Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Cooking Journal



I like to improvise in the kitchen. Most nights, I don't use a recipe at all. That's the reward for spending hours in the kitchen, which started when I was living at home and helping my mom with dinners (she is a big improviser too). You begin to get a feel for flavors, and techniques, and the best ingredient pairings. Reading a lot of food blogs and cookbooks and recipes over the years also plays a huge role in the success of kitchen improvisation, as does having a well-stocked pantry. 

The other night, my husband and I came up with a delicious dish together--we totally winged it and it was just perfect. I rarely have the urge to write down something I came up with, but this time I did. There were a few key ingredients in this dish that made the flavors meld together beautifully, and if left out the next time around, I don't think this dish would sing the way it did.

So my husband suggested I begin a cooking journal, where I can write down my own tips and tricks and recipes as they occur to me, or tape in cut-out recipes from my new Cook's Illustrated subscription. I really love this idea and I'm now on the hunt to find the perfect journal, one that is both big enough and sturdy enough to last forever! (This cork one would be perfect--it reminds me of a wine bottle cork, and it's probably quite durable--but unfortunately it's a bit too small.)

What do you think of a cooking journal? Do you have something like this?




11 comments:

  1. Love this idea Kate! Can't wait to see what new creations you come up with- and share with us :)

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  2. 2 years ago I asked for an empty cookbook from my in-laws with some typical family recipes I felt were a staple around my husband's house growing up. Maybe your husband [*hint *hint, Steve - great gift idea!] could compile a few from his family, you could ask your family for some classics, and then in the back start compiling all of your recipes you two discover together to one day pass on to your kids! I also think there is just something special about handwritten recipes... so you could maybe ask for your families to showcase their penmanship in their contributions :)

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  3. Thanks Katie--I'm excited about it!

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  4. Meg, this is such a sweet idea. I love it. I agree that handwritten recipes are so special! When we were talking about it, we mentioned the idea of passing it on to our kids one day....another reason I must find a durable and lasting journal for this project! Tell me, do you and your husband like to cook?

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  5. Now this makes sense to me. I use recipe cards for baking and that is about it. We are very hodge podge in the kitchen so a journal makes great sense! I love it!

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  6. What a fabulous idea!!! Love this! P.S. I've tried deleting my Disqus account because I was never receiving the replies people left to my comments. Seems it had trouble connecting to my e-mail address? So I'm going to try and register again in a few days and see if it works. Frustrating, but wanted you to know why I was commenting as "guest"! Ha!

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  7. That is such a genius idea! I need to try that!

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  8. It's so tough to figure out how to organize "free" recipes. Obviously there are cookbooks, but what about all of the loose pieces of paper and recipe cards?! I'm hoping this will solve that dilemma :)

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  9. Oh no, Disqus can be a little bit of a pain sometimes. It looks like it did recognize you as you this time! Let me know how I can help, if you'd like to do a test run. :)

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  10. We [sort of] do! We generally end up sort of resorting back to the same chicken and rice meals since by the time we both are done with work we are exhausted and hungry BUT sometimes on the weekend we look up recipes to try our hand at.

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