Last week I made a soup from a recipe that turned out quite good, and an improvised salad that was terrific. Friday, I spent a long time making a curry from scratch from a recipe that sounded good - and followed it to a T. The result was underwhelming - but then, in our area we have access to some really amazing curries and have grown somewhat picky.
Which made me think...
Just as there are so many underwhelming restaurants, there are many underwhelming recipes out there, and tastes vary. I'm going to be way more selective in the future and make sure that what I embark on cooking has been vetted by opinions I trust! (Unless I'm plain old improvising.)
It's a little bit like movie reviews. When I go to Yahoo's movies section or wherever, inevitably there are critics' opinions that differ from users' opinions - and I don't always end up siding with either after seeing a film.
So now, I figure the best plan is some combination of:
1) Find people here whose tastes run similar to mine and see what they like making
2) Plot on how to pry recipes from those restaurants that make a certain dish fantastically
Has anyone else honed their cooking/Chowhounding strategies in some other workable way?