Expand Your Culinary Chops During Quarantine
My wife and I find ourselves cooking more at home these days since COVID-19 has limited our restaurant dining and travel. I have always been a home cook, but the time at home has made me improve my overall culinary game. Here are some resources that have made this more fun and enjoyable.
Eat Your Books. This website allows you to enter all of your cookbooks. You can then search by ingredient, type of dish, to search the recipes in all of your cookbooks. It does not have the actual recipes, but lists all of the required ingredients, and can create a shopping list. It has been a great way to re-explore my cookbooks and encounter new and forgotten recipes.
It has a very active user community, as well as a weekly link to free or low cost (<$2.00) Kindle cookbooks on sale at Amazon. The website also indexes most cooking magazines and most online recipe blogs and authors. These online recipes have a link to the actual recipe.
ckbk was a Kickstarter project to offer a large number of cookbooks digitally online to home chefs. It is an annual subscription ($39.95). There are currently over 1,000 cookbooks available, and new books are added all the time.
I link cookbooks that I am interested in to my eatyourbooks account so that I can search seamlessly in one place. It offers many cookbooks from the list of Top 1000 Cookbooks, as well as books published in Britain, Asia, and Australia that you may not have seen or heard of before.
Evernote. I use Evernote to save recipes that I use and want to cook again later. I have the Evernote extension on my browser so that I can save any recipe that I open on the web. I frequently find online recipes that I want to make from an ingredient search while in eatyourbooks.com. This is an easy way to capture these recipes.
Tastespotting. I love this web-based recipe site. You can find excellent options for dishes, and each recipe has a photograph of the dish. I also can save interested recipes that I find here to Evernote.
Sous Chef has apps available for both iOS and Android devices. It allows you to load recipes from the web so you can keep them and make edits as you wish. I use this app almost every night. It has five separate timers, a good conversion table, and a calculator to help you change ingredient measurements when the serving size will be different from the recipe. It also has a good section to store references in one place.
Butcher Box. We started using this home delivery service about a year ago. We receive a mixture of grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, and heritage breed pork delivered each month. We have found the meat to be high quality, and have enjoyed the different cuts of meat that make us explore new recipes. You can select the frequency, type of meats, and when to deliver. It is easy to change or cancel orders. They also have a special option when ordering. For example, we receive a free package of bacon with every order.
Local Harvest. We have been trying to eat healthier, and eat more local products. This website is an excellent resource to find local farmers’ markets, farms, and CSA programs. (Community Supported Agriculture). The Arkansas Farmers for the People page on Facebook has over 8000 members. This page was set up to allow Arkansas farmers to reach Arkansans directly to promote their offerings. There are a staggering number of products available for purchase.
I hope you will explore a few of these resources to improve your home cooking. They will open many ways to enhance your cooking. As always, we are here for you. Please email or call if you want to set up a Zoom videoconference meeting or talk by phone
Ralph Broadwater, M.D., CFP®, AIF®
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