Lately, there have been some days where I just don’t want to cook. We are in such a hurry to get from baseball to horseback riding to Tae Kwon Do to wherever else we need to be, that I am uninspired. I call this a cooking rut. And I truly know that I am not alone when I get into these. So here are 5 ways to get out of that cooking rut and become inspired in the kitchen again.
- I pretend that I am on Chopped. I take everything out of my fridge or pantry and try to make a meal out of it. Sometimes it is a screaming success. Sometimes we order pizza. But it forces me to think outside the box and give something new a shot.
- Curl up in yoga pants and watch the Food Network. That makes me sound so pathetic. But it really works! Ina and Giada and Bobby have never failed me with their endless culinary skills. I usually find some recipe or technique to inspire me.
- Smell some fresh herbs. The smell of fresh basil or cilantro usually gets my creative juices flowing. Then I start to think of all of the wonderful things I can make with them. Then I head to the store.
- My recipe file is full and I keep it that way. I have an accordion file of recipes. I know its old school, but when I rip a recipe out of a magazine I need somewhere to put it! And when I need to cook something and have no idea where to begin, I grab that file land start looking. I always find lots of great recipes to make.
- Set the table. Really. If you have a beautiful table set you can’t just order from the local Chinese joint. You have to put something equally as beautiful on the table. And just the act of setting the table gets you in the mood for food and the mood for cooking.