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Kitchen Inspiration (And Menu Monday)

Oct 31, 2011 05:15PM ● By Anonymous

I really love them -- you could call me an avid collector -- but for some reason, it's just not where I turn when I need inspiration. Perhaps it's the lack of pictures, which really draw me in to a recipe. For that reason, I adore cooking magazines. I subscribe to three of them:

1) Cooking Light (My absolute favorite)
2) Food Network magazine (Not my favorite. I will probably give it up after this year, just because they showcase recipes that just aren't my style)
3) Vegetarian Times (I really enjoy ideas on how to cook new vegetable-centric dishes) 

Even more so, I turn to the Internet. Even though I learned how to cook through, I really enjoy food blogs now (clearly, since I have my own!) I often mention new food blogs I find on here, but here's a roundup of some of the best out there (In my opinion), along with a gorgeous photo from each. 

Confections of a Foodie Bride (featuring Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies)

Dinner: A Love Story (featuring Whole Wheat Rigatoni with Mushrooms, Chard, and Goat Cheese)

How Sweet It Is (featuring an Autumn Panzanella Salad)

But lately, I've found a new, incredible source of inspiration: Pinterest. I already talked about how much I love Pinterest for wedding inspiration, but it's also my go-to spot to browse new recipes now, too. My biggest problem is that I pin too many recipes, and I can't try them all. But just look at these beautiful photos:

Four-Layer Pumpkin Cake (Originally from

Southwestern Egg Rolls (Originally from Annie's Eats)

Steak with Cherry Sauce (Originally from Not Derby Pie)

So, as you can see, the inspiration isn't the hard part for me. The hardest part is figuring out which to make first! And there's my cue for Menu Monday.

Menu Monday

'Tis the time to plan our menus for the week! For some reason, I worked really hard on this menu and am trying out a lot of new recipes. That means I'm awfully excited to cook them all! 

Sunday: Chicken and Dumplings with asparagus
Inspired by Simply Recipes. Though, this is inspiration in the loosest sense, as I recreated practically an entirely new recipe involving chopped asparagus, flat dumplings, and a squeeze or two of lemon.

Monday: Flank steak in the crockpot, butternut squash gratin, and roasted cauliflower
Inspired by Epicurious, where I found the recipe for the butternut squash when I was devising my Thanksgiving menu.

Tuesday: Quinoa and corn chowder with French bread
Inspired by The Savvy Vegetarian. I've had this recipe hanging out in my email for months now. 

Wednesday: White bean and sausage rigatoni, roasted broccoli
Inspired by Better Homes and Gardens. It's the time of year for hearty casseroles!

Thursday: Chicken and vegetables braised in peanut sauce over brown rice.
Inspired by Epicurious, again, as this is another recipe that I've been hanging onto for a while.

Friday: Chinese food or out to dinner! 

Happy dining!