So it’s been a wild couple of weeks full of food craftiness and delicious treats! It’s been awhile since we’ve covered handy kitchen tips, so that’s what’s up! Don’t worry, we won’t be completely boring while Sara’s gone; something yummy is cooking up for Friday!
I think everyone has a cookbook that they keep coming back to for good, basic recipes–you know, the Betty Crocker or the Better Homes and Gardens cookbooks, the ones they got from their moms when they got married. Mine is The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook (I originally typed that out as The Ultimate Southern Luving Cookbook. That would be a completely different set of instructions that would probably not fit our family-friendly reader demographic…) When I was learning to cook, I read it cover-to-cover countless times and even now, sometimes I’ll bring it to bed with me just to look at the gorgeous pictures and think of all the amazing things in it that I haven’t made.
Anyway, one of the things I really love about it is that it’s got some awesome appendices in the back. There is an extensive list of substitutions and I always find myself flipping back there when I suddenly find myself without rum. I mean baking powder.
I haven’t included the entire list because some of the things are so obscure that I doubt you’ll ever cross a recipe that needs them. But now you can bookmark this page and the next time you need 1 cup of miniature marshmallows but only have 10 large ones, you’ll know where to turn!
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- Baking powder, 1 tsp.: 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar + 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- Semisweet chocolate, 1 oz.: 1 oz. unsweetened chocolate + 1 Tbsp. sugar
- Unsweetened chocolate, 1 oz. or square: 3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa + 1 Tbsp. butter, margarine, shortening, or oil
- Semisweet chocolate chips, 6 oz., melted: 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, 2 Tbsp. shortening, + 1/2 c. sugar
- Unsweetened cocoa, 1/4 c.: 1 oz. unsweetened chocolate (decrease fat in recipe by 1/2 Tbsp.)
- Corn syrup, light, 1 c.: 1 c. sugar heated to a syrupy consistency with 1/4 c. water (GENIUS!!)
- Cornstarch, 1 Tbsp.: 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- See flour substitutions here
- Marshmallow cream, 7-oz. jar: 16 oz. package marshmallows, melted, plus 3 1/2 Tbsp. light corn syrup
- Marshmallows, miniature, 1 c.: 10 large marshmallows
- Pecans, chopped, 1 c.: 1 c. regular oats, toasted (in baked products); this is another smart one, especially for people with nut allergies!
- Powdered sugar, 1 c.: 1 c. sugar + 1 Tbsp. cornstarch, processed in food processor
- White sugar, 1 c.: 1 c. corn syrup; decrease liquid in recipe by 1/3 c.
- Buttermilk, 1 c.: 1 Tbsp. vinegar or lemon juice, plus milk to make 1 c. (let stand 10 minutes); 1 c. milk + 1 3/4 tsp. cream of tartar
- Sweetened condensed milk, 14 ounces: Heat 1/3 c. +2 Tbsp. evaporated milk, 1 c. sugar, 3 Tbsp. butter or margarine until sugar and butter dissolve
- Sour cream: Plain yogurt
- Tomato sauce, 2 c.: 3/4 c. tomato paste + 1 c. water
- Chili sauce, 1 c: 1 c. tomato sauce, 1/4 c. brown sugar, 2 Tbsp. vinegar, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, dash of grown cloves, dash of allspice
- Ketchup (for cooking): 1 c. tomato sauce, 1/2 c. sugar, 2 Tbsp. vinegar
- Allspice, ground, 1 tsp.: 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon + 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
- Apple pie spice, 1 tsp.: 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg, 1/8 tsp. ground cardamom
- Bay leaf, 1 whole: 1/4 tsp. crushed bay leaf
- Chives, chopped, 1 Tbsp.: 1 Tbsp. chopped green onion tops
- Garlic, 1 small clove: 1/8 tsp. garlic powder or dried garlic
- Garlic salt, 1 tsp: 1/8 tsp. garlic powder plus 7/8 tsp. salt
- Herbs, fresh, 1 Tbsp.: 1 tsp. dried herbs or 1/4 tsp. ground herbs
- Mustard, dry, 1 tsp.: 1 Tbsp. prepared mustard
- Onion powder, 1 Tbsp.: 1 medium onion, chopped or 1 Tbsp. dried minced onion
- Parsley, dry, 1 tsp.: 1 Tbsp. fresh parsley
- Pumpkin pie spice: 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. ground ginger, 1/8 tsp. ground allspice, 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
- Vanilla bean, 1: 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp.: 1 tsp. bottled steak sauce
Alcohol (use water, white grape, or apple juice to make up the rest of the amount of liquid called for in the recipe)
- Amaretto, 2 Tbsp.: 1/4-1/2 tsp. almond extract
- Bourbon or Sherry, 2 Tbsp.: 1-2 tsp. vanilla extract
- Brandy, fruit-flavored liqueur, port wine, rum, or sweet cherry, 1/4 c. or more: Equal amount of unsweetened orange or apple juice plus 1 tsp. vanilla extract or corresponding flavor
- Brandy or rum, 2 Tbsp.: 1/2-1 tsp. brandy or rum extract
- Grand Marnier, 2 Tbsp.: 2 Tbsp. unsweetened orange juice concentrate
- Kahlua, 2 Tbsp.: 1/2-1 tsp. chocolate extract plus 1/2-1 tsp. instant coffee dissolved in 2 Tbsp. water
- Red wine: Equal amount of red grape or cranberry juice
- White wine: Equal amount of white grape or apple juice
Whew! That’s a lot to get through! So tell me, those of you who have made it–what’s YOUR cookbook that you keep going back to for the basics?