Welcome to Love & Zest! A space where I share recipes, life and nutrition. I’m married to my middle school sweetheart, Eric (see “our love story” for the details). When we got married I knew how to boil noodles. So after the honeymoon we had a kitchen full of shiny pots, pans, gadgets, and thank goodness some cookbooks because I needed all the help I could get.
I still remember our first time cooking together. We made a yummy Champagne Chicken and Vegetables recipe in our tiny garage apartment kitchen. It was encouraging that we could create something tasty with our minimal cooking skills. This moment spurred a big passion in me. I started watching cooking shows, where I learned basic culinary skills that I began to practice while cooking dinner.
My mom knew I was beginning to cook more, and she shared my grandmother’s recipes with me. They were beautiful and meaningful, handwritten in cursive with grease stains and splatters. It was special to what she prepared for her family; I noticed lots of wild game and bird dishes, as my grandfather was a hunter. She cooked with what she had… for all 9 of them.
Back in the day, health wasn’t such a focus and especially in the South, so as you can imagine many of her recipes called for lard. With my nutrition background, I couldn’t bring myself to use lard in a recipe so I started making adjustments and tweaking the recipes to suit our lifestyle. It was then when I decided to create a blog to share our family recipes with a healthy twist. (Check out my embarrassing first blog post here).
Love & Zest started in January 2011, I was in my dietetic internship and Eric was in his second year of in law school. My dad surprised me with a Canon Rebel T3 DSLR camera and a 50mm/1.8f lens for Christmas that year and I started dabbling in taking better pictures of food, and I started using Lightroom to edit my photos. And that’s how it all began.
This blog has given more to me than I feel like I could ever give in return. I’ve made friends that I cherish that I might not have met or had the same connection with if it weren’t for blogging. I’m inspired daily by bloggers and friends that comment and share this space with me. I hope that you stay awhile, find recipes that you can savor, and share them with those that you love.