Stuck in a Rut

Stuck in a Rut

Hi all,

This week I have had the self realization that I am in a food rut. I have been making a lot of similar meals at home and they are starting to feel redundant. I am lacking inspiration. I realized it when I thought about making pasta and had this “not again” feeling come over me. When I get stuck in these ruts there are a few things that I like to do .

I attempt to look at recipes I already have by busting out cookbooks and old magazines. I find recipes that  I had the intention of trying but have forgotten about.. I keep a notebook at home compiled of recipes torn out and saved for later. I do this so I don’t have to save stacks of magazines because I have a slight addiction to cooking magazines. This ends up being a good source for new recipes when I feel stuck.

My other option for inspiration is to search the internet for new ideas. From Facebook to Instagram or the vast number of food blogs, there is no shortage of menu inspiration on the internet. One of my favorite sites is Food Gawker . It is essentially a catalog of different blog recipes in one place. You can enter search parameters and find exactly what you are looking for; it is fantastic!

When looking at recipes on the internet I do so with a healthy dose of skepticism because ANYONE can post a recipe online. I look for good reviews and not just pretty pictures. Nice pictures are great and always increase appeal, but when I look at them I want to see the various views of the final product., It is easy to take a picture of something sitting pretty in the dish or on a plate. If someone has a picture of muffin but they don’t show me the inside, I will assume it was too dry and crumbly and will choose a different recipe.

We can help each other with food ruts as well. Sharing recipes with friends is a great idea for food rut recovery. I would like for everyone to please share a favorite recipe with me or you can share where you like to find recipes in the comments section. I love to see what other people are cooking and try new things! I will leave you with a recipe I have recently made and loved. It is from one of my old America’s Test Kitchen Magazines.. I hope everyone has a good weekend!


Indian-Style Curry with Potatoes, Cauliflower, Peas, and Chickpeas

Serves: 8


2 tablespoons curry powder (sweet or mild)
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala (see note above)
4 tablespoons of canola oil
2 medium onions , chopped fine (about 2 cups)
12 ounces Red Bliss potatoes , scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
3 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
1 – 1 1/2 serrano chiles , ribs, seeds, and flesh minced (see note above)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 medium head cauliflower , trimmed, cored, and cut into 1-inch florets (about 4 cups)
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes , pulsed in food processor until nearly smooth with 1/4-inch pieces visible
1 1/4 cups water
1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas , drained and rinsed
Table salt
8 ounces frozen peas (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup coconut milk
For Condiments: Plain whole-milk yogurt or mango chutney

1. Toast curry powder and garam masala in small skillet over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until spices darken slightly and become fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove spices from skillet and set aside.

2. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions and potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are caramelized and potatoes are golden brown on edges, about 10 minutes. (Reduce heat to medium if onions darken too quickly.)

3. Reduce heat to medium. Clear center of pan and add remaining tablespoon oil, garlic, ginger, chile, and tomato paste; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add toasted spices and cook, stirring constantly, about 1 minute longer. Add cauliflower and cook, stirring constantly, until spices coat florets, about 2 minutes longer.

4. Add tomatoes, water, chickpeas, and 1 teaspoon salt; increase heat to medium-high and bring mixture to boil, scraping bottom of pan with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits. Cover and reduce heat to medium. Simmer briskly, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in peas and cream or coconut milk; continue to cook until heated through, about 2 minutes longer. Adjust seasoning with salt and serve immediately,


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