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Old 01-03-2007, 01:14 PM   #21
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I tend to follow recipes the first time trying them unless I know they are going to be bland - then I will add whatever to make them tastier. But those recipes I try for the first time with a long list of ingredients I don't mess with. Sometimes I make notes that say "cook as written" - other times I will make notes as to what I think will make it better in my eyes.

If I don't know a cuisine I will definitely follow the recipe. Once I know it I may change something but what happens more often is I just don't need the recipe as I already understand what ingredients are unique to that cuisine and can wing it.

stinemates, you can get in the habit of using the same spices/herbs/etc. Start following the recipes and you will be amazed that there's more out there than basil, thyme, etc. I got stuck on those Italian herbs too. It was brought to my attention that no matter what I cooked it kind of all tasted the same . That's when I bought a fairly simple cookbook and started following recipes.

If you like cilantro and lime you'll find these two ingredients are used in a lot of Thai food and even Vietnamese food. Cilantro, lime, and soy sauce became, for awhile, my new basil, thyme, and garlic replacement! But they sure did work in a LOT of things!!!! Take a flank steak and marinate with cilantro, lime, and soy - make your peanut sauce with a bit of soy sauce and a dash of fish sauce. Add in some fresh cucumbers, fresh bean sprouts, and make a wrap of sorts with butter lettuce leaves with this stuff inside with slices of the steak, drizzle with your peanut sauce..... I think I'm hungry! lol


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Old 01-03-2007, 01:37 PM   #22
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I can't follow a recipe... I just have to add a little of this or a little of that.

In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on. Robert Frost
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Old 01-03-2007, 08:25 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by stinemates
Thanks, ironchef, nick.

I appreciate that advice quite a bit. My Hollandaise is iffy, btw. Sometimes it breaks, sometimes it's perfect. ;x It's all about heat, I think! :X
if your hollandaise is breaking, it's most likely you're either trying to incorporate too much clarified butter or adding it too quickly. take a little more time whipping it in and keep some boiling water at hand. if it starts to break, a tablespoon or two should set it straight.
let me make sure that wine's ok before i use it.
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Old 01-04-2007, 01:02 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by pdswife
I can't follow a recipe... I just have to add a little of this or a little of that.
I have noted in recipe contest that a little of this or that makes a unique difference. It's like taking a basic recipe and giving it a signature.
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Old 01-04-2007, 01:41 AM   #25
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Since it strikes me that your basic 'complaint' is flavors being too similar, here's my thought:

Why don't you post a short list of the foods you commonly make and how you would normally spice them. We could all chime in then with other spicing ideas for the same basic food. I would think a varied group of people would be better able to do this for you than a single cookbook.

As an example, chicken was mentioned, as were basil and thyme. If you did chicken with some fruit and maybe cinnamon instead, you'd get a Northern African feel to the dish. If you were to use lemon and oregano, you'd get a Greek feel. See my point? Someone can point you toward some maybe new-to-you but otherwise tried-and-true combinations to broaden your palette. I think that's a bit more likely to be succesful than just opening the spice cupboard and throwing things in at random!
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Old 01-04-2007, 08:28 AM   #26
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I don't like to follow recipes. Takes too much time. However, I do generally follow recipes when it comes to baking. Most of the time :).
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Old 01-04-2007, 01:51 PM   #27
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All family recipe Should be SHARED. Sharing is good. Keep the best recipes
going. Get rid of the bad recipes. When you give...you WILL receive.

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