Winter getting you down? It's that time of year when spring is around the corner but, ironically, it's hardest to make it through this last little bit of cold weather, short days, messy commutes, and never quite knowing what to wear. Over the winter months, many people fall into a rut consisting of actions that require minimal effort and it can be difficult to climb out of that hole. The good news is that you don't always need to leave your house to spruce things up. And one easy way to do this is by changing up your cooking repertoire.
AllRecipes. The content is user-created and peer-reviewed, so you are browsing family favourites that you would likely never come across otherwise. The recipes are usually very simple and you know what others have thought about them so you know what to expect. In addition, you can search by ingredients, save your favourites, create shopping lists, and more. There is no fee to sign up and I couldn't sing more praises to this site if I tried.
I also recommend checking out some of your favourite cooking TV shows online as well. These often have extensive video collections of previous episodes, so it's easy to wile away an hour (or five!) glued to your computer monitor. I always find that watching a previously intimidating recipe made by a trained professional makes me want to try things I would normally not attempt from simply reading a recipe in a book (you know how long and complicated those can get!). They just make it look so easy and once you've seen the process, you're not spending an hour trying to anticipate disasters and second-guessing what the author really meant. The Food Network has an extensive recipe and video library, as does Best Recipes Ever. I also like keeping an eye on CBC's Steven and Chris, who often have health-conscious chefs on the show offering alternatives to favourite dishes. The recipes are listed online and are usually fool-proof.
These are just some of my favourites but there is a ton of easily accessible information out there. And the best part is that it's nearly always free! So get online and start exploring. Even after days of searching, you will barely scratch the surface of that iceberg. We all fall into a routine of making the same dishes that we know are quick and easy to make, but I find that once I get excited about food again (and I always do about new things to try), I get more energy to get things done and it creates a snowball effect that extends to other aspects of my life. Dust out those aprons and get crafty in the kitchen!