Finding Inspiration in the Oddest Places

I love to cook, which is good.  If we left the cooking up to my husband (who I lovingly refer to as Pookie), food poising may be a regular part of our lives.   He is known to try to surprise me with a meal every now and then.  His problem–he is so afraid of burning things that he tend to undercook them.  Let me tell you, French toast with cold egg runs out when you cut into it is not the best breakfast (although the thought was beyond sweet!)

In his defense, he has gotten a lot better in recent years since he discovered the joys of a digital thermometer.  Still, 99% of the cooking falls on me.

In spite of not cooking, Pookie loves the food network (if a recipe looks good, I will get a random email with the recipe). 🙂 He kept hearing how solid dishes, especially white, help to showcase the food.  So, he decided that we needed white dishes. (We got our old dishes the first Christmas we were together, in 2000.  We were only 22, and let our parents pick everything out.  While what they picked was nice, as we found our own style they really didn’t fit.  )

Arround the same time, I was hitting the point where I was getting bored with cooking. Still, we were both thrilled to find a  beautiful set of all-white dishes under my mother-in-laws tree last month.  All of a sudden, I wanted to go home and cook (although I figured it would be rude to take my dishes and run without staying to visit for a while).

Even though the new dishes are for serving, not cooking, they made cooking fun again.  I loved putting everything together, making a pretty presentation for whoever was going to eat it.  I fell in love all over again. 🙂  Here are a few of the meals I have made:

Leftovers from Christmas Eve dinner (braised short ribs, salad, and

a couple bites of tiramisu and cannoli.  

Homemade Beef Stew

Up Close. 🙂

My go-to upset tummy meal–spaghetti with grated Parmesan

cheese and basil (and, in this case, a touch of  a balsamic reduction,

just to make it pretty). 🙂 

Breakfast sandwich and fruit

Even Campbell’s soup and a salad look pretty! 🙂

What did I learn? I learned that a little change can completely revitalize my inspiration.  A few new dishes were much less expensive than a new kitchen or regular trips to restaurants, yet this one change was enough to change my outlook.  🙂

Have you made any little changes in your life that have had a big impact?  Are you a cook, or do you prefer to leave it to someone else?  And do you have any awesome recipes that would look pretty in my new dishes? 😉

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Susi Borath finds time to write between freelance marketing jobs, minor league baseball games, creating new cookie recipes, and juggling more laundry than any two people should be able to produce. You can find more about her at http://susiborath.com or follow @susiborath on Twitter.

15 thoughts on “Finding Inspiration in the Oddest Places

  1. A good example is my late night writing process. If I get stuck on a portion, instead of pounding my head into my desk, I often move to the bed (A few feet away) and let my mind do the work as I stare at the ceiling or read a book. The removal of the ‘work in front of me’ pressure opens up my chance to be inspired again.

    1. I do that too. Sometimes just a move from my office to the sofa does it for me, even if I take my computer with me. It is amazing the difference that a small change in scenery can make. 🙂

  2. Husbands who watche the Food channel and never cook-I got one of those. To his credit, great breakfasts when he gets inspired. . .and yummy fried potatoes with onions.
    Good blog.

    1. Yeah, my husband is not allowed to cook breakfast. Give the man a grill, though, and me can cook anything! 🙂 I think he has a mental block against kitchens–almost like a white coat syndrome.

  3. I’ll take an order of the stew to go please! Wow, that looks delish. I can think of only the change I need to make soon—read in a room without a TV on.

  4. OMG! I NEED WHITE DISHES!!! Seriously, but your foodie pic’s are amazing. Those white dishes frame those tasty tidbits so beautifully. I have loads of beautiful old dishes–I’ve collected Depression Glass in all colors for a bazillion years,and as pretty as they are, they definitely don’t make the food “pop” like your white dishes. Very very cool!

  5. How cool! I love the presentation — so pretty. It just makes the food look great! (I wanted some of that beef stew, too!!) I hate to cook — for reasons far more complex than not knowing how. But this post makes it seem … inviting. Hmmm….maybe I should visit your kitchen! 😉

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