The Edwards Dinner Party


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Five for Friday: Sources of Inspiration

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Where do you go when you’re feeling in a rut? You want to be inspired, but all you can think to cook is the same thing you made earlier in the week and you just can’t eat another turkey sandwich. Do you have a favorite blogger or website that gets you excited about cooking again? Maybe a certain cookbook that has beautiful photos and interesting ingredients? What about a TV show or podcast?

I have begun to find inspiration in a variety of places and thought I would share a few with you today! It’s Friday (you made it!) and the weekend is a great time to relax, be creative, make a mess in the kitchen, and try something new. Are any of these places your go-to as well?

1. The Splendid Table

The Splendid Table¬†is an American Public Media radio show that I love! My sister introduced me to it a few years ago and ever since then I have loved listening to Lynne Rossetto Kasper (even her name is fun)! The Splendid Table is a mix of interviews with people in the food world, from writers, to chefs, to farmers, and activists, and listener questions, and general cooking advice. Some of my favorite tips have come from the times when someone calls in to ask Lynne a question and she gives a long detailed answer which is half related to the answer and half all of the fun things they can do with that fabulous balsamic vinegar they bought. The website also has TONS of great recipes and it’s where I found this simple and delicious one!

2. Pinch of Yum

One food blogger that I love is Lindsay from Pinch of Yum! Her recipe for no-tahini-hummus revolutionized our snack life. Besides her great recipes, I love looking at her photography and trying to learn from it. Everything looks so pretty and tasty! I have made several of her recipes for groups and they are always a hit. In case you are wondering what we will be doing this weekend, it will involve chowing down on these bad boys.

3. Food 52

I’m not sure how I found out about Food 52, but I love it! I can’t say that I have made may recipes from it, but their photography is beautiful and they have lots of great posts answering different questions about technique, what certain instructions mean, and many other things. Until a few minutes ago, I had wondered what the “52” stood for, but thanks to writing this, I decided to finally look it up. It stands for cooking 52 weeks each year… ha! On top of great recipes, they also have a lovely shop with everything from dishes, to cookware, to specialty food items!

4. Joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)

Back in the fall, my husband¬†and I joined the Johnson’s Backyard Garden CSA and loved it! To me, the main difference in having a CSA versus going to the farmer’s market is that you don’t get to choose what vegetables you get or how many… cue the search for inspiration! Our first box included a handful of huge beets with the greens still attached. I didn’t think I liked beets, but I changed my mind as soon as I tried them roasted… Hello, new favorite vegetable! I was even challenged to use “all” of the vegetable because our carrots came with the top still attached. That launched what became a habit of making carrot top pesto (I loosely followed this recipe). If you want to find a CSA near you, check out LocalHarvest.org.

5. Going out to eat

Is it cheating for a blog about cooking to tell you to go out to eat? I don’t mean all the time, or even on a regular basis, but sometimes I really do find inspiration in going to a restaurant, whether it’s casual or upscale! Whether the plating is beautiful, or it comes in a to-go box, trying a new dish or genre can open up your eyes to a new style of cooking! Eating Thai food has helped me realize what a little pickled vegetable can do for a dish and then I decided to try to make my own pickled onions and radishes! It can be a launching point that becomes a snowball effect. If you’re wanting to save money, just look up restaurant menus online. Sometimes simply reading the descriptions can be inspiring!

Well, I hope this gave you some fun new sources of inspiration! What are your favorite sources of inspiration? Thanks for reading!