Monday, November 16, 2015

Where do I get my bright ideas? (lightbulb emoji)

In addition to enjoying making up my own recipes (let's be honest, I've invented like two things), I LOVE finding new things to make at home or trying things out that I've had at a restaurant or seen online. Pretty much my rule of thumb is: if I don't have to make it, I don't care how it gets to my plate; but if I'm cooking, as much is from scratch as possible because I just really enjoy being in the kitchen. I have my go-to's for finding ideas and recipes so I'm going to share those with you!

Pinterest. Like that was even a surprise. Pinterest is a one stop shop from "Animals and Pets" to "Women's Fashion" (those are literally the first and last categories you can look at..) with TONS in between, my favourite being Food and Drink. You can literally spend hours (not something I'm proud of) searching for a new idea for nail art, your hair, motivational quotes, new fad workouts, car stuff.. everything! Heck, I'm sure if you looked hard enough, you could find instructions on how to build yourself a house.

PROS: Easy to find recipes - just type in what you want to make and a zillion things will pop up for you! You can add in lots of details like "Oven fried chicken thighs" or literally just the word "chicken" and you'll find tons of ideas at your finger tips.
Pinterest is also a good gateway drug to finding good recipe sites and food blogs.

CONS: Like I said, one stop shop. You can be easily distracted and look at clothes while your boyfriend starves to death because you forgot you were looking for supper ideas. Also, if something is popular and has been 'repinned' several times, you might scroll past it a few times and let's face it, if you passed it up the first time you obviously don't want to try the sardine salad. Also a con is that you will 'pin' and 'like' way more recipes and ideas than you will ever make in your life.
Also, sometimes you'll click on a picture and instead of a link bringing you to the website with the recipe, you just get a bigger picture .. and then usually you cry for a bit because that Mac n Cheese just looked SO good.

Grilled Cheese Social. Oh my goodness. Stop reading my blog and go to (or Google+ account: +Grilled Cheese Social) immediately ... actually, don't. Finish reading this THEN go to that website cause if you're like me, you will go to that website and never come back. I stumbled upon this glorious website via Pinterest but I can't tell you where I was (I was at work) and the next day I one of Mackenzie Smith's (that's the blogger) sandwiches and Ian and my lives are changed FOREVER. This girl has my dream life. Not only does she think of the greatest food combos of all time, she is a .. wait for it .. SANDWICH EXPERT for Sign me up. (I wonder if she has ever been a Sandwich Artist at Subway, like yours truly. Prob not, she seems way too classy).

PROS: Endless varieties of grilled cheeses that you will never think of in your life. Last night I made one called "The Tortally Radical Dude" and I highly recommed it. It had: Monterey Jack cheese, chipotle mayo, avocado, corn relish and cilantro. Since I only found this website two days ago, I have only made one sandwich. But I also have THREE pages open on my computer with the next three sandwiches I want to try. Mackenzie is a head chef, so there are also other recipes (and good blogs) on this website that I will be trying.

CONS: None, obviously. Oh, except I'm sure my doctor can think of several.. cause there's a lot of cheese going on. But I mean, everything in moderation, right?
Oh, here's one. Cheese can get expensive. But really, what's eating Mr Noodles for the rest of the week to save a few bucks for expensive cheese with names you can't pronounce?

Oh She Glows. I have talked about +Oh She Glows on my blog before so make sure if you didn't check out fellow Canadian, Angela Liddon's cookbook (The Oh She Glows Cookbook .. and she has a second one coming out next year YIPPEE!!) or her website for great recipes. These recipes are all vegan, I however, am not. Sometimes I'll add meat to a dish, but usually I don't. The recipes are easy enough to modify if you aren't vegan aka I used parmesan cheese in a dish instead of nutritional yeast because I will eat cheese and where the heck do you even find nutritional yeast.

PROS: The pictures of her finished products make you want to eat them immediately - I literally bought the cookbook because the pictures looked SO good. Everything is so colourful and flavourful that a "meat and potatoes" person won't feel like they are missing out on anything. Vegan doesn't mean rabbit food!!
A nice benefit is that I go to Bulk Barn a lot for spices and nuts (and lentils! I bought them for the first time ever yesterday... spent a whole $0.80) ..... and most importantly, the actual pro: the odd bag of Dinosours and chocolate covered almonds!

CONS: Picky eaters will probably turn up their noses at some of the food, but if they try it they will dig right in for sure.
Not all of the recipes are quick and easy - cashews need to soak, vegetable broth needs to simmer - so they are not necessarily time consuming, but they do take some extra preparation.
Because these recipes have a different source of protein than a piece of meat, you're going to be eating lots of things you've probably never had before - this isn't the con - the con is that you're not always going to just have the ingredients you need sitting in your cupboard.

A few other places I go for ideas are:
Buzzfeed: Basically, the only thing I check out on Buzzfeed is their recipes. I signed up for their Food Newsletter this spring and there are usually a couple of things in each one that I put on my list to try - and I've really enjoyed what I have! (Baked Potato Grilled Cheese, anyone?) But I am warning you, that once you are on Buzzfeed looking at food, you'll look at the clock two hours later and realized you just read way too many dumb articles about celebrities (JK they aren't dumb cause I'm celeb obsessed, I just tried to sound smart)
Yummly: it's basically an app exactly like Pinterest but food only
Google: I will literally sometimes just search for what I am looking for in Google. And I usually end up on Pinterst this way...
Foodgawker: I have yet to actually make something from this website but there are some GREAT ideas ... and when I say great ideas, this means photos that made me drool on my keyboard so I Bookmarked them for another time.
Family members: because let's face it, the food you grew up with is the best food!

Okay, that's enough for today. Got a pretty special post lined up next week and then the week after that I'm going to try my hand at my own version of Butter Chicken! I highly suggest you check out those sites and let me know if you find anything good!!!

PS - what's the best electronic to read recipes off of? iPhone, iPad or computer?? Obviously my favourite is a good old fashioned cookbook because I like getting the pages stained - that's how you know it's a good recipe. But if I had to choose an electronic, it's definitely my computer.

Happy cooking!

dream big dreams, be reckless

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