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Last Updated on May 17, 2022

If you love to cook, you probably get excited when you find a great new recipe. But it can also be exciting to create your own recipes. Even if this does not appeal to you and you prefer to work from someone else’s directions, it can be a valuable skill. Sometimes, you need to whip up something and you don’t have access to a recipe. Other times, you may need to modify the directions that you have. The tips below can improve your ability to cook on the fly.

If you love to cook, you probably get excited when you find a great new recipe. But it can also be exciting to create your own recipes. Even if this does not appeal to you and you prefer to work from someone else's directions, it can be a valuable skill. Sometimes, you need to whip up something and you don't have access to a recipe. Other times, you may need to modify the directions that you have. The tips below can improve your ability to cook on the fly.

Formal Education

For some, just getting better with creating recipes is not enough. If you are serious about a career in cooking or food, you might want to consider formal education. This could mean going to culinary school, or you may want to become a dietician, someone who helps others put together healthy eating plans. A degree in food science could lead to a job in industry or with the government. If you plan to pursue a degree, you may want to look into Going Merry scholarships for college. You can find out more about these and other scholarships you may be eligible for online.

Cook & Eat

To become a good cook and recipe developer, you should be a good eater. Try a variety of different foods in restaurants, and see if you can figure out what ingredients and herbs and spices are used in the dish. This will also start to give you a sense of what ingredients to expect in various types of cuisines. To improve your ability to create and develop recipes, cook a lot of food. Try different techniques and dishes from different countries. Think about the ones that work and the ones that don’t and why. Consider such qualities as sourness, sweetness and saltiness and how they work together.

Build On What You Know

With the above foundation, you can start to experiment. Begin with dishes that are comfortable for you and make small changes. If you regularly cook vegetable pasta, experiment with different vegetables or techniques, such as how it changes a dish if you caramelize onions versus cooking them for a shorter time. Think about the underlying principles of certain dishes. If there are flavors that are specific to a particular national cuisine, how does it change the dish if you change one of those flavors?

Be Patient

Not every dish is going to work out. In fact, you might have a string of mediocrities or failures as you’re trying to develop a new recipe. Don’t let this discourage you. This happens to every cook who tries something new. Get some friends or family members as tasters who are enthusiastic about food and excited about what you are doing. Write everything that you do down so that you can compare even small differences and get a sense of how they affected the final product. Consider photographing your efforts as well for your own documentation purposes–keeping in mind that photographing food and making it look appetizing is a whole skill in itself. As you progress and become more experienced, your failures will be fewer and farther between and your successes will mount.

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