Joni Sare, cooking instructor

How to create a recipe

Recipes, deconstructed

Create your own recipe: a 12-step plan

This past Wednesday I agreed (with a 24-hour notice) to do a radio interview with one of my dear friends, Julie Motz. She has two radio shows on KWMR, Marin and needed a fill in for a cancelation. She requested that we talk about my forte: creating a recipe. I’m honored she thinks so ……..thank you, Julie.

In the past, articulating my process of creating recipes has been daunting, an unreliable and basically an inert task requiring self observation, brainstorming, research, and more. …. i.e. too burdensome to stick to it. Not sure how but I did it, I was able to succinctly recite my process. And was pleasantly surprised to see that my one hour of free-flowing journaling revealed so many steps. Could I really make so many decisions so effortlessly? Apparently so, and it’s a welcomed-deemed-my-own feather in my cap.

I actually came up with quite a bit of material, enough to fill a book, short chapters to start with yet nonetheless I acquired quite of bit of notes. The 30-minute radio interview will be the condensed version.

How to be fluent in the kitchen

Julie gave an observation and posed a question to me during the interview:  that success in the kitchen is similar to learning a language, and wondered if there is a shortcut a person can do.

Here is:  How to become a good cook

Click here to see, and to buy “My favorite culinary books to become fluent in the kitchen.”

Radio interview: How to Create a Recipe

Click here to listen to the interview on “Art’s Desire” Julie’s radio show broadcasted on KWMR, Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2011.

Here are my….

12 components to making a recipe

Each of the following will, eventually, sooner than later, have its own detailed info. And, will be a foundation for a book.

This list is not in any particular order, except for the first component. The first step, below, will invariably always be the first thing we think of when creating a recipe, it’ll always be required to know who you are cooking for, how many, the time of year, etc. This is what I call the ‘magic touch’ … it isn’t tangible, yet is a major component of what goes into the making of a dish.

The rest of the steps will have varying degrees of importance. Depending upon the situation, each step may or may not have an important role. Meaning to say for instance that #4 Flavors — would likely be the second-most important factor when you are making a specific ethnic dish. Or – it could be that #6 is highest priority because you want to make a creamy soup, for example.

1.The magic touch: taking into account, knowing and/or anticipating the audience – who will be participating in consuming the food, the ambiance, the weather, season, time of day, etc

2. Food, the ingredients: the roots, tubers, stalks, stems, leaves, heads, bulbs, buds, berries, fruit, flowers, nuts, seeds, grains, and meat, fish, poultry, fowl

3. Ratios: how much to put of one ingredient vs others in the dish

4. Flavors and aromas: The flavors, such as sweet, salty, sour, bitter, unami. And the aromas, such as: citrus, bouquet, aromatics: garlic, ginger, onion… and so much more

5. Colors: mono-color, multi-colors, dominate color with sprinkles of a contrasting color

6. Textures: creamy, crunchy, chewy, gooey, crispy, juicy, runny, soggy, squishy, slimy, solid, soft, firm, fatty

7. Shapes: rounds, rough cuts, cubes, triangles, half moons, slivers, match sticks, diamonds, squares

8. Sizes: minced, diced, chopped, bite-size pieces

9. Visual presentation: composed with bite-size pieces, versus mashed, or tossed with multi-colors

10. Temperature: hot, steaming, chilled, cold, spicy, refreshing

11. Cooking method: high heat versus no heat, wet vs dry, short term vs long term

12. Energetic value of the food: expansive vs contractive, upward vs downward, stimulating vs calming

Cooking methods:

Flavor wheels of the world:


The 6 tastes:

Cooking with ratios:

Understanding textures:





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