My Blue Kitchen

Where Confidence Reluctance and Sass Come To A Boil

Badass Burning Flames
about jill vizeFor all of you out there who think you can’t cook; this blog is for you. For those of you who think you could, quite possibly, burn water; this blog is for you. For those of you who are frustrated because you think you have to buy all kinds of expensive equipment before you can cook; this blog is for you. For those of you that easily slip into a homicidal rage just trying to make mashed potatoes; this blog is for you. We have much to discuss and it’s a two-way street. I want to hear from you, too. Talk to me about what is working and also what is not. If you are seeking a specific recipe or method, ask me. I will do my best to find it for you. I look forward to sharing this journey with you. Welcome to the discussion. Welcome to My Blue Kitchen. [February 13, 2017] I have been given the gift of a day and I’m going to take full advantage of it. The better part of New England received over a foot of snow last night and those of us who don’t HAVE TO drive anywhere are rejoicing. School is closed and my 8-year-old is eating ice cream on the couch. It’s 8:53 AM. (Hey, before you start judging, it’s all-natural vanilla bean ice cream, and yes, she did have a sensible breakfast). So, this gift of a day is going to benefit you, Dear Reader, as I am going to dedicate myself to writing some useful, or at least humorous content for this blog you are reading. This blog that is yearning to be born. You have Robin Hoover, AKA Moosedog Studios to thank and admire for the snazzy looking website that he designed, and it loads in record speed because we know you are busy. That’s the whole point of this blog; to make life easy for you. You are welcome. Between the two of us, we have nearly 50 years of restaurant experience and we are both VERY passionate about food. I have done every job in the restaurant business except line cook and chef and yet, I’m highly skilled and love to cook. I made dinner one night for a chef friend of mine and as she watched me prepare the chicken picatta she asked why I didn’t cook professionally. I certainly had the skill and the drive, but nothing on paper that said I could do it. I probably was afraid of stepping on my then-husband’s toes, who was a chef. That was his turf. Nine or ten years later I know enough about myself to realize that I’m not cut out for the pressure that chefs and line cooks endure. My hat’s off to you. To have to hear that ticket printer constantly going off??? The physical and mental strain that the position demands? No, thank you. But, I still have something to say when it comes to food. Blog writing, however, is totally new to me, so sending this blog out into the world is a lot like preparing a child for picture day at school. You want to make sure that their clothes are clean and in good repair. You critique their outfit; maybe not that shirt, you decide, because the collar always seems to stick up. You want to make sure their hair is clean, combed, and static free. ‘Have you brushed your teeth recently? And for God’s sake, don’t cross your eyes this time, those photo packages are fucking expensive!’ In the end, you do not want to send bad school photos to your friends and relatives. You can’t brag about that. Aside from being proud of this blog, what I want most of all, is for the information you find here to be useful and entertaining for you, the Reader. This blog is for you and, rest assured, I’m not about to present you with a well polished turd. That being said (yes, I went there), I will get to the nitty-gritty about why I’m just cracked enough to take on this project. Having ruled out and rejected a career as a chef, I was still in a conundrum as to what I was going to be when I grew up; if I grew up. Okay, it was more like a mid-life crisis. I can’t take the heat in the commercial kitchen, but I can still share my passion with others in a useful and fulfilling way. I started writing a cookbook manuscript over a year ago, but pretty quickly I got stymied by a bazillion questions – how do I get this thing published? What are cookbook editors looking for? There are a lot of cookbooks out there so what makes mine unique? And then, how to promote it? Who’s listening? Who cares? You see my dilemma, I’m sure. Then, my very clever Robin (boyfriend, not bird), suggested this blog as a means of introducing myself, my passion, my mission, sharing knowledge and ideas, and yes, promoting a cookbook. So now, at the 11th hour, when the birth pains are just beginning, I’m finally ready to send this child out into the world for picture day. ‘Here, Sweetie; don’t forget your comb. Oh, and wait til you see what I packed in your lunch box!’ [September 9, 2018] My original focus was to help teach people who think they can’t cook, that with gentle guidance and salty humor, they actually can cook. My launch post mentioned, “if you think you could quite possibly burn water, then this blog is for you.” Looking back now, though, I think that’s a little too limiting. I don’t want to scare off any experienced cooks. My Blue Kitchen is for everyone, whether you are a hesitant beginner or a confident cook searching for fresh ideas, all are welcome. Whenever possible, I have included gluten free options, because I want gluten free people to feel included. It is in no way intended to exclude anyone who is not gluten free. What I’m offering is a fresh approach to classic recipes, completely new recipes that maybe you haven’t thought of yet, some sound advice, battle-tested methods, and some self deprecating humor so you can learn from my mistakes. Next to my family, food is something I am most passionate about and I love the idea of sharing that with you. I love talking about food, so reach out, hit the like button, and lets start the conversation.