Welcome to Reliable Recipes!
I hope this site will be a useful tool for you – from the newbie to cooking and the seasoned chef.
Five years ago, when I was first married, I came to the terrible conclusion with cooking – it just wasn’t worth it! I quickly became frustrated over spending hours of my free time shopping, prepping, and cooking recipes that came out terrible, or just so-so. Who wants to labor over a meal when the end result isn’t great? After so many failed attempts, and lots of money and time wasted, I decided to change my approach. Instead of random searching in cookbooks for recipes that “looked good”, I started bugging friends and family for dishes they had made many times with success. Anytime I ate at someone’s house and loved what they served, I asked for the recipe. Soon, I started to gather a compilation of favorite meals that were winners. Turns out, it was fun to invest in cooking a meal that you knew was going to turn out tasty! So my list began to grow, and I saved all the recipes in an email draft. As the years continued, that email draft was just too long. I transferred the meals to my personal website, and added pictures. This turned out to be an easy way to share dishes we liked with friends and family, as well as organizing the recipes that we loved. This brought about the birth of Reliable Recipes, where these tried and true dishes now have their own home. I hope in this post, you’ll see that I am not a extraordinary cook. In fact, I am quite the opposite. I am not creative when it comes to cooking and never just “whip something up” in the kitchen. I follow recipes to a T and rarely experiment. But our family likes to eat, and we like to eat food that tastes really good. So, if you are like me, and looking for recipes that have been made several times with a positive outcome, then you’ve come to the right place!
You’ll also find that I’ve made my fair share of mistakes, which have all been learning experiences in the kitchen. And I’m still making them. Just ask my husband about the meatloaf made in the slow cooker the other night – scary lump of tough rubberiness. Or the time I made a lovely coconut cream pie, topped it with a merguine, and toasted it in the oven to brown the top. Well … you can’t put a cream pie in the oven. But I didn’t know that, until I brought out my beautiful creation after Easter dinner, cut into it in front of my guests, and had liquidy cream pour out. Disgusting and embarrassing. (And now I’ve been scarred to ever cut into a pie in front of anyone. Maybe years from now … but to be on the safe side, I hide in the kitchen with the pie to make sure it’s on the up and up). The list goes on. My point here is that all these mistakes have helped me learn, and also, information is key. I’m not a great cook. I just follow directions from others, with the sole point of making sure those directions are reliable. The more trusted a recipe, the more times it’s been made, the more confident you can feel about investing the time to make it.
This site is meant to be a place where you can go to find those trustworthy recipes. It has to be, in my husband’s words, “blog worthy”. We all have different tastes, so certainly all of these recipes won’t be appealing to everyone. And that’s just fine (after all, curry when I’m pregnant makes me gag, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t good to those who aren’t throwing up all day). I’ve tried to categorize them according to different dishes and dietary needs.
The other caveat here is that all the recipes aren’t easy. I’ll let you know when they are. Some are simple AND delicious. Those are real winners in my book and gems to have in my recipe repertoire. But some just aren’t, and they require some serious time and effort. You might use every dish and appliance in your kitchen. But at least you know your efforts will pay off in lovely meal.
Lastly, if you have a tried and true dish that you love, send it along. I am always trying out new recipes and appreciate feed back and new ideas!