21 Responses to “You Can Learn to Cook Part 2: What’s for dinner?”


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  1. Awesome tips!! I’ve definitely gotten a LOT of inspiration from restaurant menus, especially since moving to NYC and going to so many great vegetarian places!! I also love when my favorite restaurants have cookbooks- that way I can put my own spin on their dishes!

  2. Oh how I LOVE this post. I’m just getting into cooking for more than one person. We never seem to prepare the right amount! I get my recipe inspiration from meals my mom has made that were easy, fast and delicious!

  3. This is such great advice! I have done meal planning on a weekly basis for awhile, but I have just started trying to be more creative with my meals. It has been really fun so far! I agree with your idea of simple pairings, and totally agree – hummus does not go with everything! I am glad that I am not the only one who thinks so!

  4. Ever since I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle I get my inspiration from the seasons. Before I read the book, I never considered waiting for tomatoes or zucchini. I knew they tasted better when they were fresh but I still picked them up in the winter. Now, I eat with the seasons and when they tomatoes are gone I will be sad but I will look forward to them next year and eat the sauce I made and froze for the fall and winter. I really like when I can come up with something out of just what is in the fridge as well. Yesterday’s lunch was a tortilla pizza with cheese, various types of grape tomatoes sliced in half and basil. Pure joy at having this stuff and putting together something tasty and simple. 🙂

  5. Thank you for writing this up Sabrina. I love that your tips are logical, organized, and you don’t assume the reader knows everything already.

    I get my cooking inspiration from magazines, blogs, and restaurants. I love recreating what I eat in restaurants for my husband and me to enjoy.
    This past weekend I got inspiration from my farmer’s market. I saw the most beautiful red bell peppers and had to make something with them.

  6. I love this post! I’ve been working on planning my meals better; I tend to get into my “tried-n-true” ruts, but I DO really love to cook so I want to get better at planning ahead – having all the ingredients on hand and making the time to cook during the week.

  7. This is a great post! I’ve been working really hard at budgeting and not wasting food, as well as meal planning. It just makes me feel so sick to throw out a bag of romaine that was never used, or a tomato that go bad before I had a chance to enjoy it.
    I get a lot of inspiration from Food Network and other cooking shows like Top Chef on Bravo. Also- from blogs of course!
    I also just love to browse recipes online like on cooks.com or similar sites.
    And finally, my mom is always a great source of inspiration for cooking!

  8. I love your post…really great tips! I find ispiration on the Food Channel…..love those programs and I also love thumbing through cookbooks 🙂 Have a great day!

  9. i really love that you say don’t be afraid to take chances! that’s what i love to o with my food…and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t! i would say my inspiration definitely comes from the fresh produce around me…i love thinking of ways to incorporate it into meals!

  10. This is a great post Thank you for sharing. I am always thinking about food and what my daily meal plan will be that day or that week. In my opinion and in my life – Life is easier when meals are planned out. Have a great day!

  11. Great advice 🙂 I really wish I could meal plan for the whole week, but my weeks are just so crazy, it would be a huge mess!

  12. Stacy R

    Thank you SO MUCH! I love your tips, my favorites are that not every recipe will be perfect. I forget this a lot of times and get frustrated when things don’t work out, I put too much pressure on myself. I also LOVE your tip about creating meals that bring out emotions. I keep a binder with all my recipes, print outs, magazine clippings and I usually use that as inspiration along with blogs and other websites, but I think what I need to continue to do is write notes along side the recipes as I alter them and how we felt about the recipe so when I go back to cook it again I can remember what I’ve done.

    Thank you so much for posting this Sabrina, I didn’t realize you’ve had such a challenging time writing this post. Your blog is my favorite, you are so relatable and you are quick to responding to readers requests, and of course you are creative and don’t do the typical this is what I had for breakfast, lunch and dinner in every post.

    • RhodeyGirlTests

      @Stacy R, Thank you so much for your amazing comment!!!

      There will be more posts to this series- thank you for inspiring me to write them up… a THIRD time! 😀

  13. I agree, meal planning is so helpful! I don’t always do it but the intention is there!

  14. This summer, I have been planning meals around the types of veggies I receive in my CSA box. Getting random veggies each week brings out my kitchen creativity! Another planning tip is to buy fresh herbs (if you don’t have a garden) at the beginning of the week that can be used in multiple recipes, that way you don’t end up wasting anything. Since fresh herbs go bad quickly and tend to be expensive, this is a good $$ saver as well!

  15. Very good advice!
    I have seen the change made in thousands of people’s lives when they learn to cook. I’m not talking about following recipes and spending a lot of money on cookbooks. I mean there is great freedom in understanding the basic methods that go into cooking.

    When you learn HOW to saute’, you can then use chicken, shrimp, tofu, beef, vegetables, it’s all the same. Just like you say above “what’s in my fridge” is the inspiration for dinner, not a recipe book.

    Being able to cook by method means you never have the stress of trying to figure out “what’s for dinner” every night. You can cook with the ingredients on-hand. You’ll never have the frustration of written recipes not working, you’ll save money on take-out food, improve your nutrition, gain a new hobby, reunite your family, entertain for friends, gain confidence, eat a greater variety of foods, and have a skill for a lifetime.

    Learn how to cook and a whole new lifestyle opens for you.
    Chef Todd Mohr

  16. Thanks for this post. I’m one who is the worst at planning meals and grocery shopping! I have so much food that is always going to waste b/c of poor planning. I need to sit down and make a menu for a whole week.

  17. I know i’m really late on this post, but have you heard of the flavor bible? All about flavor pairings, and it’s helped me become a bit more creative in the kitchen!

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