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Everyday Creativity: Cooking And Baking

This post in the Everyday Creativity series is all about finding creativity through cooking and baking. We all have to eat, so let's enjoy the time we spend cooking and use it to get creative!

This post in the Everyday Creativity series is all about finding creativity through cooking and baking. We all have to eat, so let’s enjoy the time we spend cooking and use it to get creative!

The Everyday Creativity Series

Welcome to the second post in the Everyday Creativity series! The first post was all about finding creativity in keeping in touch with friends and family.

I believe that everyone has at least a little creativity in them. Some are more creative than others, of course, and that creativity can come in many forms.

I want to celebrate the creativity in our everyday lives, and that’s what I’m hoping to do with this series of blog posts. Just because you’re not sitting down with a sketchbook and pencil, it doesn’t mean you can’t find creativity elsewhere in your day.

I currently have five other posts planned for it the Everyday Creativity series:

If there are other topics you think I should add, please let me know!

But now, on to today’s post…

Getting Creative With Food

Because we need to eat to survive, I think a lot of people regard cooking as a necessary evil. But looking at it another way, since we need to eat three meals a day, why can’t we enjoy the process of preparing our food?

Although it may seem like the average meal doesn’t offer us many ways to get creative, I definitely don’t think that’s the case. If fancy restaurants can offer up the food they prepare as a little bit of edible art on a plate, why can’t we think in a similar way about cooking at home?

(Okay, so I’m not plating up the evening meal with tweezers like you see in some Michelin-starred restaurants, but I’m still going to appreciate the creativity in turning a pile of raw ingredients into a delicious meal!)

So challenge yourself to get out of your cooking rut and find a way to get creative with your cooking and baking!

Cook Without A Recipe

Depending on your confidence in the kitchen, cooking without a recipe can give you a massive sense of freedom and creativity. Just looking in the cupboard and thinking, “How about if I added some paprika to that?” is a great way to test your tastebuds.

If you’re not such an experienced cook and the thought of cooking a meal without a recipe makes you nervous, don’t worry! Instead of going it alone without a recipe to fall back on, take a recipe that you’ve cooked before successfully and think about one or two changes that you could make.

Maybe the recipe calls for a certain kind of cheese. Could you substitute in your favourite instead? If you’re a fan of spicy food, could you spice up a meal you make regularly by adding chopped fresh chilli or chilli flakes? How about switching the rice for couscous, or the potatoes for pasta?

You don’t have to make big dramatic changes, or even change a lot of the recipe in one go. Changing one thing at a time will allow you to think more about what you’re cooking and how you can make it suit your family or even the contents of your fridge!

And if you’re absolutely terrified about cooking anything at all, challenge yourself to step outside your comfort zone and try a completely new recipe. You could even try a completely different type of cuisine. If you’ve never cooked Chinese food before, why not start there?

Often we assume that a new recipe or type of food is more complicated than it actually is, and we prefer to stay all snuggled up in our comfort zones repeating the recipes and meals that we know well.

The Empty Cupboard Challenge

If you’re anything like me, you do one main food shop a week. Then, because I have a million and one things I would rather be doing than spending time in a supermarket when I don’t have to, I’ll go to pretty extraordinary lengths to avoid having to do a top-up shop in between.

Combine this with the fact that I can’t resist a challenge, and you have what I like to call the Empty Cupboard Challenge. (Actually, that’s a lie. I just made that up. I’m going to be calling it the Empty Cupboard Challenge from now on, though.)

Anyway, the point of all this is that while planning your meals ahead can really help with supermarket trips (and in fact, I have something that can help you there) you’ll still have days where it seems like you have no food in the house.

Maybe there are a few seemingly random ingredients left in the fridge. When it seems like there’s no way to link them together into a coherent meal, challenge yourself to find a way. Don’t give up and order a takeaway!

Using the food you have to put together the evening meal for your family is a great challenge and a brilliant way to get creative. Not only will it be more satisfying (and probably healthier) to do this rather than ordering in, it’ll be better for your bank balance…

Make And Decorate A Celebration Cake

If you’re the kind of person who thinks nothing of whipping up a stunning cake for a special occasion, just stop for a moment and think about how creative that process is.

You start by baking the cake, which could be a regular cake or it could be something more inventive like a chequerboard or zebra. Then you cover it with icing, which you may or may not have coloured. And then you go about decorating it.

This is the moment that a cake maker can really shine. Whether it’s making models from coloured sugar paste or hand lettering a message using nothing but icing and a piping bag, there is no denying that this is a hugely creative process!

Even if you don’t make dramatic multi-tiered cakes with sugar paste flowers and other sculptures, stop and think about the last cake you made for a special occasion. If you made it with lots of love and really thought about how you could make it special for the recipient, you were being creative.

And if you love to bake but have never tried making a fancy cake for a special occasion before, why not challenge yourself to do that? There are loads of recipes and tutorials on Pinterest and YouTube, so there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t give it a go!

If you want to challenge yourself to get creative in your everyday life in other ways, take a look at my 30-day Get Creative Challenge. When you sign up, you’ll receive an email every three days with suggestions for ways to get more creative every day. Sign up below:

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