Cooking for yourself and your family is one of the most rewarding things you can do, but there are challenges. Finding time is a big one, but another I hear often is that people get bored cooking the same old things, and they can’t seem to get inspired or break out of a rut. Well, here are seven ideas to help get you on the path to renewed inspiration in your kitchen!
7 Ideas to Break Out of Your Cooking Rut
1. Shop somewhere new
- Sometimes a change in perspective is all you need to come up with new ideas
- Farmers markets or specialty markets are great places to find inspiration
- Usually the people there will have ideas for how to prepare the ingredients you find
2. Try a recipe exchange with your friends
- Maybe you have three or four “go-to” dishes that you end up cooking all the time. Chances are your friends that cook probably do to. Try a recipe exchange where you swap recipes for your go-to dishes. Commit to trying them and then get back together to compare notes. You will probably come up with several ideas to switch up your friend’s dishes and they will do the same. And you’ll probably end up with some new recipes you love.
3. Visit a spice shop (in-person, or online)
- A trip to a local spice shop can do wonders for your imagination. You’ll find herbs and spices, and blends thereof, that you rarely encounter in the supermarket. Most good shops allow you to smell each spice, and they will have all sorts of ideas on how to use their spices as well. If you can’t get to a shop in person, try going online to find some good options. A couple of my favorites are Red Stick Spice Company and The Spice House.
4. Plan a virtual vacation through cooking
- Always wanted to take that dream vacation but just can’t get away? Pick a weekend and create dishes that honor your dream destination. If you have kids of the age where they are curious about the world, this would be a really fun activity for them to help you research the destination and help you shop and prepare the meals.
5. Commit to trying an ingredient you don’t think you like
- Nothing forces you to be creative than to use an ingredient you don’t really like. This can be a risky one if you make something you absolutely hate, but on the other hand, you might have an epiphany.
- Mine would probably be eggplant. Blarf.
6. Take a cooking class
- No need to spend a lot of money or be fancy here. You can find plenty of places that offer a variety of cooking classes.
- Community colleges, local home goods store, restaurants, etc.
- Do you have a friend that makes an awesome recipe you love? Schedule some time to get together and have them show you how to make it. Fun!
7. Find a local Meetup or club
- Try finding a group of like minded people to talk about food, cooking etc. Meetup.com can be a great place to find groups near you. You could also start your own club if you can’t find one you like!
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