Bad Mojo: How Do You Deal with a Cooking Rut?

There’s been some seriously bad mojo going on in my kitchen lately. First it was some stove-top falafel that was so dry it became falafel crumble. Then two - two! - batches of bar cookies that turned out weirdly soggy. Plus the eggplant dish from yesterday. Sigh. Ever had one of those weeks?

Normally, I just shake it off. If you cook every day, you’re bound to get a few whoopsies in there every now and again. To re-energize, I’ll do things like take myself to the farmers market, flip through old cookbooks that I’ve been neglecting, or take myself out to dinner at a fun new restaurant.

But this just seems like one thing after the next, and I’m feeling seriously low. My gut feeling is that I need to take a break. Just step away from the stove, ma’am! Not a forever kind of break, but maybe a day or two of just not forcing it. Or as Dana would say, fallow time.

Maybe I’ll cook a few standby dishes that never let me down. For me that’s pasta with tomato sauce, no-knead bread, and chocolate chip cookies. That sounds like a fine meal for a few days until the mojo comes back!

What do you do when you’re in a rut?

Related: Need Ideas for Dinner? Try Old Food Magazines!

(Image: Flickr member Skippyjon licensed under Creative Commons)