I have found a few gems in my recipe searching on Pinterest. This Mediterranean Fish Stew is stellar. These lentil and goat cheese stuffed sweet potatoes are a family staple now. These sautéed mushrooms with cheesy polenta are divine. These recipes are the exception though, not the rule, in my experience. The legions of "crack noodles" and "better than sex cream cheese dips" can be hard to wade through to find gems like these.
Because of the way blogging works, and because of how good recipe development works, they are rarely good bed fellows. Most recipes on blogs are written by home cooks, and often after only a successful first attempt at a dish. We have no idea how accurate their measurements or memories of the cooking process are. There is a push in blogging to turn every moment of your life into a post, and this means many once or not at all tested recipes frequently make it to your Pinterest search, even if the cook only thought they were okay to begin with.
It's also commonly thought within the blogging community that Google prefers posts of over 1,000 words, which is why most recipe posts have a lengthy personal anecdote you have to scroll through before you get to the recipe. Honestly, I have no idea what our robot overlords want.
While I used to sit down with Pinterest each week to organize my meal plan, I've turned away (somewhat) from the visual search engine for finding trusty recipes. While I do still store recipes on my boards that I intend to try, I now tend to go directly to the sites I trust for recipes, and pin from there. My favorites are:
This site has a magnificent search feature, and none of their recipes have ever steered me wrong. This is usually my first resource I go to when I'm trying to find a recipe. You can search by meal, specific ingredients, health concerns, and more.
- New York Times
The photos are beautiful, the chefs behind of recipes are some of the best in the business, and the writing that accompanies them really helps you understand the recipe along with its methods, ingredients, and background.
Based in my beautiful home state of Vermont, Eating Well is a fantastic meal planning resource. In addition to tons of recipes, Eating Well has some excellent themed meal plans. Meal plans by budget, by health concern, and by dietary restriction are all available. One of Scott and my first forays into cooking together after we bought our first home together was their 7-Day Meal Plan to Eat on The Cheap.
If you are cooking with the best ingredients you can get, you deserve to do well by your food. There's nothing more heartbreaking than putting 1/5th of your grocery budget for the week into a recipe that is barely edible. Relying on the professionals for your go-to recipes gives you a fighting chance of absolutely loving what you've made, not only because the recipes are more carefully written, but because they are written by people who have a mastery of the elements cooking, how ingredients and methods work together.
Certainly there are bloggers out there who are excellent at what they do, and I encourage you to find a few you really trust, but when you have a beautiful cut of meat, or some gorgeous fresh produce, turn to the experts to steer you right. Since I made this shift, we've been eating consistently better meals, without spending more money. Between these sites and some good old fashioned cook books, not only are we eating better, but I am constantly expanding on my culinary repertoire and honing my skills.