This year, G and I have committed to doing a lot more experimenting in the kitchen. Over the past few years, in a quest to eat healthier and make some important dietary substitutions, we have built quite a collection of cookbooks, a subset of which have become our go-to cookbooks for weekly meals. Over the past two years we have gotten into a rhythm with grocery shopping, meal prepping for lunch and dinner each week, and armed with perhaps 5-6 of our favorite recipes, find ourselves making the same things over and over again.
To break this habit, and infuse some excitement and variety into our menu, we went through each of these cookbooks and looked at each and every recipe. We were surprised to find so many that we wanted to try before, but were quickly forgotten about once we had a few tried and true.
One of my favorite kitchen gadgets is not a kitchen gadget at all. It's an office supply essential. Post-it note flags. We use them for everything from putting a date on a random jar in the fridge so we know how old stuff is (ew), to labeling the tops of mason jars in our rotating corner cabinet with the contents so we don't have to pick through a dozen mason jar tops that all look the same, to marking recipes that we want to try. It's easy and genius.
You can use whatever colors you like... we obviously started using Yellow as a marker for "Let's try it" and ran out, so resorted to using Blue for the rest. Along the top of the cookbook pages, we identify all the recipes that we want to try. This year, we have a specific calendar for trying recipes to help me facilitate when blog posts will occur in response to those recipe trials, so we try to spread out how many times in a row we're focusing on chicken. Then, as we make the recipe, the yellow or blue label comes off the top and we replace it with a Pink tab on the side of the book if we loved it and want to make it again, Purple (or Blue) if we liked it and would be good for certain occassions, and if it wasn't to our liking, we don't really have any need to tag it. If it underwhelmed us, we don't need to draw attention to it.
This ensures that we eventually will get around to all of the recipes we want to try. We obviously have a long way to go. On weeks that we're not feeling particularly adventurous, we pick a known recipe that we have loved in the past. I can't wait to share our explorations with you!
I'll also be posting some back-recipes that we've tried and loved here on the site. I won't post the recipe itself on the blog as it is unfair to the book author to have their work given away for free, but I will send out the recipe with our personal preference modifications in a newsletter - if you are interested in receiving those, please make sure you join the mailing list on the main page of the website to receive that!