People often ask me where I come up with my recipes. There’s no one, simple answer to this question, as every recipe tells a story, and every story is unique. I can give some general categories of where creative inspiration has come from in the past though, and will do that here.
A lot of my recipe creations are prompted by a specific ingredient. For instance, I might see some random ingredient on a website or in a store, such as the cappuccino chips in the previous recipe. I bought these on a whim, and then had to come up with a recipe to use them. I looked around on various sites, but I couldn’t find anything that was quite right. Some were close though, so I took ideas from a couple recipes, put them all together, and came up with Chocolate Coffee overdose.
Sometimes I want to create a new recipe to take advantage of flavor combinations that I know work. Certain flavors just go well together, and we see them combined time and time again. Rosemary and thyme, chocolate and raspberry, turkey and cranberry, onion and garlic, just to name a few. One of my particular favorites is orange and cinnamon. I used to get orange cinnamon rolls, and just loved them. So a couple months ago, I decided to come up with a cookie recipe based on this flavor profile. Having cinnamon chips and orange extract in my pantry, I modified a recipe I found online, and created my orange cinnamon cookies, which are one of my favorite cookies ever.
Sometimes I create or find a recipe based on specific needs. For instance, one relative is lactose intolerant, so I try to consider this when I’m making up recipes. Two people I cook for regularly are pescatarians, meaning they don’t eat meat, except fish. Special requirements like these can cause me to alter a recipe to make sure that the people eating my food are happy.
Whatever the particular reason is that I created a recipe, there’s one binding thread through it all. I enjoy the process of the creation itself. Being able to serve a dish that was a product of my own mind, and having friends and loved ones enjoy the food, that’s always the driving force behind creating new recipes. Because that’s what food is about to me. Sustenance is almost just a side effect. Feeding the soul, giving pleasure, that’s what cooking is about.