Useful Info

Instead of: Qty:Use:
Baking Powder1 tsp1/4 tsp baking soda plus 1/2 tsp cream of tarter
Balsamic Vinegar1 Tbsp1 Tbsp sherry or cider vinegar
Bread Crumbs, dry1/4 c.1/4 cup finely crushed cracker crumbs, corn flakes or quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats
Broth, chicken or beef1c1 tsp chick, beef or veg bouillon granules (or 1 beef or veg cube) dissolved in 1 cup boiling water
Brown Sugar-packed1 c.1 c. sugar mixed with 2 Tbsp molasses or dark corn syrup
Buttermilk or sour milk1 c. 1 Tbsp lemon juice or white vinegar plus enough milk to make 1 c. or 1 c. plain yogurt
Semisweet Baking1 oz1 oz unsweetened baking chocolate plus 1 Tbsp sugar or any chocolate milk drink mix
Semisweet Chips1 c. 6 oz semisweet baking chocolate or dark chocolate candy bar, chopped
Unsweetend Baking1 oz3 Tbsp baking cocoa plus 1 tbsp vegetable oil or melted shortening or margarine
Cornstarch1 Tbsp2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
Corn Syrup-light1 c.1 c. granulated sugar plus 1/4 c. water
Corn Syrup-dark1 c. 1 c. light corn syrup: 3/4 c. light corn syrup plus 1/4c. molasses; 1 c. maple-flavored syrup
Flour- all purpose1 c. 1 c. plus 2 Tbsp cake flour
Flour- Cake1 c. 1 c. minus 2 Tbsp all- purpose flour
Flour- Self Rising1 c. 1 c. all-purpose flour plus 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt
Garlic-finely chopped1 clove1/8 tsp garlic powder or 1/4 tsp minced garlic
Herbs, chopped fresh1 Tbsp3/4 to 1 tsp dried herbs
Lemon Juice-fresh1 Tbsp1 Tbsp bottled lemon juice or white vinegar
Milk, regular or lowfat1 c. 1/2 cup evaporated milk plus 1/2 c. water; or non-fat dry milk prepared as directed on package
Pumpkin or Apple Pie Spice1 tsp.Mix 1/2 tsp ground cinnamin, 1/4 tsp ground ginger, 1/8 tsp ground allspice and 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
Sour Cream1 c. 1 c. plain yogurt
Tomato Paste1/2 c. 1 c. tomato sauce cooked uncovered to reduce to 1/2 c.
Tomato Sauce2 c. 3/4 c. tomato paste plus 1 c. water
Tomatoes, canned 1 c.
Yogurt, plain1 c. 1 c. sour cream

Measuring Guide
3 tsp1 Tbsp1/2 fluid oz
4 Tbsp1/4 c.
5 Tbsp + 1 tsp1/3 c.
8 Tbsp1/2 c.
1 c.1/2 pt.8 fluid oz
2 c.1 pt16 fluid oz
4 c. (2 pt)1 quart32 fluid oz
4 qt1 gal128 fluid oz
16 oz1 lb


Glossary of Cooking Ingredients, Terms, and Techniques
These are taken from
Al Dente: 

Baste:To moisten foods during cooking or grilling with fats or seasoned liquids to add flavor and prevent drying.

Beat:to make a mixture smooth by briskly whipping or stirring it witha  spoon, fork, wire whisk, rotary beater, or electric mixer.

Bias-Slice:To slice a food crosswise at a 45 degree angle.

Blackened: A popular cajun cooking method in which seasoned fish or other foods are cooked over high heat in a superheated heavy skillet until charred, resulting in a crisp, spicy crust. At home, this is best done outdoors because of the large amounts of smoke produced.

Blanch: To partially cook fruits, vegetables, or nuts in boiling water or steam to intensify and set color and flavor.  This is an important step in preparing fruits and vegetables for freeaing. Blanching also helps loosen skins from tomatoes, peaches and almonds.

Blend: To combine two or more ingredients by hand, or with an electric mixer or blender, until smooth and uniform in texture, flavor, and color.

Boil: To cook food in liquid at a temperature that causes bubbles to form in the liquid and rise in a steady pattern, breaking at the surface.  A rolling boil occurs when liquid is boiling so vigorously that the bubbles can't be stirred down.

Braise: to cook food slowly in a small amount of liquid ina  tightly covered pan on the range top or in the oven. Braising is recommended for less-tender meat.

Brine: Heavily salted water used to pickle or cure vegetables, meats, fish, and seafood.

Broil:  To cook food a measured distance below direct, dry heat.  When broiling, position the broiler pan and it's rach so that the surface of the food (not the rack) is the specified distance from the heat source.

Brown: To cook a food in a skillet, broiler, or oven to add flavor and aroma and develop a rich, desirable color on the outside and moistness on the inside.

Butterfly: To split food, such as a shrimp or pork chops, through the middle without completely separating the halbes.  Opened flat, the split halves resemble a butterfly.

Candied: A food, usually a fruit, nut or citrus peel, that has been cooked or dipped in sugar syrup.

Carve: To cut or slice cooked meat, poultry, fish, or game into serving-size pieces.

Chiffonade: In cooking, this French word, meaning "made of rags," refers to thin strips of fresh herbs or lettuce.

Chop: To cut foods with a knife, cleaver or food processor into smaller pieces.

Clarified butter: Sometimes called drawn butter, clarified butter is best known as a dipping sauce for seafood.  It is butter that has had the milk solids rremoved.  Beccause clarified butter can be heated to high temperatures without burning, it' also used for quickly browning meats. To clarify butter, melt the butter over low heat in a heavy sauce pan without stirring.  Skim off foam, if necessary.  You will see a clear, oily layer on top of a milky layer.  Slowly pour the clear liquid into a dish, leaving the milky layer in the pan.  The clear liquid isthe clarified butter;             discard the milky liquid. Store clarified butter in the refrigerator up to 1 month.

Coat: To evenly cover with crumbs, flour, or a batter. Often done to meat, fish, and poultry before cooking.

Cream (verb): To beat a fat, such as butter or shortening either alone or with sugar, to a light, fluffy consistency.  May be done by hand with a wooden spoon or with an electric mixer.  This process incorporates air into the fat so baked produces have a lighter texture and a better volume.

Crimp: To pinch or press pastry or dough together using your fingers, a fork, or another utensil.  Usaually done for a piecrust edge.

Crisp-tender: a term that describes the state of vegetables that have been cooked until just tender but still somewhat crunchy.  At this stage a fork can be inserted witha  little pressure.

Crush: To smash food into smaller pieces, generally using hands, a mortar and pestle, or a rolling pin. Crushing dried herbs release their flavor and aroma.

Cube: means to cut food into uniform pieces, usually 1/2 inch on all sides.

Curdle: to cause semisolid pieces of coagulated portein to develop in a dairy product.  This can occur when foods such as milk or sour cream are heated to too high a temperature or are combined with an acidic food, such as lemon juice or tomatoes.

Cut in: To work a solid fat, such as shortening, butter, or margarine, into dry ingredients.  this is usually done with a pastry blender, two knives in a cresscross fashion, your fingertips or a food processor.

Dash: Refers to a small amount of seasoning that is added to food.  It is generally between 1/16 and 1/8 teaspoon.  term is often  used for liquid ingredients, such as bottled hot pepper sauce.

Deglaze: Adding a liquid such as water, wine, or brother to a skillet that has been used to cook meat.  After the meat have been removed, the liquid is poured into the pan to help loosed the browned bits and make a flavorful taste.

Dice: Means to cut food into uniform pieces, usually 1/8 to 1/4 inch on all sides.

Dredge: to coat a food, either before or after cooking  with a dry ingredient, such as flour, cornmeal, or sugar.

Drip Pan: A metal or disposable foil pan placed under food to catch dripping when grilling.  A drip pan can also be made from heavy-duty foil.

Drizzle: To randomly pour a liquid, such as powdered sugar icing, in a thin stream over food.

Dust: To lightly coat or sprinkle a food with a dry ingredient, such as flour or powdered sugar, either before or after cooking.


Slightly beaten eggs: Use a fork to beat the whole egg until the yolk and white are combined and no streaks remain.

Beating egg whites until soft peaks form: place the egg whites ina clean glass or metal bowl (do not use plastic).  Beat the whitesa with an electric mixer on medium speed or wiht a rotary beater until they form peaks with tips that curl over when the beaters are lifted out.  Any speck of fat, oil or yolk in the bowl will prevent whites from devoloping the necessary whipped consistency.

Beating egg whites until stiff peaks form: Continue beating egg whites, not on high speed until they form peaks with tips that stand straight when the beaters are lifted out.

Beating egg yolks: Beat the egg yolks with an electric mixer on high speed for about 5 minutes or until they are thick and lemon-color.

Emulsify:  To combine two liquid or semiliquid ingredients, such as oil and vinegar, that don't naturally dissolve into each other.  One way to do this is to gradually add one ingredient to the other while whisking rapidly with a fork or wire whisk.

Flute: To make a decorative impression in food, usually a piecrust.

Fold: A method of gently mixing ingredients without decreasing their volume.  To fold, use a rubber spatula to cut down vertically through the mixture from the back of the bowl.  Mover the spatula across the bottom of the bowl, and bring it back up the other side, carrying some of the mixture from the bottom up over the surface.  Repeat these steps, rotating the bowl one-fourth of a turn each time you complete the process.

French: To cut meat away from the end of a rib or chop to expose the bone, as with a lamb rib roast

Gelatin: A dry ingredient made from natural animal protein that can thicken or set a liquid. Gelatin is available in unflavored and flavored forms.  When using, make sure the gelaine powder is completely dissolved.  To dissolve one envelope of unflavored gelatin: Place gelatin in a small saucepan and stir in a least 1/4 c. wwater, broth or fruit juice.  Let it stand 5 minutes to soften, then stir it over low heat until the gelatin is dissolved.
Do not mix gelatin with figs, fresh pineapple (canned pineapple is not a problem), fresh ginger, guava, kiwifruit, and papaya, as these foods contain an enzyme that prevents gelatin from setting up.
Some recipes call for gelatin at various stagees of gelling. "Partially set" means the mixture looks like unbeaten eggs whitees.  At this point, solid ingedients may be added.  "Almost firm" describes gelatin that is sticky to the touch.  It can be layered at this stage.  "Firm" gelatin holds a cut edge and is ready to be served.

Giblets: The edible internal organs of poultry, including the liver, heart and gizzard.  Giblets are sometimes used to make gravy.

Glaced: A thin, glossy coating

Grate:  To rub food, such as hard cheeses, begetables, or whole nutmeg or ginger, across a grating surface to make very fine pieves.  A food processor also may be used.

Grind: To mechanically cut a food into smaller pieves, usually with a food grinder or a food processor.

Hors d'oeuvre (or-DERV): French term for small, hot or cold portions of savory food served as an appetizer.

Ice: To drizzle or spread baked goods with a thin frosting.

Indirect grilling: Method of slowly cooking food in a covered grill over a spot where there are no coals.  Usually the food is placed on the rack over a drip pan, with coals arranged around the pan.

Julienne: means to cut food into thin match-like sticks about 2 inches long.  For easier cutting first cut food into slices about 2 x 1/4 inches; stack the slices and cut them lengthwise into strips 1/8 to 1/4 inch wide.

Knead: to work dough with the heels of your hands in a pressing and folding motion until it becomes smooth and elastic.  This is an essential step in developing the gluten in many yeast breads.

Kosher Salt: A coarse salt with no additives that many cooks prefer for its light, flaky texture and clean taste.  It also has a lower sodium content than regular salt.

Lard: A product make from pork fat that is sometimes used for baking.  It's especially noted for producing light, flaky pie crusts.  Today, shortening is commonly used instead of lard.

Leavening: Ingredients that are essential in helping batter and dough expand or rise during baking.  If omitted, the baked products will be heavy and tough.

Marble: To gently swirl one food into another.  Marbling is usually done with light and dark batters for cakes or cookies.

Marinade: A seasoned liquid in which meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, or vegetables are soaked to flavor and sometimes tenderize them.  Most marinades contain an acid, such as wine or vinegar.

Marinate: To soak food in a marinade.  When marinating foods, do not use a metal container, as it can react with acidic ingredients to give foods an off flavor.  Always marinate foods in the refrigerator, never on the kitchen counter.  To reduce cleanup, use a plastic bag set in a bowl or dish to hold the food you are marinating.  Discard leftover marinade that has come in contact with raw meat.  Or if it's to be used on cooked meat, bring leftover marinade to a rolling boil before using to destroy any bacteria that may be present.

Marsala:  A fortified wine that can be either dry or sweet.  Sweet Marsala is used both for drinking and cooking. Dry Marsala makes a nice pre-dinner drink.

Mash: To press or beat a food to remove lumps and make a smooth mixture.  This can be done with a fork, potato masher, food mill, food ricer, or electric mixture.

Mince: means to chop a food into tiny irregular pieces.

Moisten: To add enough liquid to a dry ingredient or mixture to make it damp but not runny.

Mortar and pestle:  A set that includes a bowl-shape vessel (the mortar) to hold ingredients to be crushed by a club-shape utensil (the pestle).

Mushrooms, fresh: A plant in the fungus family, mushrooms come in many colors and shapes, with flavors ranging from mild to nutty to meaty, woodsy, and wild. Fresh varieties to look for include:

Beech: These small mushrooms, with their all-white or light-brown caps, offer a crunchy texture and a mild, sweet, nutty flavor that works well in stir-fries and in sauces for poultry and fish.  When adding to recipes, add toward the end of cooking time to retain their texture.

Chanterelle (shant-uh-REL): Best in simple recipes, trumpet-shape chanterelle are bright yellow to orange in color and have a buttery flavor.

Crimini: Tan to rich brown in color, crimini mushrooms can be used in most any recipe that calls for white mushrooms.  They're similar in taste but earthier in flavor.

Enoki (eh-NOH-kee): These white mushrooms with long, thin stems and tiny caps often come vacuumed packed. Show off their delicate flavor and slight crunch in salads and as soup toppers.

Morel (more-EL):  Great for refined sauces and other gourmet recipes, these tan, black, or yellow spongy-looking mushrooms have an intense, rich and nutty flavor and aroma-and generally a high price tag. Morels are also available in dried form.

Oyster:  Oyster mushrooms come in a variety of colors, from cream to gray, and sizes; all have a velvety texture and a mild taste that melds well with poultry, veal, and seafood dishes.

Porcini: Also know as cepes, these pale brown wild mushrooms are usually founds dried.  They are prized for their strong woodsy flavor. Try them in soups and pasta dishes.

Portobello:  Often used to bring heartiness to vegetarian entrees. These velvety brown mushrooms boast a deep mushroom flavor; find them in a large, medium and small sizes.

Shiitake (shee-TAH-kee): This brown mushroom is prized for the meaty flavor and texture it brings to pasta dishes, soups and other entrees.  Remove stems before adding to recipes.

White: This umbrella-shape creamy white to light brown mushroom, with a mild, woodsy flavor, is a good, all-purpose mushroom that can be served raw, sauteed, or grilled.  The small ones are sometimes referred to as button mushrooms.

Wood ear: This variety is favored for its yielding, yet crunchy, texture.

Pan broil: To cook a food, especially meat, in a skillet without added fat, removing any fat as it accumulates.

Parchment Paper:  A grease and heat-resistant paper used to line baking pans, to wrap foods in packets for baking, or to make disposable pastry bags.

Peal: To cut off the skin or outer covering of a fruit or vegetable, using a small knife or a vegetable peeler.

Pectin: A natural substance found in some fruits that makes fruit-and-sugar mixtures used in jelly or jam making set up. Commercial pectin is also available.

Peel: The skin or outer covering of a vegetable or fruit (also called the rind).  Peel also refers to the process of removing this covering.

Pesto: Traditionally an uncooked sauce made from crushed garlic, basil, and nuts blended with Parmesan cheese and olive oil.  Today's pestos may call on the other herbs or greens and may be homemade or purchased. Tomato pesto is also available. Pesto adds a heady freshness to many recipes.

Phyllo dough (FEE-loh): Prominent in Greek, Turkish, and Near Eastern dishes, phyllo consists of tissue thin sheets of dough that, when layered and baked, results in a delicate, flaky pastry.  The word phyllo (sometimes spelt filo) is Greek for "leaf".  Although phyllo can be made at home, a frozen commercial product is available and much handier to use.  Allow frozen phyllo dough to thaw while it is still wrapped: once unwrapped, dough quickly dries out and becomes unusable. To preserve sheets of phyllo, keep the stack covered with plastic wrap while you prepare your recipe.  Rewrap any remaining sheets and return them to the freezer.

Pinch: A small amount of a dry ingredient (the amount that can be pinched between a finger and the thumb).

Pipe: To force a semi soft food, such as whipped cream or frosting, through a pastry bag to decorate food.

Pit: To remove the seed from fruit.

Plump:  To allow a food, such as raisins, to soak in a liquid, which generally increases its volume.

Poach: To cook a food by partially or completely submerging it in a simmering liquid.

Pound: To strike a food with a heavy utensil to crush it.  Or, in the case of meat or poultry, to break up connective tissue in order to tenderize or flatten it.

Precook:  To partially or completely cook a food before using it in a recipe.

Preheat: To heat an oven or a utensil to a specific temperature before using it.

Process: To preserve food at home by canning, or to prepare food ina  food processor.

Proof: To allow a yeast dough to rise before baking. Also a term that indicates the amount of alcohol in a distilled liquor.

Puff pastry:  A butter-rich, multi layered pastry.  When baked, the butter produces steam between the layers, causing the dough to puff up into many flaky layers.  Because warm, softened puff pastry dough becomes sticky and unmanageable, roll out one sheet of dough at a time, keeping what you're not using wrapped tightly in plastic wrap in the refrigerator.

Puree:  To process or mash food until it is as smooth as possible.  This can be done using a blender, food processor, sieve, or food mill; also refers to the resulting mixture.

Reconstitute:  To bring a concentrated or condense food, such as frozen fruit juice, to its original strength by adding water.

Reduce: To decrease the volume of a liquid by boiling it rapidly to cause evaporation.  As the liquid evaporates, it thickens and intensifies in flavor.  The resulting richly flavored liquid, called a reduction, can be used as a sauce or as the base of a sauce.  When reducing liquids, use the pan size specified int he recipe, as the surface area of the pan affects how quickly the liquid will evaporate.

Roast, roasting:  A large piece of meat or poultry that's usually cooked by roasting.  Roasting refers to a dry-heat cooking method used to cook foods, uncovered, in an oven.  Tender pieces of meat work best for roasting.

Roux (roo): A French term that refers to a mixture of flour and a fat cooked to a golden or rich brown color and used for a thickening in sauces, soups and gumbo.

Saute: From the French word, saute, meaning "to jump". Sauteed food is cooked and stirred in a small amount of fat over fairly high heat in an open, shallow pan.  Food cut into uniform size sautes the best.

Scald: To heat a liquid, often milk, to a temperature just below the boiling point, when tiny bubbles just begin to appear around the edge of the liquid.

Score: To cut narrow slits, often in a diamond pattern, through the outer surface of a food to decorate it, tenderize it, help it absorb flavor, or allow fat to drain as it cooks.

Scrape: To use a sharp or blunt instrument to rub the outer coating from a food, such as a carrot.

Sear: To brown a food, usually meat, quickly on all sides using high heat.  This helps seal in the juices and may be done in the oven, under a broiler, or on top of the range.

Section: To separate and remove the membrane of segments of citrus fruits.  To section oranges, use a paring knife to remove the peel and white rind.  Working over a bowl to catch the juice, but between one orange section and the membrane, slicing the center of the fruit.  Turn the knife and slide it up the other side of the section along the membrane, cutting outward.  Repeat with remaining sections.

Shred, finely shred: To push food across a shredding surface to make long, narrow strips.  Finely shred means to make long thin strips.  A food processor also may be used.  Lettuce and cabbage may be shredded by thinly slicing them.

Shuck: To remove the shells from seafood, such as oysters and clams, or the huskes from corn.

Sift: To put one or more dry ingredients, especially flour or powdered sugar, through a sifter or sieve to remove lumps and incorporate air.

Simmer: To cook food in a liquid that is kept just below the boiling point; a liquid is simmering when a few bubbles form slowly and burst just before reaching the surface.

Skewer:  A long, narrow metal or wooden stick than can be inserted through pieces of meat or vegetables for grilling.  If using bamboo or wooden skewers, soad them in cold water for 30 minutes before you thread them to prevent burning.

Skim: To remove a substance, such as fat or foam, from the surface of a liquid.

Slice: A flat, usually thin, piece of food cut from a larger piece.

Snip: to cut food, often fresh herbs or dried fruit, with kitchen shears or scissors into very small, uniform pieces using short, quick strokes.

Steam: To cook a food in the vapor given off by boiling water.

Steep: to allow a food, such as tea, to stand in water the is just below the boiling point in order to extract flavor or color.

Stew: To cook food in liquid for a long time until tender, usually in a covered pot.  The term also refers to a mixture prepared this way.

Stock: the strained clear liquid in which meat, poultry, or fish has been simmered with vegetables or herbs.  It is similar to broth but is richer and more concentrated. Stock and broth can be used interchangeably; reconstituted bouillon can also be substituted for stock.

Thickener: Food substances used to give a thicker consistency to sauces, gravies, puddings, and soups.  Thickening math: Generally, for each cup of medium-thick sauce, use 2 T flour mixed with 1/4 cup cold water. Or use 1 T cornstarch mixed with 1 T cold water.  Be sure to thoroughly mix the water with the starch (cornstarch or flour) to prevent lumps.  After stirring the combined starch and water into the liquid to be thickened, cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 1 minute more for flour and 2 minutes more for cornstarch to completely cook the starch.

Toss: to mix ingredients lightly by lifting and dropping them using two utensils.

Weeping: When liquid separates out of a solid food, such as jellies, custards, and meringues.

Whip: To beat a food lightly and rapidly using a wire whisk, rotary beater, or electric mixer in order to incorporate air into the mixture and increase its volume.

Yeast: A tiny, single-celled organism that feeds on the sugar in dough, creating carbon dioxide gas that makes dough rise.  Three common form of yeast are:
Active dry yeast: This is the most popular form; these tiny, dehydrated granules are mixed with flour or dissolved in warm water before they're used.
Bread machine yeast: This highly active yeast was developed especially for use in doughs processed in bread machines.
Quick-rising Active Dry Yeast: (sometimes called fast-rising or instant yeast). This is a more active strain of yeast than active dry yeast, and it substantially cuts down on the time it takes for dough to rise. This yeast is usually mixed with the dry ingredients before the warm liquids are added.

Zest: The color outer portion of citrus fruit peel.  It is rich in fruit oils and often used as a seasoning.  To remove the zest, scrape a grater or fruit zester across the peel; avoid the white membrane beneath the peel because it is bitter.

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