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Old 11-05-2008, 11:08 AM   #1
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Always use recipes?

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?

Me personally I only use recipes when I'm working and know I need to have the same finished product consistently, or with baking and desserts. With cooking at home, creating features in a restaurant or cooking for staff or anybody, I just start throwing things in to get the finished product I want. It's not always exactly what I was looking for but I haven't messed things up very much at all. To me cooking is all about denial and error (don't know how many Trailer Park Boys fans there are outside of canada...). I'm just trying to teach myself the general amounts of ingredients to put in to things by eyeing them up, I feel the best way to cook is from the heart and not from the paper. It helps put my own personal touch to something rather than just reproducing a recipe. Even when I look at a recipe I just use it as a general guideline for how much of certain items to put in, and don't usually measure things just use my hands or spoons to get the general amount said, maybe a bit more or less of something I want to slightly change for a different flavour. I also end up adding things to recipes all the time. I love the experimental part of cooking.

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Old 11-05-2008, 11:21 AM   #2
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Im a on the fly type of guy.

i could never tell you measurements, just approx from what i remember putting in
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Old 11-05-2008, 11:28 AM   #3
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I'll follow a recipe the first time I try it. If we like the outcome, I'll try to follow the measurements but not always exactly. I'll often see a recipe and like what it says but know my family won't like some of the ingredients (green peppers, mushrooms) or that is has something I don't normally keep in the house and will make substitutions accordingly. I also do some dishes of just throwing stuff together but then the family will love it and I can't recreate it because I didn't keep track of what I threw in!
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Old 11-05-2008, 11:44 AM   #4
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I always havea recipe. When I'm creating something new, I will, at least, have a sheet of paper with some initial thoughts and take notes while I'm cooking. When I'm using someone else's recipe, I usually change it or use just part of it anyway. Even when I eyeball something, I eyeball it, then measure it. I keep all my recipes electronically and most have notes and a change log.

In case anyone was wondering, I am NOT an accountant. I'm a fiscal manager =)
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Old 11-05-2008, 11:48 AM   #5
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I use a recipe as a base and then adapt it to my taste.
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Old 11-05-2008, 11:56 AM   #6
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On the fly. Only use a measuring cup for rice.......and to water my indoor plants. I have actually changed a recipe, completely changed, three times while cooking it.
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Old 11-05-2008, 12:06 PM   #7
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Recipe, what is it, I never heard of such thing, besides I can't really read in English.
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Old 11-05-2008, 12:36 PM   #8
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When I'm making a meal, I bring out my recipe to insure I don't leave something out. I'm jealous of those of you who have photographic memories and don't need to refer to a recipe, but I was not so blessed in that area. When I'm creating something new, I have a blank sheet of paper and write down the ingredients and corresponding amounts. I then note the way I put the concoction together, and enter it in my laptop and print out a copy for my recipe binder in a clear pocket.

Now, lapses of memory is not the only reason I write everything down, it's also so I am able to pass along my recipes to friends and relatives. My children will each be getting a copy of my recipe binder for Christmas this year. They will not be left wondering what went into Dad's chicken parm, his no-knead Italian herb bread or his oatmeal raisin cake cookies. Both my Mother and my Mother-in-law took recipes to their graves, and a lot of their favorites are lost forever.

That's my 2 cents on recipes.

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Old 11-05-2008, 12:38 PM   #9
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First time making a dish, I usually follow the recipe to the T. But after that... it is just a guide and it has become my recipe.
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Old 11-05-2008, 02:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sattie View Post
First time making a dish, I usually follow the recipe to the T. But after that... it is just a guide and it has become my recipe.
ditto.
But I eat more of my own TNT concocted meals than follow recipes.
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Old 11-05-2008, 03:00 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.
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Old 11-05-2008, 03:19 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, 06:39 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.
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Old 11-05-2008, 07:21 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, 08:49 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, 09:20 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, 10:38 PM   #17
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Quote:
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.
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Old 11-06-2008, 11:41 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.
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Old 11-06-2008, 01:13 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, 04:12 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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