Tip Tuesday: Alter Recipes to Keep Your Inner Foodie Balanced

Tip Tuesday

I recently read a blog post on another blog that talked about baking croissants.  And howled with laughter while making pretty eyes (complete with batting eyelashes) at my husband who was trying to play Minecraft with Muffin as I read him the article and suggested that we should try that (at 6 in the evening).  As the article mentions that the process takes 14 hours…that would put us done at 8 a.m. the next morning.

Needless to say, he shot me down on that one.

Seriously, though, you need to read that article.  Because I can so totally picture me doing that.  With flour everywhere.

I am not a baker, by and large.  Sure, I dabble a bit with Artisan Bread, but I’ve never moved beyond the boule.

I break out into hives (almost) when I have to make birthday cakes.  I’ve had layer cakes lead to tears, gnashing of teeth, and beating of hard surfaces with my fists and my head.

When I read a recipe, my mind does this really weird thing (kind of like Percy Jackson when he saw ancient Greek writing in The Lightning Thief) … my mind starts mentally changing the recipe to fit my specifications.  Altering it.  To my mind, improving on it.

There are some recipes I don’t touch.  Family heirloom recipes are sacred and not touchable.  People tend to get picky about family recipes that no longer taste like the original.  People like me.  And my sister.  And Josh.

Baking does not allow for much wiggle room because of the complex chemistry involved.  If you say, oh my bread should be more moist; let me add a gallon of water to the three cups I’ve already added, things tend to become cartoonishly (again, another word that should exist) catastrophic.

Food is my canvas and my medium.  My sister is a genius of the visual and interior design arts; I can’t figure out how to pull a room together although I’ve heard that every room is supposed to have a touch of red.  But food is where I can experiment and be free…sometimes with disastrous results…sometimes with some pretty decent ones.

In the first Spring Cleaning New Recipe Challenge, I almost had to tie my hands together to keep from altering recipes too much…and still I ended up altering most of them.  Thus, the many incarnations of Frenchy Toasty Bread Pudding in a Mug.  I can’t not do it.  I think in food.  I dream in food.

Yes.  I know.  I’m weird.

I don’t necessarily do too well in coming up with something from scratch.  Most recipes that I make or tweak have an inspiration somewhere.  And somewhere, in the back of my mind, last night I came up with a new one that will probably be made this fall sometime after I have time to actually figure out what I’m doing.

I have no idea about the source of inspiration.  I remember reading about a hamburger patty or meatball recipe using boxed stuffing mix.  How wonderful would it be to make slow cooker meatballs using ground turkey and poultry stuffing mix with Thanksgiving-style gravy served over mashed potatoes?  I know…it’s a work in the back of my mind.  I can already visualize how it’s supposed to look in my crock pot.

The upshot is…to keep my inner foodie balanced, I have to change recipes to make them for me…for Josh…and for Muffin.  I can’t not do it.

I’ve tried…really I have.

Recently (yesterday, in fact), I tried Plain Chicken’s Crock Pot Creme Brulee French Toast.  It is perfectly lovely as is, I’m sure.  But it was missing the “brulee” component, I felt.  (BTW, other blogs have also included versions of the recipe with no brulee component)  Even as I planned to make it, I had to tweak.  I had to make a brulee crust.  I had to.  Thus, it became Creme Caramel Bruleed French Toast.

There is something seriously wrong with me.

I will (try) to remain true to at least the essence of the original recipe; that seems to be all I can promise.

Do you ever change up recipes?

What do you think?

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