Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Coloring inside the Lines

Wednesday, May 7, 2014: Do you follow recipes to a T, or do you play around with recipes, making adjustments?

My approach to following recipes depends on several factors: 

(1) Does the original recipe contain any dairy? 
(2) Have I made this dish before? 
(3) Do I have all of the ingredients on hand?

The answers to these questions shape whether or not I am going to follow the directions to "a T." 

If the original recipe contains any dairy, there are a few things that I can do to still make a version of it. My most common substitutions are coconut milk (sometimes called beverage) for milk, margarine for butter, coconut milk (from the can) for cream, and fake cheese for real cheese. The main issue is the original purpose of the dairy in the recipe and deciding if it's worth the attempt.

Now, if I have made the recipe in the past chances are that I will change it up the second time. I like to make note of what I liked (or didn't like) about a recipe for the next time. For example, I made avocado egg rolls last week that had some sun dried tomatoes in them. If I make the egg rolls again, I 'll cut the tomatoes into smaller pieces so that they'll be less overwhelming. If the recipe is new to me, I'll usually follow the directions as closely as possible to make sure that it turns out as originally intended.

Lastly, I am more likely to try a recipe if I have everything at home to make it. It's the pits when you want to try something, but have to make a special trip to the store for the ingredients. Sometimes, you just really want to try something new and don't have the time or inclination to go to the store. That's when substitutions occur, but not too often at our house.

Best wishes!


  1. You must bring your best recipes when you come visit so we can try them!

    1. I'll curate a pile of recipes for us. I don't normally make dishes twice since there are always new things to try. :)