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BTD Forums  /  Cook Right 4 Your Type  /  Do You Use Recipes?
Posted by: san j, Friday, April 27, 2012, 11:31pm
I don't. I guess it's because I don't, say, bake desserts (anymore), requiring proper proportions for qualities such as rising and sponginess. I like winging it. It's one of the elements of Reality Cooking Shows that makes them so exciting, right? No contestant has access to recipes -- it's all in the noggin.

I was wondering if I could share some "Sorta Recipes" here, but they wouldn't qualify for Recipe Base unless I did all kinds of homework. I just like doing what I like doing, and I leave it at that.

There's actually a cookbook out there that I gave as gifts around holiday time 2011, called The Flavor Bible. It's up there at the top of the charts. What a book! It's how I work, too: How to combine flavors to achieve various results -- how ingredients blend, how cuisines are characterised. "What goes well (and what goes HOW) with what."

When I do use regular cookbooks, I often skip over the measuring and just "get the general idea", anyway.
Posted by: ABJoe, Friday, April 27, 2012, 11:38pm; Reply: 1
For most of the general meals I do for myself, I don't use recipes...  I put together what I want and eat it.

If I am making breads or food for others, I use a recipe to make sure I realize the basic ratio, but then make it so it looks right.
Posted by: gulfcoastguy, Saturday, April 28, 2012, 1:44am; Reply: 2
It really depends. Often I find a new recipe that sounds interesting. The first time I make it I change it as little as possible but everytime after that is subject to tweaking. Soups I allways wing as well as a lot of more common dishes. I guess I picked that up from my grandmother. She was a farm wife and never used a recipe or measuring cups, just her hands or eye. She also made it to 100 years and 11 months. Probably would have lasted longer if she hadn't broken her hip.
Posted by: Lloyd, Saturday, April 28, 2012, 12:37pm; Reply: 3
Except for rare forrays into baked goods, I only use recipes as guides on things I've never made before or to get 'ideas'.

My carob-chocolate chip recipe got written down to save having to re-interpret a standard cookie recipe every time I make them, and I don't make them often enough that the details 'stick' in my head. Even there I don't follow it exactly - and it's my recipe!
Posted by: Ribbit, Saturday, April 28, 2012, 12:38pm; Reply: 4
I might use a recipe the first time I try a dish, but even then I still add a little extra what-not (usually seasonings).  I enjoy reading recipe books that actually have stuff in them that I can eat.  Those are usually from the library and contain recipes from, say, Indonesia.  

Most of the time I just do without, even baking.  I've been baking allergen-free for ten years now, and I guess you  just get a feel for what's going to work and what's not.
Posted by: koahiatamadl, Saturday, April 28, 2012, 8:05pm; Reply: 5
I love to read recipes but I rarely follow recipes when I cook.  But I like to read them for inspiration, to learn different things or to write shopping lists because I am rubbish at remembering what I need to get and it's sometimes easier to just pull up a recipe.  

The only notable exception is deserts and baking - these seem to go wrong otherwise.  

Do any of you use the internet for recipes much?  I have cook books but I am just as likely to have the smart phone on the kitchen counter looking up stuff :)
Posted by: Spring, Saturday, April 28, 2012, 9:36pm; Reply: 6
It's funny about reading recipes! I'm like koahiatamadl about that. I don't buy recipe books now, though, because I don't have any more room in my three book shelves for any more. If I want a recipe for something new, I get it online too. And even then I change a whole lot about them!
Posted by: veggiequeen, Sunday, April 29, 2012, 6:24am; Reply: 7
Mostly I use recipes for 'the process', especially if it is a food I haven't cooked before. But I've been making BTD adjustments for so long that I never/rarely follow a recipe exactly, even the first time through.

I knew a man from India years ago that taught me to make panbread (corn or wheat) with narrative instructions including words like... [so many] handfuls of this, [so many] pinches of that, water until the consistency of [this or that]... so even when baking I see a recipe as a suggestion not a prescription... even to the temperature of the oven! And he had a motto - "you can always eat it" (since you know what went into it).

My hubs needs recipes though, but NEVER follows any, so we occasionally have things no one will eat - except himself. Even that wasn't possible the time he made some crock pot thing that included stew meat and an assortment of veggies... which you'd think would be hard to mess up... but it included leeks... and he just rinsed them off and cut them up like an onion and threw them in. Not even he could get past the mouthfuls of sandy grit!!!  :o   :o   ;D
Posted by: veggiequeen, Sunday, April 29, 2012, 6:30am; Reply: 8
Quoted from san j
I was wondering if I could share some "Sorta Recipes" here, but they wouldn't qualify for Recipe Base unless I did all kinds of homework. I just like doing what I like doing, and I leave it at that.

There's actually a cookbook out there that I gave as gifts around holiday time 2011, called The Flavor Bible. It's up there at the top of the charts. What a book! It's how I work, too: How to combine flavors to achieve various results -- how ingredients blend, how cuisines are characterised. "What goes well (and what goes HOW) with what."


And yes, san j, I'd enjoy hearing about what you do. And thanks also for the tip about the cookbook. I think I've quit buying cookbooks because with the ones I already have and the internet, I'm never at a loss for what to do. But this book may be a good addition anyway!  :)
Posted by: san j, Wednesday, May 2, 2012, 2:59am; Reply: 9
I actually like reading cookbooks, as in just kicking back on the couch and reading them for hours. Sometimes that makes me forget to eat.  ;)
Posted by: ruthiegirl, Wednesday, May 2, 2012, 2:27pm; Reply: 10
I also only use recipes for general ideas. I throw things together when I cook (most of the time) and things come out tasty. Even for baking, I don't measure precisely. I measure out the water, yeast (or baking soda), and salt, and I know how many eggs I use, but  for things like flour, oil, and sweeteners I put in until it looks right or the texture is right.

When I've developed  a dish that's really good, and that I want to share, I'll prepare it once with measuring cups/spoons and take notes as I work, so that I can type up the recipe online later. There are several recipes I've added to the recipe base on this site.

I also have a  bunch of my basic recipes typed up and printed out for DD2. She NEEDs a recipe or she can't make anything. Now I'm prepared- if I'm feeling sick and need her to take over at preparing a family meal (or microwaved oatmeal for her brother) she can look up the directions in the cookbook and prepare food.
Posted by: 14442 (Guest), Wednesday, May 2, 2012, 3:51pm; Reply: 11
Not really.
Posted by: Chloe, Wednesday, May 2, 2012, 6:10pm; Reply: 12
Yes and no.  Mostly yes, for recipes that are fully compliant/gluten free.  I find
muffin/cookies/cakes come out best with measured ingredients... But still, I tweak a lot of recipes and substitute ingredients.

No for most everything else...I'm forever winging it...using herbs/spices that come from my beneficial
list and adding to proteins/vegetables, etc.

The problem with winging it is that when a dish turns out really well, I haven't written it down
so I can make it again.  

I'm forever trying to make good use of what I have in the refrigerator and pantry.  Like taking
apples and pears that might have gone a few days beyond tasting crunchy and fresh....baking them,
throwing it into a food processor, adding cinnamon and ginger and making apple/pear sauce.
Posted by: Jane, Wednesday, May 2, 2012, 8:00pm; Reply: 13
I usually just wing it except for baking and even then I usually change things up.  Most things still come out well.
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