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Old 11-21-2009, 07:08 PM
 
Location: Redondo Beach, CA
7,404 posts, read 7,504,846 times
Reputation: 7717

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Whenever I search around for recipes online, and user feedback is available, I've noticed that 99% of people don't bother to make the recipe exactly as described. They make substitutions, cook for longer or shorter periods, leave things out, add things in, etc.

I find that there are some recipes that I will follow exactly, especially the first time I try them. Then there are other recipes that I feel comfortable enough to make some of my own modifications to. And once I've tried a recipe, if it's pretty good but not great, I have no problem doctoring it up differently if I'm going to try it again. And there are recipes that I use strictly as a guideline, and make my own version up as I go along.

So, are you an experimenter, or must you follow the ingredients list and the cooking directions exactly, or else you'll panic about the results?
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Old 11-21-2009, 07:36 PM
 
Location: Almost Paradise
1,671 posts, read 1,778,528 times
Reputation: 4243
I rarely follow recipes exactly. Whenever I share a recipe with my friends they always ask me what I did different!
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Old 11-21-2009, 07:51 PM
 
Location: Middle Tennessee
210,085 posts, read 80,696,961 times
Reputation: 134206
A recipe is a place to start. If I don't like something in it I leave it out to suit myself. I'm an independent cuss.
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Old 11-21-2009, 07:58 PM
 
Location: Redondo Beach, CA
7,404 posts, read 7,504,846 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nALgirl View Post

I rarely follow recipes exactly. Whenever I share a recipe with my friends they always ask me what I did different!
My great aunt had a recipe for pound cake that was UNbelievable. EVERYONE wanted the recipe, which she was more than happy to share. The only problem was, NO ONE could make it quite like she did. She kept insisting she wasn't leaving any important ingredients out, but everyone had their doubts. My mother finally decided that it must have had something to do with how often, and for how long, she'd open the oven door during baking. Nobody could ever figure it out and she took the secret to her grave.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomadicus View Post

A recipe is a place to start. If I don't like something in it I leave it out to suit myself. I'm an independent cuss.
That would be me and sage. There are plenty of delicious herbs without adding the one that tastes like dirt. Blech.
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Old 11-21-2009, 08:14 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles>Little Rock>Houston>Little Rock
6,488 posts, read 7,571,195 times
Reputation: 17417
I make modifications often, but not to the extent that some people do. I have seen some very odd substitutions made by people and then they give a bad review of the recipe. Some of these things are just way out there and make no sense whatsoever. I wish I could think of a specific example...I have laughed out loud at some of the things I've seen on recipezaar and foodnetwork.
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Old 11-21-2009, 09:14 PM
 
Location: SoCal desert
8,092 posts, read 13,982,097 times
Reputation: 14917
I'll follow it as exactly as I can the first time.

Then I play!
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Old 11-22-2009, 05:06 AM
 
Location: Looking East and hoping!
28,227 posts, read 20,256,003 times
Reputation: 2000000942
Very rarely do I follow a receipe. Very hard for me to share with people as I never measure anything. I go with my gut and have rarely messed up.
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Old 11-22-2009, 07:34 AM
 
5,065 posts, read 14,529,244 times
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Jill61, we don't like sage, either. We usually skip T'giving stuffing because of it, but I'm trying out a new recipe this year with bakery baked sourdough bread---and I'm cutting the sage called for in the recipe by half. So to answer the question, I usually follow the recipe exactly, but if it calls for an ingredient my family doesn't care for, I'll eliminate it, or at least halve the ingredient.

One thing I've learned at recipe sites that have reviews posted, is to take those reviews "with a grain of salt". Meaning, I don't make major changes to a recipe because some say the recipe is better that way. I once made a mac n cheese recipe, and doubled the amount of noodles the recipe called for, because so many reviewers stated they did so, and preferred it that way. But I ended up with a very bland, dry dish. So now I try out the recipe as stated at first, then adjust it the next time if it shows promise.
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Old 11-22-2009, 08:05 AM
 
Location: Jollyville, TX
4,387 posts, read 10,093,257 times
Reputation: 5648
It completely depends on the recipe and the degree of difficulty. Sometimes I'll read a recipe and think "whoa, that sounds like a lot of xxx" and I'll cut it back - or in the case of hot spice, I always add more. Other times, if I'm totally unsure of what the result will be, I follow the recipe exactly and then decide if I want to modify it the next time. I like to read the reviews and see what other people have done but I use my own judgement as to how those changes will affect the final outcome.
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Old 11-22-2009, 08:45 AM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
2,637 posts, read 11,643,237 times
Reputation: 3579
If it is baking I follow it exactly. If it is just a cooking recipe then I'll make whatever modifications I feel like.

I agree that it is annoying when people leave a bad review for a recipe that they didn't follow.
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