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Oct 9, 2013 01:04 PM

Help me find my passion for cooking again!

Hi All,
I'm looking for some inspiration. I used to LOVE cooking. Lately, not so much. I don't have a particularly demanding schedule compared to some people (meaning I am usually home by 4:30 and have time to get dinner on the table before the kids need to go to bed.) Maybe it's kids, or aging, or just a funk, but I just don't feel like cooking anymore. We have no dietary restrictions, the kids will eat almost anything, and we're all somewhat adventurous with eating. Any suggestions, cookbook/website recommendations, etc. that can inspire me to get in there every day and make something great? Thanks!

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  1. Have you checked out the What's For Dinner threads here on Chowhound? There's been a long series of threads where people share what they made for dinner that night -- it can vary from creative use of leftovers to multi-course meals. Some people add photographs and recipes, as well.

    Seeing what other people are cooking might give you some ideas, and sharing what you're cooking might make it seem more exciting and less like a chore.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Jacquilynne

      how true that is Jacquilynne.
      seeing what others are making can take you out of the what am I going to make for dinner tonight. soooo many times it's dictated to me exactly what I'm going to the store for.

    2. I've had periods of blah regarding cooking.

      I find reading the COTM threads inspiring. I've made many dishes because of the great descriptions and group praise.

      I've also regained my interest by focusing on a particular technique or trying to use a something in my kitchen which has been forgotten about (talking about you crockpot and clay pots!)

      I have a nice smattering of various ethnic grocery shops near by. I often browse and buy a new-to-me ingredient. Once home I'll research and the subsequent education often gets me inspired.

      When all else fails I make soup. The process of soup making is one I love and it always makes me happy in the kitchen!

      3 Replies
      1. re: meatn3

        Since you are new to Chowhound (CH), COTM is Cookbook of the Month. Each month the current thread is listed at the top of the Homecooking board as a sticky. (It took me forever to figure out what COTM was!)

        You can do a search for COTM and find older threads.

        This link is good for other cookbooks that lots of people cooked from:

        1. re: meatn3

          I think one thing that's great about COTM is that so many of the posts have links to the recipes when available.

          Speaking of COTM, I thought Rich Bayless "Mexican Everyday" was great with a goodly number of recipes available online and not so time consuming.

          1. re: c oliver

            Glad you mentioned that, CO; I found that several of the online recipes were worth taking a look at even though I own Mexican Everyday, because they include variations not mentioned in the book. Now I make sure to check out the online links for other recipes in my books, and have found a number of helpful streamlining tips and changes.

      2. or They are basically the same thing. A collection of beautiful pics of amazing food with links to the sites once you click on the pic. I love them for inspiration when I'm looking for something different to do with some ingredient I have. You can search for something simple like "chicken" and come up with a billion great new ways to make it.

        1. Here are a bunch of old threads, a lot of which address this in various scenarios.

          BTW, welcome to Chowhound!

          1. I imagine you will get your mojo back. If you do a quick search there are a lot of threads on this topic which might be helpful for ideas. When I start to feel like I'm losing my motivation I usually try to focus on something - an ingredient, a style of cuisine, a food group and then let that motivate me to get ideas. I'm notorious for just picking up thing at the store and then I am forced to learn about whatever it is I bought and that usually gets my creative juices and motivation going again. Also, the What's for Dinner thread is full of ideas. I am also a fan of randomly browsing PInterest, or adn coming up with ideas.

            1 Reply
            1. re: fldhkybnva

              ...........fldhkybnva, I always enjoy your posts and ideas.