Cooking recipes can be highly complex, or they can be as simple as just a few ingredients. I do not think I have ever attempted a complex recipe, nor do I plan on doing so in the near future.
Recipes come from many sources. You can find just about any recipe by searching online.
Of course, there are the ever-popular cookbooks. There are books that are specialized by region (regional recipes are very popular), by ingredient (I have recipe books for pumpkin, eggs, tofu, and more), by appliance (you can get books specifically for slow cookers, pressures cookers, bread makers, and so on).
Another source for recipes comes straight from your family. Often some of peoples most cherished recipes are the ones that have been passed down from generation to generation. They might be written on recipe index cards, on a piece of paper, or they might have been printed in a family cook book.
Now that I have started this website, I have been inspired to collect the recipes from my family. I already have a few, but there are many more that my family has that I would like to share with my children.
One thing that I like to do whenever I make a recipe is add notes to them. My notes document what my family thought of the recipe, so I know if I should make it again. Or, I write down any modifications or additions I may have made. For example, I have a favorite waffle recipe where I add pumpkin to it. I have written this down for future reference.
Documenting any changes, and their results, can be important. Although cooking recipes may be a bit forgiving, this is not the case with baking. Baking recipes often have no room at all for altering the instructions provided, since doing so can be disastrous. If you make a change, write down what you did and how it turned out, so you know if you should do it again in the future.
If you have a family recipe that you know by heart and want to share it with others, be sure to include every step that needs to be taken. Do you preheat the oven? Write that down. Do you stir the ingredients for just 30 seconds? Write that down. Whatever you do, include it. Otherwise, you risk creating an incomplete recipe.
One of my dearest friends from high school used to make delicious oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. I once asked her for the recipe, and she wrote it down for me. I put the index card she gave me in my file manager, and recently came across it. Tempted by the memory of her wonderful cookies, I read through the instructions. I was deeply saddened to see that she had left out many critical steps, including exact measurements and the cooking temperature of the oven. So make sure you do not make the same mistakes if you share your cooking recipes with friends or family.