Everybody’s got to eat, right? I used to think of cooking as a means to an end, but now I enjoy it more. Last week we unexpectedly had two evenings at home in a row. That’s unheard of during soccer season with three kids playing and practicing. I told my oldest one of the reasons I was excited to be home was to cook an actual meal.
Our family prioritizes dinner together, even if that means eating Zaxby’s after soccer practice. But it’s even better when we gather around our own table with a homecooked meal. The truth is, I run out of inspiration, though.
So let’s talk about where to go when we need more ideas for cooking.
I know, I know. Screens get a bad wrap, but let’s be honest, sometimes when we aren’t even trying we might be inspired. TV shows sometimes prompt ideas and scrolling on Facebook sometimes leads to an irresistible recipe. I’ve been known to email myself some links! Plus there are plenty of food documentaries out there available on TV channels and online.
After a documentary episode or an Instagram story, you may be ready to try cooking a new and exciting dish. Perhaps a creamy and delicious chicken florentine?
You can find a lot of food ideas on the Internet. This is how I learned to cook salmon, steak in the oven, and French Toast Bake. There are so many recipes online! I save them on my phone in a bookmark folder so I can find them again.
We love traveling to South Carolina so we can eat low-country seafood. And yes, we’re attempted to replicate that at home. My husband and son like to go trout fishing, and I sure do love it when they bring fish home. Lots of locations offer food different from what’s right here in our hometown Kentucky, so leaving home helps me bring new recipe ideas home.
When we were social distancing in 2020 and cooking multiple meals a day at home, I would think about restaurants we loved and what food they served. In some instances, I improved upon the food we love. Cooking was so fun then, when we had a ton of time to experiment in the kitchen and put more time into each meal.
It’s hard to recreate restaurant dishes, but it’s definitely a great source of inspiration. You probably won’t be able to make the dish exactly the same at home, but even if it helps you improve your cooking by 30%, you’ll notice the difference.
Do you love to cook? What are your favorite dishes to make? I’m always accepting new recipes, so send me your favorites and share any good stories that led to good recipes. Speaking of which, I’m going to stir the taco soup I have simmering.
Most of y’all know my love for gathering together & nourishing souls, like I talk about in my book, “Bringing Home More than Groceries.” Food often is a way to invite others in and build community. If that’s your perspective, that definitely gives cooking a broader purpose. You can download a free printable with ideas on how to be hospitable in every season.