Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I can't afford culinary school, so it's up to Professor Martha to show me the way

     I would really love to say that I'm a real kitchen master and never need recipes when I cook. And I guess I could say that. But I'd be lying.-and Shorty don't play that game. The truth, more often than not, is that I need some help to figure out what the hell to do with my groceries. When it comes to meat-which I only started eating about a year ago-sometimes I don't even know how to cook it, let alone what to do with it.
    I pull from many different resources to help me out in the kitchen. Sometimes I need a full recipe, sometimes I just need an idea or a tip or technique. In any case here's a rundown of sources that I use in one way or another on a regular basis. There's more that aren't on the list, but these are a few of my favourites.
  • and these two sites are very similar to each other. They are made up mostly of user content. Members can create profiles and add their own recipes and photos as well as rate other people's recipes and write reviews. I like these sites because you can read about other people's successes and challenges with the recipes. What I don't like is that because they are user-driven, you come across a lot of recipes with ingredients like 'a can of cream of mushroom soup' or a 'packet of onion soup mix'. I understand that kind of convenience cooking has its place, but it's just not really my thing. If  you're willing to sift through that, you can find some great recipes on both these sites.
  • Clean Eating Magazine and The Eat Clean Diet Books- I've written about eating clean before, so I won't repeat myself. All I'll say is that eating clean is the way to go if you want to feel great, and think of food as fuel. These are the sources I look to not just for recipes, but for ideas, tips and motivation to lead a fit and healthy lifestyle. The magazines and books are probably the resource I turn to most often for cooking and eating.
  • Veganomicon and other vegan cookbooks-Like I said, I eat meat now. But I was veg for 8 or 9 years, and I found some really great cookbooks in that time. Why not still use them? 
  • Martha Stewart in all her glorious forms- Books, magazines, website, no matter where they come from, Martha's recipes never let me down. 
  • Bon Appetit- Here's another magazine I love. This one reads like a meal wish-list, and a lot of the recipes are just a little out of the range of how far I'm willing to go for everyday cooking. It does, however offer great special occasion recipes. There's also lots of other great features, like "Prep School"-a section that gives step by step instructions on various kitchen techniques like deglazing a roasting pan or pitting olives.

  • My Mom and Grandma-They don't have their own websites or books, but these ladies are the shit(though it's likely Grandma wouldn't really appreciate that compliment). They both taught me a lot about cooking. I still call them when I'm unsure about something, especially basics that I should know but don't, like what potatoes are best for mashed vs. baked.. Plus I stole my mom's rolling pin, so I gotta give mad love. I'll give it back I swear ;)

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