Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it. — Julia Child

food network beaver balls

Cooking isn’t always easy. It takes a certain amount of time, commitment and as Julia Child says, passionate interest. I’m not one to lack any interest in food, but lately, I’ve been spending quite a few days standing in front of my fridge, door open, staring into the abyss of its contents with no clue of what to do. Inspiration doesn’t always strike so easily, especially at 7 p.m. when you’re starving and exhausted from a long day at work.

That’s when I turn to my trusted sources to help awaken the culinary senses.

Food Network


The Food Network is not only one of my favourite channels to watch, it’s the mecca of foodie inspiration. I often find myself casually watching the channel even when I’m not looking for meal ideas. There’s a show to suit every flavour (pun intended). It’s one thing to read a recipe from a cookbook or website, it’s another to see it come to life in live action. That’s the beauty of the Food Network. If you don’t have the channel, it’s online component features video tutorials and episodes of many of its shows.

Inspired recipe: Jamie Oliver’s Chorizo Carbonara featured on Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals




There are thousands of recipes available online and it can be a daunting task to find just the right one. That’s where Yummly comes in. Yummly’s goal is “to be the world’s largest, most powerful, and most helpful food site in the world.” Pretty lofty goals but it’s winning in my books. Yummly acts as a search engine; you can search by recipe or ingredients. Each listing shows a photo,  a summary of ingredients and its user rating. The website is easily accessible on a mobile device and you can save your favourite recipes when you create an online account.

Inspired recipe: The Kitchn’s Perfect Soft-Boiled Egg




Much has been said about Pinterest, the online social networking tool that allows you “pin” images and videos of to virtual boards by topic or interest. It’s the ultimate visual inspiration tool available online. With thousands of pins available at your fingertips, this is a great resource for seeking out unique do-it-yourself recipes and entertaining ideas for your next get-together.

(A word of caution: Before you decide to whip up a new Pinterest-inspired dish for guests, make sure to test it out carefully. The last thing you want is for a recipe to turn into a “pintrosity.”)

Inspired recipe: Hasselback potatoes from Sea Salt with Food.

Everyday Food | Martha Stewart


There’s a reason they call Martha Stewart the “domestic goddess.” Martha Stewart has built an empire on easy, back-to-basics good cooking. Almost every Martha recipe I’ve tried comes out pretty well. When I discovered Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food TV show on PBS, I soon signed up for the email newsletter and haven’t regretted it since. Everyday Food’s email newsletter features Martha-ordained chef, Sarah Carey, who walks you through recipes that take 30-minutes or less, often one-pot meals. Each daily email includes a link to a recipe with a short video tutorial.

Inspired recipe: Pasta with Snap Peas, Basil and SpinachPhoto: Everyday Food


the Menu is Jugni Style’s lifestyle column written by Naveen Atwal, bringing you details on what to eat and how to make it. Plus tips on entertaining like a pro – or at least pretending you are!
Photograph: Beaver Balls via Food Network