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Old 02-01-2007, 06:25 AM   #11
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when I get in a slump, I buy something I've never done before. So once I bought fresh squid. Another time I bought goat. Buy some ingredients or find a recipe and just do it.

With the squid I made a calamari pasta sauce. WIth the goat I made Jamaican curried goat stew. Both were fantastic btw, and past of my repetoire.
I agree. You know it depends on what you like and dont like. It also depends on where you SHOP. SOme places have the same ol' stuff. If you can, going to a multi-cultural store would really help. Going through the isles you get some good ideas. I like the word 'fusion'. Different spices in the same dish can be great.

Think about open base ingredients. Like rice, potatoes, pasta and meats / fish. These all can be combined with different spices and vegies. Beef Stew with a dash of Apple Cider Vinegar and cilantro, crushed garlic clove and crushed tomatoes with a VERY little dash of curry powder. Different and fantastic!

One last thing. Fresh dried spice as opposed to standard store bought spice makes a WORLD of difference!!!! This place: https://www.penzeys.com/cgi-bin/penzeys/login.html has the freshest and best spices!! I cant even tell you the difference in my food using their stuff.
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Old 02-01-2007, 11:35 AM   #12
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The one quick-inspiration place I go is the Farmer's Market. You can't go to one with grabbing a few beautiful ideas for dinner. Pack up the kids and go - there's usually some fun stuff for them too :)
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Old 02-01-2007, 12:27 PM   #13
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I think we must been on the same plain Cor because I too have been pretty bored and uninspired lately.....I think its because of the dreary/cold weather here though.

This week I just didn't know what I was going to make.....so I went into the store and went straight for the meat area to get inspired and saw some shrimp and immediately thought oh shrimp scampi.....even better shrimp scampi with linguini....haven't made shrimp scampi in over year so since I didn't have a recipe with me I just thought what I'd like in it. To my surprise I couldn't find the recipe I did last time so I just winged it and it turned out amazing.....too bad I didn't write down exactly what I did though....kick myself for that one.
Then last night I made swedish meatballs. I've never made these before and they turned out really good and it was a wonderful change.

Besides letting the produce and meat department inspire me I find myself cuddling up on the couch with a blanket and my cookbooks for inspiration.
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Old 02-01-2007, 02:47 PM   #14
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When I feel like I'm in a slump I tend to go back to basics. In other words, pasta with a good light lemon/olive oil drizzle - garlic, and some chili peppers if you are so inclined. Maybe some shrimp or scallops and some cut asparagus, and a shallot or two.

Basic stuff - good old-fashioned vegetable soup - the kind made with tomato juice and hamburger

I find I get slumpish when I've been eating too heavy. We may have a night of Vietnamese Summer Rolls or lettuce wraps to "lift" us. And a night of bruschetta with some crumbled parmesan, fruit, and a glass of wine can make a perfect meal. A meal doesn't always have to be a protein, a starch, and a vegetable/fruit.
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Old 02-01-2007, 02:49 PM   #15
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When I get in a slump I make my kids and Ken pick out some meals for the week. That way they get to eat what they like and I don't strain my brain. Soon enough I find inspiration and get on with my usual routine. I'm thinking your kids might be a bit young yet for that plan, but you might want to try it anyway.
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Old 02-01-2007, 03:28 PM   #16
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I was getting like that a while ago and I started doing things a little different, kind of in line with a Spanish tapas theme. Tonight for example I will be making up an antipasto platter with hot gardinara, a variety of olives, spring green mix with a little olive oil and balsamic, fresh mozz drizzled with balsamic and fresh basil, variety of Italian meats as one palte. French Baguette with seasoned olive oil for dipping. Mussels with a garlic and white wine sauce. And finally a little broiled Escolar from the local fish house. This might sound like a lot of work but it takes 20 minute to put it together. I light some candles, turn on the Gypsy Kings, open a bottle of wine and my wife and I enjoy an hour of talking, laughing and eating with or fingers.


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Old 02-01-2007, 04:16 PM   #17
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Hey, anyone within a 1,000 mile radius of Madison, Wisconsin - LISTEN UP! We're meeting at JDP's house tonight - please bring a hostess gift - his wife is NOT expecting company! As we don't know her favorite color diamonds are neutral!
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Old 02-01-2007, 04:19 PM   #18
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Wow. Drooling here JDP.
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Old 02-01-2007, 05:48 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by kitchenelf
Hey, anyone within a 1,000 mile radius of Madison, Wisconsin - LISTEN UP! We're meeting at JDP's house tonight - please bring a hostess gift - his wife is NOT expecting company! As we don't know her favorite color diamonds are neutral!

A nice chardonay or a suav. blanc will be the cover charge. Try this it's simple and fun. And if you have kids you could also add some pigs in balnkets...they love finger food to.
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Old 02-02-2007, 01:24 AM   #20
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Thanks everyone for your suggestions! They are very helpful! I have mad spring fever right now. I'm ready to eat a lighter faire. I think I will start there.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkath
The one quick-inspiration place I go is the Farmer's Market. You can't go to one with grabbing a few beautiful ideas for dinner. Pack up the kids and go - there's usually some fun stuff for them too :)
I love love the farmer's market, jkath. Ours doesn't begin for another 2 months though. Can't wait for it to start up again!
Quote:
Originally Posted by JDP
I was getting like that a while ago and I started doing things a little different, kind of in line with a Spanish tapas theme. Tonight for example I will be making up an antipasto platter with hot gardinara, a variety of olives, spring green mix with a little olive oil and balsamic, fresh mozz drizzled with balsamic and fresh basil, variety of Italian meats as one palte. French Baguette with seasoned olive oil for dipping. Mussels with a garlic and white wine sauce. And finally a little broiled Escolar from the local fish house. This might sound like a lot of work but it takes 20 minute to put it together. I light some candles, turn on the Gypsy Kings, open a bottle of wine and my wife and I enjoy an hour of talking, laughing and eating with or fingers.
Wow, JDP! That sounds lovely! Maybe I'll try that out with dh. I'll take Katie's advice along with it. Put the kids to sleep and relax with my husband with some candles.
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