to encourage folks to learn more about making tasty recipes that are simple enough to throw together on a weeknight, but are also made from scratch.
Over the years, my point of view on this blog has changed a bit. I’m still focused on fitting from-scratch meals into our busy lifestyle; however, I’ve shifted us towards food that’s local and organic whenever possible. Make no mistake, I’m a big believer in practicality. Our move towards this healthier lifestyle hasn’t been quick, nor has it been perfect, and I’m okay with that. Everything in moderation, including moderation.
Here’s what “whenever possible” means for our family:
I can’t always make it out to the farmers’ markets, but I’ve used Hometown Harvest, a grocery service that delivers local and organic produce and groceries, and we grow a large amount of produce right on the homestead, only couple hundred feet from our house. Yes, I still buy produce from the grocery store too — organic when possible. Aldi’s a favorite!
I make all of our cookies and brownies from scratch, but that doesn’t mean we can’t or won’t eat desserts that aren’t homemade. It’s just not our “norm” anymore. Similarly, I don’t make all of our bread from scratch, but I have made my own Italian and French breads. There’s nothing like fresh, homemade bread! Mmm…
I make homemade pizza (with from-scratch crust) more often than we order delivery, and I always make a double batch of dough so that I have extra to freeze for next time. I’m trying to use whole wheat flour more often when I bake, but I still use unbleached all-purpose flour too. I make homemade pancakes and waffles on the weekends, and I always ensure there are leftovers to reheat for easy weekday breakfasts!
I use “whole” organic dairy ingredients as much as possible (whole milk, full-fat cheese, whole milk yogurt, etc.). You’ll see mention of Stonyfield Organics throughout the blog because I was an ambassador for Stonyfield from Dec. 2013 through Feb. 2014, but I’ve loved their yogurts for many years — especially those made with whole milk.
I keep myself informed so that I can make educated food decisions for our family.
If you find an old recipe on the blog, you might say, “Huh. This mac ‘n cheese with hot dogs post from 2010 doesn’t really fit with Liza’s point of view.” I agree. I’m leaving that stuff in anyway. I think those posts show how I’ve changed over the years, from the types of foods we eat, to my photography skills (ohmigosh, those old photos make me cringe!).
I’ve learned a lot about food and cooking along the way — good and bad — and I’m passionate about being an advocate for foodie folks doing all the right things. Especially local farmers who are growing with organic methods. And while I love to see the “certified organic” label on a farm, I’m also keenly aware that many small operations are organically-farmed even if they can’t afford for the official certification. Get to know your farmers!
Oh, and there was that one time I was asked to attend a casting call for “Home Cooks” on Food Network. Like you do.
I didn’t make it through to the final round of casting, but wow! It was SO much fun. You can read the whole story here: My Open Casting Call for “Home Cooks” on Food Network! And, I returned again for another audition in 2014. SO. MUCH. FUN!
Speaking of farmers….
You’ll see me talk often about my sister, Josie. She’s currently the chief agriculturist and volunteer coordinator at Battery Urban Farm in NYC and also owns Paper and Plow, which she runs out of her Brooklyn apartment. I talk about her a lot because I find the farming work she’s done over the years fascinating, including building Truffula Seed Produce and starting the Community Farm at Sandy Spring Friends School with her husband Shawn (who now works at Grow NYC). Between them and my parents (we live on my parents’ homestead property, raising egg-laying chickens and growing organic produce in central Maryland), I’ve developed a passion for spreading the news about the farm-to-table movement.
I still don’t have a green thumb though. They grow; I cook.
Find more of my writing at Pursuit of it All!