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Cooking without Recipes

DKS1 | Jun 9, 2008 12:44 PM

Help me, please. I love to cook. I love food. I love watching others cook. I love reading about cooking, hearing about cooking, talking about cooking (and eating)... You get the point.

I find myself to be talented at the *skills* part of cooking/baking and feel that I understand technique well. However, I seem impossibly uncreative and therefore unable to cook without using recipes for the most part. I definitely have stand-bys that I make a lot during the week for dinner without always using recipes, but I don't just get in the kitchen and cook, I mean REALLY COOK, without a "plan" or recipe first.

How do I start cooking for real?! Do you all have any helfpul tips or suggestions? Part of it is my confidence - I want things to be perfect. Thus, I'm inhibited. But assuming I can get over that - and I can - what should I do to start?! I just feel inept at flavor combinations and other essential abilities to cooking well. I do love to read cookbooks as well, and although that helps, it still doesn't leave me inspired just to get in the kitchen and do my thing.

I want to add, too, that I have recently suffered a huge loss and am just now starting to feel the fire to get back in the kitchen. I think it could be so cathartic, but I feel stuck. Looking for some inspiration!

Thanks for any insight!

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