Friday, June 15, 2012

A cup is equal to a what? Let the confusion of conversion begin!!

Today, I am going to try my hand at standard recipe notes and measurements. I am often reading through a recipe and find something that seems obscure or I need to cut something in half. When you cook it is always easy to add too little of a spice or some other ingredient...problems start though when you add in too much of something, because once you do, it doesn't come back out...EVER!!

On a side note and because I am a huge fan of using a cookbook and adding in notes as you go. When I was collecting books years ago for my library here at home, someone gave me a collection that had been sitting inside a pair of boxes for years. The books had notes written in them from generations of family members and you could see stains from fingers that had turned pages. I read them all carefully and discovered that some of the books went as far back as the 1920's. I contacted the person who had given them to me and she said that it was ok to keep them. She wanted them to begin a whole new journey with another family that would enjoy them as much as her grandmother had. When my dream finally comes true, I plan on having them on display so that everyone can learn from the sense of history each one has. I know the little story above does not have much to do with recipe conversions and such, but it just makes me smile when I think of back to the real reason I was typing today.

Here we go with some simple abbreviations...they come in all shapes and sizes, but this will help you get through it ok.

Tablespoons- TBS, Tbs or tbs
Teaspoons-  Tsp, TSP or tsp
Ounce-  oz or OZ
Pound-  lbs or #
Gallon-  Gl, gl or gal
Quart-  QT or qt
Cup-  C
Pint-  pt

Now onto some of those facts to help you convert recipes

3 tsp are equal to 1 Tbs

2 Tbs are equal to 1 fluid ounce
4 Tbs are equal to a 1/4 cup

1 cup is equal to 8 fluid ounces

2 cups is equal to 1 pint

1 pint is equal to 16 ounces

2 pints is equal to 1 quart

1 quart is equal to 32 fluid ounces

4 quarts is equal to 1 gallon
Did you know that the term 'mise-en-place' means...everything in it's place...which is always a good way to go about preparing food. This way you don't have to run around looking for ingredients, pots/pans or cooking untensils while you are in the middle of something important, like making a great Parmesan Crusted Chicken Breast With Tomato Relish!!

Some other quick kitchen conversions for when you are cooking...

1 cup of whole milk is equal to 1/2 cup evaporated milk mixed with 1/2 cup of water

1 cup of whole milk is equal to 1 cup of skim milk and 2 tsp of melted butter

1 cup of whole milk is equal to 1 cup of soy milk

If milk conversions are not your cup of cream...

1 cup of heavy cream is equal to 3/4 cup of whole milk and a 1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup of sour cream is equal to 1 cup of yogurt

Hope some of these help out!! I know over the years I have had to run back and forth to my computer to look these sort of things up. Keeping in mind that you don't want to do that running around during your kitchen time...remember  MISE-EN-PLACE and do your conversions ahead of time

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

When Life Hands You Lemons, Go Ahead & Make...

Coming soon are some great ideas and happenings inside of my world. If I can ever get the darn computer to do what i want, then it will become much easier to accomplish. Over on Facebook, a new page is up and running to help grow my business and later this week an all new website. On facebook you can find me here the website address will be published soon.
Now with all this creative energy flowing through me, I just have to find the time each day to dedicate towards completing the task in front of me. My ultimate goal and dream is the creation of a Culinary Arts Center...a kind of school where anyone can come to learn. It doesn't matter if it is the mom/dad at home or a seasoned kitchen pro. I want it to be inviting and open to everyone. The picture I have inside my head is simple and includes a show kitchen for teaching, a library area with comfortable seating, tables to spread out on and rows upon rows of cookbooks. A small dining area where we can host cooking parties, meetings, wine tastings and fundraisers. The entire operation would be non-profit and focused on building a family relationship within the community. Looks like that sandman from the car commercial paid me a visit while sleeping last night!!

Now here is the tricky part for order to make this happen as a legit non-profit and to make my dreams a reality, I need money and possibly lots of it. So I began doing some research into grants and grant writing. Talk about lots of red tape and such, I am going blind as I type!! That is also my excuse for any typos that occur inside of the paragraphs. So seeing as how this is going to take a little longer then expected, I decided to toss out a quick Lemonade recipe along with a pair of its good friends. These next couple of weeks are going to be tough and the support of a tangy/tart beverage seems perfect for the upcoming weather and any headaches this extra work may cause!!


3/4 to 1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Water
(these are combined to make a simple syrup)
1 Cup Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
3 to 4 Cups Cold Water

Start by heating the sugar together with the water in a small sauce pan. Make sure the sugar is dissolved completely. While this is happening, squeeze out the juice from 4 to 6 lemons. Make sure to remove any seeds that may have fallen into the liquid, you need at least 1 full cup of juice. Add the simple syrup and the lemon juice into a pitcher, pour in the cold water and stir. Taste to check on the desired sweetness. Add a small amount of lemon juice if it is to sweet or add a small amount of sugar if it is to tart.

Cherry-Lime Ricky-

This recipe uses Gin, however if you want a non-alcoholic version then switch the gin out to soda water for a refreshing treat

6 Fresh Sweet Cherries, Pitted
1/2 Lime, cut into 3 pieces
2 tsp Sugar
3 Ounces Gin
1 Cup Crushed Ice

Place cherries, limes and sugar into a glass. Crush together using the back of a spoon. Add the gin and ice. Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Now shake!! Pour back into the glass and enjoy!!

Raspberry Lemonade

3/4 Cup Fresh Raspberries
9 Cups Water
2 Cups Fresh Lemon Juice
2 Cups Super Fine Sugar

Puree the raspberries in a blender and pour through a mesh sieve into a pitcher. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk together until the sugar dissolves. Serve over ice.