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Do you improvise in cooking or do you use the exact ingredients as stated in the recipe?

by Finy (follow)
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Cooking (175)      Substitute (2)      Improvise (1)     

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When you are cooking from a recipe, can you improvise if you do not have all the ingredients or do you have to have the "correct" ingredients according to the recipe?

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Top Answers
I am not good at improvising if I am using a recipe!
Sometimes i go to the shop for one item, and my friends laugh at me, hence I wrote the question!

I don't know what to substitute however I have now realised I can look it up on Google! duh.....
by Finy
I use a bit of this and a bit of that. Going by taste more than what a recipe says, because I like things to taste good to me, not just to a specification. If I want to make something and I don't have a particular thing, I see if there is something else in the pantry I can use instead. Usually, there is a good substitute. Like tinned tomatoes in the food processor if the recipe calls for tomato paste or salsa and I don't have any. I have substituted cream cheese for cream and dried out my own bread in the oven to make bread crumbs. I have three little kids, so I guess that has made me more creative than I used to be, because the thought of heading out to the shops with three little hungry kids just to get one ingredient, and have to walk past the virtual mine field of sweets that are on display just at eye level, really make me prefer to take another look in the depths of the pantry for a substitute.
With most recipes I can improvise but when following gluten free baking, I have to stick to the recipe pretty closely cause it can be really finicky.
I only stick to a recipe if baking
by AJ
I almost always improvise. I hate following recipes unless I'm trying something new and fear it will totally fail with following the instructions exactly. I prefer spontaneity.
I have always been what is termed a 'creative' cook! Right back to when I was doing Home Economics in high school,when I would forever be getting told off by the teachers,until they tasted my dishes!! My son has always been just like me,starting to cook beautiful meals at just 9 years of age,and going on to become a chef as soon as he was old enough for an apprenticeship! I can start using a recipe,but inevitably,I will add something else to it,or delete an ingredient! Having had severe allergies all my life,I believe that this has added to my creativity,just so I could still work out something yummy which I would not react to!
I improvise. Nearly every time - unless there's a specific dish that I absolutely loved and couldn't possibly improve upon.
I like to stick to the recipe the first time I make a meal, so I know what it's supposed to be like. If I like it or I think it could be made better, I tweak the recipe the second and subsequent times I make it.
by Vee
I M P R O V I S E all the way!!
I live alone so cook just for myself most of the time and frequently 'improvise'. If I have visitors (which is very rare these days as my friends and I find it easier to go out for meals when we meet)...I then would use a recipe if I wanted something a bit different,
by Fran
When first married, I stuck to the recipe like glue.

For much enjoyment, read:hobby, I attended many Conventional & Mocrowave Cooking Classes, as I loved/still love Cooking!
My Grandmother & Mother taught me how to cook at home. They were just SO good; my Mother, in particular, her Dinner Parties were legion!

As time wore on, I improvised, & do that to this day, with great results!
If I don’t have some ingredient, I’ll use something else similar, like tomato sauce instead of tomato puree or tomato paste.
Yes, I do improvise in cooking, especially if I'm not sure about the ingredient, or I can't get it for what ever reason.
I will improvise if need to, I hate going to the shops just for one ingredient.
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