This is kind of my March version of the “monthly cookbook post” I started in January (and then skipped in February when we kind of totally avoided cooking at home pretty much all month). As much as I love cookbooks, sometimes my meal planning is done on the go and I use the internet to collect recipes for the month because I can do it anywhere I have a few free minutes. This was most definitely the case for March. I usually just bookmark or “pin” the recipes I want to use in a designated folder/board and they are quick to access when I need them. Occasionally, I will print out a recipe if we really really like it and want to use it again.
Blogs are a great resource for recipes but I am going to share my favorite blogs for such things in another post. Today, I am just talking about good old fashioned websites. These are the websites I go to again and again when I need a dinner idea or if I kind of have something in mind but need to figure out how to make it happen.
1) Food 52– This website is a relatively new discovery for me. It kept coming up in my Facebook newsfeed and I finally checked it out. Beautiful photographs, easy navigation and a focus on real food quickly made it a favorite. There are plenty of tips and tutorials for beginning cooks and enough variety and complexity in the recipes to keep even the most seasoned cook interested. This is not the website for you if cooking on a budget is your main concern but still worth checking out for special occasion meals or inspiration.
2) The Bettter Homes and Gardens website is a great resource for recipes. They cover everything from quick budget meals to dinner parties. Most recipes are focused on getting good food on the table without a ton of fuss for busy lifestyles. I especially love their crock pot recipes because they are not drowned in “cream of” soups and boxes of stuffing mix. Processed food ingredients are very minimal. They have a great dessert collection too!
3) My Recipes is a long time favorite of mine. I know that this is where you can find all of the Cooking Light magazine recipes and from my understanding, it is also where you can find the recipes from several magazines like All You, Food & Wine, Real Simple, Sunset and Southern Living. You can search by ingredient to use up some obscure item in your fridge nearing it’s expiration, save recipes in your very own “recipe box” and it will even make grocery lists for you. They have a new “meal planning” feature but i haven’t really checked it out yet. I love Cooking Light magazine because of it’s focus on healthy real foods and this website is full of those recipes.
4) Food Network seems like an obvious place to go for recipes for most people I suppose. Truthfully, I ususally only use this site when I am looking up a specific recipe I have seen on one of their shows. Giada is a favorite of mine. It is totally worth a visit though. They often feature seasonal recipe collections and many recipes feature detailed reviews to help you avoid mistakes others have already made.
5) Allrecipes was one of the first online recipe collections I discovered. I used to be obsessed with looking at recipes on this site. I don’t use it as much anymore but I still rely on it for some tried and true recipes or anytime I am looking for a recipe for something my Grandma used to make. Anyone can submit recipes on this site. They are not reviewed or tested before being posted so results can be pretty hit or miss if you are a new cook. You can generally find a variety of recipes for just about anything. These are recipes written by real people in normal kitchens with normal budgets, equipment and schedules. My favorite part is reading the little recipe introductions about the traditions, stories and inspiration that the author associates with the recipe.
6)101 Cookbooks is another beautiful website focusing on real food. When I first discovered food 52, I immediately thought of this site. Beautiful photography, simple ingredients and a true love of food make this site inspiring. I believe it may have started as more of a blog but has shifted towards more of a website. You can search by ingredient, season or type of recipe/meal. I love the simplicity of their recipes. My favorite recipes use minimal, quality ingredients that can all shine through and I find that in a lot of recipes on this site.
7) Pinterest is kind of a no brainer, but I had to include it because it is a favorite. I am sure most of you are familiar with the way it works but I love that you can find such a huge variety of ideas from across the internet all in one place. Follow me here.
8) This is kind of cheating since it is a blog, but my very own website right here has become a great resource for me. I love that I have finally written down many of our favorite stand by recipes and I can access them in one place.
These are the sites I use most regularly for recipe research and meal planning. What are some of your favorite online resources for recipes?