Friday, March 16, 2012

The recipe for how I cook

How do I cook? Often I post recipes here or tell people what I've made and this is how is really goes. I have my own thing.  I'm all over the place. I make it probably seem much easier than it is because I never strictly use one recipe. Here is my method.
  1. Decide what I want to make, or at least get an idea for what ingredients to start with. Soup? Casserole? Mexican?
  2. Look up legit recipes 
    1. online - you should see how many tabs I can open at once in Google Chrome. It's insane. I've always got 5 things going on at once. Looking up recipes, working on the blog, reading google reader, researching Christmas gifts, email & job applications. Phew. I normally just google the food or dish and see what comes up. I'll use the first couple top hits. Another tip I use a lot: 

    I search the recipe on google. Then hit the 'more' button on the left hand side of the screen. Then choose blogs. I love getting the blog worlds' perspective on stuff. Often you'll find the best, easiest to follow, most colorful recipes. No crazy links to get all 18 steps with no photos, or links that pop up all over the place. Usually blogs are simple, they explain what their doing, offer simple photos, and tips like what to pair this with, or what to do if your're out on an ingredient. I'm just a huge blog fan.

    2. our cookbook collection - I think we have about 15 cook books of which 2 are everything all purpose everything cookbooks.  I often browse them to see if they have the classic version of what I want to make.  The Joy of Cooking and Better Homes & Gardens are my go to day to day favorites.  The cookbook with the molecular gastronomy doesn't normally get pulled out.

3. Completely change my original idea
4. Go into the kitchen and check the pantry. Often if I see something fresh that needs to be eaten or an overstock of a certain product like pasta or rice I'll choose to go in that direction.
5. Change idea again - probably something close to what I had in mind in the first place.
6. Take bits of pieces from all of the recipes I've read.
7. Mentally merge all the ideas into Robin's version of the meal.
8. Go along cooking the meal often referencing recipes but changing quantities and versions. ie. brown rice instead of white rice, onions for leeks, homemade buttermilk for real buttermilk, changing the veggies up, excluding some items, changing the cooking times or vessels for baking in. Is almond vanilla milk interchangeable for skim milk?!? yikes. the answer: sometimes.
9. Often panic when I didn't read any of the recipes thoroughly and realize I almost missed an entire step.
10. Somehow manage to successfully merge all ideas and foods together and come out with something hopefully good.
11. No worries, I always end up with an amazing meal that tastes great. If I do say so myself.

This is my crazy method that I've been perfecting over the last few years. It seems to be working well for me. Who's hungry?

I should say that this method really comes out when I'm making something for the first time. Once I've made a dish a few times I get more comfortable and just cook from memory. I'd like to memorize all my favorite recipes because I think it'd make me look cool. (In front of who I ask myself!?) I know most people probably do best following one recipe to the letter but I'm often all over the place when it comes to cooking.

How does the rest of the world approach cooking (something new)?

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