Current Inspiration

I have many resources that I return to time and again (and might one day list here), but these are the most current things influencing my cooking today:

MY GARDEN:
Yes- this year marked the first summer that we grew more than a few tomato plants, some herbs and a couple pots of struggling peppers. Once a swimming pool, I am enjoying these times when my kiddo can run out, wriggle into the tomatoes (thereby coating herself in the best perfume known to nature), grab me pinches of herbs and haul in the giant zucchinis with great glee. I assume the day will come when she’ll say, “WTF mom, this was a POOL?!?!” Until then, I’ll continue to be relieved we no longer have a toddler death trap in the yard and that I can now haul in piles of fresh produce each summer.

So far this year we had arugula, lettuces, chard, kale, fennel (which didn’t create a bulb ? but many uses for fronds), broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, tomatoes, corn, zucchini, cucumber, many herbs, peppers and soon some melons. I’m excited to try harder next year in refining it all and have greatly enjoyed the bounty.

Food52
I have been mildly obsessed (if that is possible) with the contests on Food52. Every week they post a new theme and give a little over a week to submit your best recipes. They then select what they think might be the best recipes and offer them to the community to test. They then take the best reviews and test them in their test kitchen. The best two are presented back to the community for a vote and the winners are assembled into a cook book. The best of the rest are given the honor of Community Pick. Not only is it exciting to have your recipes selected and commented on, but the themes inspire a great deal of thought, pondering and inspiration that I would not normally have on my own. I have really been enjoying coming up with new ideas and interacting with this impressive online community of home chefs.

 

At Home with Japanese Cooking by Elizabeth Andoh
We cook a lot of Japanese-inspired food here and I’ve been reading this cover to cover to try to refine and expand these horizons.

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