Kicking off our festival of friends is Beth Anne from Beth Anne’s Best. I’m beyond thrilled that she took the time to write such a great post about how she avoids using (my much beloved) old cookbooks when she’s in the kitchen. I hope you enjoy!
For the past few weeks Elizabeth has been posting about all her super old recipe books. But I have a confession…I don’t ever use recipe books. I’ve tried. I actually have a few. Every year around Lent I go to the library and browse the meatless recipe books and the books end up sitting on my desk without fail.
Now those of you reading this are probably thinking, “Well she must HATE to cook.” or “She must eat every meal out!” You are actually VERY WRONG. I actually LOVE to cook and I LOVE trying new recipes.
A lot of what I cook however is in my head. I’m Italian and have been cooking Italian food for years just watching what my mom does mostly. I’ve never really even used an Italian recipe. I will make some italian dish and post a picture on social media and I’ll get TONS of comments asking me for the recipe and I’m always telling my friends the recipe is in my head. I don’t ever measure anything and it always comes out good.
Italian food and really basic things like baking chicken, mashed potatoes, and everyday things are probably the only recipes I can make without a recipe. I LOVE baking and trying new things and use recipes often but I never use cookbooks. I’m pretty technology savvy so I really just search on the internet for recipes.
I’m also a VERY visual person. I like to be able to see a lot of pictures of what I am making before I make it. Elizabeth has mentioned this in a few of her recipe posts that a lot of the old recipe books she has been finding don’t have ANY PICTURES. I think this new phenomenon of digital photography has created us to be more visual and that includes taking tons of pictures of our food.
I was listening to a Disney podcast a few weeks ago (I don’t care judge me I love disney) and they were talking about old snacks they had at Disney World as kids. The host was looking for pictures to share with everyone on his blog but couldn’t find any because back in the 70s and 80s no one cared about taking pictures of their food. This really made me think about how digital photography has made us photograph more.
So when I am looking for a new recipe where do I go for inspiration? Well I have a few places I am going to share with you today.
First I usually go to Pinterest (I know that was too obvious). You can easily search “Chicken wings” on pinterest and a million recipes will pop up. I often will add in EASY to the search terms to help avoid SUPER COMPLICATED recipes.
Another resource is blogs or specifically link-ups. Every Lent I actually host a Lenten Meal Plan Link-Up and a lot of bloggers participate by sharing their favorite meatless meals. I also write round-up posts linking to other blogs. I have done it for 3 years now and i t’s always a huge hit! This past year we created a group Pinterest board that was a big hit and very helpful!
A third resource are websites like Foodily or SuperCook. The cool thing about these websites are they are good if you forgot to go grocery shopping and only have certain ingredients on hand. You can put in items like chicken, milk, garlic, mushrooms and they will give you recipes that only have those items.
A final resource I will share with you is the Evernote FOOD app. This app makes it really easy to save the recipes you find online in one place. It syncs with your regular Evernote account by creating a “Recipe Notebook.” I also use the Evernote Extension on my web browser so when I’m on a blog or website on my computer and see a recipe I like I can easily “clip it” and save it to Evernote. Then using the Evernote FOOD app I can easily open the recipes on my iPad or iPhone (it’s also available for android) so I’m not wasting a ton of paper constantly printing recipes. The Evernote Food App also allows you to browse restaurants and recipes not in your cookbook.
I hope these tips will help you find new recipes if you like pictures and don’t like using cookbooks like me!
Beth Anne is a twenty-something blogger who currently resides in North Florida and blogs at BethAnnesBest. She blogs about everything in her life including being single, her cats, her travels and her faith. She is currently recounting her recent trip to Europe. Some words she uses to describe herself are: disney addict, catholic, social media junkie, and extreme couponer. When she isn’t blogging you can find her on twitter or instagram. She also enjoys spending her free time at the beach, experimenting with new recipes, and traveling.