Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >
Jul 2, 2007 09:40 PM

When Are You Most Creative In The Kitchen?

I don't know about you, but sometimes I have to be hungry to get inspired to cook if I'm not expecting company. Seems like hunger gets my creative juices flowing, especially if I am making savory foods. Sometimes I will deliberately eat very light during the day if I want to cook something I don't prepare often.

Desserts are another question. I don't have to be hungry to be inspired to do desserts. Is anyone else like this?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I get most creative when I get a new gadget, e.g. cookware or appliance.

    I don't think I get creative when I'm hungry ... I get desperate. :-)

    1 Reply
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Ha, ipsedixit, when I get desperate is precisely when I'm my most creative! Nothing like finding out I'm having an unexpected dinner guest and there's no time to run to the grocery store...

    2. When I see something at peak in the farmer's market, I start thinking....Ooooh, what wonderful thing could I make with that?! My mind starts whirling with possibilities!

      2 Replies
      1. re: maria lorraine


        for me the creativity starts at the market (super or otherwise).. I wait to see what inspires me and go from there.

        1. re: maria lorraine

          Either being at the market or reading a recipe - or sometimes when I have a craving for one particular item, like the sweet loveliness of a champagne mango, or craving a certain kind of spice mix (homemade or not) used on a pork tenderloin.

          Sometimes it's just look at the list of what's in the downstairs freezer, opening up the pantry, and seeing "what goes with" and having fun creating. (I'm only cooking for myself, so I have a LOT of leeway in what I choose to throw together). I also tend to be more creative on the weekend when I have more time to "play."

        2. When I'm cooking for myself and nobody else. I experiment plenty on the S.O., but even then I'm a little cautious of doing things just off the top of my head, and so I'll consult a recipe, if only to check a technique or ratio. With guests, I'm most comfortable doing dishes I know well. But when I'm alone, I come up with great stuff that I can try to replicate when others are around.

          1. When I am trying to save money. That inspires me to use what I have without an extra trip to the store and I don't like it to be obvious that I'm using up what's here. Makes me try harder than usual.

            Also, Fall. Fall really gets me going in the kitchen.

            If I am reading a really great cookbook I get very focused on the kitchen and try new things.

            2 Replies
            1. re: xena

              I was thinking the same thing, xena. I usually get inspired by the cooler weather in the fall. I start thinking of desserts made with apple, and squash dishes and hearty pork roasts and comfort foods. However this summer I've been quite inspired by farmer's markets and the beautiful produce I've been seeing lately. Also, reading this board is quite inspiring as you all have such amazing ideas.

              1. When I am looking at the random assortment of things in the fridge and pantry and wondering... hmmmm.... I wonder what this Muenster cheese would taste like stirred into a bowl of lentils?

                (but, when I am planning to have company over, I will spend a ridiculous amount of time trying to be as creative as possible in order to "top" my last dinner)

                2 Replies
                1. re: Tehama

         how *did* that Muenster cheese taste like stirred into a bowl of lentils?

                  1. re: revsharkie

                    hahahaha.... actually, it wasn't too bad. sort of turned out like a creamy polenta-ey/ risotto-ey concoction.

                    Now, I do not recommend trying this out on your guests, though! ;-) It is just one of those raid-the-pantry-last-resort meals! :-)