Some people follow recipes exactly, measuring everything. I bet they even level off the flour in the measuring cup. Others are what you could call "Pinch Cooks." They kind of eyeball things a little and add seasonings to taste.
Me? I follow the "Wish and Hope" method, occasionally the "Pray and Plea Bargain" approach.
I NEVER MEASURE. I have several sets of cute measuring cups and spoons. I use the cups as scoops and stir with the spoons. Or use the 1/4 tsp measuring spoon to break apart spices that have clumped around the rim of the jar. It can be pretty handy at times.
I also make very risky and sometimes questionable substitutions. Especially since I started breastfeeding. Lactogens EVERYWHERE. I'm surprised my husband hasn't started lactating. Full disclosure, consume enough Fenugreek and you will begin to smell it coming out of your pores.
In terms of cooking, this method isn't too wild and crazy. With baking? It's downright insane.
This leads me to my latest conquest: Homemade Pumpernickel and Preserves.
I usually make a fruit salad with figs (my EVERLOVING favorite!) strawberries, peaches, balsamic vinegar, honey and fresh basil. For a couple of years now, I've been mulling over how this combination would work as some sort of jam or spread. Flipping fantastic, that's how. I even canned them. Sterilized the jars and everything! It was touch and go with the pectin for a minute, but all in all they came out like I knew what I was doing the whole time. Act natural, they'll never know.
As for the pumpernickel....well, you know wheat bread comes from wheat flour. Rye bread comes from rye flour, Multigrain bread comes from multiple grains. What the hell does a pumpernickel come from? According to the Bread cookbook I recently picked up from the discount end cap at Barnes and Noble, it is rye, wheat and all purpose flours (simple, sounds 'bout right), chopped onion, caraway seeds and molasses (getting a little feisty here) and STRONG COFFEE. Say what? Are we sure this is a bread recipe? Oh, but yes, it came out perfectly pumpernickely. I surprised myself.
Disclaimer: My KitchenAid does all the work! Add the ingredients, turn it on and let it GO. Then just let it sit for a couple of hours, punch it down, let it sit again. No big deal.