Do you follow recipes or invent your own?

United States
June 25, 2008 1:30pm CST
I primarily follow recipes, but usually after the first few times of making it, I will begin to change ingredients a bit. Now recently I've found a few recipes, and only used them as guidelines as far as how to prepare the dish and how long to cook it. Most of the ingredients did not follow the recipe. I had a hit with cheddar scalloped potatoes that I created without the help of a recipe (except to guide me as far as layering and baking time and temp). Do you follow recipes, invent your own, or change recipes? Have you ever invented a hit recipe, or changed a recipe and found it to be a huge success?
3 people like this
30 responses
• United States
25 Jun 08
I love to cook and, several years ago, I taught gourmet cooking. The reason I stopped teaching that class was the frustration I found with those who were afraid to stray from the strict confines of recipes. A couple of times, I put boxes of ingredients at the work stations and asked the students to be creative and see what they could do. Few even tried. Most kept trying to find recies in the books on the shelves, and a few called people they considered good cooks to ask for recipes. How sad! In this economy, I hope there will be increased creativity to make up for the prohibitive costs of the foods to which we've usually turned!
• United States
26 Jun 08
Why do you think people are afraid to try something different? What's the worst that can happen, that the end result isn't any good and it has to be trashed. Well if using your own ingredients I can understand you don't want to waste that food on a dud, but in a class.. why not? You could be surprised that it's really good and you invented something. I've been trying things lately off the top of my head and I'm usually pleasantly surprised. I created my own pork rub yesterday and it was quite good, I just let my nose show me the way. I also created my own stuffing recipe, and learned that when it comes to pepper, less is good, LOL. Other than being over peppered, it was great!
• United States
26 Jun 08
Most people are less concerned with trying something new than making themselves seem foolish. What a shame self-confidence can't be packaged and sold!
@gemini_rose (16194)
25 Jun 08
If it is the first time of making something then I will follow the recipe all the way through and then if the taste of it is not as nice as I expected or tastes like something is missing then I change it. Once I get comfortable with recipes I usually change them anyway, it is always interesting to see what a dish ends up turning into!
1 person likes this
@gemini_rose (16194)
26 Jun 08
thanks for BRXX
@brimia (6588)
• United States
25 Jun 08
I rarely follow recipes exactly. I often throw whatever I have on hand together. Sometimes I'll take a recipe and then change it to make it healthier or to use the ingredients that I have available.
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Jun 08
Similarly I seldom follow recipes verbatim. Sometimes the ingredients recommended are way too expensive, therefore I find a cheaper and usually healthier alternative. Take for instance noodles... My friends are usually in awe at what I could do with that 10cent a pack item.
@snowy22315 (33038)
• United States
25 Jun 08
I usually modify them alittle depending on my needs at the time. I sometimes add like a splenda sugar mix if it calls for sugar or use applesauce in place of oil and stuff like that.
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Jun 08
How do you like splenda? I've thought about trying it, but have my doubts that my family will accept it.
1 person likes this
@Swaana (1208)
• India
25 Jun 08
I have followed the recipie to the core during my initial stages of cooking, but after a few years, I have learnt to add or decrease certain ingredients and it have really been a hit in the family. And also to make a dish, I try out doing something different out of the regular and I do share it with my friends and relatives.
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Jun 08
I do not cook much. If I do not follow the recipe I have a real mess. My family will eat it because I made it even if it is good or not! Poor kids. If I make some thing and it is terriable they will tell me how great it is! Gotta love them!
• United States
26 Jun 08
I wish my family was like that. One day I found a porkchop in the toilet because someone didn't want to eat it!
• Philippines
26 Jun 08
Well even if I tried hard to follow the recipe on the book my finished product always seems to taste really different. I can't find the right ways in following this kind of recipe book. that's why most of the time I just invent my own food.
• United States
26 Jun 08
I have learned that a lot of it is not in the ingredients, but in your technique. I tried to make boiled frosting once and failed miserable because I didn't beat it to the right consistancy, so sometimes that's a big deal.
@lingli_78 (12852)
• Australia
26 Jun 08
i usually invent my own recipe when i cook and i change the ingredients as i like... i never have any problem and my hubby loves my cooking anyway... i just use my gut feeling and mix whatever ingredients i think will be right for the meal... i love to be creative when it comes to cooking as i love cooking... take care and have a nice day...
• United States
26 Jun 08
When I first started cooking I would follow to a tee . And now I just have fun with it
@cobracar (142)
• United States
26 Jun 08
I mainly follow recipes, but thats because im not the most creative person or best cook. a lot of times i try to add a little to recipes to make them a little bit different. sometimes it works, sometimes it backfires. things like gumbo and low country boils are about the only thing i dont really follow a recipe for.
• United States
26 Jun 08
Let your senses show you the way. Use your nose to smell it, and your eyes to see. I make my own sauce a lot, and at first I followed the recipe, but noticed it was too bland. Now I just throw things in, and I smell it and sometimes taste a bit then add more of something. The more you experiment, the better you'll get. I don't consider myself a great cook either, but you learn by trying and sometimes failing. yesterday I learned how much pepper is TOO much!
@mimico (3619)
• Philippines
26 Jun 08
If I have a general idea on how to cook the dish, I just invent my own recipe and throw in ingredients hat I already have. Most of time, I also like food cooked my way--like sweeter, so i tend to deviate from the recipe. Even when I'm baking, I make the recipe my own. I don't like measuring it's really tiresome and I end up having to wash a lot of utensils. Still, whenever I stick to the recipe I find that the dish always comes out great!
• United States
26 Jun 08
I've only just begun to bake, so I'm no expert on it.. but I have heard that baking has to be rather exact, so you really should measure. As far as cooking goes, you can sort of just use your senses to decide how much to add, but baking is different. You have to have the right ratio of liquid and solids (flour, sugar etc) or it will come out too dry or not cook right.
@TheCatLady (4696)
• Israel
22 Jul 08
I usually invent my own with whatever I have in the house. It's not so hard. I know what goes good together and how to balance a recipe. Sometimes just a pinch of salt or sugar or spice etc will turn a so so dish into a great one.
@xParanoiax (7005)
• United States
26 Jun 08
I do all three things. Often, I will follow the recipe the first time to see how it turns out (I don't always though, sometimes I decide to change and substitutde things or get creative early, using that recipe as the inspiration for an idea)...and then later get more creative.
• Philippines
26 Jun 08
I usually use recipes as a guide. Even if it will be my first time to cook or bake it, I will alter things and see how it taste. I once followed a recipe when I was in my teens. I followed it to a tee. Ended up with a not so disastrous cake. I then made another one with my modifications, and it turned out well. Moist, melts in your mouth kind of chiffon and just right icing.
@bdugas (3584)
• United States
26 Jun 08
i follow the recipe most of the time, but once in awhile I find that I can add something different that will enhance the taste, bring out the flavor, I like to add cheese also to a lot of the recipes I use and sour cream. I go in the kitchen sometimes and see what we have then put it together and make something different, I think it is fun to come up with new and different things to cook, same old, same old gets boring at times.
• India
26 Jun 08
I often follow the recipes but sometimes I invent my own recipe. I consider myself as a Good cook and try my level best in inventing some good dishes and most of the times I will be successful. I use the Ingredients in very proportional manner and make the food item more delicious with my secret ingredients.
• United States
26 Jun 08
I wouldn't say that i just invent my own!! But i do come up with a lot of difrent ideas while i am in the kitchen cooking. Some times when i cook i get food ideas from other people and sometimes i jsut add my own touch to a lot of dishes that prepare.
@underdogtoo (9601)
• Philippines
26 Jun 08
I suppose that there is a reason why recipes are there. It doesn't mean that one cannot get creative with them and invent a new one. If it works then it could be shared by with others. I like to vary ingredients and change things a little bit but not before understanding how the whole thing was supposed to be like. This way I stick to the spirit of the recipe without being too bookish about it.
@sylvia13 (1851)
• Nelson Bay, Australia
26 Jun 08
I usually follow recipes, but after some time I find myself cutting down on things like butter and sugar, as most times the extra amount is not really needed. I also change things a bit, including ingredients I have instead of looking for what the recipe calls for.
@mikeysmom (2094)
• United States
26 Jun 08
i always follow recipes for any kind of baking but other than that i make up my own things and they usually come out really good. i like to be in and out of the kitchen quickly whenever possible so following recipes is just to time consuming for me.
@laglen (19783)
• United States
26 Jun 08
I enjoy reading recipes. But I generally do not follow them I use them for ideas. Then I catch my self saying "wow I didn't even think to put those ingredients together!" So I get great ideas and then personalizing them.