Mark, keep experimenting like you are doing. It will take only a short time to learn about the water amount, ratios of ingredients, your preferred spices, etc. There are no real rules as to how to do this--just experiment at home, try new ideas, ingredients, etc. If you are a meat eater, you might consider putting a tablespoon or so of FD beef or chicken into the mix. For me, the most essential item is the choice of spices I add. Once you become comfortable with a few dishes, then there's a whole new arena you can get into. I like adding FD olives slices, yoghurt powder, FD cheese, dehydrated fat-free sour cream and the like. Be careful, though--if you get into doing this like some of us, you'll end up buying a dehydrator and maybe even a vacuum sealer. Then you'll know that you've passed on to the level of true food geekdom! But it sure as hell beats Mountain House.