The Art and Science of Creative Cooking

Bit burned out and frustrated following recipes to a tee, getting nit-picky about measuring out each teaspoon, whether scant or heaping? Or feeling limited by some of the ingredients listed, but wanting to branch out and cook outside the box? 

Add a personal flair to your dishes and even impress your guests by breaking the barriers of being boxed in with your culinary creations. Consider these approaches as DIY try-ables, for those who love to cook. 

Even the most cooking-challenged chefs can step out of their comfort zones and branch out, trying new ingredients, techniques and flavor combinations to enjoy cooking as much as eating. Combining fun and creativity, conquer the culinary in your kitchen and get crafty with your senses. 

Start With Substitution 

What happens when you’re lacking some ingredients listed in a recipe? Are you stuck with a last-minute grocery run, or can you simply adapt and substitute with different ingredients? This is where the art and science of substituting ingredients comes in. You may be missing ingredients on your list, but you can work with what you’ve got. Open your mind to other options based on what you do have. 

As the saying goes, “cooking is an art, baking is a science.” There is science behind ingredient substitutions, but there’s also room for experimentation and adding your own personal touch to a dish. Look up common kitchen substitutions for oils, eggs, butter, cream and flour, then finesse your way forward with savvy substitutions. Unleash your creativity in the kitchen dish by dish and ingredient by ingredient, letting your senses be your guide. 

You never know what new dish you might create that you or your loved ones could love. You may be surprised or shocked at ingredients you never thought would work that go even better as variations on a theme. 

Substitution Specifics

One of the first things to focus on after you decide the dish you’d like to make is to take stock of what you have. Take chicken stock, for example. Maybe you have beef or vegetable broth or bouillon instead – or maybe none at all. If that’s the case, there’s nothing to prevent you from still making the soup you wanted. You could switch it up and just use hot water or tea, or you could add meat with bones to make your own homemade bone broth. A different nutritious and delicious substitution might be coconut milk, but for a creamier soup, you could use a different plant-based milk or could try substituting dairy, such as milk, cream or half and half. Other dairy options might be sour cream and cream cheese. The options are endless.

If you want to amp up the health benefits of your soup, spice it up with spices! From cayenne pepper to turmeric with black pepper, add healthy dashes of flavor to any dish. A simple pinch of sea salt or pink Himalayan salt can amplify the flavor and pungency. 

Try adding a dash of this or that and keep tweaking until your taste buds tell you you’ve reached that magic moment of “tastetation” realization. 

Create A Cozy & Comfy Cooking Cave For Culinary Creating

Add ambiance to cultivate your creative concoctions. Open a window to let fresh air in, spritz the space with homemade room spray and/or light a scented candle. Add fresh flowers and/or herbs to your windowsill, cook with them and use as garnishes. 

Put on some music, listen to a podcast or TED talk, Julia Child’s cooking show or the film “Julie and Julia” with Meryl Streep. Or, put your friend(s) on speakerphone or virtual video chat for a cooking catch-up session. 

Cooking has become much more than just a means to satisfy hunger. Today, it’s also an artform where chefs and home cooks alike use their culinary creativity, innovation and imagination to elevate dishes from ordinary to extraordinary. 

Explore and experiment. Expand your realm of personal tastes. It’s the ultimate gamechanger, and you’ll be ready to say “bon appetit” and dig in.


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