So I do occasionally cook now, and I actually used to cook a good deal before, back when I had time for a life or something. Actually, I was both temping and poor, which possibly goes with temping, so eating out was not an option. I also had a good deal of time then to read rec.food.cooking, which gave me all sorts of good ideas. I could have been classified as an ardent amateur.
I'm not an assiduous recipe follower; I tend to fiddle things around in most that I read, though I highly appreciate a good recipe. My recipe writing tends to be... somewhat less organized than my recipe following. I've tried to provide concrete amounts, but most of my original cooking is just plain fiddling around and throwing things in. I'll write down things that may be unusual to some people, or may be particularly expedient, and try to provide sane base proportions.
I'm playing around with framework here, as the quantity will make a difference with logical presentation. I really don't like lists unless they're annotated, but my annotations can get very long. I'll spawn off sub-pages as it seems natural to me, and keep a bare-bones outline here.
Actually, this is all that's here right now. Scribble, scribble.
Lemon-Ginger Dressing on Root Salad
-- Vegan, Low Fat
I came up this with while craving sushi. Lest you think that it includes rice, I was thinking more of the shredded daikon and carrot salad or garnish one often finds at sushi bars, and also of the clean strong pickled ginger garnish (gari). It's not hot unless you intentionally make it that way.
-- Vegan (optionally Fish), Low Fat
This may be too simple to be classified as a recipe, but I added ruminations and somewhat idiosyncratic variations.
-- Ovo-Vegetarian, High Fat Treat
French toast sandwiches; my mutation of someone else's variation.
-- Ovo (usually Lacto, optionally contains meat), Low Fat (in my
Experimentations with eggs and all their versatility... I'm trying to make this in the Zone, which is a little challenging.
Experimentation is actually a nice way to cook, even if some of the experiments prove to be somewhat miserable. Only one or two have been actually inedible to date; the spectacular one was an attempt at making chicken teriyaki with no base recipe, which turned out disastrously salty, and one that was less so was an experiment with buckwheat, which cooks far too quickly to use like one of the hard ricelike grains.
All disasters aside, I highly recommend looking for and trying unfamiliar foods. Some might be a disappointment like star fruit: prettier than they are tasty. Others may surprise you; plantains make a delightful starch, for instance. I just fry them with a little salt and cayenne and a touch of cinnamon.
For those who don't like to randomly bumble around, my favorite food resource on the WWW is Epicurous. It features a huge recipe file with interesting and beautiful recipes, as well as a dictionary of foods and food terms.