Until the very end of the game, there are always going to be items that you can't make and spaces in your Grow Book that you can't fill until you've acquired the proper ingredients. Sometimes you'll need items that you won't be able to find until one or two chapters ahead of where you are. Just keep playing, and you'll eventually get what you need. The idea is to unlock as much as you can at any given time, while playing through the game.
And no, the only character quest that involves a unique recipe is Nikki's second one, IIRC.