Archive for recipe books

10 Ways To Find Meal Time Inspiration

Posted in Articles with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 20, 2008 by lickthebowlcomau

The afternoon chaos of kids arriving home from school ransacking the pantry and fridge for snacks can be overwhelming.  If you don’t already know what you’re going to make for dinner, your entire evening can be thrown out of whack as you contemplate cleaning up the kitchen from the various morsels of toast, yoghurt and other tasty treats scoffed down by your offspring!

If you can manage to think in advance, you’ll know what to cook and have a plan.  Whether ‘in advance’ means that morning, an hour before the kids get home or the previous evening after washing up, whenever you do it, you’ll be glad you did.

Here’s where you can find that important meal-time inspiration …

  1. Hold a Chef’s Toolbox home cooking workshop – Let me show you how to rustle up quick, easy meals that won’t tax your energy too much, and will taste superb!
  2. Cooking shows on TV – The Lifestyle Channel, Lifestyle Food, daytime TV and even magazine format shows that feature a cooking segment.
  3. Magazines – Flip through magazines while you enjoy a cup of tea, ride the bus to work, wait for an appointment or sit outside the school before pick-up.  You’ll gather a wealth of ideas and even if you don’t cook the recipe as shown, you might have an idea of something you can prepare using the two main ingredients or a new product you’ve spotted in an ad.
  4. Ask others – While you’re waiting for the 3pm bell to ring, ask other parents in the school grounds what they made for dinner last night.  Make conversation with someone in the supermarket who is buying something you might like to use in a recipe and ask them what they do with it.  Ring your mother, brother, sister, cousin, best friend or someone else you like and ask them what they last cooked that the family enjoyed.  Ask people at work, at the gym, at your children’s training sessions or after church.
  5. Rely on food retailers – Your butcher doesn’t just cut meat into palatable portions; he’s often a reliable source of clever recipe tips!  Quiz yours for ideas on how to get the best out of the cut of meat you’re buying.  Ask your greengrocer what’s in season and what has the best flavour and he/she will likely tell you a great way to prepare it.  Keep an eye out for recipe cards at the bakery, butcher’s and supermarket or anywhere else where you buy your food.
  6. The Internet – If you can’t find inspiration on the Internet, then you’re not looking hard enough!  There are gazillions of sites that specialise in recipes and cooking ideas.  Some focus on particular health issues (e.g. lactose intolerance, cholesterol and food allergies), others are the place to go for lifestyle choices such as vegetarians and vegans.  Bookmark your favourite sites and save recipes you’d like to try in a folder that you can look at when you’re stuck for ideas.
  7. Product serving suggestions – Look through your pantry and check out the product labels.  Most food items will have serving suggestions on the pack, and many will have recipes.
  8. Recipe books – Some recipe books are like ‘food porn’ and your mouth will water just looking at the cover!  These one are also likely very expensive.  If your budget extends that far, then buy whatever takes your fancy, but consider also borrowing from your local library.  Cruise ebay for book bargains, go to book fairs or swap with friends.
  9. Browse the menu – In some dining precincts, the restaurants are lined up along the street one after the other, and each has a menu on display on the footpath.  Stroll by and take a look at what’s on offer and you’d be surprised at the ideas you can glean from what the chefs are producing.
  10. Join someone in the kitchen – If you know someone who’s an amazing cook, ask if they wouldn’t mind you tagging along as their temporary apprentice for a day!  Your Italian mother-in-law might love the chance to show you how to make fresh pasta.  Your best friend’s husband might be a dab hand with the barbecue tongs.  Your cousin might make the best lamb korma you’ve ever tasted.  By sharing the enjoyment of cooking, you will not only have fun, but you’ll also discover some new ways of doing things.