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Old 02-18-2006, 04:41 PM   #1
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To Recipe or Not To Recipe

That Is The Question. I have to laugh at this one. I was reading the thread about turkey/tuna salad. I have never used a recipe for these things. I just ask hubby if he wants it fine or chunky, and proceed with what happens to be hanging around the house. I used to use Miracle Whip a lot, but in recent years have taken to making Ranch dressing using the mix, fat-free yogurt, and full-fat Mayo, and using it for almost any mayo-type recipe. If there's celery in the house, or maybe a can of water chestnuts, in it may go. When my herb garden is going strong, tons of whatever is looking good. Then I wind up "in trouble" because a friend will want to know how I made something, and they sometimes think I'm messing with them because theirs doesn't turn out like mine. Some don't understand that MINE never turns out the same twice!!! I do have a couple of things I use a recipe for, but even then it is pretty loose. How about you? Do you use a recipe, not use a recipe, or somewhere in between. I have to say I have hundreds of cook books, a couple of decades of Gourmet, etc.

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Old 02-18-2006, 05:12 PM   #2
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Claire, we have one wall of built in bookcases filled with cookbooks, and, when cooking, will usually just wing it.

Glad to hear there is someone out there like us.

Love to read the recipes, and will sometimes follow them, but for most day-to-day cooking will just go by the seats of our pants.

Often one of us will come up with an idea and we will just run with it.

Sure if it is a classic recipe we have not tried will follow the recipe.

Or if it is a cuisine we are not that familiar with, will go step by step.

But most of the time we just have fun and cook.
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Old 02-18-2006, 05:17 PM   #3
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Some foods are just more fun if there is a little surprise. When I make tuna or chicken salad, I don't use a recipe either. I may put celery, onion, mayo in my tuna salad, I may add a chopped apple if I don't feel too fishy. I have added water chestnuts also. To my chicken salad, I'm even more adventurous, adding grapes, walnuts or almonds, or even pecans, chaning the seasonings. The only thing I don't add that some people use - I never put eggs in either one. I like to keep it light.
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Old 02-18-2006, 08:32 PM   #4
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me too, me too! I have a friend who measures everything so carefully, and her food is always delicious. But....there's NO spontanaity there. I just don't seem to be capable of cooking this way....One thing I thought of is that my mom and grandmother and their family had such hard times when she was a child in the '30s...to waste food was a sin. So, when cooking with my friend, and there's 1/4 tsp of fresh herb left over because the recipe called for exactly 1/2 tsp and I cut a bit too much, she'd throw it away, I'd chuck it into the dish and adjust the rest of the seasoning. I love reading recipes and have lots of cook books, and will follow a new recipe as carefully as I can the first time I try it....but after that....I love inventing. I like to try and use up what I have in the pantry if I can.
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Old 02-18-2006, 09:24 PM   #5
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I usually use recipes as a guide and tailor it depending on likes/dislikes and what I have on hand. :) Some recipes that are really persnickity, need to be followed to a T or else they turn out weird... (I'm thinking pastries/baked goods mostly) But for cooking, I improvise a lot and usually things turn out okay!
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Old 02-18-2006, 09:42 PM   #6
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At home I'll wing it and that's where I'll sometimes come up with some interesting combinations. At work however, even recipes that were just made up need to be measured and done consistently for proper guest satisfaction, food costs, etc.
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Old 02-18-2006, 10:15 PM   #7
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I like to experiment but when I do, I write down the recipe so I can recreate it when asked.
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Old 02-18-2006, 10:49 PM   #8
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Most of the time, at home, I'll use a recipe, but it's more as a guide than something set in stone, with the exception of baking. Sometimes, I'm just completely flying by the seat of my pants.
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Old 02-19-2006, 08:14 PM   #9
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I usually just make it myself. A lot of times I'll watch the food network to get an idea for a dish, then just kind of keep track of the ingredients and make it my own way. I usually use much more oil and cheese than a recipe will call for.
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Old 02-19-2006, 09:43 PM   #10
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50/50 I am capable of winging it with what I got, and haven't made drechk yet! But, I will follow a recipe I like or want to try. Certainly there are recipes mom gave me that i make all the time that I know by heart, and there are certian techniques I have learned by heart as well.

recently made turkey soup...no recipe, just techniques known for years and what was fresh in the market for vegetables.
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