My name is Liza Agrba, and I write and photograph everything on this blog, which is brand new as of January 2023. Physically, it runs out of my home kitchen—the latest in a long series of Toronto-area rentals. Food and writing have long been my preoccupying interests, in roughly that order. This website is what happens when you hope your fixations might be useful to others.

I like brief ingredient lists, handy techniques, and flavour combinations that help food strike that elusive balance between effort and reward. That’s why simplicity is a guiding principle here (though not a hard rule). I don’t do complexity for its own sake—in cooking or anything else—but I will take an extra minute to swirl spaghetti into a neat little nest because I think we all deserve nice things.

Plants play a starring role in most of what I like to cook, but there’s no explicit focus on “healthy” recipes on this blog. I’m not convinced there’s a stable definition for that anyway, and if you’re cooking for yourself, you’re already ahead of the game.

Besides recipes, I like to share the odd bit of food science or history—obsessively reading about food every day has clogged my brain with these factoids, and they have to go somewhere. And because I hope this food will fit into your life as well as it does mine, I’ll also include anything else I think might be useful, like what to do with a leftover half cup of crème fraîche or why you should live in constant suspicion of your oven thermometer.

Starting a food blog in 2023 inevitably runs one up against the internet’s running joke about them: that they exist merely to hide recipes under meandering personal essays, to the annoyance of efficiency-minded recipe hunters everywhere. While meandering is a specialty of mine, if you’re only here for the recipes, I don’t begrudge you that one bit—the site is designed to make them easy to spot on a quick scroll, with pictures to entertain (and help guide) you on the way down. You can also use the “jump to recipe” button under the top photo. In any case, I hope your time here turns out many good meals. Thank you for reading.

If you need to reach me about a recipe or anything else, leave a comment or email me at hey [at] butterandradish.com.

PS you’ll also find my food writing in Toronto Life magazine, which graciously lets me do things like cover new restaurants and conduct painstaking ceviche research.

PPS My name is pronounced Lee-za Ag-ruh-buh (with an emphasis on the first syllable in each). Every day, I attempt to claw my way further and further from the nightmarish attendance list roll calls of my childhood.