Not thinking inspiration here, more “I have an idea, how do I fill it out?”

Our meal plan includes taco salad for dinner tomorrow. This is not hard. We have ground beef thawing and I know we have lettuce, bell peppers, pepperocini, tomatoes, lots of choices of canned beans and canned spicy peppers. I can do something interesting with what we have for a taco bowl.

None of that is to say I can’t find some ideas I can work with from the pantry.

So I generally start with Google. I do my own sorting on experience. Budget Bytes, Spend with Pennies, Gimme Some Oven, Taste of Home, Wholesum Yum, a bunch of others I recognize but don’t remember.

I searched HO but didn’t get much.

P.S. No way I’d use a packet of “taco seasoning.” I make my own.

Not specifically about tomorrow’s taco salad. Where do you go for guidance and ideas when you know what you want to make and aren’t in a position to use muscle memory?

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MANY decades of nightly cooking and dining out + what’s in fridge, larder and meager garden. I use Google for specific recipes, like grand-daughter’s request today for a white chocolate birthday cake, but am usually frustrated by esoteric recipes for daily fare. Too many irrelevant flavor inclusions, too many “don’t got” auxiliary ingredients.


I feel the same about packaged fish fry.

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Large library of cookbooks and magazine at home. We always like to try out new recipes (and hardly ever repeat any of them). We like especially recipes which think a bit outside of the box with unusual flavor combinations, ingredients etc.

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Sally’s Baking Addiction for bread
Allrecipes for generic recipes rather than the other three that pop up in the square. Checking reviews of course.
Martha Stewart if I have a Q on any recipe. She is a perfectionist.
Others may follow later on.

Chowhound was a great resource at one time. That place covered every subject imaginable, food wise and then some. Now there’s no sense in searching over there for anything. Nothing comes up in a simple search on the site. What a waste.

And no, I don’t need any advice from people who still hang out there as to how to run a detailed search. Thanks.


Serious Eats and New York Times!

Ha ha. It depends

I try to remember “Eat My Books” which catalogs my cookbooks, magazines, and favorite blogs/websites, including subscriptions like NYT, Cooksillustrated, and Bon Appétit . I recently paid for Chef Steps too.

I especially like Woks of Life , Smitten kitchen, Food in Jars, David Lebovitz, +/- Food 52.


The deep dark depths of the internet. And then beyond. I use taco bell seasoning packs also .


If I remember correctly you are no stranger to Boolean logic. This is surely familiar - the stuff in the right column is best as you can generate any kind of search in any Google search box (which these days is many fora). The key as you know is to ask the right question.

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My situations round this are usually after opening the fridge and deciding “something” needs using up. And, inevitably, I will turn to my Nigel Slater cookbooks for inspiration. To my mind, he is the master of this sort of thing. He’ll say “If you havent got this, then use that” and often his “recipes” are more of an idea that an actual recipe.

He’s also a source of many planned dinners. He’s written three Kitchen Diary books, chronicling his eating across a year. Lots of recipes, lots of ideas and, because it’s in diary format it is often very seasonal (you will not see him mention asparagus in a November recipe).

I could not be without his books. In the same way that, for more “how to cook” type recipes, I could not be without my Delia Smith books.

The internet is obviously very helpful. I tend to use that for recipes outside my own culture. For example, we might think of cooking meatloaf once or twice year. That’s not an instinctive dish for us, so I’d Google. Similarly with Asian or Chinese dishes, I may have to refresh my memory with a Google.

Bear in mind that I am neither a good cook, not an instinctive one. Recipes are generally important to me.


My sources are a few food magazine subscriptions, YouTube, friends, and restaurant experiences.

I’d list personal instinct but that’s limited to the bourbon, Scotch, and gin aisle. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. :tumbler_glass:

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I have been collecting cookbooks and recipes for, well, forever so I have lots at hand.

@shrinkrap and @Harters, I see that I also favor online sources in common with yours.
And like @Respectfully_Declined, restaurant experiences are important to me too. Especially when I haven’t had a dish before and I want to understand what I’m going for.

Another that I’m finding reliable is Leite’s Culinaria. That site has expanded and gotten richer, so I find myself popping over there more.

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This is an interesting observation I share with you and @tomatotomato Denise. I often peruse online restaurant menus, particularly of places I have enjoyed, for inspiration.

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