Weekly Poll | Cooking the books... or not | Hello Pretty Bird! - A beauty and not-so-glamorous lifestyle blog

28 January, 2015

Weekly Poll | Cooking the books... or not

Happy Wednesday, everybody! I hope those of you who live in the Snowmageddon zone didn't get hit too hard by yesterday's blizzard.

Pan clip art via

This week's question has nothing to do with weather, and was inspired by one of my favorite activities... eating! Well, and cooking. Usually goes with the territory.

Where do you get inspiration for new recipes or things to cook or eat? Cookbooks, magazines, blogs, Pinterest, something else? Do you have any all-time favorite sources?

I'm kind of old-school in that I like to flip through cookbooks for inspiration. I don't always follow recipes to a T, so having a book with an index where I can be like "I have a block of tofu, what recipes in this book have tofu in them?" works well as a method of idea-gathering. Sometimes blogs are useful too though, as there seem to be a number out there focused on budget-friendly meals, which isn't always the case with cookbooks—I remember reading some "recipe" recently that was basically just a pound of non-dairy cream cheese (not cheap!) with some stuff mixed in it. Umm what?

As for favorites, I really like Isa Chandra Moskowitz's cookbooks because I have yet to make a recipe of hers that utterly failed. Trying someone else's recipe with a certain degree of confidence is good. Because spending a lot of time making something and having it come out gross is very, very sad.

14 comments:

  1. Vintage cookbook for baking and main dishes, things like curries I always head to pinterest (unless I have a cookbook already, old or new).

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  2. I mostly reference my food boards on Pinterest (Damn Delicious is one of my favorite food blogs to pin from), but I do want to get some good cookbooks to have for reference, too.

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  3. Vintage cookbooks are definitely great for inspiration! I learned how to bake a cookbook my mom received when she got married (which was waaaay back in 1970), and honestly the basics haven't really changed.

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  4. Oh yeah I definitely have come across that. I made the rookie mistake of not reading the recipe all the way through once and I got halfway through and the instructions were not clear or well-written and I was like...huh? What the heck am I supposed to do next?

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  5. I think I follow Damn Delicious on Pinterest too. I have kind of a love-hate relationship with Pinterest... it's AMAZING for inspiration, but some blog recipe authors are really a lot better than others. I've tried some random recipes off Pinterest that came out great and others where I was like "WTF was this person thinking?" You never know...

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  6. I also use cookbooks to flip through and I get an allrecipes magazine (I don't know how or why but it comes to my door and I'm happy). Usually, I end up improvising something based on a recipe that caught my eye. I think the more you cook, the better you get and the more fun it is.

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  7. Haha yeah. Or typos! Like where a recipe should call for a tbsp of flour but it actually says a cup or something insane. If you've cooked a lot you can probably catch mistakes like that, but for folks like my BF who really need to follow recipes to a T it doesn't work out so well, haha...

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  8. I get allrecipes too. My guess is that it's probably put out by the same publisher of another magazine you subscribe to? Maybe? That's why I think I get it, anyway. Improvising based on a recipe I saw is what I end up doing a lot of the time... Stan cooks sometimes too but he gets kind of nervous about screwing up when trying new stuff, so I think it's helpful for him to have a recipe with precise measurements to go off of.

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  9. I love doing all of what you've mentioned haha. I don't have a favorite, really, but lately I've going to those websites where you type ingredients that you have handy into the spaces provided, and they give you some recipes that you can make (and can make if you get creative enough) based off that. Just a little something different.

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  10. I tend to find recipes the most on pinterest or as a google search. I have a bunch of stuff pinned on pinterest but have only actually tried making maybe a dozen or so. I may also have a certain ingredient in mind that I want to use in it so I will go onto the website (for example Velveeta) and find recipes on the Velveeta site.

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  11. I mostly use Foodgawker. Honestly, I'm a terrible cook and never have money for ingredients. Fortunately, pseudo-bf is quite good. He's going to teach me how to make dumplings this weekend with any luck. :D

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  12. Do you know the name of one of those websites offhand? I find myself trying to make up recipes based off a single ingredient I want to use up, so that sounds very handy!

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  13. Yay! Hope your dumplings come out well. I enjoy dumplings but I'm not really an expert at making them. They taste good but don't have those perfect-looking crimps like the ones you get in restaurants. :P

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  14. I've only tried a few of the recipes I bookmarked on Pinterest too. I do use it as a source for ideas though! Like if I start pinning a bunch of soups, I'll take that as a sign I should probably make soup...

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