My own introduction to Harvest Moon came rather late in the series in the form of Friends of Mineral Town, as the first gaming system I owned was the humble GBA. One of the great delights of playing FoMT was to be able to create new variations on Recipes and to work with the values of each Dish in terms of Restoring Stamina or Recovering from Fatigue.
In later Harvest Moon and Rune Factory games, the fundamental premises and mechanics of Cooking have had many different variations. In some cases, you must be 'taught' a specific Recipe either by being given or purchasing a Recipe Book or being told the Recipe by another character. In ToT, you could find new Recipes in the kitchens of other characters, displayed on the kitchen wall. Even in FoMT/MFoMT, you could learn special variations on Recipes from various townspeople, including actual cooking 'lessons' given by Anna and one special favourite given by various characters, including the Doctor and Carter.
In Island of Happiness, you 'learned' Recipes from the owners of the Diner and Cafe. Furthermore, each Recipe was triggered by the offering of a specific ingredient. The need to offer a specified ingredient before the Recipe would be given was an interesting variation.
In Rune Factory, Skill Levels in Cooking determine your ability to make a Dish successfully. Rune Factory Frontier offered a new element in making cooking interactive. You had to press a Button at a specific point on a gauge in order to make the dish successfully. One actually could improve the Dish by making it 'perfectly' or 'with expertise'
In some games, you must try to cook a Dish a number of times, even when you possess the Recipe, before you will be able to cook it successfully.
Whenever there is a possibility of adding optional ingredients to improve a Dish, you may be able to trick the game into believing that all Dishes made previously WITHOUT the optional ingredient have the value of the augmented Dish.
For example, if Pudding is made with Milk and Egg, you may be able to make 10 Puddings with Milk and Egg, then make an eleventh with Milk, Egg and an optional ingredient, such as Chocolate, then change the Recipe to make the ingredients in future Milk, Egg and Chocolate. It is possible that ALL Puddings in your Rucksack then will have the value of the new improved 'better' Recipe.