where do you find your cooking inspiration?

bragu_DSM 5

Do you plan ahead?


Drop of the hat? Whatever is in the fridge/freezer/pantry?


Calendar centered/holidays/observances?


Read a cookbook? Watch television cooking shows?


Reading a thread?


Feeling low ambition?


Wanting comfort food?


or is it like not going to the grocery store when you are hungry?


hmmm ...


¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Dave


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Comments (20)
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Sherry

All of the above at one time or another, except for cooking shows. I don't like the ones that are on now. I miss the old ones.

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ediej1209 AL Zn 7

All of the above :-)) I follow Lidia Bastianich and The Pioneer Woman on Facebook and family, friends and ads always post lots of stuff. Threads here are always fun. PBS Saturday mornings/early afternoon. Magazines. Sometimes just a hankering for something different. And sometimes it's just dependent on what's ready to pick from the garden.

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abzzybee

I concur, all of the above, also given the incredible amount of recipes available online I sometimes type in an ingredient or two and follow what looks interesting. I peruse the threads here a lot and have made a number of dishes inspired by posters here.

If everything fails to inspire I thaw a soup or pasta sauce, toss a quick salad and call it done. 😉

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annie1992

I often come here, and I get various emails. I have hundreds of cookbooks, so if I have a specific ingredient I'll go through a couple of those. I do not "do" social media at all, it's too much of a time sucker.

Mostly, though, I just go to my pantry with those hundreds of jars of home canning and grab a couple, and my freezer always has a choice of homegrown chicken, beef or venison and that pork I got from a neighbor. I close my eyes, reach in and grab something, then I cook it. Sometimes it's a big surprise, LOL.

The real difficulty is cooking for Mother, although she'll always eat a baked potato.

Annie

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plllog

Also all of the above. :)

Sometimes, my kitchen is like an episode of Chopped. :) I have some weird stuff that needs using and find a way to make it work well. Sometimes, I walk (pre-covid-19, anyway) around the grocery store inventing a dish based on what's there. Sometimes, I find a recipe in a book that I want to try. Other times, I think of something, like just now, the corn cookies, and find a recipe online as a jumping off point. I cook traditional foods (pre-covid-19) for family feasts, but put my own twists on them. All the talk here keeps me wanting to cook, and often inspires a direction.

I find cooking shows make good aural wallpaper, with nothing offensive or troubling to ruin my mood--I rarely make any of their recipes, but I learn stuff. Like once at someone else's kitchen, I had to make a dessert on the fly with few ingredients and little time. There was some cream, and berries, so I made parfaits including a few crushed Milano cookies for texture. The crushed cookies, for sure, must have come from Chopped. :) I certainly didn't give it a long enough think for it to be an original idea of my own.

In general, I think, my biggest inspiration is the need to produce food to eat and the fact that I'm the best cook I know, IRL. I don't think I'd mind if a great cook took over. I have lots of other things I could spend my time doing. I like cooking, but don't mind being served at all. :)

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nancyofnc

I am a good cook and baker and rarely run out of ideas - from all the ways the OP stated. The most interesting thing that happened is that I asked my Facebook family what they would cook for me! (Not many even cook let alone bake!) Surprising responses!

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lovemycorgi z5b SE michigan

I, too, have hundreds of cookbooks for inspiration and I also visit several food blogs each week. I'm also fond of finding new recipes to try on Pinterest and websites like Allrecipes and Epicurious. I like watching cooking shows like Cook's Country and America's Test Kitchen as well.

Yesterday I tried a new recipe - White Chicken Lasagna - from a food blog...it was really good and something I'll make again.

Today we are having leftovers and getting ready to watch our beloved Detroit Lions kick off another season of football. It's nice to have even this little bit of "normal".

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Lars

I mainly get inspiration from various restaurants that I go to, and there is a huge variety to choose from in the Los Angeles area. I also get inspiration from shopping at various ethnic markets.

The above mentioned inspirations do not really apply much to me. I have occasionally been inspired by some food videos, but not so much by TV shows. In general, I have to taste something (or at least see it in a store) before I will be inspired to make it. I do not trust other people's recommendations or tastes, as a rule. Occasionally I will find someone who has similar taste to mine, but that is rare.

Of the chefs I have seen on TV, I like Pati Jinich, Maryanne Esposito, the Frugal Gourmet (long, long ago), and Justin Wilson. I will generally try most Cajun/Creole recipes and quite a few Mexican, but that is what I am most familiar with.

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l pinkmountain

I follow a few sources on Facebook and occasionally I find a good recipe or at least recipe idea I want to try. A lot of them are annoying though, because FB uses an algorithm on you once you start clicking on recipe sites that says you like that kind of thing . . . and then you get all kinds of crap ones showing up on your feed . . . but occasionally some gold in there . . .

My main inspiration is what is on sale at the grocery, what is in season, and what needs to get used up in the fridge . . .When I need a reliable recipe for something that needs using up I go to my cookbook collection usually. Sometimes go there for menu planning ideas too, but my entertaining days are sadly on hold, so not that much anymore.

My baking inspiration comes a lot of the time from the King Arthur flour web site. I'm sure there are other good baking web sites, but I'm a KA loyal customer so I return to them for reliability. I also occasionally will try a recipe on the back of a flour bag, some of my best baking recipes were "back of the grain bag" ones. Hodgeson Mills and Bob's Red Mill are other flour companies I buy from that have good recipes on the back of their bags. I am going to try the two bread recipes from the back of the Gold Medal bread flour bag, I got it the last time because the store was out of KA.

The last place I go for inspiration is the recipe folders I inherited from my Mom. Rather than throw them all away, I am culling them slowly by occasionally trying a recipe. If it's good, it goes back in the file box, if it's not, it gets thrown out. That helps me find inspiration for the meat eaters in my life, since my own repertoire of meat dishes was severely limited and I'm not really motivated to up my game since I don't much care for meat . . .

I also have my own recipe file of my tried and true favorites, but they are mostly vegetarian so I have needed to branch out cooking for hubs and dad . . .

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Marilyn_Sue

Mostly what I get hungry for! I only cook for myself unless it is a family meal and then I usually fix what I want or if they ask for something special.

Sue

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

What's on hand is usually my inspiration.

And often the discussions here inspire me too🙂

I also get a number of email newsletters that occasionally inspire me: BH&G, Martha Stewart & Betty Crocker.

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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I look online for low fat and low carb versions of food I like and are foods I want to eat.

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CA Kate z9

I suppose I find new recipes where ever they appear, or, I have a need for a recipe and go hunting.... frequently here. The last one I made - last week - was for Lasagna Casserole that a friend had posted on Facebook. It sounded different and interesting, and easy/fast. It is all of those and I have consigned the recipe to my permanent file.

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donna_in_sask

Part what we have on hand and part what the family like to eat...I also check for recipes from a few of my favourite online sites. In any given week, I make the old standards and will add one or two new things for some variety. My youngest son would eat hamburgers every single day given the choice.

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nancyjane_gardener

Mostly what's on hand, but sometimes I'll find an allrecipes dish that interests me (usually they're carby kid friendly, but occasionally they come up with some good ones!) or something will come from Cooks Illustrated.

Sorry, I can hear the Pioneer woman's dimples from 3 rooms away and change the channel as soon as those dimples start talking!

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l pinkmountain

Nothing against Ree per se, but it baffles me that she has made a fortune on her mediocre blogging while so many other people with better skills and information and more interesting lifestyles remain unknown. It's the shameless commerce department at work. Not that there's anything wrong with that, I don't disparage her having a job and making money and knowing how to market herself, and she has to crank out product every day so not all of it is going to be golden. She's productive. I do make some of her recipes when I want to impress with little effort and generous applications of sugar, carbs and processed ingredients. Nothing wrong with that either, I'm no snob but my taste buds usually avoid that kind of thing and also I have to for health reasons. I have some of her napkins and placemats and I like some of the stuff she is marketing at Walmart. Knockoffs of better items but that's my price point. If can find the real deal at Goodwill, garage sale or antique store I'll grab it, but I have been able to find some nice knockoffs to go with my heirloom taste from her collection. Many antiques were once dime store tchotchkes.

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Sherry

Pink, I can't listen to her either. Her recipes are okay, but they are nothing I did not grow up with or make in the 70's.

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Lars

I got inspired watching this ATK show and found it on Youtube, so that I could write down the recipe:


Here's what I wrote down:

1 pound (?) Brussels sprouts (24 total)
5 Tbsp olive oil
1 Fresno chili (or ripe red chili)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp lime juice (I substituted Yuzu juice because that's what I had)
2 Tbsp chopped mint
2 Tbsp chopped dry roasted peanuts or cashews (I used cashews)

Cut Brussels sprouts in half and place cut side down in a 10” non-stick skillet. Add 5 tablespoons olive oil and put on medium high heat, covered, for five minutes.

Uncover and cook 2-3 minutes more.

Mince the chili, and mix with 1/4 tsp salt, 1 tsp fish sauce, and 1 tsp lime juice. When sprouts are tender, add the chili sauce and combine.

She may have used a 12" skillet, and I think I used fewer than 24 sprouts. Mine ended up with a bit too much oil, and I think it is because I used a smaller skillet, and so the recipe may have to be adjusted.

I served this dish with grilled King salmon and sourdough bread.

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Lynda (Zn9b/23 - Central CA Coast)

I am inspired by what I am harvesting at any given time. In the spring, when I have grape leaves, that prompts me to make dolmas and the Greek meal that goes with it. When I have bok choy, hotpot is on the menu. Fresh cucumbers inspire me to make sushi. I also get inspiration from things I see here and favorite meals that I have had at a restaurant.

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artemis_ma

Inspirations for me depend on a lot of things. For instance, I made a fresh apple and plum upside down cake to bring over to a friend's yesterday. I'm not much of a dessert eater, but I decided to go with what was in my house - she wanted a dessert or we'd go out for ice cream (to eat outdoors), which I didn't really see a need to do. So... I had all the ingredients without having to go shop for one thing 35 minutes from my house....


I'm also inspired by specific cuisines. I want to explore the world of Greek food - and have done a number already. Korean, Vietnamese.... Oh, and I love (most) offal. What can I do with any of these that is new, at least to me?

I guess it helps that I have a food blog - I try to make a new recipe once a week for it, when I can. Right now, I'm also interested in foods I'm growing myself - it is harvest season. Need to finish getting more ideas for my current harvest (and harvest the rest).

I could say more... I have cookbooks, actual-in-binder-format cookbooks. I like them for their inspirational nature when I am looking for a specific genre of food. The internet isn't always accurate when I so desire to be.


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