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Food Blogger Interview: Elizabeth of Elizabeth Obsesses food bloggers are a truly creative bunch, demonstrating flare in the kitchen and skill with a camera.Today we're interviewing one of our newest Dishfolio food bloggers: Elizabeth of Elizabeth Obsesses. Listen as she talks about her approach to cooking for her big family. In addition to her recipes, she features "how to" articles, kitchen tips, and funny stories about what it's like to be the organizer of chaos for four busy kids and one awesome husband.   

Elizabeth-ElizabethObsesses-portraitTell us about your food blogging goals: What are they? How are you accomplishing them?

I aspire to be a go-to source for menu ideas, and easy-to-follow, crowd pleasing recipes that satisfy kids and adults alike.  I want to help people realize how much fun they can have cooking and show them they don't have to be intimidated cooking "from scratch".  It's ok to experiment in the kitchen - and it's ok to fail too.  I've certainly done my share of that!  I've learned so much over the years, and I want to share everything whether it's a disaster or success.

Of innovative cooking ingredients you've tried, which was the hardest to find or use?

Believe it or not, I went to four markets just last week trying to find Crème Fraiche.  While I realize it may not be exactly main stream here in the States, I didn't think it was unheard of.  Not only was I unable to find it anywhere, no one even knew what it was - not even the store managers!

Who is your foodie hero and how do they inspire you?

I especially enjoy cooking for my family.  They've come to expect good things from our kitchen, and will not hesitate to give me a hard time when something is not up to their standards.  This inspires me and keeps me laughing too because they're completely honest with their reviews (and their demands).  This kind of pressure challenges me constantly to come up with the next meal that they really love.  I think I've created a bit of a monster though.  They give me a hard time even if I bring home a delicious loaf of specialty bread from a bakery because they prefer my homemade bread.

That said, my foodie hero is Alton Brown.   I love his approach to cooking, and enjoy his "nerdy" sense of humor.  I think it's interesting to learn about the origins of food or how a particular dish was prepared over the course of history, and he does a great job with that.

Elizabeth-ElizabethObsesses-logoWhat's your go-to literary tool and how does it make your food blog successful?

With four kids still at home, it's vital to keep a sense of humor, and I definitely lean on that when writing.  However, everyday how-tos make up the bulk of my posts.  I try to write as if my best friend is in my kitchen with me, and describe things in great detail because she likes to pretend that she can't cook.  Of course, I try to include great photos of everything I write about because that is what makes people want to click your link and read your post.

Elizabeth-ElizabethObsesses-recipeDescribe your all-time favorite recipe.

My all-time favorite recipe is Grilled Chipotle Chicken, served with slow cooked refried beans, mango salsa and guacamole.  Seriously, I'd have this every single day if I could get away with it.    I like to marinate the chicken overnight before grilling it, and then top it with some lime juice afterwards.  There's something special about how fresh lime juice can make the smoky Chipotle flavor just pop.   I slow cook the pinto beans all day with some diced tomatoes before mashing them and then top with melted Monterey Jack Cheese.  I don't like too much heat, but a few finely diced jalapenos in the mango salsa and guacamole add just the right amount.

What's the best food photography tip you've learned in the past year?

I'm still developing my photography style.  My husband would tell me that the best thing I've learned over the past year is to listen to him when he has a suggestion.  It's probably not a coincidence that every time I've done that, I nailed the shot.

Seriously, the best tip I can give is to take the training wheels off.  Shoot in the raw.  Fool around with ISO, White Balance, Shutter Speed, and Aperture, as well as angles.  Look at the photos on Dishfolio to see what you like.  Try to emulate the shot, even if it's just with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  It's about perfecting the composition and lighting.

How many cookbooks do you own and which do you reach for most often?

Cookbooks are my weakness.  I have an entire bookcase filled with them, and still I can't help myself every time my husband and I go anywhere.  I read them like novels, savoring each recipe one at a time.  I even love the way a new cookbook smells.  My favorite book is always my newest one, whatever that may be.

The one I reach for most often is the classic, Joy of Cooking.  Although it makes me sad that there are no glossy color images waiting inside the cover for me to look at, it's always answered every question I've ever had about cooking.

If you had to choose a kitchen tool you couldn't live without, what would it be and why?

I think I would die without my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer.  I've had a smaller one my entire adult life and have used it extensively.  About a month ago, I got the Professional 6-quart Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer with a bowl lift.  I've used it a few times, but haven't put it through the paces yet.  I admit I'm more excited than a person probably should be about a mixer, but this is the 6-quart with the bowl lift we're talking about!

What's next? How will you make yours the best food blog in town?

I'm so excited about what the coming year will bring for Elizabeth Obsesses!  I've created an editorial calendar to help plan out some of my ideas throughout the year and will develop some of them to become regular features on the blog.


Thanks again to Elizabeth of Elizabeth Obsesses for participating in this interview!

Turkey With Cranberry Raspberry

This sandwich on soft sourdough bread with slivers of fresh red onions and this gorgeous Cranberry Raspberry Sauce on top helps you make the most of Thanksgiving leftovers and is arguably the easiest and perhaps most satisfying way to use up turkey leftovers after the big meal.


Pumpkin Pie with Jim Beam Bourbon Vanilla

This pumpkin pie is flavored with vanilla beans extracted in Jim Beam bourbon. It's amazingly smooth and incredibly delicious.