Meet someone who not only seems to speak my language about life in general, but speaks my food language fluently. Elana Horwich does her thing with food and words over at MealAndASpiel.com, which serves as a web presence for this worldly chef’s fun-having cooking school. Rustic Italian techniques, prioritized flavor, and a loveable sass… see, Elana is like my culinary kindred spirit.
She kind of summed up the enthusiasm around this rare two holidays in one so well that we wanted her to tell you for herself. So enjoy Elana’s Thanksgivukkah message, which is as much a lesson in embracing our diverse, multi-cultured landscape as it is a free invitation to gobble down on her Thanksgivukkah Latkes with Butternut Chutney.
Why did you start your food blog?
Before I am a cook, I am a teacher. It is intrinsic to who I am. Since I truly believe that cooking with love adds genuine goodness to the human condition and since I can personally only teach so many people at a time in a cooking class, I started my food blog to share my passion and knowledge with those I will never have an opportunity to meet. It is my gift to the world.
How would you describe your approach to eating/health?
My definition of good food is that it should make you roll around on the floor shouting “MAMMMMMMAAAAA!!!!” While you are there rolling around on the floor your belly shouldn’t hurt and it should be easy to stand up afterwards. That about sums it up.
Have you always had an interest in eating healthy?
I have been committed to eating healthy for nearly 20 years. My body doesn’t work well otherwise; she is a sensitive creature. As a result, I stopped having to diet. Worked out for the best!
What is your favorite a few of your favorite ingredients to use in the kitchen?
Extra Virgin Olive Oil. My experience living in Italy taught me that it is essential to good flavor and simply put, Americans don’t use enough of it in their cooking.
Tamari Wheat Free Soy Sauce. I love to add a touch of tamari or good soy sauce to a lot of my foods to add a touch of umami (sweet/saltiness). A few drops to sauteed mushrooms and thyme, in warm quinoa, on roasted salmon, and in my green salads tends to blend flavors together without giving any sense of Asian cuisine. It’s my little secret.
Three recipes I will share with you
Tuscan Garden Grove Brussel Sprouts
Mini Flourless Chocolate Cakes
Favorite Recipe to Date
I managed to make a typically heavy dish into something light and delicious. Perfect also for a make-ahead dinner party.
Has blogging changed the way you view food and cooking?
No. Should it? My information about cooking comes from the food itself. It is a communication. The result of that “magic” is what I share online. I don’t worry about what other bloggers do. We all need different teachers and many of them. I am just happy when what I do helps others find their way.
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The Ultimate Thanksgiving Leftovers Guide
images via Elana Horwich