I have a lot of cook books. Many have tagged pages of either recipes I've made or want to make. I use the Joy of Cooking and Betty Crocker the most. Simple and good.
But - when I feel like making something entirely different, I look in the fridge, see what's available, then type it into the computer. Like my very own Episode of "Chopped". "Tonight's ingredients are Chicken, Basil, Rice and Pecans" then Wallah! I've either made a yummy dinner or a just so so dinner.