To some, this tip may seem obvious. To someone like me who prefers to just throw things together, this is something very difficult. Most of the time, I am too lazy to purchase all of the ingredients that are required to make something I see out of a cookbook or on the Internet. I just convince myself that whatever I have will suffice, and the dish will turn out close enough. There are sometimes that following the recipe exactly pays off, though. Whether the recipe comes from a cookbook, food blog, or another resource, chances are it has been tested multiple times, and it works!
There have been many times that I have been skeptical of using a recipe found online because anyone can put anything on the internet. Someone can post something with a decent picture, and people will believe that it is good. I have had plenty of experience with trying some recipe that I found online and it not turning out at all what I expected. On the other hand, I have had even more experience where the final product has come out a lot better than expected. I will usually hold onto the bad experiences and convince myself that I don’t need a recipe for anything. In reality, using recipes from the Internet or at least researching what goes into different dishes helps my cooking a lot. It has really made me an overall better chef.
When it comes to cookbooks and other resources that I have, I wish I used them more than I do. Whenever I make a recipe from a cookbook or magazine, it turns out really well. I am rarely disappointed! Once again, I think I have enough ideas and experience that I can make anything and everything. In reality, I still need inspiration, and there is always room for improvement. That is how I learned to cook in culinary school. Each day, we followed set recipes that pertained to what we were learning. Through that, I was able to tune and develop my palate. I learned what went well together and what didn’t. Without following recipes that were developed like that, I wouldn’t be able to just throw things together to make the food I do today.
I realize there are a lot of people who regularly use recipes. For people like me, I highly recommend branching out and trying different things. This is especially useful when I am stuck in a rut or lack inspiration. Following recipes has changed my cooking over the years and continues to inspire me to create new versions of classic favorites!