Monday, August 20, 2012

on kitchen inspiration...


I am always on the hunt for fresh new kitchen inspiration. Most of the time I already have a plan of action but other times I'm at a loss. I can get so irritated with some ladies I know who tell me that they can't cook. You can! Believe in yourself!!

Today I wanted to inspire all women especially the ones who need that extra boost of confidence in the kitchen. I love to cook. It's really not a manner of being able to cook but more of wanting too. I think people are put off my the number of steps or the photo that you see on the website or blog because they look so perfect and there's no way mine is going to turn out looking like that! Not true. There are so many fun and creative resources for all of us to take advantage of when it comes to making meals for our families. And no, you don't have to subscribe to magazines!

1// Pinterest. If you don't already know what Pinterst is then I'm sorry you're a lost soul...Just kidding! Basically it's a pin-style photo sharing social website. It's all done with photos which is great because of course, pictures tell a thousand words! Everything is set up into different categories which makes it simple whether its food/drink, crafts or beauty is all there at your finger tips. Not only do all the photo link right to the website or blog that it originates from but also you're able to "pin" things right to your virtual pin-board and keep everything organized however you'd like. Super sweet thing for us who have a need to have everything broken down. Like moi! I use Pinterest quite often but can also get tired of it very easily. Especially when looking for food inspiration it can get a little repetitive but I do always find myself coming back for more!

2// Foodgawker. This is by far, as of right now, my favorite website to find delicious meal ideas! The site is laid out similar to Pinterest although it only consists of FOOD. The photos on this site are a little more professional, taken with great cameras in artistic ways which for me is always more inviting! You can search for something specific or just browse around the most gawked at foods. You can favorite anything that pleases your lovely eyes. Once you favorite any photo it will be stored and you can come back to it at anytime, all you have to do is click on the photo and it takes you to the website or blog that the recipes came from. Beware sometimes you will find yourself at a foreign website/blog which is always discouraging even though you probably could take the time to at least translate the recipe but usually I'm too lazy for that! The best part is that Foodgawker even has a IPhone app that is so convenient for this busy lady who is finding that she is on her IPhone more and less on her MacBook. And I'll go totally off topic and tell you that they have a Craftgawker, Weddinggawker and Dwellinggawker! No joke people. I. Die.

3// Food Sense. This site is a collection of plant-based, vegetarian or vegan recipes. I do not consider myself any of those three things but I enjoy finding fun and creative ways to serve our veggies or incorporating more plant-based meals into our week. My family will never be vegetarian or vegan for that matter, it just won't happen but I am always health conscious and this is a great resource for just that! Also it's fun learning about cooking with certain foods instead of others. I always make it my goal to at least have one straight plant-based meal a week or more if my family allows it!

4// Obviously there are a bazillion food bloggers out there that are brilliant and each and everyone has their own twist to their food creations and that's why I love stumbling across a new blog. Here are my top four food blogs that I find myself always seeking guidance from:

    • Baked Bree. Bree is such a nice and warming person. Her blog is so pleasant to visit. She has all her recipes listed by categories which makes it simple to find what you have in mind. My favorite part is that she is such a down-to-earth gal with a family and someone I can relate too. All the foods and desserts she is creating in her kitchen are for her family! I was lucky to get to interview her right here on my blog, check it out to learn a little more about Bree and her blog. 
    • Noble Pig. This was my very first food blog that I happened upon!  Another family oriented and easy to navigate. This lady actually owns a vineyard and winery in the heart of Oregon. How cool is that?!
    • The Pioneer Woman. Really? Not much I have to say about Ree's spectacular website. She is such a talented women and I'm inspired by her everyday. I mean, heck she has her own television show! And let me just add that I was beside myself when I found out that Ree was at one of the vendors at BlogHer this year and I MISSED HER! Grrrr. Totally hate all the women that got a photo with her. 
    • The Comfort of Cooking. Another talented young lady who presents her foods and drink in a way that make you droll. No joke. Again all her recipes are all easy to find and get you motivated to make some yummy things in your kitchen. 

5// Also, since I became a proud owner of the IPhone I've been able to study and collect quite a few fun foodie apps that are really super useful when you need to figure something out for dinner...and fast! I was on my IPhone figuring out dinners towards the end of last week. With me working double shifts and overtime I was finding myself with no time at all to really sit down on my MacBook and do my usual meal planning. Instead I did all of it on my IPhone. What a lifesaver and my family is thankful since now I will be able to feed them. And the best part is that a lot of these apps tell you what need to go on your shopping list or just creates one for you! Here are some of my all-time favorite (free) IPhone (and maybe Android but not sure) food related apps:

    • Pepperplate. This is really cool! This app works hand in hand with Pepperplate's website. Basically it allows you do store all your online recipes in one place. You have to go to the website and load all your recipes and then BOOM it's at your finger tips on the IPhone. So cool. Pepperplate even has a neat little button you can put on your bookmark bar so that you can just click and add recipes that you come across. I am in love!
    • Better Homes and Gardens Must Have Recipes. Quick and easy recipes. I used this app the week before I left for NYC and found two great recipes that I prepared for my husband so he could just pop it in the even while I was gone.
    • Allrecipes. This app has a neat spinner. You can choose dish type, main ingredient and how long for it to take to make. For example, I can choose main dish, vegetable and slow cooker. Then you can view all the matches that come up under what you just chose. Very easy and straight forward. Plus it's just fun to play with the spinner. 
    • Whole Foods Recipes. I adore Whole Foods and the app allows you to type in ingredients that you actually have on hand and it will give you recipes to go along with it! I've used this when trying to put together a dinner meal with just a few things in my pantry. It worked and I ate! 

Hoping all this will help any of you that are always looking for ways to get creative with your cooking or just tools to cut down on time! For me it's definitely a helping hand while I work full time and juggle everything else us momma's got to do on a daily basis.


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