Food Adventure-How to Try New Recipes Without Fear of Failure
Make 'new food' tasting an adventure
Rate your cooking comfort zone:
How would you rate yourself as an explorer of new recipes?
Do you like routine or change?
Trying new recipes can be a daunting experience, but at some point one will never move beyond the routine menu if one does not become adventurous, and give an eye catching recipe a try. With food prices steadily rising how can one experiment with a new flavor or main menu item without worry that the family will go hungry if it bombs? Here are some ways to gradually introduce new foods, or new recipes, to the family with positive results.
Asian Cuisine: Stir Fry
Expanding your family's cuisine experience: Tips to follow:
1. If you want to introduce a new taste to your family experiment outside the home first. For example, a new ethnic flavor can become an adventure. Take your children to visit a restaurant of that country and share dishes that you plan to add to their diet. If your children are old enough you can help prepare them for the outing by encouraging them to do a little research on the internet to discover fun facts. Their reactions to new food at the restaurant will let you know how they enjoy it-or not.
2. For a less expensive excursion take in a lunch, rather than a dinner.
3. Know what your family enjoys and introduce a new way of preparing those foods. If they are beef eaters, for instance, and always have burgers turn it into a meatloaf, or a night of spaghetti and meatballs, or a…well, you get the picture.
4. Let them help you with the cooking. Most children who help prepare the evening meal will be more eager to consume the product of their hard work.
5. If the new meal is too sophisticated or complex ask them to be your wingman and place the spices and tools onto the counter pointing or asking for the next item in the recipe. Not only does this give you an opportunity to bond with your child, but it allows them to see that cooking is a manageable and natural part of a person’s daily routine. It will help prepare them for their future independence, and you will be at ease knowing they’ve been ‘cooking’ long before they left the nest.
6. If it is overwhelming to even consider a ‘helper’ being underfoot when dinner has to be promptly finished, then set aside a cooking night that everyone can look forward to.
7. For less enthusiastic little folks, start introducing new flavors in small quantities as a side dish and soon they will adapt to new dishes at dinner.
Where to find family recipes
My mother was an avid cook and a diehard recipe collector. Not only did she collect cookbooks and recipes, she would actually try them out. We would be her guinea pigs when we were growing up, and later, as we left home, she would share her cooking with co-workers and neighbors.
How did she constantly come up with new ideas for the same old foods? Because cooking was one of her passions she was vigilant to what was available wherever she went. A wait in the doctor or dentist office was never an annoyance. She merely passed her time examining the latest magazines for recipes she found interesting and either jotted them down or asked for the magazine if it was an old copy.
Later, as she settled from Detroit, Michigan, to her new home in North Carolina, she watched the food network show wowing her new Southern friends with her culinary skills. Rachel Ray and Ina Garten became her constant companions in 2003 as she sat through her chemotherapy.
Magazines are a cheap source for recipes
New recipes can be fun and interesting
Where do you go for your recipes? My advice is the same places mom went to-magazines, newspaper food sections, and friends’ food swap at parties and potlucks, cookbooks, online sources and for a visual, the food shows.
Don’t be bashful about trying a new recipe. Remember the old, Life cereal commercial with little Mikey and his big brothers? Well, that is a good philosophy to apply when you are expanding your taste for something different on your menu, “try it, you’ll like it.” And, if not, well there is always the next recipe, just turn the page!