April 17, 2012

On Finding Inspiration

I had a moment of inspiration in the kitchen over the weekend, when I felt compelled to bake cookies and was rewarded for my act with the smiles on my husband's and friends' faces. And, of course, ooey gooey chocolate chip cookies to enjoy myself.

Being in the kitchen, creating, making something that brings people happiness—that's what I love about cooking. I love the process. The rocking back and forth of the knife, the boiling of the water, the final touches with a sprinkle of cheese.

We all know that not every meal is special; we eat to sustain, we cook something quick and "good enough." We are fulfilled and not always impressed. That's fine.

I am feeling inspired in many ways—to learn new things, try new foods, and expand my comfort zone in the kitchen. When Ryan sent me the video above (gnocchi, knife skills, and giant steaks are all involved in this lovely video from Fast Boy on Vimeo), I swooned.

It brings a certain confidence to a simple potato dish. The home chef cooks with ease and swagger, and serves up a stunning dinner to friends gathered close.

When I cook, I often feel pressure to make it delicious, or beautiful, or both. But sometimes, it's better to make it memorable. Make it an experience. Branch out, try something new, and be confident that even the simplest ingredients can come together in exquisite ways.

What's inspired you this week, in the kitchen and beyond?