The Best Recipes You’re Not Making

by Holly on September 5, 2010

in breakfast,dinner,rambling,recipes

Secretly, I wish I was the kind of person who writes recipes.

Instead, I am the kind of person who’s really good at cooking recipes other people write. Unfortunately, I have never possessed that certain je ne sais quoi it takes to be able to concoct and write recipes that ultimately result in the creation of beautiful dishes crafted from seemingly unrelated ingredients.

It’s just one of those things you have or you don’t.

I have the ability to throw together a junk salad with all the remnants left from the produce drawer…

baby spinach
grated carrot
farmer’s market cherry tomatoes
pumpkin + sunflower seeds
drizzle honey French dressing

…and drink beer.

But I consider neither of those “recipes.”

However, I can magically stack two pans and a flour canister to form a faux panini press since Mama + Daddy Everythingtarian (or I) do not own one…

I may not be able to whip up recipes like the best of ’em, but – damn it! – I can make a MacGyver-style panini press when need be! Because when you have a stellar recipe like Cuban Sandwiches, courtesy of my main Food Network man Alton Brown, what you really need is a good panini press.

What’s the point in creating yet another Cuban sandwich when the recipe has already been perfected by the food scientist of my dreams anyways?

Layers of yellow mustard, ham, roasted pork, provolone cheese + pickles on a pressed French roll…no need for change. Only a need to devour. Preferably with beer. Just sayin’.

Corn on the cob.

For the love and financial prosperity of Iowa’s farmers, please don’t change that recipe.

Just grill it in the husk, roll it in buttah and sprinkle with salt…

It’s perfection.

One thing I wish I could perfect? THE PANCAKE.

I’ve tried everything from Whole Wheat Yogurt Pancakes to Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes to On-the-Fly Protein Pancakes to Oaty Cakes, and although each has been delicious in its own way, I have yet to find my personal perfect pancake.

Last week, Mama E clipped this version out from Health Magazine

…andgently suggested” I make them this morning.

No changes allowed.

Demanding, demanding, I tell you!

Minus the maple yogurt and with the addition of strawberries, these were delicious.

Most likely because I followed the recipe.

I really wish I could create recipes like Lemon Pepper Chicken with Artichoke Salsa and have them turn out this beautifully and this deliciously.

But alas, I chalk this gorgeous mix of organic baby spinach, sauteed asparagus, grilled lemon pepper chicken, artichoke salsa and feta cheese to another’s genius.

It was fresh, flavorful and light.

In other words, the perfect antidote to these…

Nutella Hazelnut Brownies (!!!)

No words. I can’t even describe how perfectly chocolatey and hazelnutty these are. As hard as it is to believe, they aren’t overly sweet either.

Let’s just say 1/4 of the pan is gone, and I am the only one in the kitchen…

Sometimes as a food blogger, I feel I should be continually making up my own unique, innovative recipes.

Instead, I am just going stick with what I know.

I know eating, and I know writing.

That’s not to say I will never feature more Healthy Everythingtarian recipes again. Every once in awhile, even a squirrel like me finds a nut in the form of a delicious, original recipe.

Until then, enjoy these: the best recipes you’re not making.

They’re not mine.

And I am totally okay with that.

I’m giving y’all one more day left to enter my Kroeger Herbs giveaway – hop to it peeps!


Jessica @ How Sweet It Is September 5, 2010 at 7:02 pm

Until I started blogging, I NEVER wrote down a recipe! I just threw crap together. In fact, I still don’t even think that blogging is writing it down, but I guess it is? I hate following a recipe. More power to you for NOT including them in every post. :)

Angharad September 5, 2010 at 7:03 pm

You are an angel. Thank you for also making and devouring nutella brownies…they are insanely, well, insane.
I am also not very good at coming up with original recipes from scratch but I do love adapting recipes and making concoctions based on several recipes and ideas. It works.

I heart you! xx

Alex @ IEatAsphalt September 5, 2010 at 7:04 pm

Nutella brownies? Dangerous. I have to limit myself to nutella toast once a week because I could probably eat the entire jar in one sitting.

Matt September 5, 2010 at 7:07 pm

I want those brownies. Right. Now.

BroccoliHut September 5, 2010 at 7:12 pm

Ooh! Those pancakes sound pretty awesome–might have to check out Health Mag for that. Being able to follow recipes well can actually be a really great talent. I have a horrible habit of improvising, so I end up with a lot of mushy pancakes and crunchy cookies.

Erica September 5, 2010 at 8:12 pm

Amen! And gosh…I saw those brownies before and now I want them even more. Hazelnut deliciousness. Hope your weekend is treating you well

Lynn @ The Actors Diet September 5, 2010 at 8:40 pm

i saw that pancake recipe in the mag too and wanted to make them – they looked reeeeally good.

Diana @ frontyardfoodie September 5, 2010 at 9:01 pm

I’ll just take the idea and run with it! I mostly want that sandwich. Yummy.

Leanne September 5, 2010 at 9:18 pm

I feel you on the recipe thing, I’m great at making them but I struggle with coming up with my own….that is until I realized that I usually change atleast 2 ingredients from a recipe. Both salads look fantastic! September 5, 2010 at 11:33 pm

ahhhh nutella brownies. nom nom nom. you could take that to the bank haha. the hazelnuts crumbled ontop is insane :P

sometimes the recipes ive tried in magazines have surprised me. and ur right, if u find one that works really well uve gotta stick with the measurements listed.. sometimes i have trouble with this but i pay for it with a wonky after product… so much for creativity lol


Mimi (Damn the Freshman 15) September 6, 2010 at 3:33 am

I’ve been meaning to actually write down some of the stuff I throw together. Haha, maybe if I actually measure.

Uncle Tommie Timbertoes September 6, 2010 at 6:19 am

I want to arrange a weekend where Godzilla and I come up and hire you to make us your finest home cooked meal. Maybe as a surprise b-day present on Oct 30. I will pay gourmet retail restaurant prices for this experience. Godzilla wants wine but I only drink beer. Warning: Godzilla is very hard to please and if she doesn’t feel like she got her monies worth she will breath fire, stomp around yer apartment and flail here tail wildly so you may want to check yer insurance policy before committing. Oh ya, and I’ll need a sturdy table to hide under if this happens.


Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) September 6, 2010 at 7:34 am

That grilled corn on the cob looks ah-mazing! I think I might do the same today. :D

Bekah September 6, 2010 at 8:46 am

Recipes are merely guidelines anyhow. Idk, I used to always stress about recipes too, but every chef i’ve had in school has honed in on the fact that before blogs, and food network and all these cookbooks, there were like two cookbooks that had everything in them, and everything anybody has ever done since then (well, maybe except for blogger food) has been an interpretation or adaptation of that beginning recipe. Also, they teach here to not read/memorize/learn from recipes, but as long as you know the cooking method, you can make anything you want in the kitchen! So, although yes, I do love to follow and make a bangin, well thought up recipe, its also nice to know that that recipe just came from another one, and so on. :)

Susan September 6, 2010 at 10:02 am

I don’t make up a lot of recipes either, but even then I do love making unique recipes I’ve got elsewhere and spreading the word about them on my blog! :) For example, you may not have made up that pancake recipe, but I totally want to make it now too!

By the bye, totally sucks about your camera :( You know my Canon Rebel EOS xsi in my baby!!

Lauren September 6, 2010 at 10:40 am

I don’t even know where to start. Everything looks too good! Okay, I’ll just skip right to those brownies. OH MY! Hazelnut Nutella, now that’s what I’m talking about.

Carbzilla September 6, 2010 at 10:47 am

High Five girl! I’m not really a recipe creator either. That’s why I keep saying that MAKING the recipe is the sincerest form of flattery. Or something like that.

Madeline - Greens and Jeans September 6, 2010 at 12:13 pm

I am oh so totally with you. I can make tweaks, but I am not a recipe writing kind of gal. Also, I am so pumped that I get to see you in less than a month!

Chelsea (Chelsea's Chew and Run Fun) September 6, 2010 at 1:03 pm

I absolutely STINK at writing recipes. I always make errors and leave things out, I don’t know the proper recipe terminology to use, and it’s generally just a pain.

I will say that whether or not you follow the traditional templete for writing recipes, yours are always incredibly easy to follow. I’ve made many a Holly recipe with outrageously delicious results.

Virginia September 6, 2010 at 4:47 pm

sweet mother of mercy, i am the same way! i am not by annnyy means a recipe inventor but i am pretty DAMN GOOD at following them :D which i guess, in retrospect, isn’t that bad, but still. it’s always been my dream to make something that makes everyone smack the table, roll their eyes back and fall of their chair with just one bite, so then they can ask me for the recipe and i can wave my hand in the air and ever so nonchalantly say “oh, but i would have to remember what i put in it! a little bit of this a little bit of that….YOU KNOW HOW IT GOES….”, chortling to myself. ( wow that was a long sentence. and a very detailed dream…obviously i’ve played this out in my head multiple times) i can never follow a recipe, either. if it doesn’t come out very good, i simply tell people i followed a bad recipe…heh…heh. but i just cannot be bothered to do it, no one, much less some recipe, is the boss of ME :D

Megan (The Runner's Kitchen) September 6, 2010 at 4:55 pm

I don’t think I’m particularly good at writing recipes, but I’m exceptionally bad at following them (hello ADD), so my creations often end up quite different from the original recipe.

Grilled corn on the cob. Cuban Sandwiches. Angharad’s nutella brownies. I swoon.

Sana September 6, 2010 at 9:50 pm

So when I was in Europe this summer there was Nutella EVERYWHERE. I never really saw any PB, I was really not even looking. But they had GALLON sized things of Nutella. It was crazy.
But your Nutella Hazelnut Brownies look amazeballs. I would have eaten the entire pan. I have no shame.

janetha g. September 9, 2010 at 1:33 pm

i have a whole bookmark file AND starred items in my google reader of other peoples’ recipes i want to make. sometimes there is just no need to make your own recipe–everyone has done that work for us :) those brownies look sooo good, i love hazelnut everything! and i love holly everything(tarian) <3

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