Orange ChickenI have a dilemma. Many of my favorite recipes have been sitting patiently in my draft posts for about six months.
The reason? I know that many of you will declare anarchy if I post a recipe lacking measured ingredients. So what do I do? I haven’t gotten aroundΒ  to figuring out exact amounts, and it has been six months it’s been waiting.
When I nail a recipe that my family loves, my husband often inquires, “Will you be able to make that again?”
“Well? It will be close, but maybe not exactly the same.”
Baking requires exact measurements. I would never think of posting baked items without specifics,Β  but when I cook, it’s often a little of this, a dash of that, taste test, test again, nope, needs another splash of this etc etc. The recipe is my jumping off point, but not my life preserver.
In my opinion, it’s the best way to learn and grow in the kitchen, but I also realize that approach often ties in with personality. This approach drives many of my friends to cooking frustration. I admit, one of my favorite meals to serve is this yummy Orange Chicken.
When I first tried it and asked my friend for the recipe, she gave me a list of ingredients and told me her process, but nothing else. I remember messaging her on Facebook and saying, “Well, how much of each? (We are making a glaze for goodness sake). Is it 1/2 cup of vinegar, 1 cup of orange marmalade, three Tablespoons, ten TB? I wanted specifics, and yet she just said, “I don’t know. Experiment.”
She threw back in my face the very sentiment I may end up doing to you all.
Yet, it’s made me a better cook. It’s allowed me to taste test and figure out what worked and what didn’t when it came to a new kind of cooking for me. Often, you can’t get certain recipes “wrong,” it’s must a matter of perfecting it to your liking. Italian is a great example of that. I don’t think one can mess up Italian recipes as long as they have the basic understanding of what spices work together.
Do you ever watch the Food Network shows which feature challenges?
No one is following a recipe when they are cooking. They are taste testing, and adjusting. I’ve observed that specifically on the Worst Cooks in America show where they take horrible cooks and quickly transform them to master chefs. Cultivating their pallets as they go is what it’s all about on that show.
So in terms of cooking (not baking), do you cook following the exact directions, use the recipe as a guide or go without?
Now think of your answer. Does your answer come as a result of how you learned to cook, how you were raised, or are you still changing as you go? If I post my Orange Chicken recipe without exact directions, will you still accept me unconditionally and follow my blog anyhow, or will you run for the hills in frustration? πŸ˜‰
Orange Chicken Recipe is up WITH exact directions. It took me awhile!

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Simple Rules for Tasty Tuesday Parade of Foods –  As always, please link directly to your recipe post and not your blog URL, so that everyone can find the recipe months from now.
Also, link back here so that everyone can join in the fun, it’s just common courtesy of blog carnivals. Please do not link up a recipe meme that you have started. While I love to support new bloggers, many are using this as a marketing arena for personal reasons, and that is not its intent.Β  Thanks for your understanding.