Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cooking Machine

Of late, I have been a new recipe-making machine! 

There have been a few catalysts that started this culinary adventure.  One, I felt like we were getting in a slight dinner rut.  It wasn't bad, per se, but there were quite a few weeks back to back when we would have a piece of fish with roasted vegetables a couple nights a week.  Definitely healthy, but not outside my cooking comfort zone, and not particularly interesting on our palate.  We're still having this now, but instead either the preparation of the fish or the vegetable is done in a new, exciting way. 

Two, I added a ton of food blogs to my daily blog reading (as you can see in my blogroll to the right).  I don't know if you guys ever click on those, but hello inspiration in the kitchen!  They not only give you recipes to try, but they give you feedback about them and more detailed instructions than in a cookbook.  And can we just mention the fact that many, many food bloggers are also awesome photographers?  The quality of some of their pictures suggests that they're using really nice equipment in a effort to make food look beautiful.  I'm on board with that. 

And finally three, I'm still trying recipes from that lovely Sunday a few weeks ago when I sat down with a cookbook and noted all the stuff I wanted to try.  This was awesome, and I really can't recommend it enough (especially if you're like me and own 3000 cookbooks that often remain unopened).  I'd actually like to set a goal to go through all my cookbooks page-by-page like this at some point.  And the key is to really read the recipes and determine which ones you will actually make (ie, not just something that looks awesome).  For me, this has a lot to do with the ingredients - that is, if there are so, so many that aren't a part of my kitchen already or can't be bought in a size appropriate for the recipe, I probably won't make it.

The cookbook I sat down with that Sunday was Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites.  Katie initially turned me on to Moosewood when she bought me a different cookbook of theirs - and then Jonathan went on to buy me this one.  It's a vegetarian restaurant in Ithaca and almost all of the recipes I've made from them have been awesome.  A lot of them have a sort of Indian-y flair - so if you're into Indian food, this is especially great.

I'm wondering now how all the new recipes will play into my overall cooking scheme.  I really like to try new things - but some of these have been so good, we'd want to eat them again.  We'll have to wait & see.  But I think as long as I'm all fired up about making new things, I'll keep going with that vibe (and then when we fall into a rut again - because it's bound to happen - we'll have some new things in the rut).


katie said...

awesome!! we have a slow-cooker cookbook that we've recently been trying a bunch of recipes out of, and one tip i can give you is to note in the cookbook next to the recipe your thoughts. like, if you think something should be added or taken away, write that. and then, of course, write what you thought about it. it helps so much when you go back months from now and are trying to remember if a recipe was "to die for" or a "never fix again."

LB said...

I totally agree! Not that I know crap about cooking, BUT I've managed to make a mean apple pie based on all of my revisionary notes.

Claire said...

i'm gonna take this opportunity to do a little self promotion (well not self exactly, but my sister). and i may have told you about this site already before (in fact, i'm sure i have), but here goes. you should try food52 ( basically it's a site devoted to home cooks/food bloggers. each week there's a contest focused on a certain ingredient or theme (for example, this week, your best gravy). readers/cooks submit different recipes, site co-creators (and my sister) narrow down the best, test them, then everyone votes for their pick among top two. always really excellent recipes. oh and winners after 52 weeks go into cookbook. they're starting the second. speaking of cookbooks, parents have mark bittman's how to cook everything vegetarian and, let me tell you, that thing is comprehensive. i say splurge and buy it.

Claire said...

and i love smitten kitchen! though i hear she just adapts others' recipes - but, still, fine with me!