I am not sure if it is the weather, the change in season or the fact that I am busy with work, but I am uninspired. So how can I inspire others to get inspired to cook in this state? I can’t! So, I must find a way out of this dark hole and find something to get excited about.
From time to time, this does happen. Even to those of us that love to cook. All the sudden, you go from having a bunch of ideas in your head that you want to make or try, to feeling underwhelmed by everything. What is a cook to do? Start researching.
I have a stack of food magazines, so that is usually where I begin. Bon Appetit is my personal favorite. There are generally a ton of great recipes and ideas for cooking projects in there.
Pinterest is another great way to try to get inspired. I have mentioned this website in a past column and stand behind the fact that the website is one of the best ways to get inspired. You can find inspiration for anything here, really, but I am partial to looking for food ideas and there are lot of them. Punch in an ingredient and seconds later you will find an infinite list of ideas that come with the added bonus of photos.
Don’t have an idea for even an ingredient you want to cook? Simply explore the “food and drink” category and something may catch your eye.
I have a large stack of cookbooks that at one point I loved. Now, they sit like relics on my sideboard. I still love to flip through them every once in a while but, frankly, almost never cook from them. I know I should declutter the house and get rid of them, especially since most of the recipes (or similar versions) can be found online, but I just can’t do it. They are sort of an homage to another time (pre-Internet) of my life and are still beautiful to peruse every now and then.
When all else fails, I often just ask my husband or upcoming dinner guests what they are in the mood for. This is my least favorite method for coming up with something for obvious reasons. One, it gives me less control. Two, people often request things I don’t want to make (think spaghetti with meatballs and chicken Parmesan).
Finally, my last resource for inspiration is simply having to cook something. Tonight, I have invited friends over. I have no idea what to make them nor do I really feel like cooking, but I am going to come up with something.
I am starting with this: chicken (since I have it in the freezer already). I know, I know. This sounds pathetically lazy. I did warn you that I was feeling uninspired, but maybe I am just being lazy. Either way, on Pinterest, I quickly found something that looked interesting and easy.
This recipe was adapted from one I found on a website. It looks easy, but since I love cilantro it could be good. Already, my inspiration is coming back. I am thinking an avocado, tomato and cucumber salad and a jalapeno rice dish to go with it. It really was that easy. Now, after just a little online browsing, I am feeling ready to tackle a new dish and get going in the kitchen. Let’s hope my dinner guests are happy.
Recipe: Cilantro Thai Grilled Chicken
- 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce or 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
- Place all the ingredients above in a food processor and process until smooth.
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Pour marinade over chicken breast and let flavors sink in for 15 minutes in the refrigerator.
- Prepare your grill or broiler. Cook until temperature registers 165F on the meat thermometer. Let the chicken breasts rest for 5 minutes before serving, this prevents the meat from drying up.
Preparation time: 15 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 4