follow that recipe
Is there a perfect recipe that you love and is your go to favorite. You know, your invited to a party and asked to bring a dish and you take out that old faithful recipe, the one you have been making for years becuase you know it works. The paper it is written on is probably wrinkled and stained with various spills and splats from years of wear and tear.
Keep that recipe! Really great recipes, no matter if it’s a chicken, beef, seafood, pasta, vegetable or a sweet dish, great recipes are hard to find. How many times have you tried a recipe from a magazine and /or the Internet and it just did not taste good or was a complete disaster. We have all been there. Now comes the hard part. How do you find a great recipe? I could make up a cute little formula, lets say, 1 cup good ingredients, 1 cup skill, 1/2 cup luck and 1 tablespoon of love. Sorry, that is not it. Here is what needs to happen. Research and practice. Spending a little time researching and practicing is the best way to have a successful dish.
When you find a recipe that you think sounds good, read the whole recipe from start to finish. If it sounds like something you can accomplish try it. FOLLOW THE ORIGINAL RECIPE EXACTLY the way you found it. If it does not turn out well that means it was not such a good recipe to begin with. If you made a mistake in the directions and or tried to substitute other ingredients, techniques, equipment, cooking times and or temperatures then you may want to start over and follow the recipe exactly again. If you had some luck, remember the the 1/2 cup of luck I spoke of earlier, and your dish came out tasting great and everyone including yourself went WOW when they tasted it, then that is a keeper. Put it in a notebook and keep it for future cooking. At this point if the orginal recipe was good, go ahead make some adjustments and substitute ingredients, you know the original was good, chances are your additions and or substractions will not make too much of a difference, it will just make it your signature dish.
Cooking is fun. it is not brain surgery, thank goodness or I would not have a job. Follow that recipe and make some delicious food for your family and friends.
Today I will be baking my go to dish, White-chocolate blondies with raspberries, anyone want the recipe?
Cindy Schwanke is the full time culinary instructor at College of the Canyons. She has helped grow the culinary program into a well respected, competitive culinary establishment. She has done various cooking workshops, community service projects and fundraisers to promote the college and the culinary program.
Cindy’s first love is pastry. She has worked in bake shops for over 20 years. She started in retail bakeries, then moved on to working in hotel, restaurant and catering kitchens.
Cindy has worked at Hyatt Hotels, Four Seasons Hotel, Smash box Studios, Spago restaurant and retail outlets. Cindy has her degree in Culinary Food Management. Her specialty is pastry and has won numerous medals in pastry competitions.
Cindy is a member of the American Culinary Federation and travels around the state promoting the pastry arts. “Everyone asks me why I became a pastry chef. I think it is because my fondest memories are when I was a little girl, my great grandfather and great grandmother would chop huge sugar blocks into small cubes for their daily coffee. This ritual would take place every Sunday morning at the breakfast table. This memory inspired me to work with sugar”.
Contact Information for Cindy:
Culinary Arts Instructor
College of the Canyons