Eat what you like, be happy and try new things. It’s as simple as that. Food and cooking shouldn’t be complicated and food shouldn’t be pretentious. It really should be an organic process that is as simple as throwing together some good ingredients to make a great meal.
You should never feel obligated to follow a recipe to the tee (unless you are baking. There is a science that stuff). If a recipe calls for something you don’t like, remove it. If a recipe doesn’t call for your favorite spice or ingredient and you want to use it, then use it! At the end of the day you have to eat the food so you should enjoy it. The food you make is all about what YOU (and whoever else you are cooking for) like. Never be a slave to a recipe!
Finally, try new things. When you learn about different cultures, go to different places and meet new people you really begin to realize just how many different types of foods there are out here. Never be afraid to try new things and to incorporate new ingredients into your cooking. Challenge yourself to buy a new fruit or vegetable each time you go to the grocery store or opt to try a restaurant that specializes in food from a different culture the next time you go out. When you are cooking at home, opt for those less commonly used spices and try your hand at making a new dish that you have always wanted to make but were too intimidated to try. What’s the harm in trying. If it turns out good, great! It it doesn’t then you trash it and keep it moving.
Always grow, try new things and eat good food!