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How to Get Inspired in the Kitchen? Go Out!

From Australian to Cambodian to American to French to Mexican to French to Vegan to Farm-to-Table to Patisserie and more, I thought I'd share some of the gorgeous inspirations for my own cooking enjoyed over the years in restaurants around the globe. While I am more of an 'eat it don't tweet it' kinda gal when I'm out, occasionally the beauty of a plate does inspire a quick pic before tossing my phone back into my purse and giving my full attention to enjoying every bit of it.

One of the things I've challenged myself to in the past couple of years is finding recipes for some of the things that I've enjoyed at restaurants and cafes, yet never conceived of trying myself. Some are abject failures, but some are brilliant discoveries that have as of recent brought me to ask my husband, "do we really want to pay for that when we now know how to make an equally good version at home?" While being cooked for and served graciously is always something we'll love, with our budget priorities evolving (and the costs rising at restaurants), we are more mindful about what we choose to partake of.

Of course, some things are better left to the pros - like this octopus fresh out of the sea eaten on the beach for my birthday lunch revisiting Zihuatanejo, Mexico four years ago, or the beautiful buckwheat apple pancakes with cinnamon ice cream at my favorite little vegan cafe in St Kilda, Australia, the day before my husband immigrated to America and we got hitched a couple weeks later, or even the gorgeous blueberry tart from nearby Temple Pastries just enjoyed a few months ago with my love on his birthday (after filling him full of killer BBQ across the street).

But I still want to try making them...and that's what it's all about!


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