The jumping-off point for today's post is based on a survey about new year's resolutions — and that makes me skeptical.
Peapod, an online grocer, conducted a national survey about food resolutions and found that over a third of the people surveyed have resolved to cook dinner at home more often in 2017. About 49 percent of those making this resolution are millennials and 24 percent are Boomers. I suppose the remaining 27 percent are from Gen-X, but my generation isn't mentioned at all in the survey. (I'm beginning to feel like a middle child when I read surveys; we just don't seem very important at the moment.)
But here's where the skepticism comes in. Based on the survey, Peapod predicts 2017 will be the year of the home cook, but according to U.S. News & World Report, 80 percent of new year's resolutions fail. So while it would be great if 2017 would turn out to be the year of the home cook, there's reason to believe that only about one in five people will stick by their stoves until December.
That is unless they find inspiration to keep them going. Fifty-one percent of the people surveyed said they would cook dinner more if they had new ideas.
Where to find inspiration
Where does inspiration come from? In this recent age of googling every piece of information we need, perhaps inspiration needs to come first from outside our laptops and mobile devices. And, once the inspiration has hit, we can go online to find recipes — or not.
I asked my friends where they get inspiration, and combined with some of the ways cooking inspiration hits me, I've come up with a list of unexpected places to find cooking inspiration.
Pull out a kitchen tool or appliance you rarely use and find recipes to put it to use. If you rarely use your food processor, decide to find recipes that make good use of the appliance. Once you've decided to dust it off, you can head online to find recipes like those in 31 days of food processor recipes.
Pick a food genre and set a goal to add 10 recipes in that genre to your regular rotation. Right now, I'm working on adding meatless recipes that aren't pasta or pizza that are heavy on beans and whole grains to my family's regular rotation. With that focus, I've created a Pinterest board of meatless recipes to try in 2017 that will provide inspiration throughout the year.
Dust off your cookbooks and old cooking magazines. With recipes a few clicks away online, lots of cookbooks get ignored, but they shouldn't be. Head to your bookshelves and pull out the cookbooks and magazines to find cooking inspiration. It seems like such a simple way to find cooking inspiration, but one many of us forget about.
Cooking inspiration can come from the old hand-written recipes from family members. (Photo: Denver Aquino/flickr)
Dust off the cookbooks at your grandparents' or parents' house. Go vintage and look through decades old, or older, cookbooks. Bonus if you find a book with hand-written recipes from family members. You may find amazing inspiration, or you may just find insight into the popular recipes of generations past.
Recreate a dish you loved at a restaurant. One of my favorite go-to slow cooker recipes is Southern Pulled Pork with Cole Slaw, something I worked on until I got it just right based on a restaurant dish. If there's a dish you really enjoy at a restaurant, spend some time making it at home. It may take more than one try to get it right, but it can be a lot of fun.
Let the grocery store sales guide you. If you want to cook more and you're on a budget, work backwards from healthy ingredients that are on sale. If your store deeply discounts meat the day it's best-buy date hits, see if any of the organic meats are discounted, buy them, and then find a new recipes that utilize that cut of meat.
Revisit old saved recipes. I have bookmarks poking out of all my cookbooks for recipes I've intended to make but never have. I also have printouts of recipes shoved into the back of my personal cookbook that I haven't tried yet. Online, I have Pinterest boards and my Keeprecipes account full of recipes I've never made. Whenever I look through these resources, I'm always struck with, "Oh yeah ... I forgot I wanted to make that!"
Where do you get your cooking inspiration from?