cooking resources – part 1 of n

12 10 2009

Parmesan Brussels Sprouts - the good food book for families

Where do I go for a good recipe?

How ideal would it be to rely on one tried and trusted resource for all cooking endeavours — but, the fusion homemaker needs to continuously expand her culinary horizons.

I think we all want to be sneaky and secretly, selfishly keep our favourite “famous” recipes to ourselves!  I admit it.  That’s me.  But, I am shifting my mindset and want to let you in on the fun!

When planning a menu I want interesting, but not complicated; delicious, but not an overwhelming number of ingredients to track down (on-hand is ideal!).  I do find recipes all over the place, but, these are my go-to resources that never let me down:

good food bookthe good food book for families – a cookbook that makes sense to have on your shelf if you have kids – or even if you don’t.  It’s chalk full of recipes and nutritional information that are based on Canada’s Food Guide.  Lots of tips and strategies for feeding finicky children and sample meal plans for children of all ages.  Favourite recipe: Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

cooks illustratedCooks Illustrated – thank you, Mom, for this subscription!  Cooks Illustrated reads like a scientific journal – the writers provide a full rationale for their methodology followed by an easy-to-follow recipe – often with photos.  You will feel like a gourmet chef when you turn out delicious dishes from this magazine!  I also love their kitchen appliance and utensil reviews and recommendations.  They frequently select a less expensive tool as superior to the high end.  Favourite recipe: Chewy Chocolate Cookies – and discovered a new way to do turkey this year.  I will never cook a whole bird again!

America's Test KitchenAmerica’s Test Kitchen – affiliated with Cooks Illustrated; I’ve signed up for emails from them and weekly receive “Notes from America’s Test Kitchen.  Scan over the sample menus, recipes, techniques, and product reviews and you’ll discover some great finds!  Favourite recipe: Easy Chocolate Ice Cream – oh, and Icebox Key Lime Pie

ChatelaineChatelaine Magazine – yes, I do enjoy Chatelaine!  And very often find some very tasty recipes!  It’s a bit overwhelming because there are soooo many recipes in each issue.  But, definitely worthwhile.  Favourite recipe: Steak Sandwich (with a bit of modification)

Canadian FamilyCanadian Family Magazine and online – I follow Canadian Family on Twitter now and almost always follow the links for recipes.  This magazine totally takes into account the busy lifestyles of families and offers quick, kid-friendly recipes for every meal and occasion.  Favourite recipe: Wicked-Good Pizza Muffins

Mennonite Girls Can Cook – I have this blog bookmarked on my toolbar.  8 wonderful ladies contribute to this food blog and offer the most wonderful homestyle recipes ever — not to mention my favourite Mennonite dishes, just like my Grandma used to make!  Favourite recipe: Bran muffins – I use this to make my Raspberry Bran Muffins

If you find a resource that works for you, stick with it – you will definitely simplify the process, especially when it comes to decision time for preparing a large menu.  Select recipes that don’t intimidate and when possible, make things with ingredients you have on hand… it’s amazing what you can concoct with limited supplies (e.g. Emergency Chocolate Cake – a wartime cake made with mayonnaise, cocoa powder and instant coffee)!

I have discovered so much joy in cooking (lol – cliche!)!  Preparing a meal for my family, the challenge of tackling a large, special occasion meal, finding that one-of-a-kind recipe that everyone raves about, learning new skills and having that much-needed sense of achievement.




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