Too many choices
If you react to too many choices like me, you know the internet brings new levels of excitement/anxiety into the kitchen. Finding a recipe for your dinner party used to mean pulling The Joy of Cooking off the shelf and spending 5-10 minutes curating a menu. Today, the same task can easily take a few hours as you wind through ever growing options. And once you narrow down the options, how do you even know if they will taste good or meet your expectations?
I refuse to spend money on super-specialty ingredients
Yes, that's me, the person who looks at a recipe and decides to omit 3-4 items because they are either too expensive or too uncommon (when will I ever need kelp noodles again?). But does omitting ingredients make the recipe bad? I am here to find out. In some cases, leaving out some spices (especially if it's because you are allergic or do not like the taste) will yield minimal consequence, but in others it may change an amazing recipe into something mediocre.
Will it even taste good?
I often ask myself this question while trying a new recipe. Yes, many sites, bloggers, and chefs produce consistently delicious recipes, but what if the recipe's creator is someone like me? Just a normal person sitting at home, with a talent and love for cooking, who decided to post their kitchen experiments online; can I trust them? No need to fear my friends, I will be trying them for you.
I don't eat X, can I make a substitution?
Excellent question. We make choices about what to eat, often overlooking recipes because an ingredient substitution could end in disaster. My husband and I choose to keep kosher (what's that?), so many of the recipes I find online don't work for us. But what if I substitute cod for shrimp, or chicken breasts for pork? Once again, a wonderful question which deserves an answer. I will not shy away from recipes requiring swaps, so that I can address the question myself.
Alright, so how am I rating each recipe? It's important to note all types of reviews are subjective. I picked the four categories that matter most to me, but I understand I may not capture everything that is important to you, so always feel free to leave a comment or question at the bottom of the review.
Each category is ranked from 1-4 stars.
1=complicated, hard to follow, not good
4= simply, easy to follow, tastes great
I often joke a recipe only makes it to my kitchen if it takes less than 45 minutes and minimal equipment. Following this rule 100% of the time would mean missing out on amazing recipes, however, simplicity matters. I am not cooking for paying customers or world leaders, so I give high marks to recipes that require fewer steps, pots, pans, ingredients, etc., yet still engineer great results.
Clarity of instructions
Even the most impressive recipe can fail if the instructions fall flat. I prefer instructions accompanied by pictures, and for each step to be limited to a few sentences.
Have you even finished cooking a wondered "did I even make the right recipe?" because your finished product looks nothing like the picture on Pinterest? I have. The best recipes set realistic expectations for prep time, cook time, and finished product.
It's important, however, my disclaimer is taste is not the most important in my reviews. We all have different taste preferences. Even if I do not like the taste of the final product, I may still encourage you to try it at home if all the other categories receive high marks.
Walking enthusiast, and kitchen experimenter currently living out my dream in Mexico City, Mexico.
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