Cooking without a recipe

Tamara Adler Do you use a recipe when you cook? It seems there are two types of cooks: those who wing it and those who adhere religiously to recipes. I like to wing it. (And it almost always works.) (The one exception is baking. I {mostly} stick to recipes then.)

I know it's annoying to some of my friends when they ask for the recipe to whatever and I answer this and this, then add a little bit of this until it tastes good. (Or like last week, when I had friends over, and I kept trying to add stuff that wasn't in the recipe. Oops.)

I love to cook. Which is great because I love to eat. We make 85% (more?) of our meals from "scratch" at home. Cooking is fun and mostly stress free, probably for several reasons, but one, that I hadn't considered until recently, is that I rarely use a recipe.

I spotted a write up on Tamara Adler's cookbook, An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace, on the NY Times "Well" blog. The article is entitled, A Recipe for Simplifying Life: Ditch All the Recipes and I thought Yes! That's it.  Not following a recipe to the letter is so key to easy, every day, cooking. (Well, for me anyways.)

Has anyone read her book? There's a crazy waiting list for it at our library, so I think I'll just order it.  Among other things, she advises roasting and preparing all your veggies right after you buy them. Then you have food ready that's easy to combine for yummy meals:


This is my 2nd week working this way, and so far it's really great. I love the idea of preparing everything in one big batch ahead of time. We've eaten a TON of veggies.

(And did you spot how pretty her fridge looked? gah! That's something to shoot for...)

In related news for all you Providence locals, check out the lovely grocery store Fertile Underground! They now have regular hours and are constantly adding yummy things to their stock.


All images credit Tamara Adler's site