Ever have one of those days when you have lots of stuff in the fridge and pantry, but no clue how to put them together? Hmm… shall we have ricotta cheese and mushrooms? Or scrambled eggs and garbanzo beans?
I recommend www.allrecipes.com. You can browse through the pages at random, or you can click on “More Searches” and do an ingredient search: type in several ingredients that you have on hand (and specify ingredients you want to avoid–like anchovies). Click “go!” and in a matter of seconds, you’ll have oodles of ways to use up that jar of artichoke hearts and the can of pureed pumpkin from last Thanksgiving. Preferably not in the same recipe.
If you want to be a regular, you can register and set up a virtual “recipe box” with recipes from the site that you’ve already tried. You can leave it all virtual, or you can print them out. (They even let you choose full sheet, or 3×5 or 4×6!)
If those aren’t enough options for you, you can also scale the recipes up and down. Let’s say you’d like to serve gazpacho to 400, but the recipe you’ve found only serves 6. Just put in the number you want to serve, and the recipe will be recalculated for you!
But the best part about the site is the reviews and comments. First, they help to weed out the not-so-great recipes (I never even look at a recipe that’s only averaged three stars). And the reviews almost always have ideas from people who’ve tried the recipe–suggestions to make the recipe better, or lower in fat or calories. (Sometimes this is good for a laugh, too–reviews that say things like, “I loved this recipe! I happened not to have pork on hand, so I substituted ground buffalo. I also used half the salt and twice the creamed corn and I pureed the tomatoes instead of chopping them and I boiled everything rather than frying. What a great recipe!”)
Works for me, when my cookbooks aren’t cuttin’ it. Click here to see what works for Shannon.