Lyn Asks the April Question

Here is the April Quesion: Are you a pinch cook? Or a recipe cook? Or a little of both? Or a non-cook? ‘-) I define a pinch cook as a cook who walks into the kitchen examines the ingredients in her pantry and fridge and comes up with a meal that she creates, kind of like a ‘play by ear’ musician. Or do you only like to cook from recipes that you carefully select from favorite cookbooks, family favorites or food show? Or both? Or not at all? I really want to know. And I do have a reason that has something to do with writing fiction for asking this! ‘-) Lyn

PS-As usual all commenters will be entered into a drawing for a free ebook.

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About Lyn Cote

Lyn Cote welcomes other authors to her "Strong Women, Brave Stories" blog to share stories of women who triumph over the challenges common to all women.
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39 Responses to Lyn Asks the April Question

  1. Sandy says:

    I am both. I like to read cook books and then adjust recipes to my families taste. Garlic for instance. It stays with my husband for days and days. I can’t handle it. So I ignore that ingredient. I really enjoy watching cooking shows and youtube videos are great teachers. I was a terrible, terrible cook when we got married 40 years ago. I am happy to say I am much improved.

  2. Gabrielle Reed says:

    I am a bit of both, but primarily a pinch cook. I just throw things together, with sometimes mixed results, lol! But my hubby…now he is the ULTIMATE pinch cook. Some of the dishes he has come up with defy belief. He loves to experiment with leftovers. And beans. He LOVES beans. He’s a Louisiana boy, so beans and rice are staples for him.

  3. Misty says:

    I am definitely a “pinch cook”, although I like to try an occasional recipe. The first time I do *try* to follow it, after that…well, it’s always my own way! Sometimes it’s because I’m out of an ingredient, or it’s something I have a sensitivity to. Although I’ve always been this way, it runs in my family. You are either a pinch cook, or a non cook. Except for my children who are just learning. That was a hard one, teaching others to cook without recipes! Now my oldest is getting more like me, although he prefers to stick to baking or an occasional “man meal”.?
    I’ve enjoyed reading others responses – thanks!

  4. Fritzie says:

    I am both. My son-in-law says he likes it best when I just fix something from whats available! But I also love recipes, but only as a map. I often look at two or more recipes for the same thing and then mix and match.

    • Carla T says:

      While I usually follow recipes when baking, I’m open to a change up when it comes to cooking.

  5. Lyn Davis says:

    Mostly I just wing it and make pretty simple meals. It’s just the two of us, so really don’t have to be unique as he’ll eat most anything!! I cheat and use a lot of frozen veggies to steam ( oh the horror) and not a lot of meat; kinda boring. I do have sonme favorite recipes I use from time to time.

  6. Amy P says:

    I’m a recipe book cook but only for treats!! Otherwise none.

    • Karina Thibodeau says:

      I start with a recipe and then tweak it with whatever I have in the house. So I would consider me both.

  7. Pamela says:

    I am a recipe cook – have family recipes in my recipe book binder. I tried being a pinch cook and I must not be able to compute what a pinch is as my garbage disposal got to eat it.

  8. Vicki says:

    I am a recipe cook. I love the recipes I have that are passed down from grandma to mom to me. I also love recipes from tv shows.

  9. Betty King says:

    I’m a pinch cook but very much a recipe baker! I’m a short order cook at work and have been for over 30 years, so I have decent instincts about general cooking, but I feel if you want your baked goods to come out right, follow the recipe.

  10. Sandy Sorola says:

    I have pretty much been cooking for the last 50 years. I learned at an early age from my mom who cooked in a few restaurants. I start with a recipe…and once I have made a dish a few times, then I branch out and try different ingredients, I add things I think I would like or subtract things I didn’t care for in the finished product in my trials. I have also been a fly by the seat of my pants with whatever ingredients I had on hand.. I love old comfort food recipes and love to try new things too. So I kind of go all over the place with my cooking!

  11. Betty Downs says:

    I’m both but more of a pinch. I throw together whatever I have for a meal.

  12. Melinda M says:

    I am a little of each but more on following a recipe . being home , i will try new recipes and I follow them so I know I can figure out where I went wrong if it is not good.

  13. Megan Hamsher says:

    Well….bit of everything.

    Doesn’t take much to be a pinch cook….
    noodles, can of veggies, can of cooking soup, meat – throw together and enjoy.

    I have a Family Cookbook and several recipes that I’ve used.
    Lots of Mug Cake and Smoothie recipes I’ve collected over past few years.

    On the other hand, kitchen is NOT my fave place to be.
    I go through lots of Lean Cuisine, pierogies, pasta bowls, canned soup, canned pasta…..

  14. Corissa says:

    I am, by your definition, a pinch cook. I can easily make something wonderful anytime I’m in the kitchen whether it’s fully stocked or bare. I’ve been cooking for so long it just comes natural. Have about 50 cookbooks that I reference from time to time but usually I just wing it when it comes to meals. Now if I’m canning veggies, meat, or fruit I follow tried and true recipes passed down from at least 3 generations ago. But even with those I am known to just add something extra and see how it goes. LOL. I’ve started writing down my recipes that I’ve created so I can pass them on to my children. So far their books have over 100 recipes I made on the whim and about 50 of our families handed down favorites. My sister who went to culinary school gets so deterred watching me in the kitchen because she can’t do nothing not already wrote down. She keeps telling me I need to write a cookbook. Maybe someday.

  15. Anne says:

    Recipe. I stick pretty closely t them.

  16. Ruth says:

    I guess I am some of both. I will start with a recipe and “tweak” according to my taste. Quantities for ingredients sometimes are “suggestions” I have dishes that I make that have been passed down that others have asked for the recipe. I have to answer ” some of this,this and this according to taste.That usually doesn’t go over well! lol

  17. Jamilynn Hanson says:

    A little of both except for my pies, that’s all by feeling ?

  18. Nancy Fudge says:

    I am a little of both. If making something I have made so many times over the years I am a see what is a available and use that so each time may be a little different. New ideas I use recipe and change to work with my husband’s allergies.

  19. Beverly Clites says:

    I’m a little bit of both. I see a lot of recipes I want to try, but have to adapt some of them because I can’t handle some of the ingredients. I have a lot of standbys that can be fixed where the only recipe is in my head.

  20. Sonya says:

    I’m a recipe girl!! Pinch cooking intimidates me.

  21. Nancy Jones says:

    I do both.

  22. Karen Rauscher says:

    I’m definitely a pinch cook just like my Gramma was (and coincidentally we both played by ear too). I love experimenting with ingredients and seasonings and I definitely use my senses of smell and taste to arrive at something that sometimes even amazes me…good or bad! I definitely do not recommend making garlic mashed potatoes with vanilla almond milk, but maybe that’s just me LOL. Truthfully I don’t really enjoy cooking but I absolutely love to bake because I’ve always had a big ole sweet tooth. So although I don’t mind enduring a so-so meal from time to time, I never want to be disappointed by dessert! So when baking I always use a recipe I’ve received from a friend or relative. Although I do have a few that I’ve ‘tweaked’ a bit just to kick it up a notch or to personalize for the receiver…love sharing goodies so I usually make double batches of everything.

  23. Robyn says:

    I guess you would call me a “pinch cook”. I don’t like to follow recipes as I am usually missing some key ingredient. I am big on substitutions. My grandmother taught me a general rule for making dinner, start with sautéing an onion, add a protein, add a vegetable, add a liquid…cook until done ?. (I always loved that last one…means the meat is cooked through and the vegetable are just past “squeaky”). If your “dish is soupy, serve it over rice or pasta. The downside to this method is when dinner tastes wonderful, it’s not always easy to duplicate the same meal.

  24. Kristen says:

    I usually cook from recipes as I am a horrible cook (just ask my kiddos:-). There are a few meals that I know by heart, but typically I follow recipes (and occasionally alter them).

  25. Mary Lynn Ostrum says:

    When I bake I am a recipe cook, unless it’s one I have memorized. When I cook, though, it’s mainly as a pinch cook, except for trying new recipes. Often I will go in the kitchen to prepare a meal and what I end up with is something totally different. Same basic ingredients, they just got put together in a different way. I live by myself (other than the pets) so it really isn’t a problem. I just enjoy doing it.

  26. June Horne says:

    I do some of both, it usually depends on what I pull out of the freezer; then I go to my recipe file or the cookbook for a good suggestion.

  27. Darli Skaar says:

    I am definitely a recipe cook. I love getting out my cookbooks and trying something new! I have several go-to recipes. I would like to become a pinch cook, but I work at a school and don’t have time. Maybe when I retire!

  28. Katrina Dehart says:

    Mostly a pinch cook. Money is always tight, so I can’t just go out and buy ingredients for recipes. I just look and see what I have and throw something together. My husband used to call me the casserole queen since I’m bad about just mixing things together and putting in the oven. I’ve come up with a lot of delicious meals.

  29. I am a pinch cook and a recipe cook,though sometimes I don’t follow the recipe. I do my own thing.

  30. Linda D. says:

    I am both, especially depending on the recipe. I love to cook new recipes that I get from Pinterest. I pinch cook on recipes that we have in our meal rotation since I make them a lot and new recipes I make straight from the recipe till I learn how to make it by heart. We are creatures of habit, once we find a recipe we like it becomes a meal we have every 2-3 months till we get tired of it.

  31. Jan Hall says:

    I do both. I have favourite family recipes, I also have one bookcase just for recipe books and I live in the country so sometimes I look at what I have on hand to see what I can make.

  32. Beverly Merkel says:

    I’m both, there are some recipes that I must follow exactly, no deviating. Other times I look at what is there and throw things together. Sometimes they are a hit, sometimes not. Best wishes during these trying times.

  33. Leigh says:

    I’m a recipe cook who really would like to be a pinch cook. Sigh. I cook by smell as to when something is seasoned correctly or is finished cooking but just don’t seem to have the creative brain for pinch cooking. To me that is an art form all it’s own.

  34. Lori Smanski says:

    I am so a recipe book cook. Once I find what we really like, that page gets bookmarked and used repeatedly. There are other recipes I try that my husband will say, “Can you try this on this recipe next time?” Usually he is spot on and it becomes another favorite. I watched my mom be a “pinch” cook growing up and she made fantastic meals. Unfortunately I just don’t get it. I have tried so hard by learning spices, etc. Oh well. This serves us well. But now that we are empty nesters’, I would love to not cook at all and have someone else do it for us. LOL This will not happen, so, I have taken a lot of the recipes we love and once a month I will cook up a storm and freeze the majority of it all. Works for us wonderfully

  35. Trish says:

    I am definitely both. I see a recipe as a guide. My daughter is totally a pinch cook. She arrives and takes over my kitchen, making wonderful meals from my pantry. I love it.

  36. Gail says:

    I cook every day but is mostly things my family likes. My husband is kind of picky and he doesn’t like anything different. He is a meat and potato type of person.

  37. Laura Arvold says:

    I am both. I like to start with a recipe and then expand it – especially to add more vegetables and spices.