With print books going the way of cassette tapes, it’s time to rethink amassing a vast collection of cookbooks. Aside from taking up space in your bookshelves, they tend to get messy and take up precious counter space when you’re trying to prepare a meal. So here are 10 good alternatives to a print cookbook.
There’ are 1,000s of recipe and cooking tip websites to choose from. Search engines do a good job of ranking them, so start with the first 10 that come up, then choose 2-3 that you like best and bookmark them.
2. Online Videos
One of the things that YouTube does very well is visual demonstration—perfect for learning cooking techniques. Watching a video of someone creating a dish from scratch is a good use of video, but learning preparation and cooking techniques is even better. There are a few videos on the Schweppe website:
3. Ingredient Packages
This is an excellent source for recipes. It also put you ahead of the game. You probably bought the ingredients in the first place because you like the taste. Manufacturers/packagers want you to buy more, so they’ put their very best recipes on the package.
4. Friends and Relatives
You can go the traditional route by asking friends and relatives to give you their recipes. Or you can do something really cool like create a “Friends of XX” recipe blog or even a wiki—surprisingly simple to do. You can also share recipes on Facebook.
Alter the recipes that you already love for the sake of variety.
6. The Library
In addition to allowing you to borrow instead of buy cookbooks, most libraries have a ton of online resources that you can use.
7. Keep it Simple
If you stick with 3-4 ingredients that have a rich history of blending well, you really can’t go wrong; i.e. green beans, boiled potatoes, chicken, and stock.
8. Recipe Swaps
If you’re a member of a group that meets regularly, consider having a recipe swap where everyone brings or emails a favorite recipe.
9. Ask Your Kids
If your kids eat over at friends’ houses often, ask them what they like and get the recipe.
10. Ingredient Lists on Prepared Foods
Look at the ingredient list on prepared foods that you like—particularly frozen meals. Then try to recreate it yourself.
With all of the resources available now, there’s almost no reason to buy a cookbook—other than the fact that it’s much more fun to look to curl up with a full color cookbook than a black and white printout. Research shows that it’s also much easier to review large amounts of information in book form than it is from a computer screen.