Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Model Home Furnishings, Lewiston

By Dee Bryson
Gazette Columnist 

My Favorite Recipes: Meet Liz Smith


June 28, 2018 | View PDF

MaKenna, Brendan, Liz and Kemper

MaKenna, Brendan, Liz and Kemper. Photo taken in Wenatchee by sister-in-law, Emma Rose.

Liz Smith was born in Omak and her family relocated to Brewster, where she graduated from high school. Liz is married to Brendan Smith, and they have been married for 12 years. They have two children, a son, Kemper, and a daughter, MaKenna. The Smiths are passionate about sharing their home with students from all around the world.

Five years ago, Liz saw a friend make a Facebook post about a student from Italy who was looking for a host family. She was immediately drawn to the idea and contacted her friend to let her know that she was interested. Liz reminisced that their family had previously spent four years living in a 29-foot travel trailer, traveling the Northwest while her husband finished up his journeyman's apprenticeship.

Liz was so excited to be in a home that they could open up to others. They have hosted five students from Italy, Sweden, Germany, Taiwan and Norway. Liz cherishes the relationships that have been built with these students and the culture they have brought to her family. All of the students have stayed in touch with Liz and the family, and Liz has had the opportunity to travel to Sweden to visit her exchange daughter there. She looks forward to the time that they all can be gathered together again.

Liz now serves as the local EF Coordinator that helps place students all over the state, including all of Whitman County. Liz has supervised 62 students. She emphasized that summer is a crucial time, as they are still looking for families that are willing to host students for this coming school year. Liz is mindful that families come in all shapes and sizes, including single parents, retired couples, small and large families.

Students have their own spending money and medical coverage. Liz remarked it has richly blessed her family and given them the opportunity to explore the world without the expense of traveling. She also warns that one of the most difficult parts is saying goodbye at the end of the school year, but wouldn't trade that for all the wonderful experiences and the lasting relationships.

If you live anywhere in Whitman or Latah counties and would like to get more information, please contact Liz at 509-393-6379 or e-mail [email protected]



Kartoffelpuffer (potato pancakes)

Serve with salad, apple sauce or berry jam.

2.2 lbs. russet potatoes

1-2 Tbsp. thick sour cream

1 egg

2-3 Tbsp. flour or instant grits

pinch of salt

1 medium onion

light canola oil

Peel and rinse the potatoes. Grate the potatoes using a box grater or a food processor with a grating attachment. Let potatoes drain in a sieve if they contain a lot of water. Transfer grated potatoes into a bowl and mix the sour cream into the potatoes immediately; this prevents them from browning. Add the egg, flour (or grits), salt and grated onion.

Mix everything well until combined. Potato mixture can be drained again if it has too much liquid. Preheat a non-stick frying pan with the oil on medium-high, reduce to medium-low and add the mixture into the hot oil (four inches in diameter) and press flat with a spatula. Fry until golden on the bottom, then flip and finish the other side until golden as well. Let pancakes drain on a plate with paper towels.



1 lb. mascarpone cheese

6 eggs, separated

30 lady fingers

12 oz. espresso coffee, cooled

2 Tbsp. sugar

4 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

3 Tbsp. cognac or brandy

Add the sugar to the egg yolks, beat well until the mixture is light and creamy. Add the mascarpone and half of the cognac or brandy and beat well.

With clean utensils, beat the egg whites until stiff. Fold the beaten egg whites into the mascarpone mixture.

Pour espresso into a shallow dish along with the remaining cognac and one teaspoon of the cocoa powder. Stir well. Quickly dip each lady finger in the espresso mixture, working one at a time, and line the bottom of a glass dish, approximately 7.5 inches round or square.

Once the bottom of the dish is covered in an even layer of espresso-soaked lady fingers, top them with half of the mascarpone mixture. Dust with half of the cocoa. Repeat with another lady finger layer, then finally the remaining mascarpone and a final dusting of cocoa powder.

Chill in fridge for about four hours and serve.

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