October 9, 2015

Becoming Inspired in the Kitchen


Spring is my season of inspiration. My chaotic fall and winter scheduling slows down, and my calendar is wiped clean from many obligations that keep my home running more in a state of bedlam than the beauty I so desire.

These past few months, I’ve spent so many days just barely keeping my head above water that these last few weeks have been filled with joy as I have dipped my toes into the creative waters that were patiently waiting for me.

I’ve actually had a few “lazy” days filled with hours of reading cookbooks. I had forgotten the simple, relaxing pleasure that gives to me, and realized that is something that has been stolen from me in our Pinterest Perfect world. My kitchen inspiration began when I found a Hidden Treasure stuck in between some jelly stained cookbook pages, and has just continued from there.

As I brainstorm ideas, recipes and my goals for my new Ten Minute Dinners site (yay), I want it to be a place on the web where women come to find quick, meal ideas, but more than that, a place to be encouraged in the kitchen. A place the inspires practical and tangible inspiration. A place that gives you time saving tips, so that you can spend more time connecting around the dinner table. Hopefully, Balancing Beauty and Bedlam also communicates that same message, but Ten Minute Dinners will just be a  more defined place.

I encourage you to read this quote that inspired me this past week.  Right now on my night stand, the ten cookbooks I just showed on Saturday’s Thrifty Treasures are taking me back in time. Some of these cookbooks go back generations and they are inspiring me to see the slice of the beauty that can be found when we look at our meal making as our art. Even if that meal making only take ten minutes of prep time, it’s an act that is more than just the food.

“Cookbooks are not just for cooking…cookbooks are for inspiration, for lifting the spirit and freeing the mind, for brightening your outlook as well as your parties and table conversations…for the understanding of people and places, for the revelation of the past and for the interpretation of the present…for culture, education, for inviting the soul, reliving memories, reliving experiences. Cookbooks, like poetry, are for the intensification of precious moments. Where except in cookbooks and in lyrics, does one find so much emotion distilled, charted and recollected in tranquility.”

“How, Where and Why to Read a Cookbook”  House Beautiful, February 1957

Have you been inspired in the kitchen at all lately?

It might not have been from a cookbook like me. It might have been by someone else or a story or even a “pin.” We’d really love to read about it in the comments.

If you are in a rut, like I have been too often, I pray today will be a day of  fresh inspiration and encouragement.

(Because the hard thing about meal making is just when you’ve spent time feeding them breakfast, lunch, and cleaning up, they ask what’s for dinner. It’s such a vicious cycle, but we’re all in it together. 😉 )

So what are you serving up for Tasty Tuesday today?
(As always, link up, link back here in your post,limit it to two,  browse around and spread some comment love to your favorite bloggers.)


  1. So true! I always say I need pictures of recipes, because I don’t look at recipe books for recipes so much as for inspiration!


  2. I love your quote from House Beautiful 1957 – it so sums up how I feel about cookbooks! I read them like novels and I would be hard pressed to pick a favourite! On my nightstand right now are Giada de Laurentis’ new book, My Little Paris Kitchen by Rachel Khoo and How to Eat by Nigella Lawson. They all inspire me in very different ways.

    I look forward to learning more about your new site, Jenn, and thank you so much for hosting.


  3. I have a 1950’s Pioneer Cookbook and it’s amazing how their recipes differ from ours, but oh so good! I got inspired by our non-profit garden with oodles of spinach and made homemade poppyseed dressing to go with it!


  4. Lately, my inspiration has come from thinking up ways to adapt some of our favorite recipes to make them Paleo diet-friendly. I’m finding that even though the ingredients may be different than what I used before, I’m enjoying them just as much, if not more. That’s a true blessing! The Chunky Monkey ice cream recipe I posted today is one of those. Yummy!


  5. A friend inspired my pineapple and avocado pico! You can read about it here, http://buyonsaleandsavethedifference.blogspot.com/2012/04/pineapple-and-avocado-pico.html


  6. Your post is so timely. I pinned a from scratch puff pastry recipe. I actually found it in a Fanny Farmer cookbook from about 1960. I love old cookbooks because they tend to use less processed ingredients.


  7. I am sharing a Zucchini Bread recipe that my friend is famous for, and then my healthified version of it. http://practical-stewardship.com/2012/04/11/madeover-healthified-zucchini-bread/ Thanks for hosting!!


  8. Thank you! I am in a total rut because as you know, with many kids there can be many different likes. Pleasing everyone can be difficult. Pinterest does inspire me right now. I can’t wait to see more of your recipes. They are always great!


  9. My son watched a clip from a cooking show in his language class the other day. The new assignment is a how-to speech and what better how-to than a cooking show. He liked the recipe so much, he remembered it when he came home and wrote it down for me. Now that’s inspiring! He is recognizing good food and, I must say it feels good, he knows that I can prepare it. Our children do appreciate and learn much from our efforts – and love – given from the kitchen.


  10. You are absolutely right! Cookbooks are just as fun to me to sit and read as a novel!


  11. Awesome quote there.. and I so totally agree… I have a cookbook addiction and they definitely touch me in the most delicious ways..

    I was inspired bright & early this morning about 5 minutes before I left for work so I tossed 2 bags of boneless thighs from Costco into my crockpot, then I sliced an onion on top of them, added a can of green chilis, a can of rotel tomatoes & chilis, and about a cup of some homemade tomato salsa over them with about another cup of water, taco seasoning, & Montreal Steak Seasoning, and walked out the door. I was hit with the smell of heaven when I got home tonight..

    I lightly sprayed some corn tortillas with olive oil, heated them a few minutes in a dry nonstick pan, and filled them with the meat, tomatoes, & cilantro… Didnt need anything else! YUM! 😉


  12. I feel like I just don’t have the time to do what I want in the kitchen right now. But soon I’ll be done homeschooling and I’ll have more time to make inspiration turn into creation! Ten Minute Dinners sounds fabulous!! Thanks as always for hosting! :)


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