A valuable part of BiteSeeing is the Recipes section, where I share my own creations and variations on dishes that you want to make at home. With most meals being consumed at home with your family, more memories are created inside the home, yet still part of the BiteSeeing journey, so we cannot neglect the importance of making that the best experience possible.
I often ask my wife to challenge me to make her something I’ve never made before and once she picks a meal, dish, or ingredient, it’s off to the races to determine how I can best bring her ideas to the plate. This involves extensive research and planning on my part (Type A?!) – pulling out cookbooks, surfing the Internet, and then settling in to plan the ingredient list, techniques, and gadgets I may use (InstantPot vs. Slow Cooker vs. Stovetop – these are very real concerns, folks!), and then laying out the strategy to make it all come together to bring that awesome smile to Stacy’s face upon the first bite. That smile is what it is all about for me…
I have several cookbooks that I’ve hung on to, not because they are classic or for any other reason than my mom gave them to me as gifts over the years and they are beautifully produced books with a wide variety of dishes to make. Relatively speaking, they are a bit dated now but remind us of classic dishes from decades ago that stand the test of time. There is some really random stuff in there, so taking a crack at those is usually great fun!
Last Thanksgiving, when looking for another way to use squash in the 2011 Southern Living Christmas Cookbook, I stumbled upon what turned out to be a lengthy recipe for Squash & Cornbread Dressing (stuffing), made entirely from scratch. It had a lot of steps to it and took a while, but every bite was perfect and amazing. Well worth it! [Here’s a happy example of this post – It looks like the chef’s at Southern Living have edited this recipe since 2011 to make it a bit more efficient to make. The original took 2.5 hours to make, and the linked recipe above boasts 45 minutes – that’s a huge difference!]
Outside of actual books, I typically spend a good amount of time on the Internet due to the dizzying quantity of results that come from a simple recipe search. I’ll often Pin (Pinterest) a recipe I think has potential to make sure I don’t forget where I found it and to keep it around for later reference.
The core of a recipe is typically easy to identify – common ingredients, times, and temps serve the foundation of the dish, and that’s the first step. The reason I look at multiple recipes for the same dish is that there are variations that take a dish in one direction or another. It could be a single ingredient that differentiates the Italian version from the Spanish version, and then you find an Indian or Greek twist that really gets the brain spinning. I enjoy tilting towards ingredients that I have not used before so it’s important for me to understand the spectrum of a particular dish. And you never know when you may be on a show like Chopped and have to dig deep into your bag of tricks 😉
Having established the various components of a recipe which I call Foundational, Ethnic Twists, Enhancers, and Technique, I then create a grid and use my gut to concoct what I’ll do for the first cook. The dish evolves after that first attempt if we feel we can really do something unique or efficient with – this is typically the basis of what you’ll find in our Test Kitchen.
Point being, recipes are a dime a dozen and the quality varies so drastically that bringing you tried and true, modern, and approachable instructions are my goal with the Recipes section of BiteSeeing. It is very frustrating to pick a recipe, shop for it, and get into it, just to realize the author skipped a crucial step (you mean you didn’t know you needed to brine the chicken overnight?!), ingredient, or description that changed the course of your dish and had you explaining the reason why it didn’t turn out as planned instead of relishing in the satisfied diners you amazed with your new dish.
The other thing that drives me bonkers about Internet-based recipes is that a lot of sites are full of ads and the sidebar keeps playing unrelated videos, preventing your page from scrolling smoothly. These ads and browser hiccups really get in the way when you are trying to cook ‘
To that end, I have searched for and tested countless recipe designs and ultimately implemented one that brings a clean, flexible, and technologically advanced experience to make your time planning and creating your meals fun and efficient.
Be sure to check out our Guide To Using Our Recipes to make sure you know about everything we’ve done to give you the best experience possible.