As is evident from my numerous posts on convenience foods, I don't cook much right now. Plus, I've always been one of those obsessive, Type-A cooks. The kind of person that measures how many chocolate chips she puts in cookies, just in case she might screw something up by adding too many or two few.
My husband, on the other hand, loves to mix it up, trying new ingredients and flavors. He's also great at creating a meal from what's already in our pantry and refrigerator. I actually had a mini-meltdown early in our marriage because I'd forgotten to purchase an ingredient for the meal I had so diligently planned, and of course was paralyzed at the thought of trying to cook anything different. He threw something together and reminded me that he did not marry me just for my cooking skills (or lack thereof) :)
That being said, last night I was able to throw together a chicken casserole without a recipe solely from things we already had! I'd roasted a chicken the night before and randomly had some chicken broth, cream of chicken soup, and cooked jasmine rice on hand, so I threw it all together with some onion flakes and seasoning, added a little milk, and topped the whole thing with the shredded cheese leftover from fajita night. 30 minutes in the oven, and it was piping hot and ready to eat! It actually tasted good, and that was perhaps the happiest day of my cooking career.
So those of you who feel chained to recipes, have hope – you can learn to be a little more creative in the kitchen. If I can do it, you certainly can!