July 23, 2014

On Not Following Recipes


Oh, it will be the death of me some day.  Some (you know who you are) keep rolling their eyes, wondering why I insist on cooking like this.  It's just so hard to follow a recipe, especially when I'm tired, hungry, and way short on time.  My best successes are those dishes that involve the oven, which somehow tricks my mind into thinking I'm really baking, which is something I do love.  When I'm not in Paris, of course.

The organic, healthy side of me refuses to use anything mixed or boxed.  Scratch it is, yes ma'am. "Some assembly required" is always the stumbling block.  Which is why I stuck with my 5-ingredients-only rule for many years.  Honestly, I should never have strayed.

Last night the dish started as sauteed vegetables, but it seemed awfully boring.  Everything was occurring on top of the oven. Suddenly it dawned on me to pull out a cookbook for ideas, and curry chicken became a real possibility.  Of course I didn't have all of the 13 ingredients (does anybody??!), but perhaps it could still work:


Vegies:  I've got onions, zucchini, garlic, and carrots started in the pan, so let's start there.  Lovely!  A bit too chopped, but surely they will work.

Coconut oil:  Well, everything's already mixed in olive oil, but surely the two are compatible.

Rice:  Yikes, no time to start that.  Didn't plan for 45 mins.  But here's some leftover wild rice I can resurrect...

Lamb chops:  There's lamb burger in the freezer.  It should taste the same, no? Let's just throw that in.

Yogurt:  Not in the recipe, but definitely in the fridge and needs to be used up, and it should go nicely with everything...

Tomato paste: Might be some in the freezer, but it's down in the lower depths. Fathoms deep.  Best to skip it altogether.

Sauce:  A little too runny, so I'll just add some flour.  Hmmm...whole wheat is healthier, so let's try it.

Curry:  Oh, as a general rule, it's definitely too hot. I'll just use a smidgen...

Cilantro and mint:  Score!  I've got both in the garden!  


118 failures.  But this?  Victory!!!!  It looked a little mashed (dog food?), but it tasted GREAT!!!! That's a big win in my book.

See, this is part of the big problem.  These rare victories keep me going.


  1. There's nothing wrong with not following a recipe, as long as in the end it tastes good!

  2. Oh my WORD. When you said you put in yogurt ... I fully expected disaster. It tasted good? Well, there you go! Now, since you've written it down on a blog post, you can duplicate it again later, right? Congrats!!!