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View Poll Results: Which cooking style do you fall in?
I am a free spirit and rarely follow recipes closely. I enjoy concocting my own dishes out of the blue. 21 58.33%
I sometimes alter recipes but only because an ingredient is missing or someone is allergic. Not for novelty or curiosity. 11 30.56%
I toe the recipe line most of the time. Why reinvent the wheel? 3 8.33%
I never change a recipe unless the creator suggests other versions. I donít like surprises. 1 2.78%
Voters: 36. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-08-2019, 04:58 PM
Location: Log "cabin" west of Bangor
5,561 posts, read 6,538,304 times
Reputation: 9792


For me, recipes are usually just suggestions, ideas to get me started thinking about something. Sometimes I'll look at several on the same general subject and combine various elements before I wander off the track entirely...
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Old 01-08-2019, 05:49 PM
Location: Western Washington
8,143 posts, read 7,824,195 times
Reputation: 14259
Recipes are a nice guideline, and I modify baking as well, although the ability to modify is a bit more limited due to the chemical nature.

I will often start cooking by going into the kitchen and starting with an ingredient I want to use and building around that. I might not know what I am cooking until I am done.
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Old 01-08-2019, 07:25 PM
Location: North Oakland
9,007 posts, read 8,346,838 times
Reputation: 13846
I don't need to use recipes anymore to put dinner on the table. But I do occasionally encounter one that piques my interest. In that case, I generally follow it as written, as I want to taste what the author is trying to communicate with me. From then on, if I like it, I'll make adjustments or not.

Lately, I substituted 6 oz. of thick sliced slab bacon for 4 oz. of pancetta in Lucinda Scala Quinn's recipe for Amatriciana sauce, as I know I don't really like pancetta. With the bacon, it was absolutely wonderful. I tried it the second time with pancetta, just to see what it's like. I was right the first time. I like bacon better, and it made a great tomato sauce. Amatriciana goes very well with bucatini pasta and freshly grated Pecorino Romano, should you want to try it.
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Old 01-08-2019, 07:46 PM
Location: Richardson, TX
10,732 posts, read 17,052,234 times
Reputation: 26517
I nearly always change the recipe based on either what I like or what I have in the house, except for baking, when I follow the recipe exactly.

Many (most?) of my dinners don't involve a recipe, I just cook something I know how to make.
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Old 01-08-2019, 08:16 PM
Location: The New England part of Ohio
17,934 posts, read 22,240,795 times
Reputation: 45915
I have never made a recipe that I did not put my signature upon, in some way.
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Old 01-08-2019, 08:25 PM
Location: Colorado
1,837 posts, read 1,110,726 times
Reputation: 3805
Originally Posted by maciesmom View Post
It depends.

Usually the first time I make something I try to adhere to the recipe, only changing/omitting items I don't have on hand and I don't feel are integral to the success of the dish. After that I may change a few things up from time to time.
This is usually what I do as well (unless something about the recipe *really* stands out to me as lacking something). But usually after the first time is when I'll do my tweaking, if needed.
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Old 01-08-2019, 08:29 PM
Location: Austin
11,284 posts, read 6,442,925 times
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If making a new dish, I follow the recipe to the letter the first time I make it. after that first time, I modify the recipe as I prefer.
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Old 01-08-2019, 08:44 PM
4,506 posts, read 2,283,911 times
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I almost always reduce the amount of sugar in baked goods or eliminate it entirely for some things such as cornbread, which to me tastes best without any sweeteners. So far (knock on wood) such deviations have turned out fine.

Interesting that some mentioned reducing salt, which I might or might not reduce. It depends on the recipe. Salt can easily be added to the finished food, so this one is easy to cut down on.
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Old 01-08-2019, 08:59 PM
Location: Upstate NY
32,224 posts, read 9,543,242 times
Reputation: 30541
As others have noted, never for baked goods. For other things, I might get a recipe for a new idea, and do some tweaking.

But I never rate a recipe when I've changed it. I see that a lot, and it annoys the heck out of me.
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Old 01-08-2019, 10:02 PM
2,891 posts, read 6,330,110 times
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Originally Posted by Dogboa View Post
We usually follow a new recipe the first time and if we like it, it gets tweaked the next time.
This. While I'm cooking it the first time, I'm mentally thinking about things that I'd do differently if it turns out to be a meal that I'd like to cook again.
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