Food blogger’s new podcast dishes up more

Whole Dish podcast: Easy meatloaf your kids will love

The gospel of cooking without recipes is one I’ve been preaching for about a decade.

Yet my approach has been far from fanatical in this blog. The message usually resides in the subtext of each post, which still relies largely on a recipe’s written format. Faithful readers of the entire text find my suggestions for substitutions, adjustments of quantities or deviations from the method.

Every few years or so, I break down and decry reliance on recipes, imploring readers to break out of their comfort zones. In other words, just wing it.

Stroll into your kitchen with a loose plan in mind for a dish, verified by what you have on hand, perhaps based on something similar you’ve made in the past. No wasting time browsing apps and social media for the day’s hottest dish and definitely no spontaneous trips to the grocery store. That’s how real cooks cook without a recipe in sight.

Developing this kind of confidence radically changes your perception of cooking, from meal manufacture to creative endeavor. Flavors take on a life of their own. You’ll start noticing which herbs and spices you favor, the most pleasing combinations of vegetables in a stew and fruits in a dessert. And your family and friends will start to associate a specific taste — a signature style — in your cuisine.

Yes, it can take years of practice to arrive at this point. But it’s also doable in much less time, given the desire to learn, the tools to succeed and an enthusiastic coach. That’s where I come in.

A podcast of The Whole Dish takes cooking to the next level, inviting readers to follow along in the kitchen, as I prepare the foods featured in this blog. The first brings you one of my favorite ways for sneaking veggies into my kids’ dinner. My turkey meatloaf was devoured earlier this week without a single complaint.

Because I made it up as I went along, that meal isn’t duplicated here in the text. In many instances, however, readers can grab their device and, if need be, follow the written recipe posted to the blog. But I’d like the podcast to mimic the experience of standing next to me at the stove.

So grab a spoon and help me stir the pot! Find my podcast and others at

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  • Blog Author

    Sarah Lemon

    Sarah Lemon covers the Rogue Valley’s food scene with an enthusiasm that rivals her love of cooking. Her blog mixes culinary musings and milestones with tips and recipes you won’t find in the Mail Tribune’s weekly A la Carte section. When ... Read Full
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