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10 Steps to More Creative Cooking

  1. Know what substitutions can be made. Find good substitution charts and make use of them. Soon you'll remember important substitutions and not have to look them up.

  2. Start cooking creatively by changing recipes for salads, soups and casseroles. Later experiment with meat dishes and quick breads, then bread and finally cakes. Cakes rely more on chemistry to be successfull, so adapting them is more challenging.

  3. Experiment with recipes constantly. Soon you'll be more confident about changing recipes and developing your own.

  4. Keep your pantry, refrigerator and freezer well stocked with staples. Mix and match for great recipes and terrific meals.

  5. Write down the changes you make to a recipe and your own recipes immediately. It's so easy to postpone this, thinking that you'll remember, but it won't be the same later. Keep it with your worthy recipes if it's good, or throw it out or keep a record of what didn't work if it's not so good. You won't be able to repeat your tasty dish if you don't write the recipe down.

  6. Read cookbooks, magazines and the internet for inspiration. Use cook books from the library and purchase your favorites. Keep a special folder in your browser's bookmarks/favorites for recipes and cooking articles from the internet that you want to try.

  7. Vary herbs and spices to keep dishes you serve often from becoming boring.

  8. Keep herbs and spices fresh. Use them often and throw them away when they lose their aroma or smell stale.

  9. Try new ingredients. Have you ever used cassava, plantain, dandelion or nasturtium? First use them as directed in a recipe, do a little research, then experiment. The research is important - some foods can be poisonous if not used correctly. For example, cassava must be cooked because when raw it contains cyanide producing chemicals. The internet is a great place for doing your research.

  10. Use leftovers for concocting new dishes. For example, use leftover stir fry to make a tasty soup.

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