What’s your cooking style?

About a year ago I bought a butcher’s apron to wear when cooking. I love it because it makes me look like I know what I’m doing and it also keeps my clothes clean. I also like to tuck in a towel in it so that I can keep my hands clean and dry.

Something I find essential when messing around in the kitchen is a “work plate” which is something I learned from my mum. This is simply a plate I use to rest my spoons, knives, measuring cups or whatever else I’m using, as well as food scraps. It saves me getting a new spoon every time I want to stir something and it keeps the counters clean.

That’s another thing: I can’t have messy, dirty countertops; I’m definitely a clean-as-you-go cook. I will most likely clean spills off the counter/table/floor even if I’m in the middle of cooking with more spills very possibly to follow. If I get a spare minute or two in the process of making a meal, I wash up everything I used so that I won’t have a huge pile to do afterwards. I’m really not a clean freak, I swear.

When it comes to what I actually cook, if I’m only making a meal for myself, I’m probably improvising. I may look at recipes for inspiration and a general idea but a lot of the time I go by instinct and don’t really bother following the steps and measurements precisely (in cooking, not baking). Which is why I think I’ve become quite good at whipping up decent meals with whatever I find in the fridge and cupboards and using up leftover ingredients when I’m working from home. However, when it’s not just for me, the pressure of making something nice for other people means I am more likely to follow a recipe.

One thing I’d like to do more often is to step out of my comfort zone and use new ingredients and try new things. I have my favourites that I like to make and eat often, and weekday dinners are not really a great time for experimenting, but I’d like to add some more variety to what I cook.

I am wondering, what is your cooking style? Are you a messy cook or do you clean as you go? Do you mostly follow recipes or improvise?Β  And how often do you try out new things in the kitchen?

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11 thoughts on “What’s your cooking style?

  1. Beth F says:

    I do only semi-cleaning when I cook for us, but I’m a stickler for cleanliness when I’m cooking for company. I almost always wing my meals … tho I check recipes for ideas.

  2. lakesidemusing says:

    I always clean as I go… can’t stand a messy kitchen! I usually have a recipe (and like to try new ones weekly), but that doesn’t stop me from improvising once in a while.

  3. Carole from Carole's Chatter says:

    I’m afraid I’m a pretty messy cook – and luckily my better half is usually very happy to clean up afterwards. I’m definitely an improviser. That’s the fun bit even if sometimes the results aren’t as good as I imagined. Have a good week.

  4. Janel says:

    I tend to freestyle a lot. Recently I came across a file with recipes I’d saved around 20 years ago, long before I had kids. They certainly have changed my cooking style! I try to keep the kitchen clean, but sometimes that’s only moving dirty dishes into the sink and cleaning the messing counters.

  5. crispycook says:

    Improvisation is my mantra. I’m a clean as you go cook when it’s just me in the kitchen, but when the husband’s around, I tend to let him handle the cleaning since he’s much more of a clean freak.

  6. angrygreycatreads says:

    I am kind of eclectic. Sometimes I follow a recipe to the letter, other times I use the recipe as a jumping off point and then just go my own way, and sometimes I just open the fridge and wing it totally.

    I was spoiled for many years with a giant kitchen (tons of counterspace) and developed some bad habits..just moving down the counter to the next clean place. I had to relearn clean as you go when I bought a house with a tiny galley kitchen.

  7. Debbie says:

    I am a messy cook. I’ll admit it. BUT when I’m done making the meal, then of course I clean it up.
    (feeling a little bit ‘naked’ having said I was a messy cook—with everyone saying they can’t stand a messy kitchen. hahaha)
    I’m usually a recipe follower, but I really love to try new things. Love to have company over. Love dinner parties.

  8. joyweesemoll says:

    I tolerate messiness longer than my husband. I’d rather get things going and then clean when I have a spare moment. My favorite dishes provide lots of spare moments so that the kitchen is nearly clean when the meal is prepared — but no big deal if that doesn’t happen.

    I used to follow recipes but the more I cook, the less I like recipes. If I use them at all, I treat them as suggestions.

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