Last night I made a Reuben sandwich for dinner.  I made a Reuben for the first time a few months ago and now I’ve added it to the rotation. It’s delicious.  Now what about you?  What did you make for dinner last night?

Let me guess.  It was something you’ve made 1,732 times before.  It was good.  But you’ve had it 1,732 times before.  You wouldn’t read the same book over and over again would you?  And even if you did re-read it (because it was great, or you didn’t remember you had already read it until you were halfway through it)  … you wouldn’t do that 1,730 more times.

If you did, someone in your immediate family would likely have you admitted.  To a “hospital”.  And by hospital I mean an inelegant ward where you’ll be forced to talk about your feelings with strangers who sometimes eat their own scabs.

So let’s try something different.

I’m not saying you have to do anything ridiculously fancy. I’m not saying you should cook with dry ice and tweezers (unless you want to).  Just … try something different.  Homemade bread, Thai food, fish, whatever.  Just don’t make it headcheese.

I swear to God, people who eat headcheese are one gross food item away from being scab eaters.

O.K. let’s get those horrible eating images out of your brain now with these 75 FOOD IDEAS THAT’LL ROCK YOUR KITCHEN!



1. Strawberry Rhubarb Pie. 2. Chicken Pot Pie.   3. Avocado Lime Pie  4. Classic French Canadian Tourtiere  5.  Chess Pie  6. Root Vegetable Tarte Tatin  7. Beef Bourguignonne Pot Pie   8. Swiss Chard and Mushroom Galette 




9. Blue Apron’s Crispy Chicken with Sauteed purple potatoes, kale and apples.  10. Homemade Chicken Broth  11.  Moroccan Chicken & Sweet Potato Stew   12. Grilled Chicken with cumin spice rub.  13.  Orange Chicken  14. Pistachio Chicken with Mustard/Dill Sauce.





15. Chicken Roulade (pounding a chicken breast flat, filling it with what you want, then rolling it up tight in plastic wrap and cooking)

16. Sun dry your own tomatoes.

17. Brine your cuts of meat (especially poultry and pork)





18. Chicken & Goat’s Cheese salad with roasted red peppers.  19. Dr. Weil’s Kale Salad  20. Classic Caesar Salad from scratch. 21. Beet Salad #1  22.The Best Curried Chicken Salad you’ll ever eat. 23. Chick Pea salad.  24. Quinoa Salad.





25. NACHOS! (I made my absolutely sick on these last Superbowl)  26. Corndogs. 27. Chicken Burgers. 28. Krispy Kreme donuts   29. Fish & Chips  30. Homemade Cheez-its




31. Spicy Sesame Noodle Bowl   32. Thug Kitchen’s Winter Vegetable Stir Fry   33. Cheater Pad Thai    34. Authentic Pad Thai    35. Rice Noodle Bowls with Crispy Tofu





36. Pumpkin Soup  37. Easy Broccoli Soup.  38. No Measure Potato Leek Soup.  39. Brazilian Black Bean Soup. 40. Szechuan Carrot Soup.





41.  Goats Cheese & Leek Tart.  42. Mushroom, Leek and Fontina Frittata  43. Jalapeño Cheese Souffle  44. Aioli (garlic mayo)  45. Poached Eggs on Toast with Ramps   46.  Scotch Eggs  47. Egg Foo Young






48.  Homemade Pizza Dough   49.  Homemade Pizza Sauce  50.  Nutella Dessert Pizza





51.  Penne Rigate with Rapini and Chorizo Sausage    52.   Gramma’s Spaghetti & Meatballs  53.  Spaghetti Puttanesca   54.  Pumpkin Ravioli 




55. Rhubarb Crisp    56. Soft Granola Bars   57.  Ricotta Gelato    58. Lemon Poppyseed Biscotti     59. 5 Layer Honey Cream Cake  60.  Thug Kitchen’s Vegan Chocolate popsicles





61. Frikadeller (Danish meatballs)  62. Cottage Pie  63. Pappardelle with Spicy Meat Sauce  64.  Thai Style Ground Beef dinner   65. Cheesy Ground Beef & Avodado Quesadillas. 


Two weeks ago I asked my readers to try something new and send me a photo of it. And they did!  Including homemade vegan hotdogs!  Another reader sent a cookie into space, which didn’t really qualify as trying a new food, but it’s still interesting.  Here are a few of my favourites that were sent to me.


66. Steak with Chimichurri sauce & Fire Roasted Corn Made by reader Linda.



67. Chicken Chili from Weight Watchers made by Anne.



68. Dragon Fruit Pudding w/ coconut milk. Made by reader Connie.



69. Blue Apron’s Crispy Brown Butter Gnocchi  Made by reader Linda.



70. Vegan Pineapple Curry Tofu bowl.  Made for reader Mary by her granddaughter.



71. Fried Oysters with Panko made by Jasmine.



72. Shakshuka (traditional Israeli)  Made by reader Darla.



73. Blue Apron’s Seared Salmon with pickled mustard seeds.  (See Tara’s post on her experience with this Blue Apron recipe here)



74. Banana Pancakes (only banana & eggs!) made by Mariaurora





75. Homemade Bread from my favourite bread book The New Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day.  Made by Marie.  There’s no kneading and you can store the dough in the fridge for a couple of weeks and just pull out a bunch of it when you feel like making bread.  It’s a bread miracle.

Have a good weekend and try something new.

Except headcheese.

And I think I’d also like to add barnacles to that.

And probably brussels sprouts.

Other than that … go nuts.




  1. Keelea says:

    As a true Cajun girl, I have to protest all the shade you’re throwing at headcheese. You’ve just not been eating the good stuff, that I can promise you. If you ever make it down to LA, it would be my distinct honor to personally take you on a tour of all things Cajun, Acadian, and delicious where your mind will most certainly be changed. Here’s the place for the best headcheese in my humble opinion: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bergeron-Cajun-Meats/157180177655243. Can’t go wrong.
    Still have nothing but love for you, though!

  2. Cussot says:

    I’ve been making a variation on that bread for months now. It truly is a snap if you have a scale and I haven’t bought bread since.

  3. Denise says:

    I decided to Try some recipes and felt the homemade bread would be the best place to start since it complements all the rest. OH MY LANTA! It was so good. I baked two of the three loaves and served with a beef stew. It was so incredibly easy and so tasty. I will be sending you my new clothing bill even though you did warn me.

  4. TucsonPatty says:

    I have gotten so lost in the recipes and links I’ve just come up for air!
    This is an amazing list and must have taken you weeks to put together! Thank you so much for all the new ideas!

  5. Susan says:

    Thank you for linking to my Frikadellar recipe, Karen! Love your blog and have been a subscriber for a quite a while, even though I don’t comment ;) Love you writing and humor :)

    • Karen says:

      Oh! I had no idea you were a reader, lol! I chose your recipe to link to because it’s the same as the one I have from my grandmother which uses cubed white bread soaked in milk! A lot of them call for breadcrumbs, or other stuff. :) And you’re quite welcome. ~ karen!

  6. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    This is awesome Karen..I myself love trying new foods…and some weird foods..like headcheese…yum

  7. Jane S says:

    Just made your broccoli soup for dinner. Yummy. Pinterest is my favourite for new ideas. I type in the ingredients I want to use and get lots suggestions. Some of which become standards.

  8. Dagmar says:

    OMG -those awful things that my mother makes every “special” occasion (new year, Easter, any guests from Europe etc) are called head cheese. Wow, I never would have guessed. There are never any leftovers of those-how odd. Plus of course, no other “special” meal would be complete without tripe and blood sausage. Can I come live with you instead, your cooking sounds and looks amazing?

    • Ronda says:

      the one time my mother made black (blood) pudding, it sat in a pot in the back seat as we drove up to the cottage one winter weekend, smelling absolutely delicious! But the taste??? My sister, dad and I ate all the vegetables that had been roasted with the sausages, but drew the line at actually eating those! My mum had grown up eating blood sausages and couldn’t understand our sqeamishness! Wonderful memory tho!

  9. Maria says:

    Don’t count out brussels sprouts. Sauted with garlic, onions and red peppers, they are delicious.

  10. Alicia Cappola says:

    I’m so tickled right now. I scrolled right to the bottom as soon as I started reading this post because I had to say that I made myself a Reuben for dinner last night too!!
    Ok, I’m going to go back up and read the rest of the post now.

  11. Linda in Illinois says:

    Karen, you rock!! you posted my “get out of a rut” meal (#66) I feel so blessed ! So many good ideas that I will try many of them. I have already pined the granola bars and working my way thru, thank you for all the inspiration.

  12. monique says:

    Great post Karen! Something for every taste and budget.And beautifully presented and photographed.

  13. Barbie says:

    OMGOSH! Karen you ROCK! You just ROCK!

  14. Sboo says:

    This post is an absolute goldmine! Pinned immediately and have already spotted several things I want to try. In addition to getting out of the food rut, new recipes can get you out of a cooking rut and inject some fun back into the process. We all get stuck in our routines sometimes. Thanks Karen and everybody who sent in a recipe!

  15. leslie says:

    I made Greek moussaka with ground turkey, sliced lemons (including the rind) and cinnamon, etc.. I have also been making fermented products, like what I call sourdough oatmeal. also Jun tea, and even fermenting grains and seeds for my chickens (they love it and lay big, heavy eggs).
    I’m definitely going to try some of these wonderful recipes- thanks Karen!!

  16. Mary W says:

    Lots of YUM going on here. I had forgotten about making the banana egg pancakes before and they were delicious. So glad someone posted that so I can remember to do it again. I wanted to make some for my sister-in-law that is gluten intolerant as a “woman’s day” gift for her Mother’s Day breakfast. She has no children but is a fantastic Mom to several cats and tons of birds and chickens.

  17. GLORIA ALLEN says:

    I love love love love this blog!! I am thinking that I am in a food rut also. But then I read these comments and get great inspirations! Karen, I will try something new at least once a week. Next up: roasted garlic cabbage.

  18. Laura Bee says:

    Ohhh – we had pierogis last night for the 18,759th time. But instead of bacon & onions, we had bacon & mushrooms. With broccoli. Going to try the pies. My 5 year old loves any kind of pie (usually).

  19. Laura Nazimiec says:

    Hahaha, my grandma loved Headcheese.

  20. Sandra Lea says:

    I ate a whole can of chick peas for dinner last night, yes I did. Is that bad? By mistake I opened the chick peas when I meant to open a can of black beans the night before so I had to do something with them. So I baked them and added some spices. They were delicious. I think I’ll add this to my rotation. It’s hard cooking for one.

  21. Elen G says:

    Those Fried Oysters with Panko by Jasmine…………………. gimme dat.

  22. danni says:

    I am in pre-summer, spring planting, and spring project mode. And I work 10 hours a day….
    I ate a jar of beets and an ear of cold corn for dinner last night.
    Maybe I should have at least charred the corn and mixed them together, added the scallions that I just now remembered are in my crisper drawer…. wow I’m pathetic.

  23. I wish we had something like Blue Apron in Canada.

  24. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the inspirations. My menu planning has lost it’s planning. I’m going to try the chicken roulade.

  25. Athena R says:

    Ha! Funny you mentioned Brussels sprouts because I just had some roasted ones in my eggs this morning for breakfast. It was delicious!

  26. In the UK, ‘headcheese’ is something very, very different (clue, only males have it).

    I was completely icked out when you wrote about eating it, Karen… until it occurred to me that you might not be talking about the same thing I was thinking of. Yay for Google telling me that it is in fact, brawn!

    No less gross though (my mother used to make it, and the entire house stank for days). :-(

    • Karol says:

      Headcheese! So gross to even look at, it makes me gasp outloud when I see it in a deli counter. I don’t know anyone who eats it, but I am sure there are people who love it. Ew, ew, ew. EW.

      • pat anderson says:

        Grew up eating it. Still like it. Mind you, we always bought it at the deli, didn’t try doing it ourselves. These days my Dad makes what I guess I’d call footcheese – he buys pork hocks and cooks them up and turns the meat into a spreadable breakfast paté.

  27. guada says:

    I had to lol at the name you (meaning english speakers) use to refer to our garlic sauce. Why would you change the name??? We call it allioli because it’s pretty explicit all(garlic)i(and)oli(oil).

  28. Cathy says:

    Wrap chicken in PLASTIC wrap, and cook? Ummm, it doesn’t melt in Canada?

  29. Jenny W says:

    I’m not sure if this counts, but I made a 3 layer 6 inch “Naked Birthday Cake” for my sister’s Birthday Luncheon last week. Absolutely everything from scratch! There was the funfetti cake, drenched in a vanilla milk bath, melt in your mouth icing, and cake batter crunches, that you could just eat a bowl of on their own! It was the most labour intensive, finicky dessert I have ever attempted – and it was sooo worth it :) Check out the recipe and instructional video on you tube listed under Momofuko Milk Bar, It’s a grown up version of the Funfetti Cakes we all enjoyed as kids. Now I will make it for everyone – that I like ;)
    Now if I could just figure out how to load my picture of it, hmmmm…

  30. Cred says:

    you were right, your blue apron post found me in a food rut and I half followed your instructions- I’ve made a new recipe- blue apron’s Ginger Beef stir fry with Tatsoi & jasmine rice (everyone loved it- I knew I couldn’t get Tatsoi and shopped for bok choy but my little grocer didn’t even have that- but it’s stir fry so I’m improvised to delicious results.) but I didn’t take a photo to share- dinner won’t wait for its Kodak moment.
    I’ve signed up for blue apron newsletters (Canadian so I can only use it for recipes and inspiration). That meal inspired me in the greens dept- my grocer is lacking but local growers have an impressive selective come farmers market season… and one grower has farm gate sales as early as March. So on my mission to get more greens in and out of the rut, for my next foray, I decided to try 3 different greens I’d never tried. I picked up collards, Chinese kale and komatsuna (another Asian green related to kale) and green garlic, that I’d never heard of (also grabbed mixed lettuce, spinach and cilantro)- I was geeking out about all my local produce. And a another successful dinner resulted.
    But I’m not out of my rut yet. I need to work on menu planning so that these don’t become one-offs. I’m not reluctant to try new things, as of last fall my sister decided to delve into fermented foods and explained I was going along for the ride- she bought all the gear and starter cultures for both of us and gave me an impromptu cultured food workshop on kefir, kombucha and sourdough. She’s since abandoned her initiative but I’m still regularly making kefir and kombucha (still need to work on my sourdough rhythm).
    And you’ve inspired me in the past, making your sesame noodles, meatballs and uncle shiftys antijitos and I’ve made heart shaped tarts for valentines on 3 occasions. But your Caesar dressing, chicken salad (really is the best ever), Jeff crump dough are now the only recipes I use (the dough is in regular rotation for calzones).
    Homemade broth, sun-dried tomatoes, homemade raisins, almond milk, coconut milk and the subsequent almond and coconut flours- I’ve tried a lot of different things. Also, recently, I made lacto-fermented pizza sauce and taco sauce. Disregard the recent flop with homemade mayo- I need to get a stick blender before I try that again.
    Last spring we got ducks so now we eat duck eggs in place of chicken eggs. And still I find myself in a rut- wtf? I keep trying new stuff but I think I just don’t like cooking.
    However, I was moved by blue apron and had stuffed Pinterest with their recipes I’d like to try. Here’s to coming up with a menu plan that gets me back in the groove.

    • Jenifer says:

      I don’t know how you are defining rut but I wouldn’t put you there. You made lacto-fermented pizza sauce????? How was it? Maybe you aren’t feeling the spark or maybe you just don’t like cooking but I would love to be in your ‘rut’! :) I’ve considered the fermented food but the start-up requirements seemed too high maintenance and I just didn’t have it in me to add one.more.thing to my to-do list. I am wondering though…what are ‘farm gate sales?

      Now I have to go look up the Jeff crump dough…I’m curious and may have to try it!

      • Cred says:

        Yep, not feeling the spark is part of it and finding dinner to be a chore- I’ve never been a natural in the kitchen but I used to enjoy it more (maybe cuz it was still new to me). Perhaps my expectations are too high; comparing myself to those who can toss a handful of ingredients, unplanned, just whatever they have in the fridge and pantry, and produce a lovely meal. I wanna be that guy!
        The pizza sauce was good- basically used a sauce recipe that I liked and added whey to the recommended ratio, let it sit for 24 hours at room temp and then refrigerate. I was concerned you may taste the whey but it’s a small amount. The whey allows the sauce to be stored a long time (that was my motivation- I like having a batch available in the fridge so the kids can make quick pizzas, without having to plan ahead and thaw sauce out of the freezer.
        Farm gate just refers to produce sales directly from the farm.

    • Karen says:

      Don’t forget it doesn’t have to be super-complicated stuff Cred. Just stuff you don’t make on a regular basis. And lots of things you make will be one offs. That’s just the way it goes. And every once in a while you make something that becomes part of the rotation. Even if you just discover you really like Collard greens and instead of picking up broccoli and green beans for a green side dish you pick Collards every once in a while, that’s an accomplishment! ~ karen

      • Cred says:

        True and I like the simple stuff. The more complicated stuff was related to new to me things that are reputed to have health benefits (and resulted more from my sister’s motivation than my own)- although, some of that turned out to be easier than I thought and have stuck. But I do sometimes make my life more complicated by making homemade things cuz I’m trying to cut the food bill. And trying these new things, even one offs, do help to make life in the kitchen more interesting.
        I do love when something new is delicious and easy and become part of the reportoire.
        Thanks for your posts that keep the inspiration up in the kitchen dept!

  31. nancy says:

    Well, I finally got the best mynez recipe sorted out. Next, I’m going to get out my James Beard bread cookbook and make some high gluten bread. I didn’t see the Reuben sandwich recipe or maybe I zoomed past it and now I’m asking about it, like other lousy readers I yell at. Thanks for all the choices!

  32. Kathleen says:

    I was hungry driving in to work this morning, and now I am ravenous! They all look so lip-smackingly delicious.

  33. Bobbles says:

    I have never been a breakfast eater and once I was diagnosed with a particular strain of late onset type-1 diabetes, breakfast became something I HAVE to eat but choke down. The dragon fruit pudding looks like something I could manage, as does the banana pancake! I’m excited!

    • Carla Wilson says:

      Try Chia breakfast pudding, too. Very light, lots of protein and it tastes good! When I was going through cancer treatments I ate it day and night. It was my go-to food.

  34. tracie says:

    Still swooning over that rhubarb crisp! I will make it soon. And I really have to suck it up and buy that artisan bread cookbook…much like your tv picks, Karen, this is really a go-to post for the long haul…

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