Favorite Recipe Sites

As I mentioned earlier this week, we’ve been cooking at home a lot lately. One thing I’ve been having lots of fun doing is looking up new and interesting recipes to try. I’m not the bravest when it comes to trying new things, but there are so many free recipes available that there’s something for everyone!

Here are a few of my favorites:

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AllRecipes has lots of great ideas, most of which have been reviewed by users. The comments are a great way to find twists and changes to the recipes that might make it more appealing to you.

Cooking Light has long been a favorite of my mom’s. While they do have a magazine you can purchase, there are also lots of free recipes on their site.

Taste of Home is a user based website, which is great because the recipes come from people like you and me. None of that fancy chef talk you don’t understand!

Pinterest is a favorite of mine, as always. I love the ease of searching the boards and the visuals are always great. Plus they have suggestions to fine tune your search and help you find exactly what you’re looking for!

What are some of your favorite recipe sites? There are so many out there. I can’t wait to try more!

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Learn to Knit

Reading has always been my way of de-stressing after a long day at work or busy weekend. But ever since I started grad school, I’ve found I don’t have the brain power or energy to read after a full work day and several more hours of school work. I still needed a way to slow down my over-active brain and relax before bed.

Luckily my boyfriend has my back (as always) and suggested I try knitting. Both of my grandmothers were big knitters and I still have blankets and clothing they made for me. This was probably where boyfriend got the idea – he had one of my Grammy’s blankets on his lap at the time!

Taking his advice, I browsed Google, Pinterest and YouTube to learn how the basics and hit up my local craft store to pick up some supplies.

Interested in learning to knit? Here are some tips I’ve picked up over the last few months since I started…

IMG_2403.JPGThese are some of the projects I’ve been working on lately.

Picking Yarn and Needles
There are a variety of yarn weights (thickness) and needle size. The combination determine what your final product will look like.

For beginners, I would suggest one of the following:
Red Heart Soft yarn with US size 11 needles
Lion Brand Woolspun with US size 13 needles

I’ve used both of these yarns and love them! They make for a warm and soft scarf. One ball should be enough to make a decent-sized scarf, but it can never hurt to pick up an extra ball.

One thing to be aware of is that many yarns have what’s called a “dye lot”. Yarns with the same dye lot were colored at the same time, so they will be identical in shade. If you’re planning to use multiple balls of yarn for a project, make sure they all have the same dye lot so you don’t have color variations midway through!

Knitting Basics
I suggest searching YouTube for beginner knitting videos. The first thing you need to learn is how to “cast on”, which is getting the stitches on the needles. Then you need to learn the knit stitch itself. There is also the purl stitch but I’d suggest mastering the knit stitch first before adding more into the mix.

You can also take classes at your local craft store. I’ve taken a few at the Michael’s near my work and they’ve been super helpful.

Pick a Pattern
Start small! Try a thin scarf with a very basic pattern. Eventually you’ll be on to knitting lots of cool patterns, but there’s no need to drive yourself crazy the first time around.

Good luck my fellow knitting newbies! I’m no expert, but I’m happy to try to answer any questions!