April 2021
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Don’t Buy Another Recipe Book Until You See This Video!

In the daily challenge of cooking meals for your family, home cooking recipes can be a help or a hindrance. How recipes work for you depends on what you expect them to tell you. Remember, recipes are good at telling you some things, but don’t help you with an overall kitchen culinary journey. If this is what you’re expecting, if you’re expecting guidance that will help you to become a master chef in your home, you will be disappointed.

Here is a review of some of the things that recipes don’t tell you about cooking meals at home:

* Variations in ingredients or potential substitutions
* Variations in measurements or how to handle mistakes in measuring
* Variations in different oven and stoves and their varying temperatures
* Variations in time or how to tell EXACTLY when the meal is cooked
* Why you are taking the steps that you are being asked to take so you can make educated decisions

In fact, recipes are best used as a guide for cooking meals just as a musician uses sheet music as a guide for playing music. But if you think about the musician that reads sheet music, they already know how to play an instrument and they can bring the sheet music to life. In the same way, in order to bring a recipe to life, in many respects, you already need know how to cook or at least understand several different cooking methods.

Have you ever heard a cover version of a favorite song? This happened to me recently. I happen to be a fan of Counting Crows and their song, Mr. Jones. Someone else had reinterpreted the song and was singing it as though it were a poem. I was upset! It just didn’t sound the same, but obviously, the musician had put his own spin on it and it may sound great to him and his fans.

So, if you understand how to cook and how to use recipes as an inspiration for your interpretation, you can overcome the things that the recipes don’t tell you about cooking meals at home. You’ll have power, strength and confidence to make the recipe come to life in your personal kitchen culinary vision.

Here are some ways to use recipes to your advantage:
Ingredients – Become familiar with families of ingredients so you can make substitutions. Here are a few examples:

* spinach for escarole
* carrots for daikon
* ostrich for steak

Measurements – forget measurements, cook by how the food looks to you and how it tastes. In your desire to complete the dish as the recipe defines it, you are being distracted from the art of cooking, from enjoying and developing your kitchen culinary skills. Remember, the cookbook doesn’t know your kitchen, you do. The recipes doesn’t know how you like your meals to taste, but you do. So take back control and stop measuring.

Variations in oven temps and times – forget about temperatures and times. Even if you’ve already cooked the recipe at your mom’s house or your best friends house, you can’t rely on the stated temperatures and times. Your oven may be 25 degrees warmer. Instead, use your eyes. Look for visual cues (quantify your cooking): the coagulation of proteins, the caramelization of starches, the evaporation of moisture, the reduction of sauces, etc.

Why you are taking the steps you do – how do you overcome this? Learn basic cooking methods like sauté, steaming, poaching, roasting and grilling. By understanding the nuances of these basic methods, you will be able to look at recipes as a particular method or combination of methods. In this way, just as the piano player hears the melody and attaches their own interpretation, you will begin cooking at home from recipes that will have everyone (including yourself) believing that you are a kitchen culinary master!

Chef Todd Mohr PhotoAbout Author
Learn his 1 Secret for Free and discover how online cooking classes can really teach you to cook!

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