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there's all this food around now and I feel exactly the same way! ugh. food ruts suck. I'll head over to the market today and see what will leap into my imagination...hope your muse plays along...Nicky


Ahh--this happens to all cooks, I think. It has been with me for the last weeks. The flan you had at the restaurant sounds wonderful! And you must never cook while The Wire is on! You know how complex the story lines can get! :):) My goodness, you might cut one of your fingers off.

How long do you think McNulty will stay a family man on the show? I give it 4 episodes, then CRASH!

Mrs. S

Seriously, I don't even know how you do what you do! You say you are in a food funk, but you told about at least three dishes I'd never even HEARD of, let alone would have the guts to try to make on my own!

My "wonderful dinner ideas" usually include pasta, some form of meat, tomato sauce and maybe veggies. Veggies are expendable, and the tomato sauce totally makes up for it... right?


Oh sweetie, hang in there. There are lots of people in "food funks" lately - just look around at enough blogs and you'll find them, including my own. The weather is changing (at least here - it's raining and cold!) and a new season is starting and things will come together for you. That squash above looks beautiful! And Jaleo is one of my favorite restaurants that I've EVER been to - we discovered it a few years ago while on a trip in DC and went there twice in the same week! I didn't try the eggplant flan, but the chef there, Jose Andres, has a new cookbook out of his tapas but for the "home cook" supposedly...maybe the elusive eggplant flan is in there? And if you loved it, you could always try it again next time Mike is gone for the evening... Big hugs - my culinary brain is on the lowdown too...

Julie O'Hara

You'll definitely get out of your funk! I've had my share of disasters too. And isn't it true that the disasters only seem to occur with time-consuming or expensive recipes as opposed to the quick and easy ones. I'll be sure to check back soon!


I'm totally with you, Julie! I blame the change of seasons. It's not full summer or totally fall yet. And this damp East Coast weather isn't very inspiring either. Hopefully we'll all pull through!


I've read lots of your comments over at Toast. Now here's one for you, "I referred to the crepes as manicotti." Unless I am mistaken, Italians in Italy refer to crepes as manicotti too, so to speak. I think I remember eating manicotti in Italy and thinking to myself, "Wait a second, these are not pasta. These are totally delicous crepes." Anybody else?


I don't care whether you cooked or not (although your family might). I'm just glad to see a post.

I love red capsicum. Roasted and made into a soup. Roasted and marinated in extra virgin olive oil and served with good bread. Raw in a salad. Raw with a sharp cheese.

And so on....


Don´t worry, it´ll go. and eggplant flans are the trickiest thing ever. I´ve never had a good one in my life. plus the colour ain´t all that attractive.

the bee

Jaleo food is yummy. The last time I was there though,the waitress dropped food at our table and then joined the witness protection program.No amount of arm waving was enough to convince her to visit our table.The manager told us she was having " a boyfriend problem". Wow.It was not until the end that she came over at all. My sister Jan then told the waitress we were too upset about her boyfriend problem to tip her. I think she got the idea. Next time we will ask the wait staff if they are having "issues" before we sit down. Love the steak there though.


Nicky, being inspired night after night probably even overwhelms muses. Or maybe just mine.

sher, yes, The Wire totally distracted me. It doesn't mix with cooking. And, no, I don't see McNulty mending his ways.

Mrs S, pasta is always one of my main back-ups. It's satisfying, it's fast, I always have it in the house. When I can't think of what to make for dinner I often end up with pasta.

Michelle, excellent tip about the Jose Andres book! I've put it on my Amazon wishlist.

Julie, yes, complicated recipes with expensive ingredients are more prone to disappointment, maybe because I go in with higher expectations.

Anne, we had some pretty gray and drizzly days last week so maybe that's it although generally that's my favorite kind of weather for cooking.

zp, you're right, manicotti can be made with either pasta or a crespella, aka a crepe. But since what I was making in my crepe pan using a crepe recipe was clearly a crepe in my mind, it felt like I was faking the manicotti part. At any rate, as a crepe or manicotti, it was delicious. BTW, I recognize your name from your comments on my sister's blog Meet Me on My Vast Verandah

Cazza, I didn't know red peppers were referred to as capsicum in Australia. I share your love though.

lobstersquad, the one I had at Jaleo was dreamy delicious even though the color wasn't great. But the color on the one I made... yuck!

Bets, aahhhh, the disappearing waitstaff problem. I've had that before, but the waiter we had at Jaleo was super attentive.


hmmm . . . I do not remember ever reading "my vast verandah" . . . do you remember what I (or someone else named zp?!) commented on? your sis gets so many comments, and has so many posts I do not know where to start looking for myself or my alter-ego.


zp, my apologies! It's a case of mistaken identity; I confused you with another poster who signs posts with two lowercase letters beginning with a back of the alphabet letter.


I'm sharing this post with all of my cooking groups....because we all go through those periods where we cook and we cook, but seemingly without inspiration. And then, one day, it ends. The cooking muse comes and goes, but she always comes back!


Lydia, it's been comforting to me to know that other people besides me go through these periods of non-inspiration. Makes it feel a little less discouraging.


Until zp made his comment I was thinking, wait a gosh-darn minute, Italians totally eat crepes, in fact I used to make them from one of Marcella Hazan's books.

I know what you mean about having to get a meal on the table and that's what I've been going through--it didn't take me long in my new kitchen!! Leland is afraid I'm fizzling out on him with the blog, but nothing I've been cooking has been blog-worthy, just shoving the nutrients in the direction of my family!


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