June 13, 2010

Ol' Reliable Recipes

While I wish I could constantly bake/cook new things, sometimes it is necessary to stick with the familiar; however, with so many recipe variations out there I sometimes struggle with my desire to try new recipes versus the simple fact that a current recipe I use is a family favorite/familiar.

Barbecue Sauce is a great example. There are two that I make that PE loves (Honey Barbecue Sauce and Barbecue Sauce I) and another he really likes (Barbecue Sauce II) but I have six more recipes currently bookmarked. Do I stick with the favorites? Do I try the new recipes? Maybe one of the new recipes will become a new favorite. Maybe one of the new recipes will replace an old favorite. Maybe I waste the ingredients on a complete ick fest of grossness. See the dilemma? If not multiply that one item (barbecue sauce) by 30 or so other items (pancakes, pancake syrup, chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal cookies, peanut butter cookies, shrimp scampi, etc.) all of which there is a current favorite in our home but I have multiple recipe variations bookmarked for them as well. Is the dilemma clearer now? What is a person to do? More importantly what am I to do?

Knowledge of the familiar assists at times with this dilemma. I know how quickly I can make the Honey Barbecue Sauce. I know how long I can let the ketchup simmer. I also know that if I forget about the ketchup and let it simmer a little too long it will still be delicious. I know a batch of our favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe bakes in eight minutes. I know our favorite oatmeal cookie recipe doesn't end up flat, hard, and more resembling lace than a cookie.

What I don't know is how a new recipe will turn out until I cook/bake it. I am not smart enough to know by reading the recipe alone. In 99 cases out of 100 I am unable to guess what the complete end result will be. I may have an inkling and get one part or another right but that part often times is not preparation time. I cannot tell you how many times I make plans to "whip up" a new recipe and HOURS later I am finally finishing. Some of those times I can't even determine what exactly went wrong or why it took me so long. The recipe said "50 minutes including prep and baking" why the hell am I still in the kitchen after 100 minutes? Do I get sidetracked? Not usually. Or maybe I do and I don't realize. At any rate. . .unless I have a extra time on my hands I prefer to stick to the ol' reliable recipes.

Here are some of the recipes that I make regularly.

Simple Syrup
Homemade Pancake Syrup
Copycat Bisquick Mix
Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
Homemade Frozen Hashbrowns
Meatloaf a la PE

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