Today I’m going to share one of my favorite kitchen gadgets: a mini chopper or food processor. These little guys probably won’t help with dinner for five or six, but they are perfect for chopping up and handful of nuts, making pesto, or a small batch of homemade hummus! Continue reading
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!
Mother’s Day is quickly approaching (uh oh, did you forget? Don’t worry. It’s May 10, so you still have some time)! With that in mind, I wanted to give you a few ideas for the Mom who loves to cook, spend time in the kitchen, or is thinking about doing more of either.
1. A set of colorful paring knives
Paring knives are a workhorse in the kitchen. Great for peeling, chopping, and detailed cutting, a good paring knife is a great gift someone just starting in the kitchen or an expert. These Kuhn Rikon paring knives come in fun colors and a set of three is $25 at Bed Bath and Beyond! You can find similar ones at Target for about $9.
Okay, I know it may seem silly to spend $15 on a spatula when you can get a perfectly good one for just a few dollars. But, y’all. This. Spatula. I received one as part of a wedding gift and it is absolutely my go-to, favorite spatula. The silicone blade is non-stick, the wooden handle feels great in your hand, and they thought of genius details like the ridges that keep it from sliding into the pan and how one edge of the spatula is squared off so you can get every last bit of whatever you’re making out of the pot. Buy one for your mom and one for yourself– you can thank me later 🙂
My Mom has started a tradition that I love: every year for Christmas, she gets us a Le Jacquard Francais Tea Towel that is a calendar of the upcoming year! Not only are these towels made in beautiful colors and fun designs, but the texture of the linen is so nice! Using them makes drying dishes a little more fun. A few fun options for the mom who speaks French; the mom who is also a beekeeper; the mom who loves to dance.
Have you ever enjoyed reading a cookbook as much as you enjoy using the recipes? For me, The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook is one of those books. The photos are beautiful, Deb’s anecdotes that accompany the recipes are funny and relatable, and the recipes themselves are delicious! There are lots of recipes that involve baking (biscuits, cookies, home made crackers), so this is especially good if your mom enjoys baking or wants to try to bake more.
5. A ruffled, girly apron
I have several aprons that I enjoy wearing. I have one with my name monogrammed on it (in case you forgot that I’m from the South), a simple striped one with pockets, and then I have a Funktion apron with about 15 different colors, ruffles, and crocheted trim for good measure! It is so much fun to wear and it always makes me feel a little more spunky when I wear it. I have on that looks like the “Jill” style, but there are less-ruffled options. I just love all of the bright, vibrant fabric she uses. If you sew, and want to try to make your own, there are tons of patterns available online for your inspiration!
I hope you enjoy these recommendations! What are you planning to buy for your favorite mom-figure for Mother’s day?