I guess you could say my love of cooking started with an “F.” Long ago, in an era remembered for Lionel Richie and Kool and The Gang, I came dangerously close to failing high school French. To avoid such a calamity, the Head of the French Department informed my parents that it would be “greatly beneficial” for me to spend a summer immersed in a study abroad program in France.
My summer abroad morphed into nearly a decade of on-again-off-again living in France where I was most happy exploring open-air food markets, learning the art of home cooked meals from my host families, and dining in quaint bistros. I attended cooking school in Paris and Strasbourg, informal classes lacking fame and notoriety. I’m no chef. Rather, I cook for love.
The loves I cook for are Husband, whose primary love language is a well-cooked meal, and our four Littles who are sometimes grateful for the bounty at the table, but just as often not.
I began writing The Schell Café in 2005. Content from an evening meal, Husband suggested I keep an online journal of recipes and our meals, a blog. Voilà The Schell Café began as a simple blogspot page.
It’s been quite a journey ever since. My simple cooking journal has taken on a life of its own. In addition to favorite family recipes, I’ve chronicled the ups and downs of learning to eat and cook gluten-free, spent some time cooking dairy-free too, and who can forget the 40 Day Vegan Fast? Despite allergies, intolerances, or burgeoning food trends there are a few things I remain passionate about – real foods, preferably organic, supporting local farmers, eating in season and simple flavors. Which is the exactly the way I learned to cook all those years ago in France. You’ll find an eclectic mix of mostly healthy, easy to prepare, tried and true recipes at The Schell Café.
In 2009, my blogging adventures expanded to write The Kitchen Mission. On these more intimate pages I share my faith as a believer in Jesus. The Kitchen Mission is not a place of high theology, rather my humble ponderings of living daily with a converted heart.
I read cookbooks like novels. I believe there is a difference between entertaining and hospitality. I talk to myself when I cook – sometimes in English, often in French, lately in Spanish. Yes, it’s confusing. I also sing show tunes while stirring at the stove and am bold enough to wonder if I missed my calling. Thank the Lord, I am alone in this thinking. Born and raised in Texas, I’m a proud Longhorn and I’m hopelessly addicted to Tex-Mex. I prefer salty over sweet, except when I prefer sweet over salty. Red wine is not only beneficial for cooking, it’s healthy – in moderation of course. And above all, I happen to know you should never trust a skinny cook.
Welcome, friends. I’m grateful you are gathered ‘round the table.