Where does Inspiration come from?

Where do you go to get inspired about food?  It’s a question I often pose to friends, and hear from others.

So, I present to you my top-ten-list of my current favourite sources of inspiration:

  1. The menu at Green Zebra, Shawn McClain’s vegetarian restaurant in Chicago.  Luckily, Shawn’s seasonal menu is always available online.  And because I can’t go to his restaurant every day (even if I were to live in Chicago!), I’m happy for the internet-based inspiration.
  2. Meghan Telpner’s blog, Making Love in the Kitchen.  I did a Healthy Meal Prep workshop with Meghan, and constantly use her recipes, either as they come or as a starting point for something new.  Great whole-foods ideas, with a focus on nutrition, and always a fun read.  Meeting Meghan last year changed not only the way I eat, but the way I see food: what you put in your body can either heal or harm.  That’s a no-brainer way to cut through all the debates around foods, and man-made “foods”.
  3. Heidi’s recipes at 101 Cookbooks, and her two cookbooks: Super Natural Cookingand Cook 1.0.  I’ll make Heidi’s recipes untested for guests.  Seriously, that’s how much I trust her stuff.  And it always works out deliciously.  My two favourites?  Her Red Pesto Sauce, and her Ginger Zucchini Bread.  Oh yeah.
  4. Stealing recipes.  In the best possible way… maybe we could call it “borrowing” instead?  Whenever I eat something I love at a friend’s place, I ask for the recipe.  When I eat something fabulous at a restaurant, I make a note of the ingredients, find a similar recipe, and make it for myself.  And then I make it all the time, making it my recipe.  Mwahaha.
  5. Cookbook shopping.  I can’t stop.  I tried the library, it doesn’t work… they need to come home with me!!  I just picked up a copy of Andrea Nguyen’s Asian Dumplings, and it makes me want to make nothing but dumplings for 2010.
  6. Most of my friends have “weird eating things” — by which I mean, they are allergic or intolerant to a wide range of foods.  Whenever one comes over to my place, I try to come up with something new and special to suit them.  Gluten-free Vegan?  No problem.  Allergic to black pepper, all peppers in general, and can’t eat spicy foods?  I got you covered (this was the red pesto inspiration).  A couple with one lacto-ovo vegetarian and one with an anaphylactic allergy to vinegar?  Pshaw.  I can handle it.  (Ok, that one was tricky…  I made fajitas, recipe coming soon.)
  7. Peter Reinhart’s Whole Grain Breads.  Seriously people, I’m now spoiled for bread.  The awesome discussions at The Fresh Loaf forums, and the photos at YeastSpotting have me totally hooked on making more and more bread!  And yes, this is why I’m obsessed with my sourdough starters.
  8. The Daring Kitchen — I’ve just joined and will be doing two challenges with them a month: Daring Bakers and Daring Cooks.  We all bake or cook the same recipe (with our tweaks) over the course of the month, and reveal on the big day.  There’s some good-looking food in the works, so stay tuned!
  9. The FoodBuzz Top 9, picks the best food-related blog posts of the day, every day.  Yum.  They also have a key ingredient daily.  Great photos, great recipes, great inspiration.
  10. My veggie box.  I get an organic veggie delivery from the fantastic folks at Front Door Organics every two weeks, and there’s always something in there that I’ve never seen before, or wouldn’t usually buy.  Celeriac is this week’s new-to-me item that got me poking through my cookbooks and favourite websites for a good recipe.  Can’t wait to try it out!

And as turnabout is fair play, I turn the question on you: “Where do you get your inspiration in the kitchen?”  Can’t wait to hear what you come up with in the comments!

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Categories: Inspiration

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One Comment on “Where does Inspiration come from?”

  1. January 3, 2010 at 11:01 pm #

    Honoured to be a part of this magical list!

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