Recipes are suggestions. It usually isn’t necessary to follow them exactly. However, they can be useful for figuring out proportions and serving sizes.
For example, for cheesy recipes (like mac and cheese or grilled cheese) you need about 2 oz. of cheese per person. A pound of pasta feeds four people.
It is also fun to put your own spin on things. Most recipes are improved if you chop up almonds and put them on top. Save your bacon fat to spark things up the next time you need to sauté greens and use the bacon fat instead of oil or butter..
Usually, you can make the recipe work with what you have in your fridge or freezer. Pay attention, if you're tweaking one part of the recipe you might need to tweak something else too like the amount of liquid or how long you need to cook it. Here are some substitution suggestions.