Cooking can be one of the most sensual and transcendent activities we experience-every combination of ingredients yields a new feast for our senses-of taste, touch, smell, sight, and even hearing-to enjoy. The Zen of Cooking means entering a creative "flow" and gaining a complete focus on the activity of cooking. This is the perfect cookbook for anyone who has ever yearned to cook more creatively-adapting a recipe to suit perfectly the requirements of his or her senses-but wasn't quite sure how to go about it without making a mess of things. The Zen of Cooking provides base recipes for appetizers, pastas, main dishes, vegetarian dishes, soups, salads, sauces, marinades, salad dressings, and desserts. These base recipes and the variations presented by the authors-130 in all-are delicious on their own; they are also the starting points for personal and creative cooking. By learning to separate elective from core ingredients, the home chef can personalize Wolfgang Puck's luscious Lobster with Sweet Ginger, or the signature recipe of any other great chef. The author shows how to learn to cook while traveling, adapting various ethnic cuisines to suit one's personal taste as well as how to follow the inspiration of what's best and freshest at the market on any given day. Spiced throughout with Zen wisdom, this special cookbook will help all cooks raise the level of their creativity in the kitchen. To paraphrase a Zen precept-recipes open the door, but you must enter by yourself.