Out of Ideas

@Modestah (11192)
United States
March 13, 2008 1:38am CST
What do you do when you are just plumb out of ideas and inspiration as to what you should make for dinner? do you turn to the cookbooks and flip flip flip looking for something you would make? do you grab a frozen dinner? Do you head for the nearest favorite restaurant? or do you go without? ---- I will either flip through the cookbooks or read the school lunch menu in the paper. Though the school lunch menu seems to have some very odd combinations in their meals. way too much starch and fat.
14 people like this
33 responses
@KarenO52 (2951)
• United States
14 Mar 08
I get so spoiled, eating pretty much whatever I want all the time that sometimes I just get tired of everything. Today was one of those days. I decided not to bother with cooking anything. I still have some leftovers in the fridge, and I didn't feel like eating them today so I had a bowl of cornflakes for dinner.
2 people like this
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
14 Mar 08
Corn flakes are really good and crunchy, there is a certain satisfaction about eating them. my husband is always eating cereal, no matter the time of day he will grab a bowl of cereal to keep the stomach growling at bay.
1 person likes this
@CanadaGal (4304)
• Canada
13 Mar 08
Oooohhhh... If I could afford it, I'd eat out or order in every night. I really don't enjoy cooking very much, but it's a necessary evil. And having 3 boys, I can't go without cooking (although I notice that's what I do when they aren't here). Lately, I've been turning to the boys and asking them for ideas. After all, it's them that eat the food, and now that they're getting older, they deserve to have more say in the entire process. It's also a good learning tool to teach them about balancing meals, making better food choices, and just taking part in more household chores/activities.
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
14 Mar 08
true enough, very good lessons for your growing boys to learn. I often ask my son because he is diet restricted and I like to know what would appeal to him.... since he can not eat so many things that young folks today often indulge in.
@zeloguy (4913)
• United States
13 Mar 08
Start with something that is going to be the center of the meal... (steak, chicken, fish, tofu [for Pola], etc...) then work around that. Try different flavors to see what works well with what and go with your experience on what you personally like. Then, if you get stuck you can go to a cookbook (Betty Crocker is what I use most extensively) or the thousands of web sites out there. Don't hesitate to try something new... if you like it you can put it into your personal arsenal of recipes, if not you tried something. Thanks Zelo
2 people like this
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
14 Mar 08
yep - that is pretty much my method for making a meal - choose the meat and then its accompaniments...
1 person likes this
@miller1978 (1104)
• United States
13 Mar 08
If I run out of ideas I always ask the boyfriend what he wants to eat. Like that gets me anywhere. He always says, I dunno. So I end up standing in the kitchen trying to figure out what to make for about 30 minutes. Sometimes I come up with some off the wall stuff but it turns out great. Other times I end up popping a frozen dinner or pizza in the over because I just don't want to mess with it after taking care of a baby and doing housework all day long.
2 people like this
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
13 Mar 08
i think most of the times I am feeling uninspired as to what to cook I am really just lacking the motivation to cook. It does not happen often, but it does happen.
1 person likes this
@kimbers867 (2540)
• United States
13 Mar 08
I ask my husband what he wants for dinner. LOL. Most of the time I just plan and he eats it, unless he has been to the store and picked something out that he wants. I had this happen on Sunday night, that is how my meatloaf discussion started. He wanted meatloaf and I wanted my x-MIL's. He was willing to make it. Gotta love that. So we decided on Swedish Meatballs instead. I am also fortunate that my BIL works for McCormick Seasoning so I have a pantry full of envelops of seasong, etc. So last night I was thinking what's for dinner for Thursday. Knew I had chicken frozen and found an evelope for country chicken so that is dinner tonight.
@heart143 (1204)
• Philippines
13 Mar 08
My husband is not very picky with foods so anything I prepare, he would eat it as long as its edible. But he is very appreciative and commends me for all the food I prepare. One time I don't have any idea on what to prepare for dinner and the time is ticking...still can't think of anything. What I did is I got several packs of Chinese instant noodles and canned tuna. I just cooked the noodles per package instruction and serve tuna with lemon and soy sauce. He knew it was just instant food, but he liked it also. Why not try instant food once in a while for a change?
@mansha (6301)
• India
14 Mar 08
When my mom was alive I used to ring her up and ask her what she is making or even what should I make. Now I go through her recipie diaries and try out those when I am without any clue or sick of my plain boring cooking.
1 person likes this
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
15 Mar 08
recipe diaries? did your mother keep track of the meals she made? that sounds like a treasure to have as a remembrance of your dear mother.
2 people like this
@mansha (6301)
• India
17 Mar 08
These diaries have recipes from my grandmother and anything new she learned over the course of her life. We all note down such things don't we. Though one of my friend tells me her father kept the menu cards of all the parties he ever gave in his army circle so that when time comes his daughters wold know what goes with what.
1 person likes this
@coffeeshot (3786)
• Australia
18 Mar 08
Go to someone else's house for dinner! Even a boring meal tastes better purely because someone else prepared it!
1 person likes this
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
18 Mar 08
aha!! that's the ticket, coffeeshot! I do believe you are right - now, do you just show up at dinner time or......? Hey honey.... yes dear? I see that new family down the block is having barbeque tonight.... yes dear? Grab the kids and a bottle of Coke, let's go introduce ourselves.... Yes Dear!!!
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Mar 08
Take a look in the fridge,use up veges and salad items for Broths,Pasta and Stews
1 person likes this
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
18 Mar 08
an excellent way to use up leftovers, make an enchanting meal - and save on waste
1 person likes this
@anniepa (27240)
• United States
15 Mar 08
I like to take a tired of favorite and "spice it up" - either literally or figuratively. Make a meatloaf but add something different to it, have an old standby main course but do something different with your veggies, like mix different vegetables together and add some cream soup and cheese, maybe some French's Onions. Update one of your favorite casseroles. I like to use my imagination. Ground beef and chicken are two very versatile meats that you can always figure some new way to prepare. I look through recipes and cookbooks but I rarely follow them to the letter. I like to put my own "signature" on my meals. Annie
1 person likes this
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
18 Mar 08
you are very innovative, I see, anniepa!
1 person likes this
@kbkbooks (7028)
• Canada
15 Mar 08
I sometimes just pull out a box of pancake mix or mix up a bowl of scrambled eggs even if it's for supper. For us, the issue is often not what to make but what IS THERE to make? It's hard to have an idea of what to cook when there are just no ingredients in the house, which results when you don't have alot of money. I am the queen of substitutions, too, where I will use say chick peas or kidney beans instead of the meat in a recipe. Sometimes a can of tuna or salmon instead of chicken. I am pretty loose about following recipes even when I do have ingredients. I think this talent helps me when I get to tight spot in cooking.
1 person likes this
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
18 Mar 08
as they say - necessity is the mother of invention - I believe this to be true, even in the case of recipe concoctions.
1 person likes this
@whittby (3073)
• United States
15 Mar 08
First of all, I'd go out for sure if I felt it was in the budget. If I have some stuff in the fridge or freezer, I'd want to use up that stuff. Here are a couple of recipe sites where you either type in or check off the ingredients and they find recipes for you using those ingredients. Fun to say the least. http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn http://www.recipematcher.com/# The second one does a little better matching with more ingredients. These are just two sites, lots more. whit
1 person likes this
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
15 Mar 08
I love that idea of recipes containing ingredients you have on hand. what a resource!
1 person likes this
14 Mar 08
Me? well i mainly start looking at different cultures when im out of ideas for what to have for dinner. Although some of these ideas sparked at restaurants, you find something you think would be tasty on the menu and then take the idea home and make it another nite. mainly just end up looking on the internet though. Come on to a website that lists loads of different recipes from different countries like www.cyber-kitchen.com great for insiration and even made me come up with a few dishes of my own by just trying different things out. I love cooking and used to hate saying to people all that i can really cook it spag ball, lasagne or a curry etc lol. Now im much more diverse and can cook all kinds of indian, mexican, chinese, thai etc dishes. It always feels great being able to give people little tips on what tod o for thier dinner when your talking to them in the pub too lol.
1 person likes this
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
14 Mar 08
lol, sometimes I will go down the frozen foods section at the commissary just to see the different tv dinners and get meal ideas from them!
1 person likes this
@subha12 (18453)
• India
14 Mar 08
I generally do not have to make dinner now. i stay with my parents. when i had to make, i usually think one day before what to make for dinner next day. so i can say it never had been a problem for me.
1 person likes this
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
14 Mar 08
you are so wise to think a day ahead of time what you are going to serve the following day... no needing to try and thaw out some meats an hour before dinner time.
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Mar 08
I usually just make something up when I am totally out of ideas. Here's a cheap quick one Take 2 of the cups of ramen noodles and cook them Get a 13x9 pan and layer one cup of them in the bottom Pour about half a pack of McCormick Roasted Chicken Finishing Sauces on top of that Then layer like frozen(unthaw them first) sweet peas, carrots, and corn or any veggies you want Then I usually do a layer of fried cabbage Then a layer of deboned chicken(you can use the canned) but the fresh boiled and deboned tastes better Then on top of that put your other cup of noodles and the rest of your finishing sauce and pop it in the oven until the veggies are done Oh yeah I forgot add about three cups of water on top after your done or you'll have a crunchy supper.
1 person likes this
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
14 Mar 08
Wow! that sounds really doable. I like the addition of Cabbage in it, we are quite fond of cabbage.... and I often add it to noodle dishes.
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Mar 08
Simple, open fridge, grab the first thing I see, and eat it. I only cook for myself so I don't always eat traditional, nice looking meals. Oatmeal is still food at 5PM. And I've done that way too often because I am low on money and usually need to push it a couple more days between grocery store visits, to make what I have last longer.
1 person likes this
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
14 Mar 08
I understand that, delicateflower... when one is hungry choices are not always a priority.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Mar 08
I just say "let's go out to eat!" Which is nice once in awhile. I see no reason why a person should feel obligated to cook every single day.
1 person likes this
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
14 Mar 08
@writersedge (22579)
• United States
21 Mar 08
I watch the food network, look through cookbooks, call a friend and find out what they're having, and look at the Senior's Meals On Wheels calendar. Strangely enough, the Meals on Wheels have some interesting combinations and some really, really good ideas some days. Interesting topic, I wouldn't have thought of it. Take care.
• China
14 Mar 08
Cooking is somthing of creativity, I think you can just rush to the market to find somthing interesting, then you may get inspiration.
1 person likes this
@Cocoa33 (921)
• United States
14 Mar 08
i usually go the fast food restuarant and order my favorite dish. i figure out what i want to do for the next day.
1 person likes this