Recipes are guides for cooking. It is important to read the whole recipe before you begin cooking. This helps you know how the dish is made. All recipes start with the name of the dish. Next will come the ingredients needed. They should be listed in the order in which they are used. The same ingredient may be listed in two or more places. This means you will use it more than once.
The next section of the recipe will include the directions for preparing the dish. Pay attention to the little words such as diced, seeded, chopped, sliced, drained, or cut in half. You may need special tools, so pay attention to that as well.
Measuring correctly is an essential part of learning to cook successfully. Here are a few hints:
Learning cooking terms will help you understand the instructions. For example:
After you read the whole recipe, make sure you have everything you need for cooking. Place the recipe where you can see it. Get all the tools and ingredients you need. Preheat the oven if needed, measure correctly and have fun cooking!
Use exact measurements when cooking. This is especially true if you don’t have a lot of experience in cooking or if you are baking things like cakes or breads. Use standard measuring cups and spoons. There are measuring cups for dry ingredients and others for liquid ingredients.
Dry measuring cups come in a set of 4 to 6 nested cups that typically measure 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, 3/4 and 1 cup. Use these to measure dry or solid ingredients. Fill the cup lightly with the dry ingredients until the cup is heaping full. Take the straight edge of a knife or spatula and slide or level across the cup. This makes a level measurement.
Fat and brown sugar are measured differently. To measure these ingredients, press or pack them firmly into the dry measuring cup. Level off with the straight edge of knife.
The measuring cup for liquids has a lip for pouring. There is a rim or extra space above the last measuring mark. This space lets you pick up the cup and not spill anything. Liquid measuring cups are usually marked for 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 and 1 cup.
To measure liquids, always place the measuring cup on a flat surface and read the measurement at eye level. Fill the cup to the line you need. Look at the measuring cup with your eye even with the line. You will see a curve. The correct measure is at the bottom of the curve.
Standard measuring spoons are sold in sets. A set typically has spoons that hold 1 tablespoon, 1 teaspoon, 1/2 teaspoon, 1/4 teaspoon and sometimes 1/8 teaspoon. Use the straight edge of a spatula or back of a table knife and level dry ingredients in the spoon.