Random Thoughts of a Disordered Mind

Where do You Get Recipes?

5 Comments

Chef with head in cookbookWhen I was a kid, my mom cooked from her Better Homes & Gardens cookbook, her collection of recipes  cut from women’s magazines such as Redbook, and her faithful wooden recipe box with recipes from friends and family.  But we mostly ate the same things, at least I don’t remember many complicated options.  Lots of plain meat, potatoes and veggies and the usual casseroles made with cream of chicken soup.

Now adays there are cookbooks out the whazoo for every narrow little sliver of cuisine.  My own collection includes almost all of the Weight Watchers cookbooks published in the last 4 years – although I confess I’ve only actually made a few of them, making them definitely not cost-effective purposes.  I have my own Better Homes & Gardens book and a variety of healthy food cooking options – not that I cook from most of them, either.  I like the pictures, though.

Mostly I get recipes from blogs and reading about things friends made, or by going to Epicurious, Recipezaar, and now Spark Recipes.  I like being able to plop in some ingredients I may have on hand and see what comes up – and I like being able to see the nutrition info at the same time.  Tho I try to look there last, because if I don’t like the ingredients or difficulty level enough, what difference would the nutrition make?

My favorite recipe of the last few months, the famous Alton Brown’s Free Range Fruitcake,  came from the Food Network website.  I do look at recipes there when I watch my favorite FN stars show me how easily I can whip up a 4 course meal in just 3o minutes, show after show after show, but it’s not my usual go-to spot to find something to make.

Where do you go?

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5 thoughts on “Where do You Get Recipes?

  1. Actually, I’ve been getting rid of a lot of cookbooks due to space but the ones I’ve kept are the old ones. I have a very old Better Homes & Garden (I’ve kept it for the tuna noodle casserole recipe), the Settlement Cookbook (for the oatmeal cookies) and a few just because they remind of the past. (That has to be the only reason to keep a small Baker’s Coconut pamphlet–my mom made five of the various circus animals for a birthday party for me. I hate coconut…) I could (I suppose) just photocopy the recipes that I like from some of these books but I’m afraid I would lose it and then where would I be?

    For now, I go to some of the sites you’ve mentioned and I also get some recipes from The Pioneer Woman Cooks (I got my lasagna recipe from her). I read recipes and even print some out that look promising but honestly, it’s more like a fantasy idea that I will actually take the recipe home, write down what I need, buy them AND make it. I’m working on doing better with that because it’s better to make our own food from scratch and more nutritious. I do tend to stick to stir-fries (with an occasional twist from reading some recipes) as my main homemade dish.

  2. I don’t cook nearly as often as I should (unless you count TV dinners and box mixes of things like mashed potatoes and rice-a-roni). When I do, I rely on a small core group of recipes I’ve used for years. Some are from family/friends, others from magazines, and ironically, very few from cookbooks.

    I have a SLEW of cookbooks – an entire baker’s rack plus another shelf of them – probably 100+. I would say I just love to look at them, but I don’t even do that very often. I would say that my frustration is that by the time I get done looking through cookbooks to find a recipe that either a) sounds good, b) can be made with ingredients I have (or at least have heard of), and c) won’t take 150 steps to get through, I’m usually too tired to actually cook anything.

    I guess I just like the IDEA of cookbooks. And, of course, what I should be doing with them, which is finding healthy, interesting, delicious recipes…

    I did buy a book last year that is a recipe/cookbook catalog format – that is it’s meant to help you track the recipes you use, what book it came out of, etc. Haven’t done anything with that yet either. One of these days I may just go through and tear out the 2-3 recipes from each book that sound interesting and get rid of the book itself. It would certainly save space if nothing else.

    I don’t go searching for recipes on the internet, but I do subscribe to several sites that send recipes frequently. And, the one thing I do have setup and fundamentally keep up with is a set of 10-12 notebooks by recipe “type” – soups vs. meat vs. seafood vs. desserts, etc. When I cut a recipe out of a magazine or print it from an email, I make a page and put it in my notebook by subject. So those are the sources I refer to most often. I’m a little behind with that filing and need to do a weeding of recipes to make room – it’s amazing how a recipe that seemed like a keep 5 years ago can look so totally unappetizing today…

    Guess I’m rambling now, so I’ll stop… 🙂

  3. I have lots of cookbooks, search the web for recipes, and use an application for my iPod touch called “Big Oven” that lets you search for recipes by ingredients.

    Mostly, though, I cook things I know by heart (including my Pad Thai recipe) or make up recipes. Sometimes I’ll look at two or three chili recipes and then invent my own chili recipe based on the things they have in common but adding ingredients I like and deleting ones I don’t.

  4. My favorite cookbooks are the ones compiled by Church ladies or PTA’s because they usually have the best casserole dishes.

  5. Cookbooks everywhere! I tried to reduce my cookbook collection to those I use with reasonable frequency. Being a food professional, I am very discriminating. The cookbooks recipes have to be good, the book and recipes user friendly. Over the many years as a caterer, I have collected truly good recipes that I use over and over again, though rarely more than once a month. This works for me.

    Check out Tried and True Recipes from a Caterer’s Kitchen—Secrets of Making Great Foods

    On Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc.

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