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How I Cook (And Why I Think You Should Cook This Way Too.)

Updated: Oct 16, 2018

Fettucine w/ Bay Scallops, Fresh Corn, + Chives. Guys I totally made this up as I went along, and you can too!

Before you start reading my cooking recipes, there's something you need to make your peace with about me. When it comes to cooking, I almost *never* measure. Unless I'm following some super fussy French recipe or something like that, I usually play my cooking by taste. Meaning, if I'm not sure of the exact amount of something to add, I'll just add a little at a time and keep tasting til I get it right.

Which means my cooking recipes will usually call for things like a "handful" of this or "two big glugs" of that or "add enough water to cover the thing in the pot" rather than tsps and fractional cups and whatnot. Even when I do use exact measurements, chances are those are more of a guideline than a strict requirement. Often with my recipes, I'll use a specific measurement for a main ingredient (like 28oz of tomato puree for my Sunday Sauce recipe) and then approximate the rest of the ingredients around that.

Baking is a different story. There's a lot more exact science required to bake successfully, and so for the most part I will stick to exact measurements when baking.

But cooking is an art form. And once you get comfortable with your particular version of it, cooking will get a LOT easier for you. (And a LOT more fun!)

It's also reasonably logical. So if you use your common sense, you're not going to fuck it up. i.e. if something looks too dry, add some liquid. If something is starting to burn, pull it off the heat, turn the heat down, and give everything a minute or two to cool down before putting it back on the (lowered) heat. If something tastes bland, add some salt or more of a salty ingredient (like cheese!).

How big is a medium onion? No one really knows. Just put in enough until it feels like the right proportion to the other ingredients for what you're making. So in an onion-heavy dish like a spaghetti sauce, you'll probably want more onion than, say, the zucchini or carrots. But in a dish where the other ingredients are the stars of the show, you'll want a much smaller proportion of onion.

If you stick to your guns and think things through a little before throwing something into the pan or pot, chances are pretty low that you're going to ruin your dish irreparably. Just remember, once you've added something, you can't take it out. So if you're not sure how much to add, start small and taste between additions.

And be patient.

The more often you cook this way, the more comfortable you'll get with it. And soon, you too will scoff at the idea of cooking with an exact recipe.

So if you're one of those people who panics when there's not an exact recipe to follow, take a deep breath and relax. Have a little faith in yourself and your common sense and your taste buds.

And give yourself permission to have some fun in the kitchen!

OR don't bother reading my cooking recipes, because they'll probably drive you a little crazy.

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