What every mom has probably experienced at some point is the brain dead feeling you get when it’s dinner time and you are completely uninspired. If you’ve turned to Pinterest, then you know how hit-and-miss the recipes there can be. Here is my list of top resources every mom should have for her weeknight time of need.
1. Test Kitchens of America & Cooks Illustrated
Whenever I have an itch to buy a cookbook or cooking magazine, I go straight for the Test Kitchen books that partnered with Cooks Illustrated. I know the recipes are not only amazing, they tell you why things work! They are now the only cookbooks and magazines I buy and I actually use them regularly. I make notes in them if I find a recipe could use some tweaking to better suit my taste.
The website requires a monthly subscription. Access starts at just over $4 a month. That doesn’t sound bad, but I really avoid monthly subscriptions because they add up and they are hard for me to keep track of. That ends up being $50 a year and I know I don’t spend that much on cookbooks every year, so it’s hard to justify a website for recipes. They do have some recipes available for free, but there is no way to sort them that I’ve found—so you could waste a lot of time clicking through to see if it’s a freebie or requires a membership. But, the cookbooks are totally a physical resource worth having on hand!
2. All Recipes
This has to be my go-to for anything I want to make but don’t yet have a recipe for. All Recipes has a database of recipes users have brought to the table and then reviews by other users that have tried them out. The trick here is to pick a highly rated recipe and then check through the top comments—you will so often see five stars given along with the modifications the person made. “Based on reviews, I cut the salt down by half and added a tablespoon of garlic…” And so if you don’t check out the reviews, you will often find the recipe could use a lot of tweaks. But, it still has a wealth of recipes for every dish imaginable.
3. Genius Kitchen
Looking for something unique? I like that Genius Kitchen has beautiful images, interesting recipes and user ratings to let you know how good something is. Usually I double-check the recipes here against recipes from other sites to see how they vary because sometimes the taste is hit-or-miss for me. But overall, definitely a site worth checking out. One of my favorite recipes here is the 5 Minute Artisan Bread (pro tip: it may take only 5 minutes to mix up, but plan for three hours of rising and baking!).
4. The Pioneer Woman
I remember back before she was in Walmart and half as popular, but I’m glad to see she’s gotten so much attention. Her hearty and flavorful dishes are a great inspiration to mom’s everywhere. Check out her food blog for dish ideas before you head to the grocery store.
5. Food Network
You have to know a bit about the stars behind these recipes. If you watched the Food Network for a little education and inspiration like I did (we currently don’t have cable), then you will know who you can “trust” to make things the way you are going to enjoy them. Alton Brown recipes are usually ones I really appreciate.
I do have some favorite Cooking Light magazines in my collection. I love their fresh ideas on days I’m not looking for something heavy. This is especially a great resource in the summer.
I love following Smitten Kitchen on Instagram for inspiration, but the website can be a good resource too. These meals are for days you want to get a little creative and maybe pair something with a good bottle of wine.
8. MidKid Mama
Yes, I totally refer to my own blog a lot when cooking. It’s a convenient place I’ve started publishing my absolute favorite recipes. We probably eat hamburgers almost once a week, so I do a lot of gourmet burgers with “punny” names. But, my Sweet Lemon Pepper Wings has to be my favorite recipe so far. I also have an incredible Chick-fil-A copycat sauce recipe that has been a big hit around here.
This is actually my cousin’s blog. She creates a lot of one-pot meals that are simple and still tasty. She has several published recipes in magazines like Parade.
With over 2500 videos on YouTube, there is tons of video inspiration alone from this resource. The Tasty videos are creative and gorgeous.
Those are my top ten favorite cooking resources for busy moms! But there are so many sites out there. Here are five additional honorable mentions to check out if you still want more. You can always Pin a few ideas for a later date! Feel free to share your absolute favorite recipe link in the comments!