Recipe for change

Tick. Tick. Tick. The hands of the clock are moving closer and closer to the dinner hour, begging the question, what should I make tonight? I always wait until the last minute and then have to rush. Should I try something new or fall back on an old favorite? However, I’m tired of most of my tried and true recipes and have decided it is time to freshen up my repertoire.

I am now at an age where I need to truly pay attention to what I’m eating, how I’m preparing it, what ingredients I’m using, etc., in ways I’ve never done before. A quick search through my cookbooks and to-do-recipe pile just reinforces the fact that I am more of a baking type of person. Any recipe with chocolate, butter, eggs, and flour has me all excited to be in the kitchen for hours. Pies, muffins, cakes, cookies, brownies-the list of wonderful recipes goes on and on. Now my quest is for the other end of the food pyramid. I’ll be looking for recipes that are simple, healthy, maybe lighter on meat and heavy on veggies.

With the resurgence of interest in cooking and all things foodie, recipes, how-to-videos, and television show abound. Recipes can be found in cookbooks, magazines, blogs, cooking websites as well as store websites, such as Trader Joe’sWegman’sWilliams Sonoma, and Whole Foods. Organizations such as the American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association include recipes on their sites.  So many choices!

I leaf through the cooking magazines in the library’s collection, such as Cook’s Country, Cook’s Illustrated, Food Network Magazine, and the classic Bon Appetit. I take a look at the new digital offerings through Zinio for Allrecipes and Saveur. I find two new cookbooks of interest, Dinner Pies by Ken Haedrich and Persiana by Sabrina Ghayour. I read an article about cooking apps, such as Yummly, and load them into an iPad to try out. I ask friends for recommendations.

Along the way, I uncover a Mark Bittman article from a very old New York Times issue that may just take care of dinner for every night this summer: “Summer Express, 101 Simple Meals Ready in 10 Minutes or Less.” Definitely my kind of recipes.

Apologies if all of this has made you hungry, but here’s a brief list of some recipes that have made the cut:

Zucchini Lasagna

Tomato Cheddar Pie

Tomato and Basil Pasta Sauce

Baked Eggplant Parm

Shepherd’s Pie

Silver Palate’s Chicken Marbella

Wild Salmon with Green Sauce

Chicken Pot Pie

Saffron & Rosemary Chicken Fillets

Baked Egg in Avocado

Ina Garten’s Spinach and Cheddar Souffle

Escarole White Bean Soup

And some new desserts:

Key Lime Poundcake

Meyer Lemon Squares

Now I think I’ll take my Big Crumb Rhubarb Coffee Cake out of the oven and think about what to fix for dinner tonight. It’s only noon. I have plenty of time.

Photo courtesy of the author.

Blog post by Gayle Stratton.

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