Cooking Inspiration + Favorite Links

Long, long ago, when the world of dinner was not dependent on me, cooking was one of my favorite things to do. I sourced cookbooks and read every word of the ones I liked, carefully curating the collection I currently house in my cupboard. I reference these in spurts, but mostly cook by availability and inspiration now. We rely on favorites because I am tired but still want dinner to go well because I am also hungry. Is that the siren call for takeout? Yep. And I follow it to Chipotle sometimes. Mostly I stick to the budget and I cook.

Enter the time of my life when my kiddos decided to cook – to really cook, not just get those delivery boxes or kids’ recipes. It’s like learning all over again. I am the resource, the extra hand, and the idea machine, all wrapped into one hovering parent who checks the burners are off. Luckily, I’ve prepped for this:

Smitten Kitchen – This one is a legit resource that I often use for browsing + dinner inspiration. Our list of fave recipes include: Baked farro with summer vegetables, this perfect zucchini pizza, my favorite easy chickpea pasta, carrot + feta salad, pizza beans, the only rice crispy treats I make, and the very best lemon pound cake.

101 Cookbooks – It’s inspiring, yes, but I hardly follow a recipe here because of my kids’ long and avid dislikes list. But some staples live here: (1) our favorite winter bean dish is a riff on this one with artichoke hearts and (2) travel-ready lunches are easier with these baked quinoa patties, and we switch veggies regularly, and (3) this genius kale salad. We bake blueberry rye cookies (scroll down allll the way) and these whole wheat sugar cookies pretty regularly.

Food52 – Where I search when I know what I want to make, but don’t have a recipe. All time favorite: this applesauce cake that is still our fall season opener and my son’s birthday cake request. We make this Irish soda bread every March. I first found these fried greens meatlessballs from Cal Peternell, but this version is easier to dig up.

Jenny Rosenstrach – Consistently yummy, comforting food. Plus we’ve made Ruby’s Chocolate Cake too many times to count + there’re the brownies we’ve made x100 from How to Celebrate Everything. (Yes, I have her book too.) We also make her fish + veggies in parchment, and her mini meatloaves (though I don’t eat those).

Isa Chandra Moskowitz – All the vegan things! We love all of her vegan pancakes, including these earl gray ones. These cookbooks are splattered with schmutz and written notes because invariably we love the thing we made and I need to note our substitutions. Even if you’re not a veggie person particularly, Isa’s pastas are always tasty. I also make this tofu “ham” for every possible occasion – my kids love it!

Alana Chernila – I adore Alana’s homemade versions of everything from hamburger buns to instant oatmeal. I own The Homemade Pantry and The Homemade Kitchen. I’ve made longer recipes, like her kimchi, and shorter ones like goldfish crackers.

A gathering of internet recipes that we love on the regular:
Alexandra’s easiest chicken enchiladas.
Malo’s Beef + Pickle Tacos taste just as good featuring beans or cauliflower.
I make this Summer Tomato Pie around this time every year, enjoying every bite.
Humshuka is a lovely + popular Sunday brunch around here.
Add these 30-minute sesame-roasted sweet potatoes to any main dish – and win!
This sweet potato parmesan gratin elevates any dinner.
Pinto bean and hominy salad is a great side dish for any football game.
When winter produce is dull, try this Roasted Cauliflower + Farro Salad.
Easy, dependable dinner of Italian Ravioli, made better.
Homemade flour tortillas improve every taco night.
I still, still, after-a-decade still love these waffles.

Whelp, that’s it. I hope you find some inspiration in the links above. If you have a resource to share, please list it below. I’m always collecting!

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