Meet the Sullivans: Kitchen Inspiration

May 2, 2012

Kitchen Inspiration

I'm sure you can all tell by now that I love to cook! I enjoy spending time in the kitchen whether I'm whipping up a simple dinner, making something fancy for a holiday gathering or baking cookies to share with family. My love for cooking isn't only for the time I get to spend in the kitchen, but also for the hunt that leads up to that: finding the recipe!

I spend a good amount of time on this blog sharing recipes I've tried, and it is about time I share my sources!

I'm a sucker for a shiny new cookbook or a crisp glossy magazine. I'm what some people might call a recipe hoarder. I've got loads of them. Let me show you where I find them, and how I keep them all in order...

My cookbooks. I've been collecting cookbooks for many years! I really have to hold myself back from buying one every time I'm at the bookstore or Costco (a great place to buy cookbooks--the prices are great!).

Better Homes and Garden's New Cook Book was the cookbook I used to learn on. It is definitely not my favorite, but it served as my go to spot for recipes for a long time. I use it to learn to make lasagna, soups and my very first banana bread. This cookbook is great for a new cook since it is divided into categories with dividers and the recipes are easy to follow and require simple ingredients. I gave this cookbook as a gift to a few friends in high school, and I'm sure they still have it! Taking a look inside you can see the recipe for Minestrone Soup has gotten a lot of use!


My newest and therefore favorite cookbook right now is The Pioneer Woman's Food From My Frontier, which just arrived last week.

The pictures are gorgeous. The recipes are simple. The food is amazing. And Ree is funny, which just adds to the fun. I have her Tangy Tomato Brisket cooking in the oven right now.

The blogs I read regularly. I read a ton of blogs and many of them are centered on cooking and baking. I am always adding new blogs to my reader, but you can get my current Cooking & Baking Bundle here if you'd like to check out some of the ones I'm following!

Magazines subscriptions. I subscribe to Kraft Food & Family, Cooking Light, Family Circle, Food Network Magazine, Southern Living, and Real Simple. I've had to cut down my list of subscriptions because I just don't have time to read them all!

I try to cut down on the clutter around the house too, so I've been trying to look through the magazines as I get them and flag my favorite recipes with a post it. Once the month is over I pull out the ones I want to keep and store them in my recipe binders for later use.


My favorite of all the cooking magazines I read has got to be the Food Network Magazine!

Besides the colorful pictures, I especially love their Mix & Match article each month. Every month they give you a list of what you need to make "______" (this month it was quiche) in a variety of ways! 

Magazines I pick up at the store. I have so many magazines that arrive in our mailbox each month, but I also pick up a few others at the store every once in a while. The magazines below are special editions. They mainly focus on a specific topic such as Cooking Light's 5 Ingredients in 15 Minutes and Easy Comfort Food and Southern Livings Best Recipes. I have so so many of these that I've collected over the years. They have beautiful pictures. I keep them like I would a cookbook. 

I could easily get lost among all these cooking magazines, so to keep the clutter in check I use recipe binders to store the very best from each volume. I've had the bottom one for years and it is packed and I've run out of space, so over the weekend I bought the other two. I keep the recipes in page protectors so each recipe is protected from cooking spills when I'm using them. They're also divided into categories: Main Dishes (broken down into poultry, beef, pork and seafood), Appetizers,

Recipes from friends and family. I keep a recipe box filled with recipe cards given to me by friend and family, most of which I received at my bridal shower. This box is filled with great dishes from both our families. I also collect ideas anytime someone I know makes something great. I've shared a few here and here.

Searching Pinterest. Pinterest serves as an endless resource for recipes and also let's me keep them organized in specific groups. Anytime I find a recipe online and I want to remember it for a later date I just pin it to my profile! It's also a great way to discover recipe your friends like and share some of your own! You can follow me on Pinterest here.

From websites. I like Tasty Kitchen where you can find recipes from real people just like you and me. Its a great community and is fun resource for great recipes.

And from Tablespoon which is another fabulous site. I've found so many great recipes here.

From emails. My inbox is always packed and I get around 8-10 recipe or food related emails a day. I'll admit I don't read each one, but I open the ones that catch my eye with a great subject line. My favorites are:

Martha Stewarts Everyday Food emails

The Daily Dish from allrecipes.com

Kraft Food & Family


and Food Networks Recipe of the Day
And then there are cooking shows! When Owen is napping and I'm doing things around the house I like to leave the Food Network or The Chew on in the background. Not only is it fun to watch someone else cook, but I've also learned a few new tricks from these men and women.

My favorite cooking shows are Giada at Home, Paula's Home Cooking, The Pioneer Woman and Trisha's Southern Kitchen is a new favorite!

Do you have a favorite cooking magazine or cooking show I should check out? Where do you get some of your most interesting recipes?

1 comment:

Kendall Jones said...

Oh, Colleen! We are two peas in a pod when it comes to this! I am a complete and total recipe addict. I have an embarrassing amount of cookbooks, magazines and those dang special magazines get me EVERY TIME! I don't think I'll ever stop, I just love recipes so much! I made a post like this a long time ago - it was so fun reading yours! I feel like we look at all the same things :)