Who I Am

Hi!  I’m Lauren Zietsman, a 20-something physical therapy student in Long Island, and I planned on starting a food blog for a long time before I finally worked up the guts. 

My history with food:  I started watching cooking shows when I was six and could usually be found helping mom in the kitchen, making stuffed cabbage and eventually baking things on my own–my first independent project was a chocolate souffle!   I also remember that my favorite Christmas present when I was seven was a cow cookie jar and a set of wooden spoons.  Weird. 

Now I still love to cook, and luckily my husband loves to eat. 

All right, I love to eat too.  You got me.

Joking aside, like many people (and probably most women), I’ve had a love-hate relationship with food my whole life.  As in, I love food, and then I hate myself for it.  This blog really marks the first year in which I am truly trying not to judge my self-worth by how skinny my arms look in my Facebook pictures, or by how small my jeans size is, or how few calories I can consume in a day.  I’ll be the first to admit that this is an incredibly difficult war to wage, but I honestly believe you have to consciously decide to turn away from unhealthy thoughts and images.  So this blog is my declaration of several truths about me: I love food, I love to eat, I love my body, and I love to be healthy.  The more I decide to believe it, the more true it will be. 

I refuse to torture my body and my mind.

So let’s have fun and cook food that is delicious and celebrates our bodies the way they are and the way they can be.  On this blog you’ll find me trying to cook comfort food that is good for both my body and my spirit, experimenting with new grains, veggies, and recipes, and of course, making treats for those days we need a splurge.  I’m trying to make healthy eating into a lifestyle, not a diet plan.

Here’s my best friend/hubby/food tester/inspiration and I on a truly momentous occasion: May 30, 2009.  Gettin’ hitched!!

And of course I can’t forget to mention our cat, Henry.

 His full name is Henry Seabiscuit Severus Zietsman.  He’s about 3% cute and cuddly, 50% Satan, and 47% piranha.  But for some reason we absolutely adore him.  Like, we’re obsessed.  Sorry!

Yes. That paw is aiming to swipe me in the face.

 And of course, I don’t know what I’d do without my family–best friends included.


62 responses to “Who I Am

  1. tharrie

    I am SO proud of you!!!!!

  2. Eber

    LOVE you sis! You make me HUNGRY…how am I supposed to cook all these things in my TIIINY NYC apartment!


    This is SO cool. I enjoy reading about your cooking experience etc.

    Will try your stuff in South Africa at the Venue on Kraalbosdam.

  4. Ilze Brink-Button

    Love your blog and recipes! 🙂

  5. love you wedding pics!!! so cute

  6. I love your cat’s name! =) I love your goals for this blog and I can’t wait to read more.

  7. Great blog! It’s rare to find a site about food that’s well written too 🙂

  8. I think your blog is great, your cat is adorable, and you are just beautiful. Can’t wait to try some of these recipes!!

  9. Kristen Shumack

    Great site! Love the recipes, pictures, and commentary – truly. Thanks for having “the guts,” as you said, to start this blog. It’s well worth it!

  10. Loved your blog…It is so well written and not very formal.That’s what i like most about it.Must say you are very beautiful and I enjoyed your pics esp the one where everyones smiling (friends) and also your wedding pic is straight out of a magazine.Keep up the good work. 🙂

  11. scriptorobscura

    You have won an award! Stop by to pick it up 🙂



  12. Scott M.

    Love the idea of your blog, your writing style, and most of the recipes I saw look great! I just discovered your blog via FoodGawker.

    I am a recovering comfort food cook–trying to also incorporate healthy ingredients that don’t compromise on flavor.

  13. You are absolutely GORGEOUS!!!

    Henry reminds me of my Kittycat! 😉


  14. Lindsey S.

    I love your blog, I found the link on Angela’s and I will be reading all the time. I cant wait to go home and try your Whole-wheat banana marble cake. I hope everything is going good with school and marrige and you cat. Happy Cooking 🙂

  15. Bonjour Lauren,

    Your Mom sent me some news today-news of the camera hunter you and passionate chef, that is!

    Your talent and joie de vivre shine in every word I read. I notice the word “love” is everywhere in your blog. It must be it is everywhere in your Life, too. Kudos on your marrying you best friend. Photos of your wedding day splash my screen with bliss and zest. I married mine 18 years ago and the meaning of best friend has never failed to bewilder us with a real sense of accomplishment and plénitude ever since-a true blessing from God. I wish you both nothing short of the same. Another thing I realized when reading through your blog is the following-healthy food, pleasure and Love will keep your marriage just about the same (healthy, pleasurable and loving), one day at a time. Cherish and cease the moments and beauty all around you and make happy memories to share and reminisce. Always. Now let me have the photographer talk to you for a while. I just purchased a new toy camera-coz it’s just become harder and harder to pretend being a pro phographer at weddings with a Sony Cyber-Shot or a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS2 14.1 MP Waterproof Digital Camera… so I closed my eyes, swang about for a minute and pointed at the Nikon D700 12.1MP FX-Format CMOS Digital SLR. And to make things even sweeter, I attached a Nikon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR AF-S Nikkor Zoom Lens around it. Now, let me tell you, that coktail is not to be had before driving as you might as well be caught in DWI. This said, my handshake is strong and my arm can toss a javelin 150 feet away. I have learned throughout the years it is not about the equipment. Never has. Never will. What good is the best camera in the world if you leave it in the pantry coz it’s just too bulky or didn’t fit in your PJ’s when you hit the beach that night?! Easy answer to that question. My word of wisdom? Stick with a camera you’ll use. Not the one that promises, but the one that delivers. I take more magical photos all throughout the year with my Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS2 because it’s right there in my pocket. So don’t you dispose of that faithful friend of yours because it could offer more tricks, just dig it and shoot away. It’s already an extension of yourself-and that’s all we ask of a camera-the rest is already in your eyes and your amazing, life-giving playful mind. Voilà, c’est tout! All I had to say. Please give my best to your family.

  16. I’m new to the blogging world, and I stumbled upon your blog. It is so clean and fresh looking, and I love the recipes. I’ll most definitely try some and look forward to more!

  17. Sue Fleming

    Our blog Tips on Healthy Living (http://www.tipsonhealthyliving.com/diet-and-fitness/barbecue-your-way-to-health-and-happiness) linked to your post Grilled Zucchini Ribbon Salad. We have lots of great tips and hints for your readers on Tips on Healthy Living. Would you link back to us? We’re happy to link to you in the future if you’d like to send me future recipes.


  18. Love your blog, so glad you were featured on Freshly Pressed so I could find it! The pictures and layout are awesome, and the happiness jumps off the page! I love the quality of your writing – can’t wait to read more 🙂

  19. Hey Lauren,
    your blog is a keeper. Thanks for sharing your family photos, and congrats on the inspirational hubby. If you check my blog, you’ll see 1 cat (very spoiled) and 1 dog (spoiled beyond very). Hope to try your recipes soon. You blog is “real” and “fun” – keep up the good work.

  20. Fantastic about page. Down to earth honesty. Signing myself up right now. Congrats on being freshly pressed.

  21. My BlogJect

    I hope you don’t mind me blundering in here, but your wedding photo is the most beautiful I have ever seen. You are a beautiful bride!
    Love the blog by the way. Subscribing now so can keep up with your food journey!

  22. Love your philosophy and recipes! Thanks for sharing!

  23. and…I absolutely love the way you present your recipes. A picture truly is worth a thousand words. Your pictures make me think I could actually cook! I may have to try! 😉

  24. Want to try and avoid starting this comment with ‘love your blog’ but I can’t think what else to say! Great, great blog – love it! I’ve linked you, hope that’s ok. Your pictures are fantastic by the way!! I look forward to more posts. And Henry is adorable! x

  25. Lauren,
    you’ve got a great blog!
    Love your recipes, your pictures are amazing!
    Thanks so much 🙂

  26. Susan Sunde

    Lauren, have you heard of Carrots n’ Cake? You have a lot in common with the young lady who has this website/blog. I think you would enjoy it. I just discovered your site and really enjoy your recipes and your spirit.

    • I have heard of it but I haven’t yet started reading it–must add it to my long list of blogs to read 🙂 I consider it a compliment to have a lot in common with her, though! thanks 🙂

  27. I saw your fresh pressed post and I LOVE your Who I Am page – especially when you talk about your relationship with food. “I refuse to torture my body and mind” sounds like a great mantra to live by, in my book. Best of luck exploring your love of food – and you made a beautiful bride!

  28. What an AMAZING blog you have Lauren! You will be a daily read of mine!

  29. Julia

    Great blog. I’m using the White Sangria recipe today at my son’s 4th birthday party (for the adults, obviously!). Can’t wait!

  30. Your blog is awesome!!!!! I especially love the photos of the cat included with the ones of the recipe. How do you do the printable recipe cards? That is a great feature.

    • I just use a recipe card template (you can download it from microsoft word; it saves the basis design of the recipe card so I just have to input everything without redesigning it every time) and save it as a PDF file then upload it just like you would upload a photo.

  31. Lauren, could you please tell us all more about C S A boxes and how to locate suppliers in our area?

  32. ziabaki

    Lovely post about women’s relationship with food. I’m such a crazed foodie I actually put myself on a “foodie” fast, which meant no blogging, no magazines and no food porn sites for two weeks, just to see how it felt. I’m back and I LOVE it. I am what i am and refuse to torture myself too. Cheers my sister!

  33. Jonathan

    OMG I love this blog! Your posts, recipes and everything!!!
    And you are beautiful, your husband is very lucky.
    Keep POsting!

  34. Jenelle

    Hi Lauren, I found your blog through Pinterest…. What initially caught my attention was your necklace holder idea. Then I continued reading your blog because I’m new to the cooking world and you have really great ideas! In addition, I’m applying to PT school right now (overwhelmed trying to juggle 100 different things) so you have really inspired me to keep on trying new things on my journey to PT school.
    You rock Lauren, Thanks!

    • Thanks so much! Best of luck with your applications–I think the year before I started PT school was my craziest ever–I was graduating, doing a senior thesis, getting married, applying to PT school, and working–but it was one of the best times of my life, so enjoy it!

  35. LOVE your blog!


  36. Rouges

    this blog is awesome!

  37. Fantastic blog, great photos. It looks like you have A LOT of natural light filtering through your home:)

  38. I love YOU and your blog. Congrats on the move. XXXX – Mom

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