Customizable Recipes

I like using recipes as inspiration and a base for the ingredients that I have on hand. Here I will share with you the most successful recipes that I use and offer some ideas on how you can make those recipes fit your tastes and modify them to what you have on hand.

The most beautiful thing about cooking is that it is not exclusive, most people cook and even if it is not something that comes naturally, with practice and desire you can become a great cook. I share recipes as an outline or just for inspiration, I will give you techniques, tools and a few suggestions for flavor pairings so that you can experiment, expand and improve your culinary repertoire.

Professional cooking is all about adjusting to variables, that may mean playing with the heat under the pan, cooling something quickly over an ice bath, adding water when something is too thick or thickener if something is too thin. When you are adjusting the flavor of a dish consider the flavor profile, it may not always be salt that is needed, sometimes it will be sweet, sour, even bitter that would round out your dish. When you are looking for any of these flavor adjustments there are so many options to build flavor. If you are looking for salty you may use soy sauce instead of salt, when you are looking for sweetness you may add fruit in place of sugar. In this website I will try to give you many options to suit your taste and encourage you to play around, cooking is fun and you should not be nervous to play around with it!
When it comes to baking I will give specific recipes, but for savory foods I find that when you are cooking at home it is very important to adjust to the tastes of those you are cooking for since you know them well, so I will give a framework for you to start from, to spark your creativity in the kitchen. 

What I suggest for all cooking is that you buy as locally and with the seasons as possible so that your food tastes the way it should and can be made simply which tends to be the healthiest way to eat. Another important tip is to season as you cook so you are not bombing your food with salt at the end and to make sure you taste as you go so you can adjust the seasoning.

Whenever you have a question, you can submit it through the Ask Mama J tab.

Recipe Reading Tip

Whenever you are using a recipe remember to read through the whole recipe one time before you begin so that you know what to expect moving forward. That is part of the reason that I don’t like “ingredient lists” at the top of a recipe because some people will gather and prep the ingredients and then when they get to the method realize that they had time to cut and prep some things during the cooking process, being able to use your time more efficiently or you may realize that you have to soak something overnight and it may change your plans entirely.

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Swedish Pancakes

My ultimate comfort food. These Swedish Pancakes are our go to family breakfast when we all get together. One of my brothers and I had a competition side by side cooking them (years before I attended culinary school and he has 10 years of Swedish Pancake experience...

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Italian Rainbow Cookies

Ok, over the holidays I did a lot of research and testing and this is the recipe. After all of the trial and error and attempts with other recipes, Smitten Kitchen has the winner, go nowhere else. These cookies are a labor of love and so worth it. The only change...

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I would imagine there are more chili recipes in the world than any other dish. Chili has an interesting past (of course debated, but North America is safe to say as it covers so much ground) and while people fight over the origin, all I care about is the one I get...

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