In a recent one-statement survey, I asked my Facebook followers what their dinnertime challenges were. Answers varied but one consistency I saw was “what to make”. Been there, done that.

In the past, I have spent much time walking around the grocery store, searching for inspiration. Walking through the various departments, seeing what would grab my attention.

I am asked all the time “what is my specialty”, or what is my favorite thing to cook and for me, the answer is always the same – food. I LOVE to cook and have always found it meditative. I can’t tell you how many times I have put on music, and wound up “in my zone” – oh and yes, some times wine is involved. “I love wine and some times I even cook with it”, as one of my mentors, Julia Child, said.

Creating a meal, particularly for those you love, can be a most satisfying experience. But I know it’s just not the same for some of you out there. It’s stressful. I’m here to help.

You likely have a few standards or go-to meals, but some times you’d just like to try something different, or more exciting. So how do you do this? The key lies within your own imagination.

Now as you can imagine, I have a “few” cookbooks to refer to, but I don’t use them as often as one might think. Sure, I will open certain ones now and then, but overall, I cook from inspiration, and inspiration can come from anywhere. Cookbooks, cooking shows, cooking magazines, even the newspaper. You could be inspired by the current weather – if it’s raining, may be a pot of soup and a good crusty bread? Or if time is a challenge, a simple grilled meat and roasted veggies?

With a little forethought and imagination, dinnertime doesn’t have to be a challenge. More helpful hints from The Green Kitchen are on the way.

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