Last month, I set a goal to try four new recipes to get out of a rut. Even though I was cooking at least five dinners a week, nothing sounded appetizing. Do you ever feel that way? After you’ve done all the work for a meal, you don’t really want to eat it.
It’s the exact opposite of how cooking should work. The effort should result in food that tastes all the better for the time, energy, and love, you put into the dish. So I checked out a cookbook/memoir, Dinner: A Love Story, from my library and read it while visiting my parents the first week of February.
While none of the recipes were duds, the Lazy Bolognese blew the rest out of the water. It was the most fantastic dish I’ve made in months. It was delicious and not terribly painful to whip up with a toddler underfoot. Plus, it freezes incredibly well, so we had a meal already prepared (except for pasta) for the following week. Since I already create a meal plan while writing my grocery list, I could easily add ingredients for one new dish to my list.
I have also started throwing one new pantry item each week into my cart – something that would have previously been a “page-turner” in a cookbook. (“I’ve never cooked with _____, so I’ll quickly turn the page on that recipe.”) This week, I picked up some red wine vinegar and last week, curry powder.
I also spent a particularly blustery day doing a re-organization of my recipe and cookbook collection. I jotted down my favorite Pinterest recipes for my recipe box, so I wouldn’t have to pull the computer into the kitchen. Then on the inside cover of each cookbook, I wrote the page number and name of any recipes I had made. This makes my meal-planning quicker, and will hopefully inspire me to thumb through and keep try some new dishes.
I’ve started a little wish list of cookbooks to inspire me to stay creative in the kitchen: