Often times when I either try to make something new, or just a different way to do an old dish, it occurs to me that often don't just use one recipe when I want to cook something.
Instead, I will look at many different recipes and "distill" the essence of the recipes into my own version, keeping the ingredients/flavors that I am looking for and excluding methods and flavors that don't work for me generally. When it comes out very well and I am not totally lazy I might even record my own version of the recipe.
Sometimes it can be tough, subtle or even not so subtle differeences in cooking temperatures, times, etc can be difficult to pull together. Usually the recipes will be somewhat similar though definately distinct.
This sometimes drives my wife nuts because she is a strict "by the book" cook - especailly since she bakes so much.
Anyone have rules of thumb on doing this? So far I have generally always gotten pretty good results when I do this in a well thought out manner... though much better with cooking than with baking of course. Is this a common thing?
Sorry in advance if this is the wrong forum or this is discussed ad naseum already.