Tuesday, February 23, 2010

FAQ (#2)

I told you I’d be back next Tuesday.  And look, here I am.


Another question I get asked repeatedly is:

“Where do you get your recipe and menu ideas?”

A lot of people I talk to find themselves in a rut as far as menu planning goes.  They find themselves making the same 10 or 12 recipes and after a while their family is sick of them.  I used to have that same problem, and that was one of the reasons I started this blog.  A few years ago I would use what I called a “master list” of recipes to decide my two-week menu.  My master list had maybe 25 meal ideas on it and I would try to cycle through them all in a month.  It worked okay for awhile, but then I discovered that there were some great ideas and great recipes out there – all it took was a little searching and some courage to try new ingredients and flavors. 


So here are the places I turn to when I need new ideas:


Favorite Food TV:

America’s Test Kitchen (PBS)

Barefoot Contessa (Food Network)


Favorite Food Sites:

The Cook's Thesaurus
Cooking Light
Everyday Baking
Everyday Food
Food Network
Measurement Equivalents
Martha Stewart
Recipe Muncher
Taste of Home
Top Secret Recipes
Williams-Sonoma Recipes


Blogs in my Reader:

101 Cookbooks
Artisan Bread in Five
Blog Chef
Cafe Zupas Blog
Dani Spies
Dinner With Julie
Ezra Pound Cake
Kelsey Nixon's Blog
Our Best Bites
Panini Happy
Sea Salt With Food
Stephanie's Kitchen
Taste and Tell


I also get a handful of new recipes each month from my favorite magazine:  Cooking Light.  Don’t be frightened off by the name - “light” cooking isn’t what it used to be people!


I’ve had a subscription to Cooking Light for a little over a year now, and I still eagerly await each month’s magazine in my mailbox.  When I first subscribed, I didn’t think that I would use it as much as I do.  Within days of its arrival, I have it read and all marked up.  I dog ear the pages like crazy, marking recipes that I want to try out.  The photography is gorgeous and it makes me pretty much want to try everything. 


What I love about the magazine though, is that it is more than just a bunch of recipes.  There are great articles like this one:

…which also of course includes recipes.

In between pages of recipes, they have informative bits like this one:

….and this one.  (Tired of the same ol’ oatmeal in the morning?  This page has great ideas for re-vamping your boring breakfast.)



In the back they also include reader recipes as well (like this one:)

So there you have it.  My secret is out.  Now you all no longer need me.  I’ll keep writing though, just so my mom can see that I’m eating well. 


Stephanie said...

'Nother question - "Did 'Cooking Light' pay you to say all that great stuff?" (kidding)

cynthia said...

i used to subscribe to coooking light--years ago--and you are right, it is a great resource.

but my new magazine love is the food network one. yum. i've been browsing your favorite food blogs and there are quite a few good ones i've now subscribed to. thanks andy!

Andy said...

ha ha - no I pay THEM!

Cynthia - I bought one FN magazine last summer just from the checkstand at Maceys. I did like it though - I should subscribe.

Lee and Sharon said...

I, too, love Cooking Light. Also, I like the Cooking for 2.
I love the pictures because I know if there is a picture then that is what my recipe should look like.
I'm a born "follower".
And, Andy, you are always so dependable.

Andy said...

aw thanks, mom!

Diane said...

Andy, it is great to see the wonderful ideas you have for meals. I am always looking for new ideas.