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How Often Do You Use Recipes?

Most of my friends cook meals from scratch almost every night (we're grad students, so it's hard to afford food out). I've noticed that some of us refer to recipes most of the time, while others rarely do. That got me wondering how often hounds use recipes in general.

I do a lot of "winging it" in the kitchen. For weeknight meals, I rarely consult a recipe. It's more fun for me to grab whatever's in the fridge and see what I can put together. Last night I made a bacon and spinach quiche, tonight I'm having cod over a bed of collard greens (First, I'll sear the cod quickly on each side. In a separate pan, I'll sauté some shallots and a bit of garlic, add a bit of white wine, then add the collards. When the collards are getting tender, the cod is placed on top of them, the pot is covered, and the fish steams through. I have a cilantro and lemon pesto to top the whole thing off. I'm sure I stole bits and pieces of this meal from tons of sources, but the whole thing has become my own).

I like to expand my repertoire by cooking a "classic" recipe on the weekends. I'm interested in French bistro fare, so I look through my books and see what I haven't done that piques my interest. I might try another recipe during the week, maybe from a cookbook, maybe from the internet. So that's something like 1-2 recipes and 5-6 "originals."

How often do you use recipes?

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  1. I use a recipe probably 90% of the time. That said, probably 30% of those recipes are my own inventions.

    1. Recipes - 4 or 5 nights a week. The other nights are either eating out, dishes that were once recipes but we now know how to cook them and we've put our spin on them, or basic dishes that would never need a recipe like, say, a stew.

        1. Almost never. I'm a wing-it kinda gal myself, unless it's a dish I've never made before -- then I'll glance briefly at a recipe online, check out ingredients/proportions, and take it from there.

          I guess I have a hard time following directions '-D

          1. Depends on what I'm doing -- mains, rarely unless its something completely out of my comfort zone (curries, never or rarely: potsticker filling, always). Salad dressings, always the first dozen times or so, then rarely. Desserts/baking, always. :)