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Have you tweaked one of my recipes?

My friend Polly suggested to me that we should have a discussion about tweaking the recipes that I’ve posted, and I think this is a great idea.

sliced cinnamon roll dough.

She suggested I put out the top five recipes and ask for your tweaks on those.

Thai Red Curry Chicken Soup Cover Image

Sooo, I’ll put out a few suggestions, BUT if you’ve tweaked another one of my posted recipes, feel free to share that too.

Brinderaded Chicken

This is a super simple recipe for a quick brine/marinade to use with chicken. If you have problems with dry, flavorless chicken, you really, really should give this one a try!

Brineraded, sliced chicken breast on a wooden cutting board.

Polly’s got some tweaks to share for this one; she uses 2x the garlic, oven-bakes the chicken, and serves it with pasta and red sauce or alfredo.

Lots of Clusters Granola

This is hands-down my favorite granola recipe ever.

bowl of yogurt and granola.

You just mix the ingredients up, press them into a pan, and bake it as one whole piece. None of that pesky stirring-during-baking stuff!

And then after baking, you can easily break it up into chunks, as fine or coarse as you like.

Chunks of granola in a Rubbermaid container.

I know for sure multiple readers have tweaked this one, varying the amount and type of sweeteners, adding various nuts and fruits, and so on.

A bowl of granola, topped with sliced peaches, in a white bowl.

Chipotle Chicken Kebabs

This recipe includes a quick, spicy-sweet marinade, and a creamy cilantro-lime dipping sauce.

chipotle chicken kabobs with cilantro dipping sauce

I sometimes make this as-is, and we dip the chicken into the sauce as a main dish.

But I also really like to use the chicken in a green salad, with the cilantro-lime dipping sauce as a dressing.

chicken salad.

And when I make chicken burrito bowls, this is the chicken I turn to.

Burrito bowl topped with cilantro.

My most recent tweak to this recipe has been subbing chicken thighs for chicken breasts; I like having the flexibility to use whatever I happen to have on hand.

Orzo with Sausage and Asparagus

This pasta-veggie-meat dish makes a great one-pot dinner. My main tweak to this one is that I use a variety of vegetables in it, like broccoli, peppers, asparagus, and kale.

Orzo with sauage in a skillet.

I’ve also sometimes used spicy sausage or added some jarred spicy peppers.

Make-Ahead Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce

These chicken enchiladas have been one of the most popular main dish recipes I’ve posted; I know lots of readers have them in their regular rotation.

baked chicken enchiladas with red sauce

I haven’t personally done much tweaking of this one, so I’m curious to hear if you all have.

Share your tweaks!

Have you:

  • changed an ingredient or two?
  • switched up a baking/cooking method?
  • figured out a make-ahead/freeze-ahead variation?
  • come up with a new way to use part of a dish?

Or done any other tweaking/changing?

You can answer for any recipe I’ve ever posted, not just the five I listed here. 🙂

P.S. I’m gonna also suggest my whole wheat sandwich bread, since I know many readers have tweaked this one over the years!

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Melissa G.

Friday 27th of October 2023

I love your fluffy hamburger buns recipe. I make it with all whole wheat flour and a few tablespoons of gluten and they come out just as fluffy and delicious!

Linda Phillips

Wednesday 25th of October 2023

Every time I buy family pack chicken, I make the Brinderade and put 2 pieces of chicken and some of the sauce in each baggie before storing it in the freezer. I then use the chicken in lots of different recipes.

When I make your chocolate pudding, I skip the make a paste step and I use a double boiler. I scorch my pan every time I've just done it in a saucepan.

I've made chewy orange granola bars with other flavors of jams (blackberry, raspberry, apple). I cut back on the butter too.


Wednesday 25th of October 2023

I frequently make your CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER OAT BARS. I make a sling from parchment paper and spray it lightly with cooking spray. After refrigerating the baked bars, I lift them from the pan, peel off the paper, and use a long, sharp knife to cut it into bite sized pieces. So delicious and addictive we all call it “crack”!

Allison B

Wednesday 25th of October 2023

I love the granola recipe! I tweak it by adding cinnamon, pepitas, and a mix of ground flax, chia, and hemp seeds. I don't measure any of those, just what looks good.


Saturday 28th of October 2023

@Allison B, I do something similar! I also add cinnamon, allspice, and cloves by eyeball. Lately, I've taken to soaking the chia seeds first, then adding the other liquids to it before dumping it into the dry ingredients. Speaking of liquids, I make homemade vanilla, so I always add a big glue of that, too. I found the original recipe too sweet, so I double (or triple) the other ingredients and hold back on doubling the sugar. I'm generous with the coconut, so it's always sweet enough.

Since this is "The Frugal Girl", I want to add that I haven't purchased regular cereal in years. I but the granola ingredients in bulk and I figure I've saved a fortune and avoided significant packaging waste over the years, thanks to Kristen's recipe.


Wednesday 25th of October 2023

Like @crunchycakes I’ve found your orzo recipe so adaptable - I use any kind of meat and anything green, always delicious. I’m so grateful you shared it, we make it biweekly!

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