The photo you have used here, Vee, I took the same photo off, at SxS in Sydney, about 3 years ago! We go to have a look every year. It's just wonderful, & I take about 105 photos every year, & do nothing with them afterwards!
I have always been a 'creative' cook,mas opposed to always following recipes!! Even when I have used recipes,I've always changed them in some way. This has a great deal with how and why my son became a chef,I'm sure!! I live alone now ,and do not experiment as much now,but my meals are always that little bit different so I do enjoy both the cooking and the eating!!!
I love to cook and do enjoy experimenting. I have a good balance between making the same old and creating new things. It also depends on time and budget. I tend to do the same old things when money and/or time is tight, and enjoy experimenting when I've got a bit more flexibility with both.
I used to be very experimental in my cooking, years' ago, but not so much nowadays.
With the cold weather, I've a new fave recipe of 'Snag Casserole'!
For this, those pre-cut carrot, & cabbage packs are perfect!
Sometimes have as 'Devilled', or 'Curried'.
Total dish gives me two full meals, & a soup on third night, so pretty cheap, but filling meal!
I usually use a recipe as a rough guide. I have some favourites that I fall back on and they can vary each time I do them. I am a creative cook and will incorporate new ingredients as I can.
Recently I have been busy creating art and found I was getting boring with my cooking. I have been buying a box ( Hello Fresh) with the ingredients for three meals for two people. I have been trying lots of things I haven't cooked before. I notice my own recipes tend to be one or two pot recipes, but the ones in the box may be convenient but there is a lot of clean up at the end. I get vegetarian box and try to follow the recipe closely, with only a few substitutions.