About

Each month, tens of thousands of 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, GMO-free ingredients whenever possible.

Liza HawkinsVisitors also enjoy connecting socially via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, where daily conversations broach subjects like favorite desserts, food holidays, 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 past two 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, organic, and GMO-free 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 – we’re about 65-70% organic/unprocessed foods over here. I’m okay with that.

Here’s what “whenever possible” means for our family:

  • I don’t make all of our bread from scratch, but I have made my own Italian and French breads!
  • I can’t always make it out to the farmers’ markets, but I did sign up for Hometown Harvest (and now they’re a blog sponsor – WOOT!) who delivers local and organic produce and groceries!
  • 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.
  • We hardly eat any fast food, but it’s not completely off limits in a pinch. If it’s the only option, we just try to make the healthiest choices possible. (That’s an oxymoron, if I ever saw one.)
  • 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.
  • We don’t use any artificial sweeteners. The exception to this is my husband who still has a diet cola once a day (it’s his “coffee”).
  • I use “whole” organic dairy ingredients – whole milk, full-fat cheese, whole milk yogurt, etc. You’ll see me mention Stonyfield Organics a bunch because I’m an ambassador for Stonyfield from December 2013 through February 2014, but I’ve loved their yogurts for many years – especially those made with whole milk.
  • 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!
  • When brands ask to work with me, I always find out if they fit with my point of view – if I’m sharing it, I want you to know that I’m a wholehearted believer in them! I don’t have a problem saying no (and yes, I have said that before!).
  • 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 organic farmers, like those found through Hometown Harvest and others in the Mid-Atlantic area. 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.

Here’s my audition reel:

 

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!

Speaking of farmers….

You’ll see me talk often about my sister, Josie. She’s currently the lead farmer 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 her and my parents (whom we live with on a farmette with produce and chickens 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.

Interested in the freelance work I’m doing elsewhere, or opportunities to work with me? Click here to learn more or email amusingfoodieblog@gmail.com!