When I began to put my photos online of the food I was cooking each evening I had people starting to ask me "Where do you get your recipes from?" - I have to admit; for the most part I was cooking on the fly. I think a lot of that style came from me watching the show Chopped. It was so inspiring to me to watch the competitors be given a basket of random ingredients, that in no way any normal person would pick out at the store, and somehow meld them together. I mean sour patch kids, dandelion greens, and pork shoulder? Come on how appetizing does that really sound? They would always make something magical happen though. The sour patch kids would be added to some kind of preserve to make a glaze. The dandelion greens would be transformed into a pesto of sorts that they would stuff the pork shoulder with, and sure enough that glaze would make it onto the outside of the pork to create this caramelized perfection of movie snacks and lawnmower goodies. I started to think – Well if they can create these amazing concoctions out of random ingredients, I wonder what I could make? This thought began my love for what I would call instinct inspired cooking. I open the fridge, see what we have, and let the wheels in my head turn those ingredients into something incredible. Does it always turn out? No. Do I have a very adventurous husband willing to eat an all vegetarian version of Bangers and Mash? Thankfully, yes.
Let’s face it though, every great artist can get a bit of writers block from time to time and needs to gain inspiration elsewhere. So where do I look when my brain feels a bit freezer burned? Well, Google of course! I’ll pick a dish, image search for it with the words “Award Winning” attached, and voila - the most amazing display of mac & cheese gloriousness that you have ever seen. I use “Award Winning” when I search because you know it’s going to be an absolutely mouth watering version of what you are wanting to cook, and I image search for the recipe because I am looking for it to give me a certain ‘sense memory,’ really. We are all different in the ways we like our food prepared, and I believe this is because we have these smells, and tastes attached to the time that we fell in love with that food. - That hole in the wall restaurant with the best red corn enchiladas you ever ate, or the food truck that had maple bacon waffles with bourbon syrup. These flavors stay with us, and the best part is you have all the ability to make what you love, just the way you want it. So I say whether you like creamy crockpot mac and cheese, or the breadcrumb topped casserole edition Google images is the place for you! Just keep scrolling until you see the picture that makes you droll a little, and click on the link attached to it. Even if you don’t follow the recipe completely (which is usually what I end up doing) let it be your guide to the ingredients that lead you to say “YUM” when you saw that photo! Be inspired, take chances, and know that if it doesn't turn out perfectly the first time, don’t be a sour patch kid about it, you can always make changes and try it again!