Thursday, January 17, 2013

Cooking Shows For 'The Rest Of Us'

I have some friends who are practically obsessed with cooking. Their kitchen is filled with implements I sometimes can't even pronounce. They have at least five Food TV shows on their TiVo queue at any given time. Their pantry with spices and cooking staples takes up a whole bedroom closet, and their cookbook collection is about the same size. Needless to say, they're pretty advanced cooks. I've tried watching the shows with them in the hopes of gaining some tips, but everything seems way above my head. Sometimes it seems that cooking shows and websites are only for 'experts'. But are there any out there that cater to 'the rest of us', those of us who don't want to go into complicated recipes and buy stuff we don't know how to use? Here are a few shows and websites that tell you how to make good meals without taxing your mind or your wallet.

Paula Deen's show Paula's Best Dishes combines easy recipes with Southern charm. I'm sure you've seen her on television commercials with her trademark accent and fun personality. If you look on the show's website you'll see recipes such as salted caramel brownies, baked wild rice and pot roast that have ingredients you can get at any grocery store, as well as simple instructions. I'm not saying that other recipes are difficult to follow (actually, yes I am!), but her recipes sound less like gourmet dishes and more like what Grandma used to make. Sometimes she'll also share recipes submitted by viewers and give ideas for improvements. You can catch her show Saturdays at 10:30am/9:30am central on Food Network. You can also find individual recipe videos on the website. is one of my favorite websites for simple, easy recipes. Many of the recipes are submitted by other users, so you know that 'actual people' (as opposed to top chefs) have made and enjoyed them. One thing I find really helpful is the ingredient search. There is a table where you can input the ingredients you want and don't want and find recipes based on that. The basic registered membership is free, but there are extra features you can subscribe to for a fee. The recipes span various categories such as courses, types of cuisine (everyday cooking, ethnic recipes, holidays, etc) and basic ingredients, and you can file your favorites in your 'recipe box' for future use. features a wide range of instructional videos for pretty much any category of recipes. There are shows (Indian, Vegetarian, etc) with various recipes as well as single-recipe videos. You can share recipes online as well as create a video 'recipe box'. I love this because having the videos online allows you to watch them at your own pace. Some of the recipes are pretty complicated, but there are easy ones as well.

These are just a few of the helpful cooking shows and websites that speak to the 'average person'. I hope you like these as much as I do!

1 comment:

  1. Websites like these are the only hope for me getting good recipes. I do not have cooking shows on television.