5 Ways to Get Your Cooking Mojo Back

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Get your cooking mojo back and the kitchen will be one of your favorite places at home. I’ve been stuck in a cooking blackhole for years now. Inspiration would rarely strike, and so I’d be happy to be the official taste-tester of my sister’s baked goodies, or be on the receiving end of dishes every meal. Cooking has never been one of my strong points, but it’s one of the activities I am super interested in. Cooking shows are my addiction, and cookbooks make for great bedtime reading. I love food. Cooking? I try, really, I try.

This year, “cooking more” was one of the things I wanted to do more of. I wrote about it last January, wishing to spring that hope into action:

2013
Read: My January resolution post

I’ll talk about “Play More” and “Read More” separately. For now, let’s talk about “Cook More”. I’m learning to get my cooking mojo back slowly, and it’s looking okay so far. If you’ve been stuck in a cooking rut or know of someone who could use a little help to get their cooking mojo back, read on!


5 Ways to Get Your Cooking Mojo Back

1. Read about food.

One way to get your cooking mojo back is to read more about the stories behind recipes, ingredients, foodie travels around the world. That’s why I enjoy cookbooks wherein the authors share the back stories behind their recipes. Perhaps the recipe was inspired by a childhood memory of theirs that they colorfully and wistfully share, making the recipe come to life even more. Nigella Lawson is a wonderful storyteller. One of my favorites is her book on Italian-inspired recipes, Nigellisima. Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten’s cookbooks are always a refreshing read. They’re super inspiring and get you revved up for the kitchen.

Getting to know ingredients more is a fun and educational way to love the kitchen more. 1001 Foods You Must Try Before You Die has been on my nightstand forever. It’s taking me forever to read it, actually, but I like it that way. I open the book to a page each day and read about an ingredient’s history and the dishes you can prepare with it.

1001 Foods You Must Try Before You Die
Reading a page a day randomly

Blogs are also a great inspiration. Some of my foodie favorites include Kitchen Cow, Just Add An Egg, David Lebovitz, Simple Bites, Use Real Butter, Apron Strings, and more!

2. Cook a dish you’ve come to love – again and again.

I stumbled upon a recipe for Poached Eggs in Tomato Sauce on Pinterest a year back. It was a recipe I fell in love with because it seemed so light, versatile, and easy to cook. There were many versions of the dish. The recipe I ended up with was a simplified version of all I read. It sure worked for me! Because it’s so versatile, it makes a good base for meat or pasta dishes too.

Cooking dinner. With Selfie. Haha. Cooking poached eggs in tomato sauce.
Cooking Poached Eggs in Tomato Sauce. While doing a rare selfie.

I’ve cooked Poached Eggs in Tomato Sauce many times now, and I dare say, each batch ends up better than the previous one. It’s a dish I don’t mind cooking again and again. There are other dishes I like preparing, but this one trumps everything else. I guess you can say I’ve met my dish soulmate. Cheesy, but true. Haha.

3. Get a cooking buddy.

Truth is I prefer being alone in the kitchen. I’m not too fond of anyone looking over my shoulder while I stir the beans. But sometimes cooking is more fun when you share the task with someone, even if that someone is there as the taste-tester. For me, that’s my sister Patti. She taste-checks my food and since she’s awesome in the kitchen, her taste profile is always spot on.

4. Get inspiration from cooking shows.

Just like cookbooks, learning from what other folks prepare is educational and inspiring. I’m a huge Top Chef fan. When channel surfing, I always stop at cooking shows, even if they’re reruns. So cool! Other shows I enjoy are those by Chef Michael Smith, Nigella Lawson, Barefoot Contessa, and my most favorite of all because he really got me interested in cooking, James Barber of The Urban Peasant. We fondly called him “Lolo James” (Grandpa James). I remember rushing home from my college classes and trying to catch him on the Lifestyle Network, making sure I had a pen and paper with me so I could take down notes. One of the first dishes I made proudly by myself was a recipe from his show. Something like rolled ham and cheese… I should try that again sometime. :)

5. Start small.

Baby stepping your way back into the kitchen is a great way to warm up. Start with simple dishes that don’t require a day’s worth of your energy. Better to save the pies and the six-hour roasts for later. Instead, sauté and sizzle your way into bigger dishes. Before you know it, you’ll be flambéing and souffleing with the best of them.

How do you keep your cooking mojo alive in the kitchen? If you’ve lost it before and have gained it back, could you share tips on how you rediscovered it? Come share!

5 Ways

4 Comments on 5 Ways to Get Your Cooking Mojo Back

  1. Ma. Teresa Grech Q. Racal
    November 4, 2013 at 9:05 am (11 years ago)

    Hahaha! Guess what? I am not really a good cook too. Let’s just say I CAN cook and the kids will definitely eat it. I so love cooking shows too. As in. With this post, I will try my very best to be a GOOD cook….

    Reply
    • Toni
      November 10, 2013 at 6:02 pm (11 years ago)

      At least you already cook! That’s a big step already. 😉

      Reply
  2. ays
    November 4, 2013 at 8:30 pm (11 years ago)

    i usually watch the food channel to get inspired by the chefs. and i watch master chef (us and australia), to motivate myself to try cooking. i think i’ve been doing a good job of it this year, but next year, i want to do different dishes from the usual. it also helps that my husband has shown interest in cooking, so we tell each other to take turns in the kitchen.

    Reply
    • Toni
      November 10, 2013 at 6:01 pm (11 years ago)

      Kitchen buddies! That’s great. When my husband used to cook, he’d dominate the kitchen. He has less time now. I miss his cooking!

      Reply

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