Loved The Recipe- Here Are My Changes... - Wolfie's Cooking Tales Blog at - 278151

Wolfie's Cooking Tales

Loved the recipe- here are my changes... 
Jun. 25, 2012 10:44 am 
Updated: Aug. 26, 2012 2:33 pm
One of the things I enjoy doing is trying recipes from AR and then  I review them. I think the cooks who take the time to post their recipes and are lucky enough to be chose for publication deserve some feedback. Fortunately, I've only had to write favorable reviews because everything I have tried so far has been wonderful!

What irritates me beyond belief is when a review starts out with  "I really enjoyed this with my changes.." or " tweaks" or "this is what I did". 

If you are going to review a recipe, then make the recipe as is!!! It can't be a review with all your tweaks and changes. I simply do not understand why cooks feel the need to do this. I understand something simple like "I only had red pepper on hand, not yellow, so I used the red. Next time, the yellow for sure!" but when people post a 'review' that has completely changed the recipe, its no longer a review!! Its a revision.

Having made many, many recipes from this site, I'm always assured what I choose will be good. I do read the reviews and I do look for higher rated star count items.  And I've yet to have a bad take-usually if something goes wrong, its my own failing.

So... lets try to reconsider the tweaks, the nips and the changes. Its rather insulting to the cook who posted the recipe in the first place, don't you think?

As a side note: This blog has brought up alot of thoughts on what is changes and is it 'wrong' to tweak a recipe for personal taste? Not at all- the point of this blog is to recognize (and hopefully try) the recipe in its original form, let the cook know your thoughts and then make your changes.  I know as a cook myself, I want to know what people think of my original recipes and then also receive their suggestions for .."Next time, some bacon would be awesome or some more onion".
Jun. 25, 2012 11:04 am
agree with you 100%. I think people who do this are incredibly self indulgent. If I have gone on to change the recipe, I first try the original, make my comment and then make my changes next time and make a new comment.
Jun. 25, 2012 11:13 am
Exactly!!! And I always pay homage to the cook who posted in the first place. I'm like anyone else- I want to try a recipe and don't have one or two things. I say this UPFRONT and always try to do the original when I can.
Jun. 25, 2012 12:05 pm
This is an ongoing complaint. There are several very prolific reviewers who are so convinced they know it all that I almost wonder why they bother using some of the recipes they review. I too make the minor change, here or there, but if I haven't remained true to the published recipe I don't review it. In defense of many who make changes, I think they use the reviews as a record so they can make it again as changed.
Jun. 25, 2012 12:15 pm
i do try to follow recipes, but because of various reasons,( time, cost, availabilty, taste, dietary restrictions) i WILL tweak the recipe. i acknowlege what i did in a review if i decide to post a review. of course, some folks change everything in a recipe. i check a recipe and also the top reviews to see what changes improved the dish...i sometimes take the reviewrs advice. for instance, a recipe from colorado ( higher elevation) i know changes to cooking will have to be made. no, tweaking is maybe only changing yellow squash to zukinni in a soup for big deal!
Jun. 25, 2012 12:18 pm
OR even worse "I cannot wait to try this......looks wonderful!" and giving it 5 stars!
Jun. 25, 2012 12:25 pm
But, Gderr, here is my thought- if you read a recipe and know you are going to have to make significant changes, why not just make it the way you want, then re-post it as your own new creation? With a nod to the original person and explain why you had to do certain things. My point is its an insult to the cook who posted the recipe (and obviously likes it as its written) to say "This is great... with my tweaks. I think you should try the recipe as its written (as very close as possible)then make your notes. BigshotsMom, I would have serious issues with people like that- arrogance does not sit well on my palate!
Jun. 25, 2012 12:41 pm
agree with you. signifcant changes or not what i mean. you have to remember someone may not have access to all the ingredients, for example. i stand by my post.
Jun. 25, 2012 1:05 pm
Do you mean like your review for "Beef Enchiladas I" where you use the recipe as a "springboard" for your own 5 star recipe? We all do it because that is how we all cook. We use what we have and what we like in recipes. Then we thank the submitter by telling them how delicious and versatile their recipe is and how much it pleased us and our families. I do agree with Big Shots ,too.There is no reason for some to be so arrogant and know-it-all.
Jun. 25, 2012 1:58 pm
Yes, Lilly. And that is why I specifically wrote the review the way I did. I had been looking for ideas on how to put enchiladas together (to get the basic concept) so I thanked the person for giving me the idea. The five star was for her recipe which allowed me to make my dinner come together. But.. if I was going to to review HER enchiladas (which is not what I did) then I would have made them as she wrote the recipe, reviewed it and wrote the review based on what she did. I just think if you are going to say "Your recipe was great" then you need to actually make the recipe. Otherwise, its not theirs and you aren't helping them.
Jun. 25, 2012 2:00 pm
Right, Gderr, significant changes is what I am saying. Or if you use their recipe and find you do have to make significant changes, don't say you are rating "their" recipe. You aren't any are posting what you made and essentially, rating yourself! Which is fine in my book.
Jun. 25, 2012 2:13 pm
My mistake. You actually gave the submitter 4 stars for her recipe that you did not make. I guess I just don't understand your justification of that review. You seem to be doing exactly what "irritates" you "beyond belief". Are you saying that reviews CAN include tweaks and changes and high star ratings as long we state "Thank you for the idea" and "I used this recipe as a "springboard" ?
Jun. 25, 2012 2:18 pm
Yes. I think I made it very clear in that review (and if I didn't, I apologize) that I used it as an idea only. I can see your thought on that particular review that I was doing what annoys me but I can assure you that was not the intention. And please don't get me wrong- little changes or add ins due to time, etc, I get- like Gderr said. Heck, look at my review of the bacon pasta salad. I actually APOLOGIZED for being too impatient to wait for my next store trip to buy the right stuffed pasta. Its when they have altered all over the place, then claim THIS is now the good version of the recipe. I find that insulting to the cook who posted it in the first place. They obviously thought it was good and submitted it to AR. Why not try it their way and then your way? Does that make sense?
Jun. 25, 2012 3:11 pm
Nearly all of us do it because that is nature and it's unfortunate that you only review things that were a hit. I like to know why something didn't work for people as well, even if it's just personal preference that you were unaware of until trying it. We all have a different opinion of what constitutes a minor tweak. I think many people add or quadruple items(like garlic or onions, or cilantro) that seem insignificant in number of words but have significant effect on flavor.
Jun. 25, 2012 3:27 pm
Oh, I would most definately review something that wasn't a hit if I felt I had something constructive to say. I've been fortunate, however, that everything I have tried here has been really good! Now you have me thinking if there was anything I tried I didn't mention- I can tell you I tried Martha Stewarts Mac and Cheese and my husband hated it because of the nutmeg in it. I won't make that one again.
Jun. 25, 2012 3:28 pm
I see what you are saying from my blog, Linda2d. I'm going to edit it right now so that is more clear.
Jun. 25, 2012 3:29 pm
I think I understand. It sounds like you object to the arrogant tone of some reviews. If that is the case I agree with you 100%! Like BigShotsMom said, there are some VERY haughty reviewers who are very pleased with themselves! But I, for one, appreciate the reviews with the "tweaks". I like to know ahead of time that I can successfully make a recipe with alternate ingredients. I appreciate the creativity of the original recipe submitter and the creativity of the other cooks.
Jun. 25, 2012 3:34 pm
Yes- and I just edited my blog to be a little more clear. What it comes down to is I wish more people would try the recipes first, then in their review state why it didn't work (for them, as Linda stated- we all have our tastes) and what they did to make it their own. I have read some of those haughty reviews and it just makes me roll my eyes. Some of their changes aren't even good!
Jun. 25, 2012 3:41 pm
Is there something inherently cumbersome about the way the rating system works. I am not very gifted technologically, so it may just be me, but I have tried to just make a comment on a recipe without assigning a star rating and the system will not allow that. What's a girl to do?
Jun. 25, 2012 3:50 pm
I tend to make the recipe as written. If I don't like the ingredients, or it doesn't appeal to me as is, I just don't bother with it. I am not a tweaker, I am one of those people who is obedient to the point of anal. I don't break rules, interrupt or change recipes...well...I did add some chicken to a veggie side dish. that was soo out of my comfort zone, but we needed it for a main. That was pretty much my only walk on the wild side.
Jun. 25, 2012 3:50 pm
I've never tried that- can we not make a review without giving any stars? Huh.. maybe some of the others will weigh in..
Jun. 25, 2012 3:52 pm
Petey: LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE the soap... I'm hoarding the Blackberry/Vanilla..won't let anyone else use it.
Jun. 25, 2012 3:55 pm
It is hard for many people to keep from tweaking a recipe, Me included, and I don't see anything wrong with a cook being creative. The problem I see is when someone tweaks the recipe, and when they do so, they then give the recipe a failing grade.
Jun. 25, 2012 4:11 pm
I hear you, Kingsparta. And I certainly don't disagree- I'm one of those who opens up the reviews of the recipe as it was written- I want to know if what the cook submitted worked or not because their ingredients caught my eye. I just wish more people would try the original first before they begin 'tweaking'.
Jun. 25, 2012 5:59 pm
Couldn't agree the recipe as written...make changes....submit tweaked recipe....and give credit to the original....also agree don't tweak a recipe then fail it, not right!!
Jun. 25, 2012 6:36 pm
I personally will tweak the hell out of a recipe and will only review it positively if it stays true to concept and works out well. I will only give bad reviews if I've stayed true to the entire recipe. The tweaking, sheesh, sometimes you read a recipe and you just know, through years of experience that the thing will blow chunks unless... Lastly, it's a har to reconcile thing, but you don't have to be a certain type of person to review here, anyone can and there are a lot of people who see things very differently as is evinced by those reviews you've seen that you despise. Not a whole lot you can do about it. I suspect it's best to do the best YOU can and take what you can use, leave the rest. There are lots of other things more important.
Jun. 25, 2012 10:10 pm
I fully agree. I cannot believe the arrogance of people who editorialize (too high a fat content, too sweet, too moist, too chocolatey...) or change/substitute/leave out ingredients and then write a critical review on a recipe they screwed up. I want to know if a recipe works, as written, or if it doesn't, as written.
Jun. 26, 2012 5:53 am
when you review- it asks if you tweaked:-)
Jun. 26, 2012 5:54 am
I understand the complaint, but as a more inexperienced cook I like to read those variations people put in their reviews. It has helped me many times when I wanted to try a recipe, but I wanted to leave something out or adjust it and didn't know what to do. Letting me know it was a little salty or had too much milk saves me from a potentially bad meal. I agree many of the reviews are out of hand, but I would have a lot of wasted food and time if people didn't post reviews with their revisions. There is no doubt in my mind I would be less inclined to try a recipe and even use this site without them.
Jun. 26, 2012 5:55 am
I'm middle of the road with this common discussion. Yes it's natural to make little changes here and there to suit your tastes and what you have on hand, and yes sometimes it's very helpful to read reviews with a lot of tweaks. What I like to do though if I make a bunch of changes is to the assign what I think is an appropriate star rating to the recipe AS WRITTEN and then say in my review what changes I made and why. If it's a change just for convenience or to suit my eating habits (e.g. milk instead of half and half, or switching up a couple of veggies in a salad or something), doesn't change the recipe as intended too much. The reviews that aggravate me are the 5-star ones that say "This was fabulous! I added salt, pepper, garlic, onion, basil, tarragon, and everything but the kitchen sink". Of course it was wonderful if you added all that flavour! Not everyone has the time to read a ton of reviews before making every recipe. I expect a recipe that has a near perfect 5 star average to be really good AS WRITTEN. I shouldn't have to read 20 reviews to find out how to make it good. So if it were me, I'd give a recipe like that maybe 3 stars and say it needed help from a lot of seasoning (saying what I used) to be really fantastic.
Jun. 26, 2012 6:01 am
My love-hate relationship with AR: so many great recipes, yet so many recipes that are nearly identical. I beg: don’t make a small change and then resubmit as a new recipe. Just add it to your review of the original recipe. If anything, isn’t such a MINOR change a discredit to the original recipe submitter?! How much time is wasted sifting through recipes, only to find perhaps the submitter added vanilla to the cake mix, or used oil instead of butter, or perhaps added a couple extra dollops of this or that? And sometimes it’s the same darn recipe even. Recipes are a guide for many cooks. The fun and creative aspect of cooking (for me) is not measuring everything – throwing caution to the wind and really just enjoying the process…trusting my instincts for what will work well and what won’t. Adapting to fit my tastes or what I have around. –As for the “arrogant” or “haughty” reviewers, I do not think all reviewers intend for their reviews to be read as such. They are sharing their experience and expertise. Instead of taking it as them being high and mighty, think of it as a chance to learn! Take it or leave it, no need to be offended by their reviews! Sure some of the critical, short, or significantly altered recipes can be annoying to people who use this site frequently and rely heavily on the recipes within… perhaps they don’t realize the impact they have by their comments!
Jun. 26, 2012 6:44 am
I am a tweaker, I admit it. I can't help it. I've tried, but I really just can't do it. I will take out ingredients if my family doesn't like them. Such as mushrooms (sad) hubby hates them so most times I will leave them out, if the recipe doesn't rely to heavy on them. Obviously I'm not going to make mushroom soup minus mushrooms. There have been many times that I'm in the middle of a recipe only to find that an ingredient I was sure I had is missing. I sub. I think that I'm experienced enough to know what will help a recipe by adding it, most times. Or won't hurt it to sub something else. Doesn't mean that I think the original is bad or wrong. For example if I cook rice in chicken broth I know that is going to add another layer of flavor rather than just using water. I also taste while I cook so usually something extra gets thrown in or adjusted in some way, I'd rather end up with something fabulous instead of sticking to a recipe and wishing I had added more garlic or something, or the other way around. I'm the one eating it. However if I make changes and end up with a disaster that is my fault I don't review. Everyone has different tastes and when you get a large community of cooks together there will be changes to recipes. I love the changes that I read in the reviews. Gives me ideas on things I wouldn't have thought to try. It isn't that I think I know better than the submitter but I do know mine and my families tastes. Every time I read one of these types of blogs I cringe and think ~ Guilty! You must hate my reviews! But I have learned many things in my years of cooking and I just can't ignore what I know or keep myself from experimenting.
Jun. 26, 2012 7:56 am
I think this all boils down to who's website is it, it is AllRecipes website and they are the ones to make the rules. If they didn't want reviews where people tweaked they would either clearly state it when we submit a review or remove the reviews. I'm glad they give us the privilege to use the website as we see fit. We should all be more tolerant of people and their views it would really make the world a better place.
Jun. 26, 2012 8:22 am
I wish there was a LOVE button for this post! I ABSOLUTELY agree 200%. I can not believe the arrogance and/or ignorance of some of the people that post "reviews". Due to health reasons, last year I started eating anti inflammatory (eliminating white flour & sugar & adding whole grains, veggies & fruits). I am constantly searching this website for recipes then change out the flours or change sugar to Stevia, etc. I am so appreciative to the cooks that post their recipes & allow us the privilege of making the recipe in its original form or taking the original & creating our own.
Jun. 26, 2012 9:07 am
I think we should all learn from each other just what things we like to cook and get our best ideas from when we try another cook's recipe do it their way and give it our best opinion and be considerate of their values and what they hold dear when making something that is their own creation. I truly like to make my own creations and I Hope that other cooks will be happy to try them at some point in time. I still feel like an outsider to many cooks though with only minimal interaction on the buzz from everyone involved. I do take the time to write a blog for those who like to see what my daily routine involves. We all have different tastes but I am sure we can combine them together to make this a better place for all of us
Jun. 26, 2012 9:39 am
I know this is an ongoing debate. I'm a tweaker. A recipe is a guide for me, and I will substitute ingredients according to my taste or what I have on hand. And I review the recipe according to how I've made it but also based on the foundation of the recipe. As someone who has some recipes published, I enjoy reading the reviews where they've tweaked my recipes. I'm honored someone would think enough of my recipe to try it in the first place, and I can get some great ideas from their changes. Most AR users do not in any way mean to be insulting to someone when we change a recipe nor do we feel that we are superior with the changes we've made. This is a site with many experienced cooks, and we know when we need to change a recipe for our family's tastes. Since the two sides will probably never see eye to eye, I say do what you prefer and overlook the rest. : )
Jun. 26, 2012 10:54 am
I haven't been on this site long enough to give a opinion,but i sure do enjoy reading all,and appericate the help i get when i ask for help with a recipe,or advice.
Jun. 26, 2012 11:15 am
I haven't been on this site to offer any kind of opinion,but i must say i like reading the opinions of others,and i appericate the help i get with my questions.
Jun. 26, 2012 11:16 am
sorry did't mean to repeat.
Jun. 26, 2012 11:21 am
hmmm ...I do certainly see the point here in regards to those whose reviews are nothing but negative. I have seen some that weren't really a review just insulting, with nothing helpful included. However, part of what I love about AR are the reviews and the "tweaks" . When I find a recipe intrigueing I read through it and then I read a large amount of the reviews. What I am looking for is similiar changes made by multiple cooks. In my house of 7 we have varying degrees of pickiness. I love reading what people did differently. I find it extremely helpful. So yes I must admit I am a tweaker. I in no way mean it to be condescending or insulting. We all have different tastes and staples. I just reviewed a recipe for taco pie in which I made some tweaks. I gave it 4 stars because it was tasty and still would have been so without my additions, and because I LOVED the idea. The recipe called for not much more filling than ground beef seasoned with taco seasoning. Being that it was "taco pie" I added additional ingredients because when we eat tacos we add lots of toppings. I thought it would be helpful for others who might be taco crazy like my family to know the recipe was still good with my additions. I also like to make note when I use a reviewers suggestions and whether I did or did not think it worked. If I take cues from reviews , I'm sure there are others doing the same. I am also honest about things I observe when eating a dish because it may help someone keep from making something that may not appeal to them if their tastes run similiar to mine. I think we are all smart enough not to give credence to the reviews that are obviously rude or that totally veer from the original recipe. I would also think anyone who posts a recipe knows the reviews will be forthcoming. But I for one do not review with any intent other than being helpful, even while tweaking :/
Jun. 26, 2012 1:16 pm
I'm with BigShotsMom. You will rarely see me review a recipe because of issues like gderr's. IF I have done the recipe as stated then I review it or if I saw it being made following the recipe (Cathy Meyer's Sangria). However, I would like to thank all the cooks that have gotten recipes published that gave me ideas as to what to do for dinner :)
Jun. 26, 2012 4:23 pm
Whew! I haven't had access to a computer today so therefore- my lack of responding. @Rae- I would never HATE anything, especially your reviews. I have read many of them and find them to be thoughtful and insightful. @Scuba- my dislike and others disdain for tweaking, then reviewing, is not intolerant. Its simply a matter of taste. I would prefer people try a recipe as is, then review it likewise. If they don't and still review, just because I'm not a fan doesn't make me or anyone else intolerant. @Niecy- yes, the really negative ones are the ones I find awful. I read a 'review' where the person started it out by saying 'Just reading this I knew it would be awful as written so this is what I did' and I thought how rude!! I felt bad for that poor cook who submitted the recipe, was probably thrilled it was published then had to read this. @Cat Hill- Me too! Some nights I log on, type in what I have on hand then find dinner! Bingo!
Jun. 26, 2012 5:04 pm
I don't mind the tweakers nearly as much as I mind mean, unhelpful, reviews. "This sucked" doesn't help me at all when I'm considering making a recipe. I didn't make this but I'm giving 1 star because it isn't ..., that is just wrong. I perfer to see a review with tweaks if it is honest and helpful. I understand what you are saying, however, some of the others above are much worse and I do bring unfair reviews to the attention of the site.
Jun. 26, 2012 6:50 pm
I am glad you like the soap!! I am looking for another vendor to get the BRV from.. I need MORE
Jun. 26, 2012 6:56 pm
My favorite review of all time is by oldsingledad...#2 on THIS recipe...
Jun. 27, 2012 5:07 am
Just review the original recipe and give the cook their props.
Sheila B. 
Jun. 27, 2012 12:41 pm
A similar thing that irritates me is the downgrading of a particular recipe because it's not the "authentic" version of that dish, which may be a specialty of a certain area of the U.S. or of a foreign country. All of us should know by now that in every country and every district, each cook has his or her own version of that specialty and none are more "authentic" than the others. It would be nice if we could all rate each others' recipes as submitted (minor tweaks are one thing but complete alterations, forget about it!), and then go on from there to be our own innovative selves.
Jun. 27, 2012 1:38 pm
I don't pay too much attention to recipe reviews, but I do read them for additional tips or techniques I might want to use myself. I'm a picky eater, and what might be great for most folks will have me running for the exits. Experienced cooks know how to read a recipe and "taste" it with our minds before we step foot in the kitchen. Rarely do I ever follow a recipe exactly, word for word. Mostly, we have to cook for ourselves, so what if that renders a particular recipe "un-authentic"? What really matters in the end is does this taste good to ME and the people I am feeding? That's the beauty of this website for Infinite variety of Good Cooks contributing recipes, tips and techniques to help me become a better cook for myself and my family.
Jun. 27, 2012 2:51 pm
Glad to see this brought to the attention to possibly those who need to hear it :) It will hopefully encourage recipe submitters to keep sharing. Good job Mrs. Wolfie
Jun. 27, 2012 4:50 pm
Funny to read this. I love to read the reviews to see if someone found some ideas or shortcuts. I don't pay much attention to the star rating. I read the comments. Some are obviously ridiculous, but there are reviewers that I absolutely follow. As an AllRecipes brand ambassador, we have to do certain assignments including review and photographing recipes and it always feels awkward when something is a bomb.I do NOT want to hurt someone's feelings with a one or two star but I refuse to waste any of my ingredients just to stay true to the recipe. Of course, that is the way I follow many cookbooks.Different strokes....
Jun. 27, 2012 4:51 pm
BTW I believe this topic has been kicked around since AR was created LOL
Jun. 27, 2012 5:13 pm
Very well said. I so agree. This is my number one pet peeve. I think the recipe should be made "as is" first, then if you want to make changes go ahead, but review the original recipe! And it really irritates me when someone reviews a recipe with one or two stars and has not even made the recipe, but by the ingredients list they don't think it will be good...WTHeck? Or a recipe calls for sugar and you use splenda and the recipe is a total failure, then rate it a one!!! I thought I was the only one who felt this way. As I have said before low ratings bring down the total rating overall for a recipe.If the low ratings are based on a changed recipe, it is NOT fair to the one who submitted the recipe.
Jun. 27, 2012 7:32 pm
I think this ongoing issue is just a reflection of the differences in how people cook. For example, I have friends who will not dare change a thing about a written recipe -- if it calls for 1/2 tsp of salt and they only have 1/4, they will either borrow to "fit" the recipe or simply not make it. OTOH, there are people like me who, either because we're more comfortable in the kitchen, have been cooking longer, or simply like to experiment are perfectly okay omitting this or substituting that. A written recipe is not necessarily "gospel." I use this site as a reference, guideline and/or idea-prompter. If a recipe calls for something I (or my family) isn't fond of, but is otherwise promising, I'll make the appropriate changes and review accordingly -- always giving credit to the originator for a great (or not so great?) baseline recipe. So while I can understand the strict by-the-word types who hate anyone tweaking and reviewing, I can honestly say I've gotten at least as much info/tips from the tweakers when I've gone on a search for That Perfect Recipe!
Jun. 27, 2012 7:44 pm
Just about busted up over olddad's review. That is funny. And again, cookinmom, what you are saying is fine. I understand that- I'm always making up my own recipes in the kitchen. But the point of the matter is it would be more beneficial to the cook who submitted the idea for serious reviewers to try it their way first. Often, what I notice is people who have been cooking awhile start to think "they know" what something will taste like or how it will turn out. And while they may be right, they may be pleasantly surprised and wrong! I think what it really boils down to, for me, is I find it somewhat insulting to the original cook (and a bit arrogant on the reviewers side) to look at a recipe, decide its not worthy as written, make it with all kind of changes, then review it to say they are reviewing the original recipe with 'tweaks'.
Jun. 27, 2012 8:56 pm
I just read this blog, then immediately (somehow) recipe-cruised my way over to this recipe:

Check the second review. :D
Jun. 27, 2012 8:56 pm
Oh, darn, the URL went all wonky. Sorry! It was for "Banana dogs."
Jun. 27, 2012 10:41 pm
Why do these kind of recipes get published? I submit serious recipes for meals I think most people would enjoy- and yet haven't had an acceptance!
Jun. 28, 2012 3:32 am
I was wondering when someone would do a blog about this. When I brought up the suggestion someone said "What would we blog about, it's my opinion." Great blog!
Jun. 28, 2012 6:04 am
I remember some fairly heated discussions on the Buzz about tweaking, what is acceptable, what is not. Some recipe submitters were getting upset when people rated with fewer stars, some get upset when a person says-love it- then give it a 3 or 4 stars. I enjoy the reviews, I tweak and use recipes as a guide line all the time. I rarely follow any recipe unless it is the BASE for baked goods. I will follow that, but tweak the extras. Many people use this site for their own personal use, they may rate and review the recipe for their own box and not even consider that others are reading their reviews. Also I feel that reviews would get a little mundane if everyone followed it to a 'T'. What would be the point of reading the reviews.....for example, made the recipe as is, it was super... followed directions hubs loved it... made as is, kids did not like it. Or you could get several of these-followed it as is, it needs less salt, followed as is, needs more salt. See what I am trying to get at? That would give me no incentive to read any review.
Jun. 28, 2012 6:56 am
Depending on one's tastes and food allergies, I understand subbing one ingredient for another. The reviews that get me are the ones that say, "With my changes, this was even better". What changes??? At least tell us *what* you did differently so we can try it, too, and see if it makes the recipe better, as you claim.
Jun. 28, 2012 8:49 am
It seems like your issue is around reviews you find to be "arrogant" - so perhaps just don't read those reviews, or choose to not be offended by them. Happy cooking & eating! Cheers!
Jun. 28, 2012 9:46 am
Redneck has an excellent point. There woulld not be any need for written reviews at all if the requirement was to make the recipe exactly as written. Who would want to read 487 reviews that say "Made this exactly as written. It was good/bad/ok."? The star rating would be sufficient in that case.
Jun. 28, 2012 1:03 pm
Ah yes, this has been brought up many times over the years. I just want to point out that AR does not have any guidelines or rules for reviews, but it does seem that tweaking is encouraged. How to review is up for interpretation, and this being part of the world wide web, we will see all types of reviews, good-bad-inappropriate-etc. Personally, I cook to suit my preferences. As I'm making a recipe, if I can tell it'll be bland, I try to tweak it to 5 stars but I will give it the lower rating it deserves and say how I made it better. I try not to be condescending in any of my reviews, BUT this being the internet and not being able to hear tone of voice, it is easy to take someone's tone the wrong way. The way this blog is written, I get the impression that tweaking beyond minor subs is pooh-poohed, even though it is later clarified that it is the style in which a tweaked review is written. Let us keep an open mind as we cook AND read reviews. Happy cooking!
Jun. 28, 2012 1:34 pm
oh, my--ALL of you are taking life too-o-o seriously! relax, lighten up--none of this is all that important in the grand scheme of things. use all that excess energy on something meaningful.....
Jun. 28, 2012 10:46 pm
I think anyone should be able to make a recipe ANY way they want *and* to review it any way they want. We're ALL free to ignore reviews we dont find helpful. There is no way I'm making a recipe exactly how someone else did just to be able to write a review. I think getting "irritated" or "annoyed" and calling reviewers "arrogant" is a waste of's just food.
Jun. 29, 2012 1:23 am
I tend to disregard reviews that only talk about their "tweaks". It makes a diff recipe that way. I always make a recipe exactly as written the first time, then make my own tweaks to suit our family's tastes if needed. That's reasonable for everyone, but don't ding stars off a recipe unless it was truly bad right out of the gate! (And there are some yucko ones out there, to be sure.)
Jun. 29, 2012 9:29 am
I neither review nor submit any longer. It seems this has been a hot topic forever. So many recipes are exactly the same or nearly the same. I have also changed how I eat and will use what I have on hand or find more healthy. . .you'll find you do that too as you get older. Very often I'll add more spice, more taste, less calories.
Jun. 29, 2012 10:10 am
JT.. I think you may be reading too much into this. Its a discussion and the blog is on my AR so there is nothing wrong with it. Redneck, you have a good point and if you look at what the consensus has been among the commenters to the blog (myself included), reviewing the original first then noting what worked, what didn't work and what someone suggests for taking it to the next level is what most of us are preferring. TwoSweetPickles, I don't think anyone is getting emotional about this- we're having a discussion among cooks about the recipes submitted. Yes, its just food and some folks are really passionate about what they submit. I use this site to read recipes, try recipes and write reviews I find helpful. It just seems fairest to the cook who submitted them to at least try what they have submitted before throwing the whole kitchen sink in.
Jun. 29, 2012 12:06 pm
Irritation and annoyance are emotions...both of which you claimed to feel in your original post. So, yes, you were. If you want to get annoyed and irritated by reviews on a cooking website, feel free. I stand by my point.
Jun. 29, 2012 12:22 pm
To clarify- yes, I personally get annoyed or irritated. What I meant in my response to you was I don't believe the commenters are getting either emotional or annoyed. Sorry for the confusion.
Jun. 29, 2012 2:33 pm
Haha! Ok. Thanks for clearing that up.
Jun. 29, 2012 2:43 pm
TwoSweetPickles "calling reviewers 'arrogant'" is NOT an emotion, yet you refer to it as one. Before you arrogantly correct others perhaps you should check yourself.
Jun. 29, 2012 2:51 pm
Hmmmm....go back and read that again, Lilly. I never said arrogance was an emotion.
Jun. 29, 2012 3:04 pm
Actually, you said "calling reviewers 'arrogant' is a waste of emotion." But Haha. ok. Thanks for clearing that up for me.
Jun. 29, 2012 3:13 pm
Yeah, I know what I said. And then you repeated me. Twice. I see what you did there. Did you chuckle at your wit when you typed it?
Jun. 29, 2012 3:19 pm
I do understand what you are saying (were saying?) when you posted "its just food". True enough.. but recipes can be so personal. That is really where the spirit of what I blogged came from. Some recipes are passed down by family members or developed together by moms/daughters, etc. and they can have alot of emotional attachment to them. I just found that as I was searching for recipes, then reading the reviews, to me.. and this is just my opinion...tweaking it and then calling it good seemed hurtful.
Jun. 29, 2012 3:24 pm
Mrs. Wolfe, no worries. I just think people shouldn't be so thin-skinned about many things, food included. We don't agree on that, but I wanted to add my viewpoint.
Jun. 29, 2012 3:49 pm
And TwoSweet, I sincerely appreciate your viewpoint and everyone elses. I blog for discussion and to meet others here so I'm open to all thoughts/ ideas/ comments. :)
Jun. 29, 2012 5:31 pm
Wow, this stirred up a tempest in a teapot. I'll just add my 2 cents. I frankly get irritated when I serve something to someone who coats it with salt or pepper or hot sauce or ketchup before they even taste to see if they like it as served. Give it a chance before you change it. If you don't like it, fine, but you just might discover a new "like". I usually see recipes as a starting point, but if I'm going to comment on it, I should at least try the original.
Jun. 29, 2012 7:10 pm
I find the changes helpful in cases where you're considering a substitute ingredient or changing the number of servings. I can't understand why so many are offended by this. I don't want to read 100 reviews of the same process when I'm trying to figure out if my pantry & fridge ingredients will work. Sometimes the tweaks are better than the original. That's the point of this site. Not to make us all clones!
Jun. 29, 2012 9:35 pm
Mitti, I think most bloggers would agree with me its not 'offended' necessarily- it is not thinking it is right to 'review' a recipe you never made. If you try a recipe, then try the recipe. Its akin to what LambiesGranny said- before you make all these changes or dump A1 sauce on a steak, why not try the food first? People who take the time to get their recipes published usually have a tried and true one they are putting up- so give it a go BEFORE you tweak and change. Besides.. your tweaks and changes may be what makes it a fail (which many have noted on this blog) and then people rate the original recipe as a fail when in reality, the original recipe was never tried at all.
Jun. 30, 2012 8:54 am
Wow--this is serious. At any rate, I love the tweakers, because I am more like Petey, so it's helpful when someone does that work for me. ;-) That being said, I totally understand MrsWolfie's point to base "scoring" on THE RECIPE, not one's version of the recipe. Others have pointed out that perhaps people are using their reviews so they remember what they did to a recipe. Hum, silly me, I thought that's what the Notes were for--and you can print those when you print the recipe. On a side note, LadySparkle, I'm sorry you don't submit or review anymore, because I have missed seeing your comments--they were always helpful and something I relied upon. Last comment: I don't find helpful the reviews that give a low rating for, let's say, a broccoli recipe and go on to state they don't like broccoli. Those people simply confuse me.
Jun. 30, 2012 9:32 am
I am so glad to see this pet peeve of mine addressed. YES, in all fairness, make the recipe and then comment. I read one a few minutes ago that called for two pounds of bacon and someone said they used 4 Tablespoons of Bacos instead. OMG!!! What can you expect when you do something so radically different.
Jun. 30, 2012 9:58 am
Yes, Nutmeg!!! Why even make the recipe at all if you don't like the main ingredient? Foursouths.. what??? Someone went down from 2 pounds of bacon to 4TBS? Thats crazy! Why in the world would you do that to bacon??
Jun. 30, 2012 2:08 pm
Ah, you all have touched on so many of the same questions I've had either writing my own or reading other members' reviews! Regarding other folks ratings I like Raedwulf's advice to "do the best YOU can and take what you can use, leave the rest" and from FNChef regarding arrogant or haughty reviewers, "They are sharing their experience and expertise. Instead of taking it as them being high and mighty, think of it as a chance to learn! Take it or leave it, no need to be offended by their reviews!" Maybe you do gain some expertise from those folks, perhaps you enjoy their photos. One thing I've learned to do is not pay too much attention to the "most helpful" ratings. Those seem to have morphed into a popularity contest for Allrecipes' top reviewer of the day. Is it a true contest or a personal endeavor? How is it that one individual can amass hundreds of votes in a matter of just a few days? Ah well, I digress. To quote Raedwulf again, "There are lots of other things more important."
Jun. 30, 2012 6:06 pm
Yes, they are sharing their experience and expertise. But that is not the point of a review. Some people- not all- but some people use the review item as a chance to show off and they do it to the detriment of the original submitter. A review should be a review of the recipe as it was submitted and if you make changes that improved, then you can include that in the review but try the recipe as it was written! As I mentioned before, your tweaks may not be as good as the original!
Jun. 30, 2012 9:55 pm
Tweaking is ok, as far as I'm concerned, but if you tweak it, don't rate it. Unless you made the original recipe first, and can tell how you made it better
Jul. 1, 2012 6:11 am
I am getting confused, now. You say: """A review should be a review of the recipe as it was submitted and if you make changes that improved, then you can include that in the review but try the recipe as it was written!"" Which is it? Make "as is with no changes or include your your changes in the review that improved it"? Then you say, again: "But try the recipe as written". I think no matter how people review it is going to irk some members in some fashion. The variables are too many; taste, available ingredients, allergies, purpose of the review (meaning notes to self or informative praise or alerts for other cooks) and so on. Reviews are very subjective. Best you can do is write a review kindly, without sarcasm or vile descriptions such as: I'd rather eat snake guts. I can tell you that I can not always make a recipe as stated. We have too many dietary restrictions and well, just simple preferences. I try to sub soy products for dairy. I eliminate salt and minimize/substitute sugar. Should I not review? I wouldn't leave out the salt then say in my review "nice recipe but a bit bland" - I would say something like "Nice recipe, skipped the salt will add more garlic next time. Substituted the dairy for the soy equivalent". Personal preference, informative to me and tells other readers that the recipe is adaptable to special diets. Nutmeg... "Why make the recipe at all if you don't like the main ingredient?" Preferences, or maybe they ran out and subbed cinnamon. I am going with my impression of a review here (as we all do) that if someone leaves out cinnamon, bacon or salt; as long as the review lets me know it is a workable/successful/adaptable formula then I see value in it. I can judge for myself what flavors I like or not and what I might add or delete. Reviews that say "Waaaay too much water- consider cutting back 2 cups" or "The cooking time is too long" are also informative. Should we follow so closely that we possibly go against our experienced judgment just so we can say "made exactly as is even though I knew something was wrong...? I don't think so. And I am not going to NOT review something because my reviews are not considered "valid" by some since I didn't follow to the T. And you also say: "As I mentioned before, your tweaks may not be as good as the original!" I beg to differ. I do not like okra so there is NO WAY I am going to use it. I LOVE hot and spicy and if I add that to a recipe I am going to put it in my review and I think it IS better - for us. Reviews are OPINIONS. PREFERENCES. EXPERIENCES. Sometimes they reflect a cooks experience or lack there of. Should new or inexperienced cooks not review a recipe? Take yeast for instance, It is incredibly subjective to how a recipe is written, weather conditions and the cooks experience or skill. Some recipes list more flour than needed but the recipe fails to be written to say you may not need all of the flour listed. Do I add it in anyway despite my judgment telling me not to just so I can leave an AS IS review? Maybe my weather is more humid or more dry and that throws the recipe off. I do not think you can be so rigid to say "MAKE AS IS OR DO NOT REVIEW". I, myself am experienced enough to read a recipe review and take what I can learn from it and move past ones that are not written to my personal liking. I had to learn how to do so. I also learned that people are excited when they make a recipe successfully for the first time or branch out in to something new to them. I also can feel peoples disappointment when a recipe fails and they have wasted ingredients. There are other reviews on the same recipe that are opposing views and based on their experiences or skill set. So many variables. Your review is your opinion and mine is mine. We take what we can learn from each other and skip over the rest. Hopefully with kindness. To say "your tweaks may not be as good as the original!" honestly, who are you to say?
Jul. 1, 2012 9:47 am
I don't see your confusion, Mom. I stand by my post. My thought process is it is most beneficial to the cook to try the recipe as they submitted and had it approved before you make any changes. I have also stated, countless times in fact, that I do not mean the tiny necessary change due to what is in the house (for example, my review of the bacon tortellini salad- I apologized to the submitter because all I had on hand at the time was ravioli and not tortellini but I was too impatient to try it to wait to go to the store). And who am I to say tweaks are not as good as the original? I can say so if I have tried it the way it was submitted. I truly do not understand your (or at least your perceived) upsetness. Everyone else who has posted on this blog has been understanding of the spirit and the idea behind what I was blogging to. I'm thinking of the cooks feelings and as I mentioned many, many, many times- recipes can be emotional for alot of reasons and I just feel it would be most beneficial to all folks who submit a recipe to at least try it their way before throwing in the whole kitchen sink, reviwing it THAT way and saying "Loved your recipe". You can't love my recipe because you never MADE my recipe.
Jul. 1, 2012 11:59 am
LOL, SO not upset - perceived or otherwise. Just trying to understand what it is exactly you are suggesting as I read some of your comments as conflicting, so please excuse my attempts to clarify and hopefully don't misinterpret the spirit of my response. I still have to shake my head at your presumption that my ""tweaks may not be as good as the original!"". Even if you made the original recipe for YOU, you cant say it is better for ME that way. Exchanging/tweaking is a necessity for many people such as soy products for dairy products. I am fine to agree to disagree. I do agree with a statement like: ""before throwing in the whole kitchen sink, reviwing it THAT way"", that makes sense to me. It is more or less a review of the new "recipe" the reviewer created. Do you feel that I shouldn't review a recipe if I subbed/tweaked soy for dairy in a recipe? Or omitted salt? Is that a "different recipe" in your eyes? I have four published recipes on this site, I have been subjected to many reviews and not all of them have been worded kindly. I have one recipe reviewed where another member basically took the time to "rewrite" my recipe, in their review, making it a recipe they have published here. I understand both sides of the reviewing situation. I try to be kind and mindful when leaving a review and I have learned that reviews on my recipes are subject to many variables any particular cook might have had and try not to be disappointed they didn't have success or enjoy some aspect of the recipe. Is it an imperfect system? Are we expecting the reviews to be more than what AllRecipes intended them to be? Do we all have the same perception/purpose of why and how to review a recipe? Should each review be inspected before going live on this site to ensure it was reviewed/rated "properly"? I don't have an answer, Wolfie. I just know that we all have different perceptions and expectations. And I can love your recipe - made with my necessary substitutions and someone else might be thinking - "Hey, I would love to try that recipe but the dairy leaves it out, Oh... look here is a review where they used soy milk instead. Worked for them so I'll give it a try"! Again, just trying to understand....
Jul. 1, 2012 12:10 pm
Wonderful response- you cleared up alot for me. And I, too, am in no way upset over here. I absolutely one hundred percent hear what you are saying. In some of the earlier comments, several of us mentioned the reviews that are the most unhelpful are the ones where the reviewer is haughty and rude. How does that help a cook at all? I concede the need to do some things out of necessity but a recipe should not be a 'fail' because of it. When I write my reviews, I always try to stick to the original and if I did have to subsitute something, I make sure to apologize. Here again, this is just me. I haven't had a recipe published yet and I'm sure when I do, it will have its fair share of ups and downs. The part that really gets me (and was the whole point of the blog) is when I read a review where the person has overhauled the whole thing, then says "Loved it! Thanks for the recipe!" You loved WHAT? Its not the cooks original anymore! I know.. not a perfect world and everyones opinions are fine. Nah, I don't think the reviews should be subjected to committee approval. I don't know, Mom. I look at recipes different. I like to think the ones that have been published are tried and are good- because everyone I have tried and reviewed (except for the enchiladas which I needed just for the idea) have been really, really good as they were published. What I mean about the tweaks not being as good as the original speaks to the people who change all sorts of things. I read one person who reviewed like this "I just knew this was going to be awful and would need alot of work. Here is what I did". And yet 20 others tried it as is and liked it. The original may be just fine on its own but you won't know that if you never try it. Thats all I was aiming for..
Jul. 1, 2012 12:12 pm
Let me make sure I understand... Here's your review of a mac and cheese dish: "This was really fantastic. I made it with the recipe right on the counter next to me and now the proof of use is in cheese sauce splattered on it! We were having our protein separate, so I did not add the kielbalsa and I used what cheeses I had- it is easy, cheesy and the pasta does not dry out! Yum! (There was none left over! )" So, you left out a POUND of sausage (sausage, of course adds a ton of flavor to the original dish) and didn't replace it with any other spicy meat AND changed from using the "as written" SHARP cheddar to a cheese mix? But, you don't think this makes your review "unfair", by your own professed opinion, to the original submitter? Did you first make this strictly as written and then forget to mention? Didn't you say how much you enjoyed this, but, again, by your own professed opinion, you couldn't "love their recipe because you NEVER made their recipe." Honestly, I don't care how you review recipes, and it's your blog so write out your opinions. I just think you are not being consistent - and that's okay - and what you really mean is that it's fine when you review something you didn't make "as written" but when others do it, it annoys you. And, that's okay, too. :-D
Jul. 1, 2012 12:53 pm
No, you are absolutely right. And since I knew you were probably going to go back and read my reviews, I was prepared. My 'review' of her mac and cheese was not fair in what you pointed out. However, if you read the bulk of my reviews, I have changed over time to my mindset where it is today. I have said repeatedly I understand the need for omitting dairy for soy - in one of my own reviews, I noted I had to use sausage ravioli instead of cheese because of my husbands intolerance. It is still stuffed ravioli and I did not change the sauce recipe. Essentially, yes, I was unjust and my mind has change. I have since going forward tried only to review or blog on recipes I have tried to the very recipe the author published. Its not fine for me to do it or for others to do it. Boy, did I know this was coming! In my reviews, different from the ones I blogged about, if I changed anything, I'm very careful to explain why or to note I will try it again as published. My heart is in the right place and I am certainly not a "whats good for the goose isn't good for the gander" kind of person. Whew.
Jul. 1, 2012 12:55 pm
And by 'You' gayla, I meant anyone who was following this blog. You haven't commented before, so obviously I don't mean you directly.
Jul. 1, 2012 4:32 pm
I'm with you. I hate the reviews that are (I'm exaggerating, but not much) like "Oh this is a great chicken dish, but I substituted beef for chicken, and heavy cream for skim milk and... If you're making wholesale changes to the recipe, then posting a review (ESPECIALLY if it's a negative review), then don't bother! It's not helpful to anyone to do that! And no one is impressed with people like that, either!
Jul. 1, 2012 4:37 pm
I have found that one of the major benefits of this site to me is reading all the reviews before I decide to invest in making the recipe. Ingredients, particularly today, are very costly. If I can benefit from any person who has made the recipe and offers some changes, I will. That is particularly true if the same change comes up over and over again. But, there is a big difference between tweaking a recipe and totally changing it. For example, I made one today that called for 2 C white sugar. MANY reviewers suggest 1 C white and 1 C brown. I followed that. I consider that a simple tweak. Or someone who uses a different kind of shortening than called for. However, when a person changes half the ingredients, make substitutes for almost everything, then that no longer is the recipe. I have seen that many times and, I also, am irritated by that. You should not rate the recipe if you do that.
Jul. 1, 2012 4:49 pm
Stbabu, you get the spirit of what I was going for in my blog. When the review starts off with "Oh this is great if you make my changes", I just want to throw my hands up in the air. And yes, as I mentioned in previous comments, I have had to make adjustments myself- mostly because I'm a ding dong and don't read the recipe all the way through and half way in.. I realize I don't have fish sauce so soy will have to do. As I said in my blog.. my own personal failings and nothing to the cook who wrote it in the first place. Yes, Susan, you have a good point. I would always wonder though- how would the recipe taste with the original two cups of white sugar? Brown sugar adds an extra layer of sweetness due to the molasses- perhaps this is too sweet for the dish.
Jul. 1, 2012 9:22 pm
I agree that people should not rate a recipe lower when they haven't tried it as written. But I would hate to miss out on all the reviews of those who have tried the recipe and made their own tweaks due to their family's preferences, allergies, etc. What would be the point of 100 reviews that just said, "made as written and we liked/did not like it". Not much help there. When I search for a recipe, I always read the reviews (or many of them). I am looking to see if there are any changes that come up often and any substitutions that have worked that we might prefer or require. When I want to try something new, it's because of the reviews that I check out AR and not my (many, many, many LOL) cookbooks. I sincerely hope that others don't give up doing reviews (if they've made changes) because then this site would just be another cookbook ... IMHO
Jul. 2, 2012 8:41 am
I couldn't agree with you more, except that even more vexing is the reviews that begin "My family and I really didn't like this recipe", and then go on to list the numerous changes/substitutions made so that the end result is nowhere even close to the original concept.
Jul. 2, 2012 8:43 am
Loved this recipe have made it I found this great bakery shop at check it out
Jul. 2, 2012 9:20 am
Alot is not a word! It is a lot!
Jul. 2, 2012 9:59 am
Tammy, not sure where that came from but thanks. Patches, I hear what you are saying. A happy medium would be as I suggested before "I tried this and while good, I found the following made it even better..." or something along that vein. I think most of us are expressing frustration of not knowing whether the original recipe warranted any merit because some folks throw in the whole kitchen sink before they've even tasted the recipe itself. And you are right, its all in ones opinion which is why I think this blog has garnered so much response.
Jul. 2, 2012 12:29 pm
As a cook on this site with several published recipes, let me tell you what I think about the whole tweak thing. I do not care if someone tweaks a recipe and rates and reviews stating their changes or modifications. I actually look forward to seeing them. In my book, if you can only make a recipe as written, that is going through life in the kitchen with blinders on. I prefer the artistic and creative side to cooking. I hardly ever make a recipe as written. Why? We all, every single one of us, have different tastes. If a recipe calls for fennel, am I to skip that recipe because I think fennel is gross? I don't think so. I'll make it, I'll review and I'll let people know what I did differently. I'm not so rigid as to think that my way is the ONLY way. People who give my recipe a low review? Couldn't care less. Again, it goes back to the whole "everyone has different tastes" gig with me. As long as they MADE it and they didn't like it, who am I to say they are wrong? I'm nobody and I'm not going to do that. EVERYTHING, and I do not give a d@mn what it is, has room for improvement. I think I'm a pretty good cook. But, with that also comes a but of humble pie in knowing that I'm not a PERFECT cook. The whole review police gig has been played to death on this website. How about this idea? I'll do what I like in my kitchen/galley and you do how you deem appropriate in yours and we shall just respectfully agree to disagree on this subject.
Jul. 2, 2012 12:47 pm
I guess I should add a little clarification to that above comment. Allrecipes does NOT kitchen test each and every recipe that they put through for publication. This is a fact. I'm in the Allstar program, I have been for a year now. One of the things we do is make photoless and reviewless recipes on this site. Knowing that each recipe is NOT kitchen tested in Seattle at AR's headquarters, I am a pretty good judge on if the timing or liquid amounts or stuff like that is off on a recipe. I'm comfortable enough with my skill in the kitchen to make a judgement call on those things. The way your blog is worded...and if I'm wrong, I'm sorry, but this is how I am taking this whole thing...if I do not make that photoless recipe exactly as written, I should not review it. Let me tell ya, in my endless search through recipes that do not have photos or reviews, there is a reason some of them do not have photos or reviews. It's truly as simple as that. The recipe does not work as it is written. Now, I don't know about all of you, but there is no way in hell I'm about to throw out perfectly good ingredients that I spent hard earned money on for this nonsense. I'll change it to something that does work and I'm going to rate that recipe accordingly and I'm going to let you know in my review what I did differently so that YOU don't waste time or money either.
Jul. 2, 2012 1:41 pm
I'd like to state that many times I DO TWEAK recipes and review them as TWEAKED because when I see a recipe call for a cup of butter...I can't use that recipe, nor should a bunch of us out here...but a little revision makes a lot of difference and we can each share from each other's expertise. Why read reviews at all if not to gain from other's ideas? Just give it stars and keep your mouth shut up??? Personally...I very much enjoy the tweaks of other reviewers...most give extremely helpful input. If you choose to follow directions to a "T"...just ignore those of us who dare to differ.
Jul. 2, 2012 2:14 pm
Here are my thoughts..I really don't understand what you are trying to say. On one hand, you want us to make the recipe as stated and then rate. That is a good concept on your part. On the other hand, you have made and rated recipes based on your changes. The biggest problem here is that people take things to heart and pick apart what everyone says. When I first came here, I found this to be a community where we posted, asked, reviewed, and became friends. That however, is not the case or seems to be the case now. We are all cooks in our own right. Whether we be beginners, professionals, or just the person that is making dinner. I consider myself to be the latter, just making dinner. I have cooked professionally in a kitchen or two in my lifetime, but let's look at the big picture just as witchywoman has said. We take what we see, make what changes we might like and go from there. I enjoy seeing what others post as to what they have done with a recipe. A recipe is a pallette, a finished dish is a painting.
Jul. 2, 2012 2:18 pm
Well, Witchywoman, you asked so I will tell you. You are reading my blog wrong and I've already edited once to clarify and its been clarified many times since in the comments. I understand what you are saying and as noted in some of my own reviews, I have changed things out of necessity. The issue at stake (and its not really an issue- it was my blog, for heavens sake)- is for most people who have commented it is highly frustrating to go look over reviews and see ones that start with "I could tell this recipe just was going to suck so I did the following.." or something similar. As I stated over and over again- maybe the recipe does suck but how will you ever know if you don't try it? I often start a recipe and since I taste along the way, I can tell half way through if its going to need something. I'm not against the need to move some things around because of dietary needs (I often have to limit cheese because of my husbands lactose intolerance issues) but you know the reviewers I am speaking to- they change absolutely everything and then say they are rating the original recipe! Well, they aren't- plain and simple. And Emily, it has nothing to do with choosing to follow a recipe to a T. I often come here for ideas (as Lilly had me clarify about my review of the beef enchiladas). I was looking for how to make them and I took the steps, using what I had. I wasn't as clear in my review for another mac and cheese where I did the same thing. Bottom line, I just think its unfair to the original recipe to not at least give it a fair shake. I often make recipes twice before I review them- as I am making the mac and cheese recipe commented on above- and I'm making it to the way it was originally intended.
Jul. 2, 2012 2:25 pm
I think I've clarified, Annissa. I know people are taking this to heart and some recipes are very personal. Some are just from the top of peoples heads. I think the intent behind the blog has been really clarified- my blog was my thoughts from my own head and it was something I have grown to feel, definately not how I started off feeling as my earlier reviews reveal. I wrote the blog because as I used AR more and more I found myself wishing more people wrote how the recipe turned out versus reading almost all reviews to say "Loved your recipe but here's what I did". How can you say you loved my recipe? I kept wishing more reviews stated "I really wanted to make your recipe however, my son can't stand cardamom. So I made it but substituted cinnamon and I'm giving my version 3 stars. Next time he goes to camp, I'm going to give yours a go." Sometimes, not all times, but sometimes the reviews read more like a persons way of showing off their own expertise versus really wanting to try the recipe. Particularly those who change all items and then say "Now, thats good".
Jul. 2, 2012 2:27 pm
And, again, I shall say that as a cook on this website with SEVERAL published recipes, I don't mind reviews that offer tweaks and changes. I actually look forward to reading them because what I have submitted can DEFINITELY be improved upon. Are there so many changes that it's a different recipe? Yes, sometimes there are, but, seriously...who really cares? The bottom line is that AR knows exactly how I rate and review and I have yet to be contacted by them to tell me that it's wrong, so I will continue and you can continue to post your displeasure at how I go about it. The bottom line, it's a standoff. I will not change MY system until I am told by the powers that be that it's wrong. Do I change up a recipe drastically and rate it low? No, I do not...the screw-up is mine, not the recipe submitter's. Can I tell by looking at a recipe if it's going to suck...yes, I can. Can everyone? No, they can't...but, eventually, that will come with experience in the kitchen. I have been a member of this site for years, and, seriously, with no disrespect to you intended whatsoever...this subject has been hashed over to the death. AR has 7 million users here, do you really think that everyone is going to see things from your point of view? No, they aren't. Have fun with your blog.
Jul. 2, 2012 2:29 pm
You made some wonderful points, Witchywoman, by the way and I absolutely agree with you. When something doesn't work, it doesn't work but wouldn't you say for the vast majority of recipes posted, people will put up their best? Something they have tried and I hope enjoyed. At least those are the recipes I post! None of you want my disasters!!
Jul. 2, 2012 2:31 pm
Thanks for your input and no disrespect taken. I wasn't looking for anyone to see everything from my point of view. It was a blog and it was from my heart. I truly meant well in I was only thinking of the feelings of the cook.
Jul. 2, 2012 3:20 pm
And I shall continue to substitute venison for beef...etc., etc., etc. as my heart so desires...and will review accordingly. Thank heavens for the Tweakers for they shall find the fine tuning of the Submitters...or at least some really great ideas that Submitter didn't think of...
Jul. 2, 2012 3:35 pm
Rock on, Emily..
Jul. 2, 2012 3:56 pm
MW, I understand what you are saying about trying to take the feelings of the cook in account. Thank you for that. As the recipe submitter, I do try to submit the best recipe I can. Is it a PERFECT recipe? No. It can always be improved upon or changed up in some shape or form. Those are the reviews that I stop and take the time to read. I've already read the original recipe. I can tell you if I'll like it or not. I'm the type of cook that wants to see the variations and if someone reviews one of my recipes and changes every single ingredient in it, I'm not going to get upset over that. It's ridiculous to me. It's all perception in the long run, anyhow, isn't it? I may submit a recipe that I have left purposely bland in order for people to get creative and spice that sucker up. So they add in 10 different ingredients. I don't care...I'm more intrigued than anything with seeing how another cook's mind works. They may follow a path that I did not think of. They may rate my base recipe low. I'm ok with all of that. The only thing I ask, as having published recipes, is that a person actually prepares them or a form of them before leaving a low review. And, for God's sake, tell us why you rated it low. What does it need? What was overpowering. Vague reviews don't help anyone! I know this is not the subject of which you were writing about, I just felt like I needed to address it because it really all does tie in together in the long run. The other thing I can't stand is when someone gets a 3-star or less review and then goes and whines and complains about it. Buck up,'s gonna happen and if you can't take the heat, don't submit your recipe into the kitchen. It all goes back to different strokes for different folks. Nobody is going to cook the same, review the same, rate a recipe the same or have the same ohhhh-la-la over your pride and joy recipe. One more thing and I'll step down from my soapbox, I've had people tell me that they are reluctant to leave a bad review. Why??? What good is that??? Not everything is going to be good, so just spit it out there...politely, of need to get downright rude. There, I'm can delete these comments of mine if you like, it's no skin off my @ss.
Jul. 2, 2012 4:06 pm
Oh my gosh, you made me laugh out loud! Buck up, buttercup! That is the kind of talk we have here in the country in WA. I LOVE it. I absolutely agree with everything you said and anytime you want to get up on your soapbox, fine by me. My original post was really about the massive changers and shakers- I even noted the pinch here and there out of necessity was no biggie. It sort of took on a life of its own the I thought folks shouldn't rate or review if they made changes and that was not the case at all. What you said sums it up wonderfully, though. I'm not reluctant to leave a bad review at all- so far, I've only had winners that I've come across. The actual LOSERS I have had have come from some so-called lofty cooks like Martha Stewart. Thanks for your thoughts- I really, really do appreciate them and read them all. Oh, and last thing- as I mentioned before- I do want people to tell me if my recipe failed. If I submitted it here, its because it was a thumbs up in my house so I do want to know when it doesn't work for others. For sure!! And I would never delete yours or anyone elses comments- only deletes are from spam.
Jul. 2, 2012 4:31 pm're only about 30 minutes south of me :) LOL!
Jul. 2, 2012 4:44 pm
Whew! I think Marianne mentioned a possible summer shabang this year- or was that up in Seattle?
Jul. 2, 2012 5:15 pm
There is one later this month in Seattle for the Allstars and I am hosting a get together along with RockyMountainKat in Long Beach on August 9th.
Jul. 2, 2012 6:53 pm
@witchywoman, your comments made me LOL. I, too, loved "Buck up Buttercup!" I'm over on the Kitsap Peninsula, but was through your neck of the woods this past weekend.
Jul. 2, 2012 7:44 pm
@gayla: I'll be up that way later on this month. I'm hooking up with my sisters in Bremerton.
Jul. 2, 2012 10:19 pm
Drop me a line, WW... We're going to see Creed on the 4th but hubby is going to CA that weekend.. could I bring my 10 year old daughter? She's a sweetheart
Jul. 3, 2012 2:21 am
Hi all, I've been a bit busy recently, but have enjoyed watching the comments. I too have several published recipes here and have learnt not to bother too much with the star and review system! I know there are some people who will only consider 4 or 5 star recipes and it used to annoy me when one of mine got voted down for something I consider trivial. But now I figure that's just their loss. One review (before it was removed by AR) of one of my recipes said something like "I would never make this recipe because it has garlic" (or whatever it actually was!!!) and the reviewer gave it 1 star. Why bother reading and going so far as to rate a recipe if it has an ingredient you don't like??? But the review that made me laugh out loud and give up on the whole subject was one that had the words like "This recipe is not complicated enough to warrant more than 3 stars". Excuse me? It's the arrogance of people misusing a system that has destroyed all credence in that system. I'm quite happy for anyone to use my published reciepes (and the ones still waiting for publishing) as a bse, or as a memory jogger, or as an idea-giver. I cook them all regulary, I like them and I survive eating them. Feel free to use them as you want, but if you ever chnage it so much it becomes unrecognisable, then have the courtesy to not vote on MY recipe with values gleaned from making YOUR recipe. It's sort of like the logger saying "I have my grandfather's axe. My father changed the handle, and I put on a new blade." Enjoy your holiday all you over the water. Ours here in Switzerland is on August 1st.
Jul. 3, 2012 8:58 am
Thanks Phil! What you said makes perfect sense- who in the world can say a recipe isn't complex enough? For goodness sakes, some of the simplest recipes continue to be the best! I was just blogging about making a roux- something seemingly simple and yet I'm having a darned of a time with it. So, I'm getting tips and tricks from everyone. To rate when you haven't even tried it is ridiculous. Have a wonderful week!
Jul. 3, 2012 12:04 pm
CORRECTION! It is Monday, August the 6th...sorry for the error!!
Jul. 3, 2012 1:44 pm
:) Thanks for the clarification. Don't know if I can come cuz hubby is getting ready to go out of town but will try!!
Jul. 30, 2012 11:02 am
A lot of responses to your blog, and I certainly didn't read them all, but my thoughts are this - I do scan down reviews when I'm making a recipe for the first time. I find it incredibly helpful to read what changes previous cooks either made or would recommend. If I find my tastes run along the same lines as theirs ("next time I will use only 1/4 tsp of paprika"), I use their tip and usually end up pleased that I did. I don't look at it as an insult to the person who posted the recipe - just a personalized suggestion, "revision" if you will, that compliments the finished product. Sometimes out of one person's posted recipe, a new one is born. That's what we're all about here, sharing what's worked for us.
Aug. 26, 2012 2:33 pm
And while I understand, and to some degree, agree with you, Sweet Cook, the entire point was more about the 'rating' of a recipe then just switching it around to your tastes. If you read my follow up blog, I posted examples of what is frustrating for those of us on the side of not rating after either not trying the recipe at all or making so many changes, it is now no longer the recipe published.
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About Me
Running at top speed mama to two, I love to write and cook. My blog focuses on cooking stories tied into life with my wild ones. I'm passionate about my wonderful children, husband, Siamese cat and coming soon puppy. I'm also an avid deleter of spam so enjoy!!
My favorite things to cook
PIZZA! Macaroni and Cheese, pesto carbonara, homemade wontons, egg rolls, spaghetti, tuna croquettes and PIZZA!.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Every year when we decorate our Christmas tree, I serve fried rice balls with marinara sauce. Over the last couple of years, I've developed a tradition of serving a taco bar on New Years eve night.
My cooking triumphs
The first time I made bulgogi marinade for my husband. He'd not had it before and raved about the meat after he grilled it.
My cooking tragedies
The night I was making homemade wontons and due to humidity, they all decided to stick to each other. Wonton balls, anyone?
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