WIAW And Some Thoughts: Tweak The Recipe, Or Stay True?

I learned about What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW)  from a blog I follow and love, The Pink Rachel. I went over to the parent site, took hold of the concept and decided to try it out on my own. I think it is a great way to keep posting regularly, and fits in so well with our love for food.

So yesterday morning, breakfast was Honey Loops. Seriously, you do not need to see a picture of that.

Lunch was egg masala with jeera rice. Egg masala is a spicy and tasty dish which can be made in a jiffy. I will post the recipe soon.

Dinner- chicken curry and phulkas, Easy-peasy. Yeah, the photo is all blurry. Meh.

What I have been thinking about is this-recipe tweaking and adaptation. I was browsing through one of my favourite blogs, and a discussion in the comments section piqued my interest. When you find something you want to try, is it ok to change the recipe, or is it disrespectful to the person who created it by adapting it without trying the original first? (In cases where you cannot source some ingredients, you have no choice but to adapt.)

I had never thought of this before I came across this post. NEVER.

I am a tweaker extraordinaire, and I do it for 3 reasons-

1. Because some of the required ingredients may not be available on hand;

2. Because I want to bring my own element as I plate up- however minuscule it may be;

3. A combination of the above.

Most of the stuff I have tried out here are adapted recipes, especially under the ‘baking’ category. In some cases, I just wanted to add something extra, like with the orange and chocolate chip pound cake. I love chocolate chips. I really do. In the case of the custard tea cake, I stuck to 90% of the original recipe- I just could not source the rhubarb, so used mangoes instead.

Having said that…I have still not bothered to try the orange pound cake as just an orange pound cake. Every subsequent time I made it, I added chocolate chips and did it my way. Same for these spiced chocolate chip cookies. I think I should make a batch, sticking to just the original, and appreciate the goodies as they are.

On a subconscious level…am I tweaking recipes so much because I want a mental stamp of approval, a ‘gold star’ (Happiness Project, anyone?) for trying to put in my own two pinches? (Two pinches seems more apt from a cook’s point of view. Had I been a banker, I would have stuck to two cents.)

Do I change recipes because in my mind, I do not want to see myself as a copy-paster?

Perhaps.

I must try a recipe as it is…because if it turns out right and tastes great, then there’s nothing to be ashamed of. One is still showing the world that One Can Cook. And of course, I still have the option of adding chocolate chips to everything I make, just in case I want to feel more ‘me.’

So…your turn. Do you tweak or do you stay true to the recipe?

(At this point, I am really hoping that someone lots of people are Googling ‘tweak+recipe’ at the same time.)

With Love From Me To You: blog awards, en masse.

Ok now that I have been blessed with so many blog awards, and I have sat on them long enough, it is time to express gratitude and spread the love. A big bloggy hug  to Heather of Sugar Dish Me,   Madhu of the Urge To Wander,  Preena of A Teaspoon Of Turmeric  and Anita Menon of Slice Of My Lyfe for appreciating my work and passing on the awards 😀 Together, they have presented me with a New Blogger, Beautiful Blog, Kreative Blog, Liebster Blog, 7X7 blog and Versatile blogger award. (Phew!) I am so happy to know that people read and like my blog, and I have learnt so much from my interactions with all of you.

These are from Heather:

From Madhu and Anita:

From Preena:

Since so many came my way so quickly, I am passing on all these awards, en masse, to the following posse. You are free to snag any and all of them, but please, please pass on the awards to other bloggers you read and love. When creative minds share what they love, we all stand to gain. (I know this sounds corny, but it’s true. Perhaps it’s the Tim Gunn effect. Be nice! It will not kill you. And yes, when you spread niceness, nice things will happen to you, too.)

First, 7 things about me.

1. I sometimes eat chocolate chips straight out of the bag. Like popcorn. I need to stop this, or my son will start doing it too.

2. I would really love to study baking and pastry arts or creative writing some day.

3. I have been watching syndicated Sex and the City re-runs these past few months, and  I think Carrie Bradshaw is one of the worst people in the world. I’m saying this because so many young women (many of my cousins and neices included) idolize her character. She is selfish, financially irresponsible, erratic, neurotic and has the sense of a 12-year-old when she is pushing 40. I know a lot of people are going to hate me for this. I know it’s just a TV show. I will take the bullets.

4. I do not like gymming. But I have taken to it now because I do need to lose some of that baby weight.

5. I like re-watching movies and re-reading books which I love. I find that the second (or third, or fourth) time around, you notice newer and nicer things in the same frame or on the same page.

6. I love my homeland Kerala in the monsoon. It is  the most beautiful place in the world then. Everything is green and grey and vibrant and solemn, all at the same time. If you have not had the chance to visit Kerala during the monsoon or otherwise, book your tickets now. Like now.

7. I used to be a weathergirl and a choirgirl. Now, I do not care for the weather update and I only sing in the confines of my home.

So here are the talented bloggers I would like to pass on the awards to! I have arranged everyone alphabetically.

Ameena of Fancy That Fancy This: Ameena is awesome. Her posts are hilarious, and she has a very balanced, very fun approach to parenting and marriage. Anyone who is married or is a parent can relate to her! She writes from the heart, and  shares all kinds of interesting anecdotes from her daily life, as well as snippets of what she is eating, reading and watching. Once you visit, you will keep going back, because there is something about her that will appeal to everyone! Oh yeah, and her little daughter Maya is just beautiful. Like mother, like daughter!

Amrita of Beetle’s Kitchen Escapades: When I first came across Amrita’s personal blog, I knew we had an instant connection! She writes and photographs beautifully, and has this amazing ability to infuse something exotic into everyday dishes, and break down and simplify more complicated recipes. She also shares knowledge about Southern cooking from America. Her curried chicken pasta and choco-peppermint macarons are reason enough to bookmark her site!

Anastasia of While Chasing Kids: Anastasia is a mother of 3, and her blog chronicles her children, her kitchen and her Russian heritage. She styles her plates so beautifully. This one is very interesting for me because I did not know ANYTHING about Russian food culture before I came upon her blog. And you know what? It’s incredibly yummy! Watch out for Russian Fridays, and her adorable children!

Deepthi of Naughty Curry: Don’t you just love the name? The beautiful Deepthi Rao shares recipes from India and around the world, as well as some great cooking tips and tricks. What I love about her blog is her easy to follow, tutorial-style posts for basic sauces, breads, and other staples. Vibrant photos accompany each step. What sets her apart- Deepthi opens most of her posts with a lovely quote which is sooo apt for what  follows…it really sets the tone!!

Malou of Going Dutch: This blog is a cross-cultural journey from the Philippines to Amsterdam. Malou combines recipes, life stories, travel and beautiful photography to create a blog about the Dutch way of life. If you ever want to visit Europe, her blog is a ready reckoner of places to visit and a little bit about their history and culture. A must-read for people who love to travel and experience different cultures!

Rob of Mint Cuisine: As Rob says, it can get pretty lonely out there for a male food blogger! Rob is a self-confessed food lover who likes a good home-cooked meal and tinkering in the kitchen. His blog is a great resource for all home cooks who are looking to create healthy, tasty meals without splurging; and a great starting point for people who want to trade their take-out for home cooking. Oh, and did I mention he hosts some amazing giveaways? Check out his page right away!

Sports Glutton: The whole team! This is a very unique blog concept- combining a love for sports and food. They have some great themed recipes, as well as fun recipes you can enjoy when you are hanging out with friends and watching the game. More importantly, they analyse, review and share their thoughts on the latest sports events. I’m not much of a sports enthusiast, and reading this has been very educational for me. Now I can sound semi-cool when I’m talking to my husband about sports!! A must read: the Monday Morning Humor posts!

Violets and Cardamom: A great blog with substance and style, it has a lot to offer. I love her photography and the myriad cuisines she cooks up. Simple recipes with step-by-step photos, and great D-I-Y projects from photography to furniture. Violets and Cardamom also curates some fantastic content from the web covering music, style, art and decor. You will not be disappointed!

So, thanks to all these lovely souls- the bloggers who gave me these awards and the bloggers I have passed them on to- for being the amazing people that they are and brightening up the blogosphere with their words and pictures. I know I look forward to flipping open my laptop every morning because of you.