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You’ve had the same five dinner recipes on rotation for three months now and you’re just so bored. You’re in a cooking rut, and preparing meals just isn’t exciting. We’re about to change that. Just follow our seven tips to reignite your kitchen spark in one week. Bon appétit.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Monday: Browse Pinterest

If you’re at a loss for inspiration, look no further than a little website called Pinterest. There, you can browse individual people’s (or websites’) boards or search by ingredient and type of meal. Basically, the only way you can go wrong searching for dinner inspo on Pinterest is if you get sucked so deep into a deviled-egg recipe wormhole that you forget to eat.

how to get out of a cooking rut cookbook

Tuesday: Buy a New Cookbook

Before Pinterest, people found recipes in things called cookbooks. (Remember them?) If you haven’t flipped through a brand-new cookbook in a while, it’s time to take a trip to the bookstore. In ten minutes, you’ll have ten new recipes bookmarked to try.

RELATED: 27 Cookbooks Every Home Chef Needs in Her Kitchen

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Wednesday: Pick Up an Intimidating Ingredient

Hey you. Yes, you, watching Top Chef reruns yet again. Why not take a lesson from the show and challenge yourself to cook with a new and exotic ingredient? OK, there’s a good chance your foray into kuzu root starch could go horribly wrong (that’s what last-minute takeout is for), but there’s also a chance you’ll discover a new pantry or refrigerator staple. At the very least, it should be fun.

cooking rut mac and cheese
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Thursday: Recreate a Childhood Fave

But, like, way fancier. Think about the foods you got most excited about as a kid, and try to make them adult-friendly. Boxed mac and cheese gets an unexpected kick with jalapeños and avocados, while tomato soup and grilled cheese come together in a mouthwatering casserole. Get creative and take a tasty walk down memory lane.

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how to get out of a cooking rut class

Friday: Take a Cooking Class

You don’t know the difference between a mirepoix and a soffrito. Or you’ve always wanted to learn how to make your own spicy tuna roll. Now’s your chance. A good instructor can teach you cool new techniques and open your eyes to flavor pairings you’ve never imagined. Plus, his or her passion for food will probably rub off on you at least a little. You’ll be itching to show off your new knife skills as soon as possible.

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Saturday: Crowdsource Ideas

Shoot a quick text to friends. Chat up your coworkers while refilling your coffee. Find out what the people around you are cooking and loving, and copy them. Imitation is the sincerest (and potentially most delicious) form of flattery.

how to get out of a cooking rut basics

Sunday: Go Back to the Basics

Don’t overthink it. As great as it is to branch out, sometimes it’s worth waiting out a rut by embracing super-simple meals made with classic ingredients. Perfect your scrambled egg recipe. Rediscover the joy of buttered noodles. Basically, learn to appreciate simplicity. Heirloom tomatoes and fresh basil, anyone?

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