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Old 09-14-2019, 08:47 PM   #1
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Recipe sources & approaches - a new member's viewpoint

Even from just having been a member here a very short while, I've learned this forum obviously has a large number of very savvy cooks who've pretty much seen and heard it all in terms of a wide range of old and new recipes in numerous cooking categories, genres and methods or techniques, so it can be somewhat difficult to seriously pique your interest with recipes from a newbie like me that most of you have seen and used numerous times in some form or another.



Having said that, I thought it might be of interest to some of you to know a bit more about me, as regards the cooking sources, and modus operandi for the development of many of my recipes, some of which I've already posted here, and others I will additionally post over time.



First off, I'll start with listing the sources of my recipes, in no particular order:



- My Mother & her mother
- My Grandmother on my father's side (who was born, raised, and resided in France into late adulthood)
- My late first wife &/or her mother
- My current wife &/or her mother
- Any one of the more than 100 cookbooks I've accumulated over many years from here in Canada, the U.S., the Caribbean islands, Asia, & in particular Singapore & Hong Kong where I lived for a time, and from Mexico, France, Italy, Greece, & other cuisines/areas where I've visited once or more times, that escape me for the moment
- From a few restaurant chefs who were kind enough to share their secrets with me
- From our Singaporean amah
- From our Grenadian housekeeper
- Other sources that are also forgotten to this point



Another thing I feel you should know about me, if you haven't already figured that out, is that I love tinkering/experimenting with recipes, having done so with numerous recipes over the past 20 years or so - some to the point where I've tried out several or more variations until I was happy with the eventual taste and other results, and at times just for the hell of it (especially those where a good number of the test recipes have turned out to be a bit of a disaster - LOL).



Anyway, a large number of the current recipes I stick with, have been altered, either significantly, partly, or very modestly, from the original(s) obtained from one source or another.


I'm sure this type of behavior is not unknown to some you who do, or have done, this very same thing, perhaps many times too.



So, armed with this info, I would guess you've gathered that many, or almost all, of the recipes I post here will likely be somewhat removed from the recipe(s) you might know for a certain dish or dishes, in terms of ingredients or technique, or whatever.



To conclude, I'd like to list in general terms a number of areas where I've accumulated recipes that I quite like, so that if any of you have an interest in broadening your recipes library in any one of these kinds of dishes, please don't hesitate to say so, and I'll post a recipe, or recipes, of that category or type:

Meat dishes - examples:


-Authentic Indonesian Beef Satay with my sauce


- Beef steaks - grilled, oven-baked, or stovetop, with various sauces, such as whiskey or horseradish


- Chicken breast & thigh recipes - quick or more detailed - Kebabs - mexican oriented - e.g. authentic chicken enchiladas


- Pork in many forms, ribs chops, kebabs, S. & S. Chinese


- Lamb - rack, shanks or ground e.g. kebabs w/tomato tzaziki

- Seafood or fish dishes - quick & easy or otherwise - prawns, scallops, shellfish


- Pasta - lasagna, rigatoni & meatballs, other - mac & cheese


- Misc. e.g. Rice & Beef porcupines, quesadillas, quiches, other


- Hors d'ouevres & appies - many types


- Desserts - other than my since posted chocolate mocha torte - you name the type


- Other ? Please say so



I want to continue contributing to this forum, and hope that this alternative approach to doing so is acceptable to you, instead of my just posting any old recipe you have little or no interest in because you've seen it a hundred times !

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Old 09-14-2019, 09:59 PM   #2
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RMM, there are several of us here that don't really cook from recipes. I only use a recipe for baking, which is a lot less forgiving for ingredients and amounts. Cooks like me don't have recipe libraries.

Like many others, I use recipes as "inspiration." If I want to make a dish I haven't made before, I will sometimes look at multiple recipes, see what they have in common, and then "wing it" from there. That's my personality -- it's how I make cooking fun for me.

So, for cooks here like me, it is not that we don't appreciate a good recipe. I'm sure yours are time tested, and very good. So, being a forum noob is not an issue. We are just wired differently.

Don't hesitate to post your recipes (especially with pictures--we love pictures). Some people may use them, others may not. That's life.

CD
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Old 09-14-2019, 10:19 PM   #3
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I have often done exactly what you've outlined in the 2nd paragraph of your above post. The only difference is that after I've winged it like you, if I like the result, I'll commit it to writing, so I can have it handy to recall next time I want to do it. I guess it's my memory that's not so good.


Anyway, I appreciated your post - thanks.
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Old 09-14-2019, 10:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Recipes Make Magic View Post
CD
I have often done exactly what you've outlined in the 2nd paragraph of your above post. The only difference is that after I've winged it like you, if I like the result, I'll commit it to writing, so I can have it handy to recall next time I want to do it. I guess it's my memory that's not so good.


Anyway, I appreciated your post - thanks.
I really need to start writing down what I did when I wing it. Some of those "wing its" turn out really good and worth repeating. If I repeat it soon enough and frequently enough, it sinks in. Otherwise, I just sigh and wish I had written down what I did.
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Old 09-14-2019, 10:31 PM   #5
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I really need to start writing down what I did when I wing it. Some of those "wing its" turn out really good and worth repeating. If I repeat it soon enough and frequently enough, it sinks in. Otherwise, I just sigh and wish I had written down what I did.
It drives my mom nuts (payback). I'll make something she likes, and she'll ask for the recipe.

Recipe?

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Old 09-15-2019, 12:06 AM   #6
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It drives my mom nuts (payback). I'll make something she likes, and she'll ask for the recipe.

Recipe?

CD
I wasn't so much thinking of writing down a recipe as ingredients and notes.
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Old 09-15-2019, 12:56 AM   #7
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Hi, RMM....very interesting post and thank you for sharing. I've never been to the countries you've been to and don't have nearly the amounts of cookbooks, nor have I ever had an amah. I guess I'm just a simple home cook.

Many of my faves are adapted from my childhood and changing up a few things from my mom and grandma, checking out online sites, and gathering and trying many recipes from folks here at DC....so I think we're pretty much on the same page as far as 'tinkering' with recipes. And as mentioned, notes are key. That's what makes us 'cooks'!
I also need to be a little better about writing down adaptations....but once I've made a dish a few times, I usually remember. LOL
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Old 09-15-2019, 02:17 AM   #8
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Hi, RMM....very interesting post and thank you for sharing. I've never been to the countries you've been to and don't have nearly the amounts of cookbooks, nor have I ever had an amah. I guess I'm just a simple home cook.

Many of my faves are adapted from my childhood and changing up a few things from my mom and grandma, checking out online sites, and gathering and trying many recipes from folks here at DC....so I think we're pretty much on the same page as far as 'tinkering' with recipes. And as mentioned, notes are key. That's what makes us 'cooks'!
I also need to be a little better about writing down adaptations....but once I've made a dish a few times, I usually remember. LOL
There are a few things I can just do from memory. There are a lot of things I've probably never done exactly the same twice.

If I did take notes, I'd probably lose the notes. I found a great recipe for cornbread, and passed it on to my mom. I lose the recipe regularly, and have to get it back from my mom when I want to make cornbread.

My ex-wife used recipes for everything. But, she was raised baking more than cooking. We had a big kitchen, so she could do her thing, and I could do mine, and we came up with very good meals.

CD
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Old 09-15-2019, 05:34 AM   #9
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Not sure of Your Question exactly, but do you meen Where do I go when I need inspiration for a recepie?


Usually I start with Broad groups like All Recipies. A Huge list with most anything you want.


But for more refinement, smaller groups like this where the Recipes are more Tried and True...


And then, If I need More help, a personall response to some nice person like you!


So may I ask for Inivduall Family Recipies from You on this forum?


Thanxs, Eric Austin Tx.
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Old 09-15-2019, 06:32 AM   #10
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LOL... all of these posts are combined to make me! I must have over 250 cookbooks in scattered places around the house. Not to mention magazines! - which I'm slowly trying to go thru again and remove wanted items, chuck/burn the rest. (HA! do about 2 or 3 a year! - long way to go yet! but at least I've stopped buying them{almost})

When an ingredient/idea hits I surf thru everything in house, in DC, Allrecipes, Google sends me to other blogs. Then I get lost and end up forgetting what my idea was n the first place - usually make something completely unrelated. Combine 5 recipes into one and don't write it down.

I'm one of those people who try new recipes on guests and they turn out fantastic. Make it a second time and it is a disaster.

RMM I love reading and hearing your recipes as you post them - they're very interesting and I like your process and your style.
Unfortunately I'm not the type that's going to ask 'in advance' for something I'm about to cook. General ideas, yup, ideas and suggestions needed within an hour, nope.

You sound like an amazing cook... So what's on your menu for tonight? Room for one more?
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Old 09-15-2019, 09:53 AM   #11
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Many thanks for all of your relevant posts. I couldn't have asked for more interesting responses - I'd like to hear more if you're so inclined.


dragnlaw: Your kind words are appreciated. It's going to be a rather busy day today, so I'm hoping Linda feels like putting something together for dinner tonite.
There's always room for one more at our dinner table - we like having
guests for lunch or dinner.


and giggler: I'm not sure either who your post & question is directed at, Eric.
And what are you looking for with your last sentence - not sure I get that either.


And I must say, that like many of you, I often just jot down the ingredients, but not the quantities or prep work, and just wing it if I want to try it- even the oven temp, which I never make a mental note of.
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Old 09-15-2019, 10:14 AM   #12
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Oh, and one more thing CD made me think of:


If I'm interested in doing a certain dish, I'll check out the internet links for a half dozen or more recipes of the specific dish, and just jot down the ingredients I like from each of the individual recipes, those that I think would go well together, and have a go at developing my own version of the dish.
I'm quite sure some of you may do the same sort of thing ?
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Old 09-15-2019, 11:45 AM   #13
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****I'll check out the internet links for a half dozen or more recipes of the specific dish,**** and just jot down the ingredients I like from each****at developing my own version of the dish.
I'm quite sure some of you may do the same sort of thing ?
On occasion I even go so far as to make a chart. Adding ingredients down the side, source across the top, how much each one adds. Then I choose the ingredients and quantities I like and away I go.

then I promptly lose the list never to see again or to be able to create the masterpiece everyone was raving about a second time.

I'm a one hit wonder!
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Old 09-15-2019, 11:56 AM   #14
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My mom and older sister are great sources for recipes. I get mom's recipes from sis now.

I have a bunch of cookbooks I refer to from time to time if I'm after something specific and want a trusted source. I often do as others do and compare a half dozen versions of the same recipe and come up with a composite.

I also go to certain websites I feel are reliable but I always compare.

I follow recipes. I also wing it from time to time. If I experiment, I write it down so I can make it again and have it taste just the same. Recipes in your own home are for repeatability and as a reminder for measurements.

There is no worse feeling than creating a great tasting recipe and having your other half say that it was great, don't change a thing when you make it again and you have no idea what you did.
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Old 09-15-2019, 11:57 AM   #15
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If a make something by "wing" LOL if family likes it I (write) document it in OneNote to pass on to my girls.

Some of my recipes are based on family recipes. Most are my "version" of their recipes that has been modified over years to suit my family.
Most are just recipes I through together from what was on hand or sounded good at the time.
Some are a hybrids of many recipes I've seen and I picked ingredients to suit what we like.
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Old 09-15-2019, 12:37 PM   #16
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Oh, and one more thing CD made me think of:

If I'm interested in doing a certain dish, I'll check out the internet links for a half dozen or more recipes of the specific dish, and just jot down the ingredients I like from each of the individual recipes, those that I think would go well together, and have a go at developing my own version of the dish.
I'm quite sure some of you may do the same sort of thing ?
A lot of us do that. I did it last night when I made a version of a Turkish baked kebab, and since I didn't want to turn on the oven, I cooked it on the stove.
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Old 09-15-2019, 04:34 PM   #17
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I don't need a whole Indonesian Rijsttafel, but a new satay sauce might be a great. I currently make a peanut sauce and rely on Asian chile style dipping sauces. I grill chicken satays and thin sliced steak, the latter usually bought from the Mexican market.

You bring up a very complex subject. My mom was not a very good cook, my gramma was terrific. She didn't use cookbooks, just one notebook that was about as big as her bible, and way thicker. She had tiny hands, so when she said add xx handful's of flour, you had to gauge that accordingly. Sugar by the tea cup full, and she used different size cups. No time and moving too fast to actually grab a measuring cup.

Now, my today's equivalent is to eyeball multiple on line recipes and pick and choose which ingredients I am going to use, how much, what is onhand vs what to substitute if any, and gather recipes in groups like DC. I like Google Images for what looks like what I want to achieve, and then go to other recipes to achieve a satisfactory end result. Places like Foodgawker or Food 52 provide ideas of things to make. This involves a lot of scrolling, and I have finally broken the habit of continuous scrolling with the teevee remote only to find I have developed a new compulsion.

Recipes that serve two or are freezer friendly are a plus.

Without getting more specific, I think you should post what you are interested in making or sharing. Chances are we are interested too.
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Old 09-15-2019, 06:04 PM   #18
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I don't need a whole Indonesian Rijsttafel, but a new satay sauce might be a great. I currently make a peanut sauce and rely on Asian chile style dipping sauces. I grill chicken satays and thin sliced steak, the latter usually bought from the Mexican market.

You bring up a very complex subject. My mom was not a very good cook, my gramma was terrific. She didn't use cookbooks, just one notebook that was about as big as her bible, and way thicker. She had tiny hands, so when she said add xx handful's of flour, you had to gauge that accordingly. Sugar by the tea cup full, and she used different size cups. No time and moving too fast to actually grab a measuring cup.

Now, my today's equivalent is to eyeball multiple on line recipes and pick and choose which ingredients I am going to use, how much, what is onhand vs what to substitute if any, and gather recipes in groups like DC. I like Google Images for what looks like what I want to achieve, and then go to other recipes to achieve a satisfactory end result. Places like Foodgawker or Food 52 provide ideas of things to make. This involves a lot of scrolling, and I have finally broken the habit of continuous scrolling with the teevee remote only to find I have developed a new compulsion.

Recipes that serve two or are freezer friendly are a plus.

Without getting more specific, I think you should post what you are interested in making or sharing. Chances are we are interested too.
You've given me food for thought - many thanks for sort of directing me into areas I had only vaguely thought about, but I'd be quite happy to move into more confidently now with a few of my recipes.
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Old 09-15-2019, 06:28 PM   #19
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RMM, there are several of us here that don't really cook from recipes. I only use a recipe for baking, which is a lot less forgiving for ingredients and amounts. Cooks like me don't have recipe libraries.

Like many others, I use recipes as "inspiration." If I want to make a dish I haven't made before, I will sometimes look at multiple recipes, see what they have in common, and then "wing it" from there. That's my personality -- it's how I make cooking fun for me.

So, for cooks here like me, it is not that we don't appreciate a good recipe. I'm sure yours are time tested, and very good. So, being a forum noob is not an issue. We are just wired differently.

Don't hesitate to post your recipes (especially with pictures--we love pictures). Some people may use them, others may not. That's life.

CD
Way back when, I followed recipes. I haven't for a long time except when baking. I felt a bit guilty when I had a gal out to play in the kitchen with me last weekend. I didn't have any recipes for her for kimchi, pierogi, curried chicken, raita, or paleek paneer. I just showed her how to be my wing person and wing it with me. I am more of a Micheal Smith kinda person in the kitchen. Having said that, there are others who cook by the book and follow recipes each and every time. The KN (a/k/a my Dad) is one of those. A typical recipe for me when I am thinking of what I am going to do with what I have on hand is handwritten on a scrap of paper--e.g., venison roast, celery, juniper berries, beef stock, carrots, turnips, garlic, onion, fresh rosemary, anchovy paste, rehdryated cherries and morel mushrooms - liquor in, capers, lemon zest, potatoes, pickling spice in a ball, dill pickle juice, gjetost, and I run with that. I have over 1200 cookbooks and I can't count how many I have on my Kindle.
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Old 09-15-2019, 07:44 PM   #20
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Wow, you folks really are quite interesting with your approaches/ways of doing things. Every person who enjoys being in the kitchen & participating in preparing meals, should join this forum !
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