Cooking, A Pinch of This A Pinch of That.

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by OhWiseOne, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. OhWiseOne

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    When you're cooking do you adhere to the ingredients with regards to the amount indicated, changing an item or how you measure?

    If I'm making a dessert I tend to stick to the recipe. I may add other items like nuts or chocolate but I rearly change the basic components.

    My cooking rules change drastically when I'm making a soup, casserole, pasta based dishes and so on. I tend to change up the amount of a certian ingredient depending on my mood or try a substitute like chicken in place of beef. I normally don't use measuing spoons either I use my hand and fingers.
     
  2. nudeyorker

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    With candies and desserts I stick to the recipe. With soups, salads, casseroles and main courses I take some liberties. The person who taught me the most about cooking told me once, if you are preparing something for guests and does not turn out don't make anything that can't be fixed with either chocolate, butter, whipped cream or sour cream; that advice has never failed me.
     
  3. umami_tsunami

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    Baking- Cakes, pastries, breads, cookies (you have a little wiggle room here) are more formulas than recipes. Unless you are very experienced, substitutions, additions or deletions will disrupt the balance of protein/fat/starch/acid/leavening necessary to achieve good results. If you have read Rose Levy Berenbaum's Cake Bible several times and understand it, you can bake without a recipe or freely substitute.

    For savory dishes, depending on your desire to achieve the same results as the writer of a recipe, you can pretty much add/delete/substitute as much or as little as you want. I read cookbooks for inspiration and flavor combination ideas. If I see something I like, I will read it a couple of times, close the book then make it.
     
    #3 umami_tsunami, Dec 13, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2011
  4. nudeyorker

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    Rose Levy Beranbaum's Cake Bible is my bible in the kitchen. I can bake almost anything without a recipe but I would never dream of substituting anything in someone else's recipe.
     

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    #4 nudeyorker, Dec 13, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2011
  5. D_Kitten_Kaboodle

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    I can't cook without a recipe :frown1:

    but then, hubby said he didn't marry me for my cooking or cleaning skills :tongue:
     
  6. luka82

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    I love to see people`s faces when they eat something I have made! As far as I`m concerned cooking is a piece of art! I use my imagination most of the time. But when it comes to baking and making sweets, you have to stick to the recepe for the basics at least.
     
  7. rbkwp

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    I normally don't use measuing spoons either I use my ... hand and fingers.
    Same here'

    usually follow recipe 2/3 times then ruff calculations ie pour in suffices
    am useless at baking, suppose thats why, i often change ingredients, if it says peanut brownies i will substitute walnuts/cashews, whatevers in the larder.
    but OK with all other foods, especially quick & easy tasty Chinese type meals.

    LOVE cooking and feel it should be a compulsory subject for all kids ( M&F) at all levels of schooling.

    Thanks tsunami you have made me reconsider my baking skills - lack of, i will endeavour to improve,and def read the book you suggest.
     
  8. aninnymouse

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    Depends. If it's the first time, Yeah, I'll follow it fairly closely. If I'm just screwing around in the kitchen, trying to make something, Nah. I'll just play it by ear. makes for some interesting dishes, but Hey, I do fine.
     
  9. OhWiseOne

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    Wouldn't those same rules apply to sex? Except for sour cream....:eek:...haha...kidding
     
  10. nudeyorker

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    Actually with sex you substitute sour cream with ice cream! :biggrin1:
     
  11. OhWiseOne

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    I enjoy experimenting it's the joy of cooking.
     
  12. OhWiseOne

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    Ah....I see :tongue:
     
  13. ghb69

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    Most of my cooking the same as everyone on here seems to agree is that when baking following the recipe is important, and only the add ins are where you can express yourself.

    I do have one chart that from an old Mennonite cookboook that gives substitutions for common baking ingredients that I find useful. Example (cup brown sugar) cup granulated sugar and 2 TBSP. dark corn syrup or molasses.

    As for everyday cooking I go with my tastes adding what I think it needs to bring out its best. In fact recently I made chili gave some to a neighbor she shared with her mother who came and ask for the recipe. I told her what I used but could not give her amounts. so now the next time I make chili she wants to come help (watch) and take notes.
     
  14. B_prettyswinggirl

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    We have a huge Mennonite community here too and their baking tips are GOLD! When I'm baking cakes and breads I follow recipes to the letter, but cookies, brownies and triffles I do my own interpretations on.

    With all other cooking, unless it's an old family recipe I go with a loose interpretation and hardly ever use a real recipe. I've had so many people ask for how I prepared something and I too can't for the life of me give them true measurements, just a list of ingredients I used in it!
     
  15. OhWiseOne

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    I have three versions of chili and no recipe.

    A hamburger base normal chili

    A chuck roast base leaning heavy on garlic, onions and peppers

    A white bean chicken chili
     
  16. ghb69

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    Some of my tricks for chili. Start with equal amounts of ground pork and ground beef then I roast 1/2 of my green peppers and add the other half just diced. I also use V-8 juice (store brand) along with my crushed tomatoes. Three layers of heat cayenne, red pepper flakes, and diced jalapenos.
     
    #16 ghb69, Dec 14, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011
  17. B_Nia88

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    I change it up. I love cooking my place is definitely in the kitchen.
     
  18. OhWiseOne

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    The chuck roast one is probably my favorite. I may post it in the recipe thread.
     
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