A few days ago, I threw together a few leftovers to make dinner... Grilled salmon, roasted cauliflower and some pasta. I just flaked the salmon, mixed it all in the pasta, and warmed it all up with a little butter. The salmon had been marinated in a sweet soy, so I didn't add any other flavors.
DH liked it very much, and said he would have never thought to make that dish with the stuff in the fridge. He said he can't imagine how things are going to taste together, just by knowing what they taste like individually.
Years ago, I had to instruct him to always use a recipe. He made a few disastrous dishes when we first met, using too much sage in one, I remember. He thought if a little sage was good, lots more would be lots better.
Anyway, I'd never really thought about having the taste of the ingredients in your head - I guess that's why some people are natural cooks, and others just aren't.
Can you imagine how your dinner will taste before you make it? When you taste it, is the flavor what you expected?