List Ingredients in the Order in Which They are Used and in Amounts from Large to Small

Most cooks have at least a few beloved hand-written recipes that have been passed along to us on index cards or slips of paper, or that may have been only verbal instructions given by a grandmother or friend that we later jotted down. We don’t notice or criticize the style in which they are written, or care if they are stained or torn or if we have to puzzle out the directions or the meaning […]

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Mise en Place and Calculating Preparation Time

At the beginning of a recipe there is often an estimated preparation time. Even so, many cooks are disappointed when they discover that it takes them far longer to make a recipe than they were led to believe. However, what seems to be an error made by the recipe’s editor is more likely a misunderstanding on the part of the cook. The timing of a recipe is calculated with the assumption that the ingredients are […]

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Exact measurements are usually preferable to bunches, pinches, and rounded teaspoons

Visualize a bunch of parsley. Is your vision the same as mine?  Before I can tell you what I see in my mind’s eye, you’ll need to tell me where I’m buying the parsley. The three supermarkets where I shop regularly carry different size bunches, and the bunches sold at the year-round farmers’ market are likely to vary in size depending on the farmer and time of year. I’ve seen recipes that call for a […]

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