A friend asked me today how I come up with all my new recipes to try. She said she’s been cooking the same thing again and again and needed some new menu options. So, I shared with her some of my not-so-secret secrets to finding new recipes that I’ll use more than once.
1. It all starts with a reliable website. I don’t know about you, but there are a few websites out there that I’m just unimpressed with. I could name them off, but hey, they don’t need the bad publicity. There are, however, an equal (or more) number of impressive recipe sites that give detailed recipes with adjustable amounts that easily convert for the number of portions you’re making. They often have the nutritional value per serving available as well, and that’s a big plus in my mind. One such website (my favorite) is AllRecipes.com. 🙂 Check it out, bookmark it, or just use it enough, it comes up in your favorite websites (Yes, it does for me.)
2. Pictures are worth a thousand words. I don’t care if it sounds good, there’s confirming about a recipe with a picture. I tend to go for the ones that offer me visual confirmation on the consistency/style of the finished product. If it looks like gruel, it might taste fantastic, but…hey… it still looks like gruel.
3. The more stars the better. I like to look at recipes with atleast a 4 1/2 star rating.
The 2-3 star recipes? They taste like 2-3 star recipes. The more stars, the higher the rating. This is super-helpful as I look through recipes to weed out those that are worth trying in order to add them to my personal cookbook versus those that are worth trying once and are never to be made again. Example: The barbecue beef cornbread casserole mentioned last week? That was only a 3-star dish. Yeah… tasted like one and won’t be made again.
4. Read the reviews. Amazingly, there are a great number of cooks that write reviews on the recipes they’ve tried off of a website. Unfortunately, I’m not one of them. However, I do take advantage of the time and effort they’ve put into writing them, and I read them…every single one. I take into account discussions of seasoning levels, alterations, substitutions, etc. It helps! This way, I can make a meal that’s been labeled “too salty”, “a little bland”, “kinda watery”, etc, and not have to make the same mistakes these cooks did! Often, I can see how versatile the recipe is as well, so I know how much I can play with ingredients, amounts, and seasonings. It’s not often I follow a recipe to a T, and this is because most recipes were made to be improved upon and altered to taste.
I hope that’s helpful! 🙂
How do you come up with new recipes? Are there favorite websites, blogs, and/or resources you use?