New Sources of Pinspiration

Outtake from Plum & Raspberry Crisp  | Image:  Laura Messersmith

Outtake from Plum & Raspberry Crisp | Image: Laura Messersmith

I’ve admitted to my Pinterest addiction in the past, which shows no signs of abating… I’m constantly on the lookout for new ‘Pinners’ and when I came across this list from The Tasting Table of the Best Food Pinterest Accounts to Follow I was excited to find some new names.

I maintain that while Pinterest can be a massive black hole where all my time goes it’s also fantastic place to gather inspiration and learn a thing or two. As I practice my cooking and photography more it’s so helpful to see what other bloggers, photographers, and chefs are doing.

Scrolling through my feed has become an opportunity to study the composition, lighting, and techniques as well as take note of the styling choices the author of the photograph makes. Rustic farm table & rough linen? Dark & moody like a Renaissance still life? Minimalist & stark against a white background?

Each image I see helps me determine my own preferences – simple, uncluttered, bright, colorful – and when I click through to the voice behind the picture I have a chance to learn from more experienced bloggers. The opportunities are endless! Thanks to The Tasting Table’s selections I know what I’ll be up to this afternoon…. Definitely check them out!

Bon Appétit Kitchen Essentials

Le Creuset, an essential  | Image:  Laura Messersmith

Le Creuset, an essential | Image: Laura Messersmith

Little known fact: I follow Bon Appétit magazine on Facebook. I’m not sure when exactly I clicked that little thumb-up button, but ever since then an article or two per day pops up in my News Feed. One in particular caught my attention last week – Kitchen Tools You Actually Need on Your Wedding Registry. (Sidenote: aren’t registries fascinating? I feel like you learn so much about people from them.)

I’m interested in cooking (surprise!) and perusing the Zabars’ housewares department is one of my favorite pastimes, so the headline’s implicit challenge fired up my competitive juices. Was I missing some essential item? Had we fallen into the scan-gun trap four years ago when we did our registry and selected a host of unnecessary gizmos? I felt compelled to click the link and see how we stacked up against the expert opinions.

The half of my brain that wasn’t focused on ‘winning’ wondered if I would agree with their suggestions. Cooking and kitchen management while scientific on one side of the coin also have a strong element of personal preference. Both in the types of items you prefer, but also in your cooking style. For example, if you never, ever use citrus zest in your recipes I think you’re missing out, but then a microplane grater might never darken your kitchen drawers.

As it turns out, I actually did agree with 95% of BA’s recommendations – we do have a mandoline which I think has been used once and don’t have a mortar and pestle which we’ve survived without easily – but the Le Creuset dutch oven, the good knives, and the wooden spoons (flat edged please!) on the other hand are 100% spot on.

If you’re wondering how our kitchen scored – I count a total of 35 separate items on Bon Appétit’s list we currently have 32, so certainly a passing grade. Now to track down a great immersion blender and increase my GPA…