Recipe Test Week

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Do you know what this week is?!  Why, it’s Recipe Test Week on HTP!  :)  This means that I’m beginning to test recipes for the Healthy Tipping Point book.  I’ll be sure to share some recipes on the blog, too, but some things must be kept secret for now.   In the meantime, you can check out my Recipe Archives here!


When I told the Husband it was a Recipe Test Week (there will be many, many more recipe test weeks), he did an epic fist pump.  You see – he is the taste tester!  I can’t just rely on my own taste buds.  I tend to think everything is awesome.


Breakfast wasn’t anything special – but it was yummy! 


Just a bowl of oatmeal with banana, chia seeds, and cashews.


After breakfast, I hit up the grocery stores for tons (TONS) of ingredients and got to work.  My kitchen currently looks like a bomb went off… So many dirty dishes!


Lunch featured a special sauce – a new twist on mole sauce!  I like this version, but I think it needs a little bit of work still.  Not spicy enough.


Also for lunch: brown rice, spinach, and chickpeas.


And post-swim snack (I have some exciting swim developments to share later) was a yummy smoothie.   I made a regular portion but split it between the Husband and I.  This one gets two thumbs up and will definitely be in the book!


Time to get back to (writing) work.  Testing recipes is fun, but the HTP book isn’t just a cookbook -  I need some text, too!


Oh, and I wanted to say thanks for all the awesome comments on my Proactively Kind post.  I think it’s great that so many people value an attitude of gratitude.  I really believe this is key for a happy life; there’s ALWAYS something to be thankful and positive about.


How do you develop recipes? Or do you prefer to follow other people’s?



  • Amanda April 25, 2011, 1:36 pm

    I love to read a bunch of recipes for a certain type of food and then go into the kitchen and experiment. Usually I pull ideas that I remember and make up the rest as I go. I generally have good luck with this approach, but I never write them down and therefore nothing I make tastes the same way twice!

  • Hilary April 25, 2011, 1:38 pm

    Definitely put the 1 minute better than granola in!!! I made it this weekend and I am ADDICTED

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife April 25, 2011, 1:39 pm

    I usually read about a recipe I want to make and then make the rest up myself. I always add in or take out ingredients…never had any major mishaps (except once I forgot the eggs for a roll recipe. BAD mistake!!)

    I always sub out some eggs for more egg whites, add soy milk/almond instead of real milk, use less cheese (or better, stronger cheese), and use applesauce for most of the oil/butter in recipes. I always take out some of the sugar called for–and have never experienced any problems.

    Can’t wait to see more of yours! Cool idea with the book, p.s. 🙂

  • Evan Thomas April 25, 2011, 1:40 pm

    I develop recipes usually by starting with what I’m craving and then looking at what I have on hand and how I can make it work. it’s definitely a lot of fun, way more fun than the dishes.

  • Holly @ The Runny Egg April 25, 2011, 1:43 pm

    I tend to use recipes from other people — then after making it a few times I usually come up with some sort of twist/change to make to the original recipe.

  • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday April 25, 2011, 1:44 pm

    I’m recipe testing for Peter Reinhart’s upcoming gluten free, low GI baking book. I like getting to have an opinion but if the recipes don’t work out I feel like I’ve wasted time and ingredients.

  • Lauren April 25, 2011, 1:45 pm

    Ohhh recipe testing, sounds so fun! My husband is definitely my taster, I let him try the finished product before I do…something about knowing what someone else’s reaction is first is helpful.

  • Lisa Fine April 25, 2011, 1:47 pm

    I use some recipes from my favorite cookbooks, but I also like to throw whatever’s in the fridge into a pot, onto a pizza, or into a stir fry, and try it out. Most of the time, the combinations work really well.

  • ashleigh April 25, 2011, 1:48 pm

    I love coming up with my own recipes… but I am usually inspired by someone else. I can never follow a recipe 100% because I don’t always have the ingredients or just want to add my own flare!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat April 25, 2011, 1:48 pm

    I’m excited to hear your swim news! Often my recipe creations are a mixture of recipes I browse online, the ingredients I have in my fridge, and strange ideas that come into my head that make me think “Hmm… I should create a recipe using that!”

  • Kierstan @ Life {and running} in Iowa April 25, 2011, 1:54 pm

    I love coming up with my own recipes. While there are many successes, there are often some disastrous and hilarious failures! That is what makes cooking so much fun for me!

  • Beth @ DiningAndDishing April 25, 2011, 2:00 pm

    I used to be so religious about following recipes. Since taking my culinary course I cook a lot differently! I like recipes as ideas but then tend to do my own thing with what I’ve got/what I like etc :).

  • RunEatRepeat April 25, 2011, 2:02 pm

    I get inspiration from recipes, but NEVER follow them exactly. I like to do my own thing and I hate measuring.

  • Corie April 25, 2011, 2:03 pm

    I seriously don’t even know how to go about creating a recipe. I always follow other recipes – sure I may add or subtract a few things but nothing major! I am getting more into cooking now (which my hubby loves!) so I’m getting a little more adventerous.

  • Marina April 25, 2011, 2:08 pm

    I always get ideas from bloggers and sites like tastespotting, but I usually change the original recipe a bit. Or sometimes, I just make my own creation 🙂
    Improvisation is my thing in cooking 🙂

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) April 25, 2011, 2:14 pm

    I develop recipes. I like to reinvent old flavors in a easy healthy way. It’s definitely a process and I am in heaven in the kitchen. Have fun! I’m about to go do the same!

  • Allison @ Happy Tales April 25, 2011, 2:17 pm

    Can’t wait to see what you put into your recipe book! I always love reading recipes for inspiration, and then putting my own little twist on ’em (usually with whatever I have on hand! It can go the other way around… and inspire me to bolt to the store just for *one* new ingredient I want to try out, though!)

  • Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope April 25, 2011, 2:29 pm

    How fun… for BOTH of you! 😉 Love that breakfast, and the smoothie looks fantastic. Can’t wait to see what all makes it in the book!

  • Lesley Lifting Life April 25, 2011, 2:37 pm

    Haha, I tend to think everything is awesome as well 🙂

    Have fun recipe testing!!

  • Ashley @ Thefitacademic April 25, 2011, 2:43 pm

    I do a combo of both – I often use someone else’s recipe as inspiration, and then I take it and make it my own with my little tweaks. I’m just so unimaginative that I’d never come up with ideas without seeing what others are eating! : )

  • McKella April 25, 2011, 2:44 pm

    I tend to just throw things together. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn’t. I get inspiration from other recipes or photos and I may use a recipe as a guide, but I always put my own spin on it. It changes every time I make it, and evolves into something new!

  • Sarah for Real April 25, 2011, 2:46 pm

    Oh my gosh that sounds like so much fun! I’m going to pretend that I’m writing a book just so I can have “recipe test” week.

    I usually start with someone’s recipe and alter it as I go. Except for occasional pan sauces or pasta sauces… those I just toss together but I never make it the same twice or write it down so I guess that doesn’t count as a “recipe.”

  • Leanne (Bride to Mrs) April 25, 2011, 2:47 pm

    We have a non-official rule in our house that the first time we do a recipe, we follow the instructions… then the second time we make it, we make our tweaks!

  • April April 25, 2011, 2:52 pm

    I like to make things up as I go around using someone else’s recipe as a guide. I wish my husband enjoyed being a tester…he likes to play the role of critic.

  • Aneta April 25, 2011, 2:58 pm

    looking forward to new recipes!

    i was wondering if you would be able to do a post on acupuncture. ive been following ur blog for a while and know you get it done once in a while. i am also a runner and have had a few problems with my knees and am considering acupuncture as treatment. I have read up on it but would love a post from you.


    • CaitlinHTP April 25, 2011, 3:00 pm

      I put this on my list of stuff to blog about this week – stay tuned!

  • jen @ taste life April 25, 2011, 3:03 pm

    Ha ha, “develop” recipes. I’m laughing because I throw some stuff together without measuring and hope for the best! If it’s something I think I might post on the blog I try REALLY hard to pay attention to what and how much I put in it.

  • Kacy April 25, 2011, 3:10 pm

    I am much more of a recipe follower than a recipe creator, but if I had more time in the kitchen it might be the other way around.

  • Lucy@The Sweet Touch April 25, 2011, 3:12 pm

    I really think writing a blog is great motivation for developing my own recipes or putting significant twists of ones I find online. I still like to use tried and true recipes when I’m cooking for a group but if it’s just for my husband and me I like to branch out! I give a lot of credit to people who “invent” recipes, especially desserts that require baking!

  • Ellie @ The Mommyist April 25, 2011, 3:33 pm

    I tend to look at recipes, get a general idea of what ingredients should be in particular item and then do my own thing. It’s very rare that I follow a recipe to the letter, even when baking.

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey April 25, 2011, 3:37 pm

    I usually come up with my recipes by not really trying to come up with a recipe. Does that makes sense?

  • Faith @ lovelyascharged April 25, 2011, 3:37 pm

    I have two ways of developing recipes: I either just jump into the kitchen and throw schnit together, hoping that it’ll turn out well, or I’ll research what I want to make for hours on end and then tweak the recipes that I’ve found online. Both methods can either turn out really well or really horrible…but hopefully you’ll have a lot more of the former as you prep for the book!

  • Christine @ Burning It Off April 25, 2011, 3:43 pm

    I’m a bit of a newbie in the kitchen so I always use other people’s recipes and follow them to a tee. One of these days, I hope to start experimenting a bit in the kitchen.

  • R @ Learning As I Chop April 25, 2011, 3:47 pm

    That smoothie does look good. I am excited for fresh fruit season

  • chelsea April 25, 2011, 3:53 pm

    So excited for recipe test week! I love checking out other peoples creativity in the kitchen.

  • Nikki @ BareFootPrint April 25, 2011, 4:03 pm

    YUM! That brown rice, spinach, and chickpeas looks so good!! I cant wait to get those recipes!!

  • Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing April 25, 2011, 4:25 pm

    Hahaha — love the epic fist pump 😉 My husband definitely does that. My only worry is that his tastebuds are really, really, kind to my cooking. Which makes me highly skeptical about the accuracy of his testing! Hehe.

  • Ellie@fitforthesoul April 25, 2011, 4:36 pm

    Yes gratitude! true that~

    I love coming up with my own recipes and can’t seem to follow one to a T. Usually I get inspired by those and tweak it a lot, or just make one myself. have a great day!

    • Melissa @ Be Not Simply Good April 25, 2011, 6:19 pm

      Sounds like me. I rarely follow a recipe exactly. I omit or add things as it sounds good to me.

  • Mary @ Bites and Bliss April 25, 2011, 4:48 pm

    I like to develop recipes unless I’m in the moof for a sure proof meal. Like I definitely won’t develop a recipe when making something for someone else or something like that.

  • Ashley @ Feeding Ashley April 25, 2011, 5:25 pm

    I prefer to use other peoples recipes as a basis then I tweek them to suit me.

  • Miranda @ working mom works out April 25, 2011, 6:09 pm

    I’m gonna try and guess what’s in your smoothie from now until the book is released. Just kidding. Sorta.

  • Mary (What's Cookin' with Mary) April 25, 2011, 6:17 pm

    ‘I have some exciting swim developments to share later.’ – Def curious !

    On recipes… I love to come up with my own recipes. I often look at other recipes for inspiration, but truly enjoy coming up with my own spin on things. It’s my form of art 🙂 …and since I can’t draw, paint, play music or write (well)… it’s my only form of art & I love it. It is so relaxing to me to peer into the fridge and see what I have on hand and then produce a totally yummy (and sometimes pretty) recipe. …and now that I have a blog, I have learned that I love to take the food I make and photograph it in a way to make it ever more appetizing. I want people to see the pictures and think… ‘I need to make this! …NOW’

    After writing all that I realized you asked HOW I develop them… lol. oops. Lot’s of trial and error! LOTS. I started cooking for myself when I had my tipping point in 2005 and it took a couple years just to get the hang of it. (i.e. what’s minced vs finely chopped, simmer vs boil etc) Now I usually start with a concept like… I want to make a casserole. Then… what protien should I use and then maybe what types of veggies I want to include. Will the veggies be pre-baked or carmelized… What type of grain… etc etc. Not even sure if I’m making sense here, but that’s usually how I roll. I guess I just kinda wing it and with lots of trial and error under my belt anything I make turns out at least edible, but I am my own worst critic. If you watched last season of Top Chef… think Richard Blase 😉

  • Allie April 25, 2011, 7:22 pm

    Good luck with the recipe writing 🙂 I think you will do awesome! I want to see the smoothie recipe, it looks soo refreshing!!

  • Kate (What Kate is Cooking) April 25, 2011, 7:33 pm

    I like to get inspired by other people’s recipes but add my own touch 🙂

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin April 25, 2011, 7:41 pm

    I usually like to follow other peoples’ recipes, but sometimes I’ll get hit with inspiration and whip up something of my own. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. 😛

  • Molly @ RDexposed April 25, 2011, 8:06 pm

    Oatmeal is never “just a bowl of oatmeal!” It’s crucial to my existance.

  • Elise April 25, 2011, 9:10 pm

    When I get a craving for something I like to look up a bunch of recipes for it. Then, I compile what I already have to make ‘the majority’ of the recipes, and figure out how to make my own version of it without spending a fortune on additional goods at the grocery store. And, in that way, my own recipes come to life.

  • Khushboo April 26, 2011, 12:57 am

    I look online for recipe ideas and then kinda just formulate my own! I give you props for holding off with sharing the recipes! There are so many which I wish I could ‘save’ for my book if i ever get a chance to write one (my dream) but I get so excited to share them and immediately blog about them! I also need a taste tester, every thing tastes ‘amazing’ to me!

  • adriana April 26, 2011, 1:43 am

    To make mole spicier, add chiles de arbol. These are usually in the mexican food section.

  • Amber K April 26, 2011, 10:42 am

    I prefer to adapt other people’s recipes. I end up changing most everything, but I need the idea in the first place. I’m really not great about coming up with my own ideas. That’s one of the the reasons I love blogs! I can see what others are enjoying and try new things.

  • Maria April 26, 2011, 9:40 pm

    The breakfast roll-up recipe deserves a spot in the book for sure! I tried it this weekend…can you say AMAZING??? I need to start trying more of your recipes! 🙂

  • Maria April 26, 2011, 9:40 pm

    The breakfast roll-up recipe deserves a spot in the book for sure! I tried it this weekend…can you say AMAZING??? I need to start trying more of your recipes! 🙂

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