I made some Lentil soup for the first time a couple days ago which, I feel like turned out decently well for being my first time. I googled a couple recipes and looked up how to cook Lentils and then just made up my own recipe with the vegetables and seasonings that I had.
I am one of those cooks who feels that recipes are only there to give you a guideline, but not to actually be followed (unless I really don't know what I am doing).
I think I got this from my mom because I don't think she hardly ever sticks to a recipe when cooking. If you ask her for the recipe of something, she might have a recipe she semi-followed, but most likely added this or that and left out something else.
So back to Lentil soup, I didn't make anything fancy. I added some carrots and onions and several spices and then added some chicken flavored broth. The test was to see how Tyler would like it. I don't think he will ever call Lentil soup his favorite meal (unless I manage to work wonders with it), but he definitely did like it.
We had been eating so much of the exact same combinations, so it is good to finally have another cheap meal to add to the list.
I will continue to want to mess around with it and try new things. I found a recipe for curry lentil soup that I really want to try out. No, I probably won't follow the recipe precisely, but it's there for a guideline. ;)
On another note, for those of you who put baking and cooking in the same category (Sorry! They're not in the same category!) I do tend to be much more careful about following a recipe when I am baking.
However, even there I generally do fail to be exact. I rarely ever level off a cup of flour with a knife or something to make sure it is absolutely flat and no I don't use a scale either. Yes, I have been known to use the palm of my hand to measure something. I have used a liquid measuring cup for dry ingredients or vise versa. And guess, what? It almost always turns out delicious.
I am an imperfectionist who really enjoys baking and cooking, but sticking to exact rules is just so hard.
Would my food turn out a ton better if I actually followed recipes more precisely? I don't know! Never really tried. There's a good chance that it would, but if it turns out good anyway then why add the fuss? I think, why not be a little creative, instead.
Ok, I really love and respect all of you who actually stick to recipes precisely. In fact, I am here to say that you are probably a far better cook or baker than I will ever be myself.
What about you? Are you a recipe follower for baking or cooking? Or are recipes just a basic guideline for you? What is something new that you have tried baking or cooking recently?