Thursday, October 15, 2015

Where Do You Go For Recipe Inspiration?

by Linda

Compiling a weekly menu is something I have enjoyed doing for some time. I like sitting down with cookbooks and recipes and putting together meals. This makes creating a shopping list and actual grocery shopping so much easier. I know exactly what I need and I know that when I am going to make something I will have everything on hand. But sometimes I need a little inspiration.

Today I'm going to share a few places I get recipe inspiration and I would love to hear from you where you find recipe inspiration!

And there's a recipe at the end of all this!

The internet is a huge resource. Recipes galore! Blogs and websites to explore. Sometimes this is a hit or miss situation. Of course everyone loves The Pioneer Woman and she has some great food on her website and a few cookbooks and don't forget about her show, but let's face it, she is cooking for an army of people that rustle cattle all day. I tread lightly here. The pictures both on the blog and in the cookbooks are very good. But let me just say, I made her recipe for mac and cheese, heavy cream, 2 cheeses, caramelized onions and ...wait for it...bacon. I died.

Lighter fare is abundant on Skinny Taste. Here the recipes run the gamut and feature Weight Watcher points as well as nutritional values. There is a website and cookbooks. There are paleo, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free etc. I have made many of these and find them to be pretty basic, simple and tasty. And tasty pictures too.

A cooking blog I have followed for a while is Smitten Kitchen. She or her spouse take the pictures which are very good. There is at least 1 cookbook. Let me describe Smitten Kitchen by sharing an excerpt from her about page-

"What I’m wary of is: Excessively fussy foods and/or pretentious ingredients. I don’t do truffle oil, Himalayan pink salt at $10 per quarter-ounce or single-origin chocolate that can only be found through Posh Nosh-approved purveyors. I think food should be accessible, and am certain that you don’t need any of these things to cook fantastically."

'Nuff said.

Real store bought cookbooks are an item I am very discerning about. If I get a recommendation for one, I will spend time with it at a bookstore and if, after perusal, I am convinced I will use it to make more than several dishes and use it frequently, I am loathe to spend cash money for it. I don't need anything else to dust!

Everybody has a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook  and Julia Childs "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" so those go without saying. Besides these and my own collection of recipes I use 3 other cookbooks almost exclusively.

Because, after cooking with Julia, everything tastes better with wine, butter and Vermouth, I recommend Dorie Greenspan's "Around My French Table". Dorie's been around a while and knows what she's doing. She divides her time between the east coast and Paris. I participated in a blog called French Friday's with Dorie where we prepared a different recipe each week from this book. It took 5 years to cook through it but is was fun. Dorie was there every week supporting and commenting. This cookbook is beautifully photographed. The food is delicious.

My friend Cathy Sly started a cooking group on Instagram this past January (#nowyoucooks) Each month we were to cook from a different cookbook. She led off with "Plenty" by  Yotam Ottolenghi and that's where I got stuck! I am still cooking from this book. It is vegetarian cooking and it is good. I have made several recipes and several recipes have been added to my menu rotation.

Surprisingly, I purchased another vegetarian cookbook. Surprising because trophy husband believes his meals need to include something that had a face. Protein I can cook, veg is where I need inspiration because salad-meh. "Thug Kitchen: Eat Like You Give a F*ck" is not only a good cookbook, it is entertaining. Just reading through a recipe always puts a smile on my face. Oh, and how does the food taste? you ask? That shit's awesome!

So these are my recommendations! Leave your favorites in the comments! Or make something and add it to the gallery, telling us about it in the description!


If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen I made this recently.

Monster Munch

I found the recipe on the internet. Go here to check it out!


"The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude."
~Julia Child


Dotti said...

I used to sort of enjoy cooking but not so much any more. It's not that I can't, it's that I don't. Most nights, my husband doesn't care if we eat or what we eat. He always wants a light supper. Well, okay, then. I used to invite my daughter and her family over just to have an excuse to cook but their schedules are so crazy, I seldom go that route any more, either. But lately I've been telling myself that I really need to start cooking something again besides veggie soup and spaghetti. So, I may be re-reading this post quite a few times for inspiration.

Carol said...

Me too Dotti - I don't cook much, but I can appreciate the talent and I have very good taste! And I can also appreciate beautiful food photography!~And , if I do get the urge to cook at all, it usually is in the fall as the cold weather moves i.n ( I am good at stews!) This is a beauiful and rich post! You may just have inspired me to cook this weekend.

Deanna said...

And me three, since I have been alone for so many years, cooking fell off the shelf. But now that my granddaughter is living with me, we are edging back into the cooking routine. Somehow, wine, cheese and crackers doesn't appeal to her for dinner. She wants something more substantial. I will definitely look into those books that you have recommended and when I do need a recipe, Pinterest is my go-to place.

terriporter said...

Can I just say . . . me four? I used to love to cook and when I had three growing boys at home, it seemed that's all I did! But when it became just the two of us, and my husband not always wanting a big dinner, I kind of stopped the whole cooking routine. He eats Trader Joe's salads and I eat Lean Cuisine! But with all of our grown boys living in town, I love getting them all over and cooking for them guarantees that, so I'm always on the hunt now for new and different things to fix. However, appealing to their varied tastes can sometimes be a challenge! I recently bought the Skinny Taste cookbook at Costco and it looks like there's some great things to try there. I agree with you about the Pioneer Woman. I don't know how she doesn't weigh 400 pounds! Recently I've been receiving emails from various places and I'm not sure how I got on their mailing lists but if I get a recipe that looks good and doesn't take all day to make, I give it a whirl! Have had mostly successes. Have gotten some good ones from Bon appetit, everybody!

kelly said...

i've never been a 'plan a menu then go grocery shopping' kind of girl...i have a repertoire of dinner recipes that we rotate quite a bit. but i love finding new recipes and can't wait to check out some of your sites!

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