I saw a friend last night who I hadn’t seen in about a year. It was a lovely get together and at the end I promised to invite her over for dinner in the near future. “As long as you make that sweet potato risotto,” she replied. Ah, the sweet potato risotto. A staple in my entertaining handbook. Why? It’s delicious. It’s not really complicated, but it is time-consuming and feels much more impressive than it actually is.
Last night was gorgeous (Hello, Toronto heat-wave) and so as I walked home from our dinner, I thought about that almost-a-year-ago dinner. I also thought about how I was considering making that same sweet potato risotto for an upcoming dinner party. And about how I had blogged earlier in the day about simply waiting the right amount of time before repeating a recipe. And then I went for a breakfast this morning and overheard the couple at the table next to me extensively planning a dinner party (“Okay, so if those are our sides – what will be our main?” “Oh no! That dish is far too vinegary to go with that main.”) It got me thinking about the amount of time and effort we put into meal planning – and the amount of inspiration it can take.
All this very wordy, very indulgent introduction is to say that today’s blog is about INSPIRATION.
In no particular order, here are my favourite three sources of culinary inspiration.
- Pinterest – Duh! I’m not even sure this one needs a description. Type in an ingredient, diet, or style of cooking and voila! A list of matching recipes appear. Not to mention that Pinterest’s pinnable nature means you can collect and easily organize recipes to search later.
- Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube –You can definitely find some really fancy Jamie Oliver recipes, but a big part of his work seems to be about making good, healthy cooking accessible to the average amateur. His FoodTube channel features a number of chefs providing step-by-step recipe instruction. I’ve taken to scouring the channel as a little end-of-day entertainment. His How To Make a Silky Omelette video is a favourite of mine and provided a new way to make an old ingredient.
- Yummly – Think of Yummly as a specialized Pinterest specifically for food. Rather than simply typing in keywords, you can also restrict search results. It has a bit less riff-raff than Pinterest, making your time a bit more useful.
Anything I missed? Leave your go-to culinary inspiration sources in the comments!