As state and local officials implore people to remain at home throughout the holidays and pandemic surge, many have been taking on more home cooking. Christopher Kimball, the man behind Milk Street, a TV and radio program, and author of the new cookbook Cookish: Throw It Together joined host Joe Mathieu on GBH’s Morning Edition to share ideas for keeping it fresh in the kitchen.

“Do you know what it’s like to get sick of your own cooking?” Mathieu asked.

“Uh, yeah — when you open that fridge at five o’clock every day and go ‘oh no!’ And it’s the same stuff that was there the last five days. Absolutely,” said Kimball.

In order to combat boredom in the kitchen, he suggested investing in some key pantry items, like fermented sauces (oyster sauce, fish sauce) as well as pomegranate molasses, spices, and other flavorful ingredients.

“Get a dozen good things, so that if you pull out eggplant or you pull out chicken or you pull out some beans you can flavor stuff so many different ways with that,” said Kimball. “That’s really the secret, is starting with big flavors.”

All of the recipes in Cookish feature just six ingredients and a single piece of cookwear. “So we’re streamlining things, and you must be putting a lot of thought into the new ingredients that you’re bringing into your kitchen,” said Mathieu.

Kimball shared that he’s not typically a fan of limited-ingredient cookbooks and their many shortcuts, but “if you’re very careful with the kinds of ingredients you use” you can make a flavorful dish with just a few quality ingredients.

WATCH: Kimball on cooking with bold global flavors

As to whether his adventurous cooking style is a departure from the traditional dishes of his New England roots, Kimball responded that while pancakes and apple pie are still two of his favorite foods, New England cuisine in general lacks the big flavors he is drawn to.

“It’s very good food, but it’s not food that layers on flavor and texture. It’s not complex in terms of what’s going on in your mouth,” he said. “Other places in the world, I think, do things with a little more complexity, a little more contrast.”

He offered the example of baked beans, which are made in New England to be sweet, whereas in Mexico they are “amazing,” packed with complex flavors.

Will Kimball be taking on any holiday baking this year? “We have young kids, so it isn’t about the cookie, it’s about the stuff you put on it,” he said, noting that his wife is the baker in the family. He prefers Moravian cookies, typically made with molasses and spices, as well as Swedish cookies, which typically include vanilla, almond, and lots of butter.

WATCH: Kimball's tips for cooking for a small group

For those who are celebrating the holidays solo or with just immediate family this year, Kimball suggested sticking with a smaller roast, like a tenderloin, as well as soups and stews, which can be easily scaled down. Or go big and live off the leftovers, like he did for Thanksgiving.

“I did a huge turkey this year, I did a 20-pounder. And I just stopped eating it recently. It was a lot of leftovers,” said Kimball.

Throw on a quick pan sauce or spice rub for — you guessed it — big flavor.

Try these recicipes from Cookish: Throw It Together today!