Kickin’ in the Kitchen – part 2

Welcome to part 2 of our Kickin’ in the Kitchen series – a journey to add sweetness to the [sometimes] mundane ritual of cooking! (Check here if you missed the intro or Part 1 of this series.)

Last time we talked about 3 ways to become interested in cooking if you’ve grown bored with the cooking “task.”

Today, I want to share 3 more ways to gain inspiration for cooking. By the way, these are things I use all the time. Literally. Whenever I can get my hands on a cooking magazine and start ripping out recipes for my “to try” pile, I do it. I have a stack of magazines right now in my handy magazine holder šŸ˜‰ that are just begging to be ripped out. So…know that these ideas are not just things I copied and pasted off some random-blandom site, but they are tried and true methods that work for me. šŸ™‚

That said, here are my next 3 tips:

1. Watch cooking shows

Now, I do realize this won’t apply to all of you. But for those who have cable…or have friends who have cable…or go to a doctor’s office that has cable, šŸ˜‰ this is a super amazing spot to learn a wealth of info! Currently, I’ve been enjoying Boy Meets Grill (seeing as I’ve been trying to use our grill more often) and Down Home with the Neely’s.

I have gotten some major-ly awesome ideas from watching cooking shows! Everything from how to cut certain veggies to [the obvious] recipes to being introduced to new foods and spices. Which brings me to my next point…

2. Use seasonal produce

This is for several reasons, one of which is cost. No brainer: if you buy stuff that’s currently growing, you’ll pay less for it. Go and share that tip with your friends. They will be in awe of your knowledge. šŸ˜‰

Another reason is that it forces you to use things you can’t use during other times of the year. You can always buy noodles, canned and frozen veggies, and cheese. You can’t always buy fresh pineapples, green beans, corn on the cob, or watermelon. By using what’s fresh, you force yourself to use recipes you haven’t used in a while – or ever before!

For example, take the recipe for Crouton Salad I shared a couple weeks ago:

I had never made the stuff before. But I saw it, thought it looked delish, and realized fresh basil and grape tomatoes were in season, so I decided to try it. And you know what? It was delicious! And fresh and summery tasting! And my hubby told me to put it in the “make-again” list. That’s a winner for sure!

So, go fresh. (in cooking, that is…not in life)

3. Ask friends what they’re cooking.

This is my favorite tip of all! Do you realize how many ideas are lurking in your friends’ brains?!?!?!? No, really – it’s true! Now, some of your friends may just go to Chick-fil-a every night, but….I doubt it. šŸ™‚ I have gotten so many great recipes from other people by using this tip!

In fact, I just used a biscuit recipe my cousin, Jennifer sent me. I’m a horrible biscuit maker. I still am even after using her yummy recipe. But…I’m less horrible now than I was before I used her recipe. Honest. My hubs said they were yummy. And we ate 5 1/2 for dinner. That’s a good sign. (At least it wasn’t the obligatory “I’ll eat 1 since it’s on the table but no more” kinda deal.) I will continue practicing making biscuits using Jennifer’s recipe and hopefully get so good that I will be able to pronounce them “light and fluffy!”

At this point, the only thing I could call them in god conscience would be dense and heavy. But they were good hot with butter slathered all over them.

Then again, what isn’t good with butter slathered on it? Don’t answer that.

 

So, do you already use any of these tips?

Don’t forget – our linkup party is on Friday!!! Get your recipe or tip ready to share in the comments section! By the way, I signed up to bring a dessert for my church picnic and am contemplating bringing a cake or pie I can enter in the Bake-off Contest. So…if any of you have any winner recipes for such things, let me know! I’m looking for ideas!

See you Friday for the Party!!! šŸ™‚

 

Kickin’ in the Kitchen Series:
Intro
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3