In listening to the warm and joyful conversation between MacKenzie Smith, the beloved culinary influencer known as Grilled Cheese Social, and lifestyle celebrity Laurie March, for the first Heart to Table podcast from Hormel Foods, a popular quote from Cheryl Strayed came to mind. It’s from the book Wild: “There’s a sunrise and sunset every day. You can choose to be there for it. You can put yourself in the way of beauty.”
From food to nature to this unknown future of ours’, MacKenzie Smith puts herself in the way of beauty. “I make it a part of my daily routine to acknowledge and appreciate the little things,” Smith tells us, when asked about her innately upbeat personality which shines bright in the podcast session with March. “Whether I’m driving to work and thinking, ‘Aww how pretty is this sunrise?’ Or if I’m giving my daughter, Poppy, a bath and I see one of her little hair curls, I just sit there and admire it and take a mental picture. For me, taking the time to acknowledge the good stuff and be grateful for these little things has been a super helpful mental health tactic and I try to do it multiple times a day!”
Mackenzie Smith also puts herself in the way of a lot of unbelievably delicious food. Not just grilled cheese (and let’s be real: what’s better than grilled cheese?) but in this podcast alone, she mentions cuban sandwiches made with sweet and savory Thanksgiving leftovers, and waffles made of next-day stuffing and topped with hollandaise sauce. On her blog, she has recipes for brown sugar bourbon sweet potatoes, honey sriracha roasted brussels sprouts, and hundreds more dishes that dreams are made of. Her posts look so scrumptious you seriously want to lick the screen, and some of her hundreds of thousands of fans probably do.
For me, taking the time to acknowledge the good stuff and be grateful for these little things has been a super helpful mental health tactic and I try to do it multiple times a day!MacKenzie Smith
As the creator of GrilledCheeseSocial.com, the world’s largest grilled cheese blog, and author of Grilled Cheese Social, Super Fun Recipes for Super Fun Times, it’s no wonder The Food Network and other popular food TV and morning shows keep booking Smith on their productions. Inevitably, she’ll host her own show some day. At least, she better! Smith is a born content creator and a downright blast.
In conversation with March, things get personal when Smith ties her love of food to a unique relationship with emotional eating, which Smith sees as …a good thing. “I think a lot of people tie up emotional eating with something bad. But for me, it’s actually the exact opposite,” confesses Smith in the interview. “I think it’s [emotional eating] really empowering. I think it does a lot for your psyche. And I’m here for it.” This dialogue leads Smith to touch on the importance of intuitive eating, which is essentially the art of “paying attention to what your body needs” and not fighting it, but allowing for the urges and cravings. It’s another healthy outlook that Smith explains in such a grounded and accessible way that you want her to bond with you about, well, everything!
While one of the best stories Smith tells March is about meeting her husband (a professional surfer) through her blog, when she posted about a restaurant he was working with, and how he had her name programed into his phone as “Grilled Cheese” until after they were married, the podcast chat actually sprouted a love story of its own: that of Smith and March, who had undeniable friendship chemistry. In fact, Smith says that the best part of the podcast was cultivating a close connection to Laurie, and that the interview was, “so cathartic for me.”
In the spirit of holiday fantasy food, we asked Smith what she would eat for her proverbial “last supper.” Her answer? “Definitely fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, black eyed peas, collards and about 30000 tiny buttermilk biscuits with a side of salty honey butter, hot sauce, and the biggest glass of minty sweet tea!” And like all things MacKenzie Smith, everyone can relate to exactly what she said.