Quick Recipes and Easy

Recipes Are Only Guidelines

If you are new to cooking, recipes can be a fantastic way to learn to cook. Certainly, the more recipes you follow the more you will learn what works and what doesn’t; or what goes together and what doesn’t. But if you have some experience with cooking, you’ll soon realize that recipes are open to interpretation. Maybe you like more of this and more of that, and soon you have your own recipe.

If you delight in cooking, or cook for a special diet, this is very vital. Usually when I cook, if I’m cooking something I’m not real familiar with, I’ll read a few recipes to get the gest of it. But then I do it my own way. This is why I only use recipes as a guideline.

One thing to keep in mind when using a recipe is that more is not always better. In other words, if it has an ingredient that you like, it may or may not be better to add more. Excellent cooks will tell you that quite often a ‘hint’ of a particular flavor is better. That’s quite often the ‘secret’ to a excellent recipe. Just a dash of this and a pinch of that can go a long way.

On the other hand, sometimes you might come across a recipe that ‘more’ of something makes it better. Maybe you like a small more pepper or garlic (it’s my opinion that it’s hard to have too much garlic). Your experimentation will tell you what’s right for you. Make notes if you have to, but eventually you will have a knack for cooking and know what you are doing by improvising. It’s kind of like having a green thumb.

Salt is one thing that always improves the flavors of foods. When a recipe calls for a pinch of salt or so, I ignore it. I can’t taste food if it doesn’t have salt or sugar on it, and I’ve learned that adding salt while cooking brings out the flavor much more than adding it at the dinner table.

Sugar is another secret. I really don’t recommend this one if you have problems with sugar, but a small trick in the better restaurants is to add just a pinch of sugar to vegetables while they are cooking. It not only brings out the flavor, but it helps them keep their color. A pinch of sugar won’t hurt most people, but be careful if you are diabetic or on a low carb diet.

The best thing to do is experiment. Follow a lot of recipes until you get a feel for it, then try a few things on your own. I’ve got several recipes that my friends and family question me for, and yet I can’t give them any specifics. That’s because I just took a basic thought and improvised. I doubt that I ever cook any ‘recipe’ the same way twice anymore, and yet the majority of the time I am quite pleased with my results.

Cooking is a ‘knack’ and you can do it if you have an interest in it. You can make your own very unique recipes and always look forward to the creativity in the kitchen. The real trick is … getting someone else to clean up the mess :)

Bobby Ivie is the owner of

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