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Old 11-05-2008, 02:00 PM   #11
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It depends - if it is something new or baking, I will tend to follow the recipe. When I'm cooking savoury dishes at home, I will base my ideas on a recipe I've done before or seen on the internet or in this forum and usually tweak it and play with it to give my taste.

When I'm cooking at the school with the kids, I will follow the recipe (mostly) so the kids learn about cooking and find it easier to follow when doing the recipe at home.

"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others." - Nelson Mandela
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Old 11-05-2008, 02:19 PM   #12
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I am most definitely an on the fly kind of guy unless I am try to reproduce something I want to try.
Now if it comes to baking... I usually will use a recipe. Things are little more critical there.

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Old 11-05-2008, 05:39 PM   #13
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I also cook most things out of my head since I've made them so long no measurements either. A new recipe I follow recipe but usually end up adding something extra. Baking I follow recipe but also may add something extra like nuts, dried fruit or extra cinnamon. My bread I always add some oatmeal, wheat bran, flax seeds or other seeds to add more fiber.
"It's so beautifully arranged on the plate - you know someone's fingers have been all over it." - Julia Child
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Old 11-05-2008, 06:21 PM   #14
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I normally don't use a recipe. I learned to cook from my grandmother and mother and they were the pinch of this and dash of this or cover the top with type of cooks, so it was guessing all the way until I got it right. I will look at recipes and read them through but I usually just go by my own instincts and throw it together. lol By the time I've made it a couple times I will write it down in case any one asks for the "recipe". Dh will get upset when I make something and he asks for it again and I don't remember how much of what I added. lol
I think the only time I really follow a recipe is if I'm baking, which doesn't happen too often.

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Old 11-05-2008, 07:49 PM   #15
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Hey miniman do you work at a culinary college or just at a high school doing home ec or something?? If at a college, where at?
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Old 11-05-2008, 08:20 PM   #16
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Oh no, I always use a recipe. And even then, things only turn out right about 75% of the time, which is a big improvement over how things turned out before I joined DC. The few times I've tried to wing it, the results have been disastrous. I'm thinking it will take me a couple of more years to get all the basics of cooking down pat before I can successfully cook without a recipe.
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Old 11-05-2008, 09:38 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Lytle View Post
So I notice most posts here sharing ideas are just recipes being put down, so I was wondering, how many of you ALWAYS cook using recipes, and how many of you cook on the fly? ...
Humm ... if someone wants to know how to cook something - what method would you use to communicate that information in the most efficient manner other than as a recipe?

If I am making something I have never made, especially if it is something unfamiliar from another culture, I usually follow the recipe the first time. Once I understand the dish I may then tweak it or continue to follow the recipe in the future.

Even if I'm making something from memory that I learned to make from my Mom or Grandmas that was never written down - I'm still using a mental recipe - even if it is measured in pinches, globs, gullops or a bunch.

Sometimes I do just "wing it" - sometimes I don't.
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain
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Old 11-06-2008, 10:41 AM   #18
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Thumbs up Recipe follower!

I ALWAYS use a recipe and follow it closely the first time. After I've tried it I make adjustments to the basic recipes and write them on my recipe cards.
"When the kitchen smells spicy and wonderful, it can only mean one thing... it's not my kitchen."--- Maxine
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Old 11-06-2008, 12:13 PM   #19
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I generally source several recipes, from the the internet or from my cookbooks. If I find one that exactly suites the ingredients that I have on hand, and seems like what I want, I will use it. Often, though, I get the general idea from several recipes, mix them up to my liking, and have at it. For me, cooking is an enjoyable creative process.
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Old 11-06-2008, 03:12 PM   #20
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Like most others, Ill start with a recipe that seems to work ( in my mind). Ill follow it pretty closely the first time. If it comes out great, Ill change very little. If it comes out ok, but I can see room for improvement, ill make the necessary changes. If it tastes like garbage, Ill feed it to the chickens and toss the recipe.

In addition, Ill often just open the fridge, see what ingredients I have and try to make something work. I used to love that show " door knock dinners" where gordon elliot and a chef would knock on someones door, offer to make them dinner using whatever hey have in their house ( leftovers, garden.....).

The other thing I do, since being a vegetarian, Ill get a recipe that includes meat, and have to work it out in my head what substitutions I can make so my family and I can eat it. I love doing this because it forces me to be creative, and try many different meat substitutes to get a good result. They are not always perfect, but its a great challenge . And by making substitutions, its not necessarily trying to get something that tastes exactly like beef, pork, chicken.....since few vegetarian products taste even close to the real thing, but more lik just finding something that makes the recipe work considering taste, texture .....

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