In Need of Inspiration

I have moved. My new place is adorable (if I do say so myself), my office is AMAZING, my colleagues are unbelievably friendly and helpful, and I’m slowly but surely starting my life in the place I like to call ‘The Big Rock Candy Mountain”.

Still, there is a sadness. A loneliness. The place doesn’t quite feel like “home”. I’m not sure what place DOES feel like “home” anymore. I’m still finding my groove. I miss Trader Joe’s (closest one is 15-20 miles away!). I miss Whole Foods and Fresh Market. I’m not that crazy about Harris Teeter (*the* only grocery store in town). On the upside, there are some really nice farmers markets. Hit one up the other day. I was like a kid at Christmas. Thank God I have a higher salary now–and I know where I’m gonna spend it.

Most importantly, though, I miss my kitchen. Oh, dear God. I had the best kitchen EVER. Want proof?
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My kitchen now is still pretty decent. A surprising amount of entertaining/dining space. And I’ve done some funky/cool things to it–I have an open pantry system (in part to FORCE myself to stay organized). But it’s foreign to me. And I’m not talking in the #firstworldproblem “I no longer am cooking with a gas range and top-of-the-line oven”. The kitchen just feels empty. Bland. And honestly, if I can make a complaint…it was built for a midget. Example: I took a standard-sized can of Pam. It will not fit in ANY of the shelves. True story. Same is true for standard-sized bottles of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and Worcestershire and fish sauce.

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The point I’m trying to make is that I’ve been in a food “rut”. I’m not inspired to cook in this kitchen. I need to recharge. Need a spark. So, here’s where *I* normally like to go for food ideas. Where do YOU normally go–give me some more sites to visit!!!

  • foodporndaily.com. The only porn site I frequent. One picture a day (as the name suggests). Frequently there’s a link to the site/blog from which the photo originates. Lately they’ve been doing a lot of sweet dishes, but there’s a gallery of older photos.
  • foodgawker.com. Very similar to the previous site, except there are a LOT of pictures every day. You can also search more easily for foods–vegetarian friendly, pastas, sandwiches, etc. And you can get to the original sites; however, there is a strong international presence here–a lot of sites are NOT in English.
  • foodandwine.com. Honestly, I only go here about once a month. Their recipes look pretty good, but you have to have an astronomical food budget to afford the ingredient lists (as a rule). Same is true of just looking at their wines. You will not find two-buck-chuck on the recommended list.
  • thugkitchen.com. A cookbook is in the works from this site, so the recipes have been sparse of late. This is not a site for everyone–not because of the recipes, but because of the delivery. Imagine Denis Leary writing a food blog. Overall the food is fairly healthy; also features some fun cocktails (mostly with herbs and/or vegetables).
  • delicioustapas.blogspot.com. Just as the name suggests, this is nothing but small plates. Like yours truly, they do not exactly measure anything. Some of the dishes are a LITTLE pricey, but nobody’s perfect. The thing I really like about this site is that there are very few ingredients involved in any one dish. Less is more when you have high-quality food.
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2 thoughts on “In Need of Inspiration

  1. A first, sort of pricey thought is that it looks like you need some art, or some color at the very least, to help get the creative juices going. My other suggestion is Cook’s Illustrated. I just cooked a barbeque chicken recipe from there tonight that I might not have been as likely to make if I hadnt read about it there. It’s a bit expensive (both the magazine, which you can buy in single issue at the store, and some of the ingredients) but the recipes in one issue could keep you busy for a bit.

    I hope all other things are going well for you!

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