***Recipe ideas and links below include sponsored content.***
People are always asking…
Where did you get that idea? How did you come up with that? They tell me I’m creative! I suppose, I can be. The truth is, the people who applaud my great food are usually giving me too much credit! I too, struggle with coming up with new and creative recipe ideas. That’s when I get back to the basics of thinking outside-the-box. As a professional food and lifestyle blogger, I’ve actually learned more from work, about cooking and creating great meals than I ever did being being mom. Okay, maybe that’s not entirely, true. All kidding aside, I definitely thought about food differently when I started created recipes for this site. I really started to pay attention to the things I do regularly to turn boring into brilliant! It’s taken me quite a while to learn and digest all the cooking tips and tricks I’ve gained since launching this site. I’d like to fast-forward your learning curve, so I’m sharing some of my best creative wisdom, with you!
It’s different when you don’t have to cook.
It wasn’t long ago that I found myself asking the same question. A lot! I saw so many creative recipe ideas that it made me feel like I didn’t have a creative ingredient in me. The truth is, I felt really intimidated entering into the food arena. Ironically, I cook all the time. All. The. Time. I have to cook. Eating out or ordering in, on any kind of a regular basis is too expensive for my family. I don’t judge other women who don’t cook often. I just wonder how they escape it. I know people who have raised children, but to this day can’t cook anything more elaborate than spaghetti. The truth is, I wasn’t that different. Prior to having children, I used to eat out almost every night. I’m not talking about food truck tacos. I’m talking about $30.00 plates from my favorite steak restaurants, along with $10.00 desserts, just for me. I enjoyed my nice dinners and worked hard for them. Also, I couldn’t cook. Or, maybe I could. I just never did! I didn’t have to. Then, everything changed.
How do bloggers come up with all those ideas?
Menu planning has always been a struggle for me. The easiest and most efficient way for me to plan is to decide what I’m going to cook during the week, without assigning any specific day to each meal. I always have 2-3 quick and easy meals for the days that nothing goes according to plan. I reserve the more involved dinners for days I’m not fighting off a migraine, breaking up fights between the kids, or picking up and dropping off all the neighborhood kids after sports practices. I’m used to cooking now, but even I get stumped. You’d think that being a mom of five would keep me full of recipe ideas. The truth is, I rely mostly on the trade secrets, to stay inspired. They can be a little out there. Better that, than boring!
Creative Tips & Ideas You Can Use at Home
Breadcrumbs are boring!
Try using potato chips or cereals. Check out these awesome substitution ideas from Jenna, of Momma Told Me Blog! Potato Chip Onion Rings, Potato Chip Brownies, or even Peanut Butter + Jelly Potato Chip Cookies!
Water is boring!
Okay. Water is actually wonderful. Drink it. Drink lots of it. In your recipe though, substitute it for something else you love, that might go great with your recipe. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Check out my Strawberry Serenade Cupcakes!
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Empty is boring!
shut stuff it! You can stuff just about anything! Stuff your tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, cakes, bread, or chicken. The possibilities are endless!
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Freezing is a hot!
Think outside of your refrigerator! If you can chill it, you can freeze it! Fruits, pudding, cream based desserts, and milk or milk substitute products are great options for the freezer! Check out my Caramel & Coconut Silk Mini Pops Recipe!
Of course, melting has it’s appeal, too!
Reshape it. Redesign it. Reheat it! Melting is one of my favorite ways to get creative in the kitchen! If something has been hardened, it can be melted into a creative twist! Isn’t this a beautiful candy flower bouquet?
Think about some of your favorite flavors and try them in something new! The best iced-tea I ever had was one I created in my own kitchen!
Decorate and color coordinate!
Candy decorations are a sweet twist to almost any dessert! You don’t have to be an artist to get amazing results! Look at this superhero cake I made, by decorating it with candy!
Synchronize Your Flavors!
Feel like delving a little deeper into your creative palate? Eden, of The Good Life, shares how she crafts a dish with a harmonious symphony of flavors! Check out the science behind her pairing skills.
Bacon really does go with everything!
I know you’ve heard it. You want to believe it’s true! Well, now you can! Jenna scores big with two of my favorite foods; chocolate and bacon! Check out her Dark Chocolate Maple Bacon Cake recipe!
How do you stay creative in the kitchen? We’d love to hear your tips and tricks!
By: Alicia Gonzalez