Foodie Friday: Recipe Ideas to Spice It Up!
I wanted to share a practice that I use in regards to recipes. I LOVE cookbooks, and that is an understatement, and I love trying new recipes as often as I change clothes. What can I say? I just get bored eating the same old thing day-in and day-out. If a recipe really jumps off the page and is beyond amazing, I will cook it again and keep it in my repertoire of food that is really good when I want to eat something I know for a fact is delicious or want impress someone else with my amazing cooking skills (sly fox!).
My system for keeping track of how a recipe fared in my kitchen and stomach is by using check style grading marks. A check + (plus) means that the recipe was out of the ball park good and will definitely be made again (any recipe I’ve shared on here, the blog, has received that marking); a plain check by itself indicates that the recipe tasted so-so or had some issues in preparation or difficulties in ingredients. I may or may not prepare that dish again depending on it’s problems. If it was a simple matter of overcooking or the wrong proportions of ingredients, it may take more experimenting to decide ultimately; a check – (minus) means that the recipe was a real fail and either is thrown away if it came from a magazine or clearly marked to ignore if I come across it again in a book. I place these checks on top of the recipe in bold black ink so that I can see it clearly (pencil can fade or get erased) when thumbing through the book the next time I’m hunting down new recipes.
I also add personal notes in regards to what I think the problems were, what extra ingredients I added/took out, how it didn’t work well halved/doubled, cooking temperature problems, and generally what I thought about how it tasted. If the recipe was delicious with the additions I made, then I keep them for the next time I make the dish. I also know that I can manipulate the recipe for further tweaking if I want too later.
At one point, I sat down with 4 or 5 five of my favorite cookbooks (books that I’ve got a lot of check pluses in!) and wrote down on a paper recipes from those books, under different headings, that I must try and that would be appropriate for clean eating and/or weight loss. On that list I cross off the one’s that I’ve cooked and continue on the list when I want to try something new. I found recipes for all types of meals: dinners, lunches, salads, soups, etc. Each one of these recipes I “tasted” in my mind before choosing them for the list thinking that they would probably end up as check pluses eventually. Most do, some don’t. The picture in tomorrow’s post is the result of one such recipe that only gets a plain check from me (Black Bean Burgers). The taste was good, but the burger fell apart and was a mess. Tricky to cook too. Also, the recipe asked for no seasoning. I found that extremely odd. Of course, I added my own. One thing I should have added to this list, is the page numbers that I found these recipes on. I can just as easily look in the Index for them because the book is indicated (by abbreviation), however, I’m just lazy.
Do you have any ways of remembering how you liked or didn’t like a recipe? I have so many recipes in books and torn out sheets/cards it’s hard to keep track of. Perhaps my method can give some of you ideas if you share in my: I-have-too-many-cookbooks “problem.”