Meal Planning Monday ~ Recipe Resources


          If you’re like me, you might be making a resolution soon to be a little more adventurous and try some new recipes in the New Year.  My Mom once told me that the secret to being a good cook is to start with good recipes, then practice, practice, practice!  So where do you find these good recipes? 

            The internet is a plentiful source of recipes!  I’ve found quite a few goods ones, and some bad ones, by just Googling the name of what I’m looking for, such as “Chicken & Mushroom recipe,” and see what links come up.  This method can be a bit of a crap-shoot, so I’m going to give you some recipe websites that Leah and I use frequently and with good success.

   is an easy site to use.  You can search by category (appetizer, main dish, etc.) or by ingredient.  The recipes are rated by other users, so you’ll know if the recipe’s worth trying.  There are also some great general cooking articles, even instructional videos, on this site, such as how to roast a chicken, make the perfect gravy, or a fluted pie crust. 

   is a great website to check out.  I have found two of my favorite appetizer recipes there: Warm Italiano Spread which is a cream cheese pesto dip that is quickly devoured at parties, and the Creamy Mediterranean Spread which is also a cream cheese dip (noticing a trend here?) with chopped kalamata olives, roasted red pepper, and feta cheese.  There are also some fabulous dessert recipes on the Kraft website.

   is Leah’s latest obsession for recipes, and I can easily see why.  The pictures of the food are pure works of art and will have your mouth watering in a matter of seconds!  Click on a picture and it will take you to the source website which may be a blog or a recipe site you’d not have found otherwise.

            There’s a fresh take on the old fashioned recipe swaps that our mothers used to attend.  Leah and I are part of group on Facebook called “Try It Out.”  The whole goal of this group of friends is to find out what others are having for dinner and share recipes so we don’t get bored with our usual meal plans.  Members post pictures, ask questions, and post their favorite recipes.  I highly recommend that you start one with your friends and family who like to cook!

            Yes, I do still use some old-fashioned cookbooks, too!  My “Fix It and Forget It” crockpot cookbook has been in heavy rotation with the weather being cold now.  I’m also a fan of the Cake Mix Doctor cookbooks by Anne Byrn.  The Bacardi Rum Cake is fantastic!  I make it every Christmas, and I think there might be a riot if I decided not to!

            So, join me in 2012 by resolving to be a little more adventurous in the kitchen and try some new recipes!  Who knows, you may have yet to discover your family’s new favorite dinner.