Thanksgiving is only a day away and while there is much debate on whether or not major retail stores should be open on Black Friday, one thing is for certain; there will be lots of food. Normally, we can cut as many corners as we want when it comes to everyday cooking for our personal sustenance but on a holiday, one that food is a major part of, a lot of people like doing a little something extra for a better meal. For experienced cooks, this might mean phoning up grand-ma and asking her for the recipe to her secret sauce, trying a new stuffing for the bird, or just experimenting with something completely new. For the novice cook, this might mean a nervous breakdown as they try and figure out what groceries to buy. Regardless of what your expertise is, we have a list of resources for both seasoned (pun intended) and novice cooks to help you eat better this Thanksgiving.
Use What You Have In Your Fridge
Assuming you don’t have a particular recipe in mind or it’s just too late to buy any more ingredients without getting stepped on by other last-minute shoppers, you can always use what you have in your fridge to figure out a good recipe.
SuperCook is a great website that lets you enter as many items as you have in your fridge and pantry and it generates a list of recipes that you can make from those ingredients. The recipes are collected from all over the internet so you’re basically just searching all major food sites but getting results for dishes that you already have the ingredients for.
Kitchenbug is similar to SuperCook. You can use ingredients to search for recipes but you can also search for them using labels like low fat, or low cholesterol. If you’re trying to eat healthy this holiday, you can find some great recipes using the supported labels.
Crowd Sourced Recipes
One of the best places to look for recipes or cooking tips and tricks is Reddit. You can always opt to visit sites like allrecipes.com but the great thing about crowd sourced recipes and cooking instructions is that the people making and writing them aren’t expecting you to have just about every kitchen item needed to run a small up-scale restaurant. They help you make do with the kitchenware and ingredients you have or can easily buy.
We Recommend the following sub-reddits for anyone looking for a good recipe to follow.
- r/Cooking This sub-reddit gives you both recipes as well as tips for more efficient cooking
- r/Recipes Recipes that range from simple to complex can be found here. Some of the more skilled cooks will even include pictures for each step
- r/Baking If Martha Stewart hasn’t been able to help you make a nice gingerbread man, give this sub-reddit a try for great baking hacks
- r/cookingforbeginners The name says it all; the sub-reddit helps noobs cook. Things as simple as making a double-boiler or salting meat are explained and you can always ask other users for help.
You can alternatively go through every single one of the food related posts made on Imgur here.
Food isn’t just supposed to taste good, it’s also supposed to look good and if you’re ever lost on ideas for presenting food, give these Imgur galleries a try. You’ll either leave with a great garnishing idea, or with a rumbling belly.
Whenever I try a new recipe, the one question I frequently ask myself is, ‘Is it supposed to look like that?’ Food websites sometimes provide step-by-step photos with a recipe but even then, you might second guess the thickness of a stew or soup, or wonder if the meat is thoroughly cooked or not. In this case, a video tutorial is pretty great.
r/CookingVideos is a pretty great sub-reddit that features cooking videos, both short and long, showing you how to cook traditional holiday food to everyday food.
YouTube is of course another great source for cooking videos and we recommend Everyday Food and BBCFood.
EverydayFood has a great Turkey recipe that’s easy to follow, you can check it out below.
BBCFood is another great channel with lots of easy and quick cooking recipes. If you aren’t cooking turkey but would like to still eat a simpler, less complex bird, try this chicken recipe.
Smartphones, more specifically, tablets have found their way into every aspect of our lives and if you have the money for it, you can buy a fridge that comes with a mounted tablet. Some may question the need for the device on a kitchen appliance but it’s a great way to follow a recipe. For anyone armed with a tablet, apps are a great way to look for and follow recipes.
iOS: If you’ve got an iPad, Youmiam is a great, free app that not only provides lots of great recipes, but also lets you view individual steps on large, easy to read cards.
CookPad is another great cooking app to run on a tablet. It’s available for both Android and iOS. Like Youmiam, it too features cards to follow recipe steps one by one. Recipes are complete with photos for each step and the photos used are HD.
Microsoft Surface Tablet
The stock Food and Drink app on Windows 8.1 is simply amazing. It features a collection of super simple recipes and also lets you add your own recipes to it. It is indeed built with tablets kept in mind (much like all of Windows 8) and following the recipes featured on the app is easy.
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We’d like to mention allrecipes.com and BBCFood here as well. Both feature recipes that range from easy to difficult. We can’t recommend the allrecipes app as it comes off as cluttered though you can give it a try if you like. Both sites feature some great recipes and are worth checking out. Happy eating!