“How To Follow Recipes” Page Added

Ok, I finally got the first version of my “How To Follow Recipes” page up and running.  But are we so real-food-challenged that we need a how-to for recipes?  Aren’t recipes already how-to’s?

When I started cooking, I made a lot of mistakes, even when I tried to follow recipes to the letter.  At the very beginning, for example, I thought “clove of garlic” meant the entire bulb.  Disaster!  And besides screwing up a lot of meals, I took a looooong time to buy and prep the ingredients for even basic dishes.

For now, it’s just a list of ingredients with tips I’ve learned about each one.  Some have one tip, some have lots of tips. The idea is that as new cooks come across an ingredient that they haven’t cooked with or want to know more about, they can read up on it.  And hey, if it saves even one family from a whole bulb of minced garlic in their spaghetti sauce and the unfathomable consequences, then it has all been worth it.

Over the next few days, I’ll add links under each ingredient to a few of my meals that use it.  And I’ll eventually get around to including some pictures, videos, and more how-to, like efficient chopping technique and other ways to save time.

Check it out and let me know what you think.  I’m open to any ideas you might have that can help people who are new to their kitchens, which in most households are not being used nearly as much as they should.  As Michael Pollan said, “Learning to cook is the key to taking back our food.”  Join the movement and start cooking some real food!



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  1. Looks good so far. One thing I wasn’t aware of before, but have learned some cookbooks that I am reading is that you should refrigerate nuts and flax seed because they will go rancid. While I was reading that I had flax meal and a bag of almonds that were open in my pantry drawer.

  2. Very well done! I find that when I use recipes from the USA,the names are often different and I have to google it to find out what it is… For instance, in other parts of the world romaine lettuce is called cos lettuce. And arugula is called rocket over here.

    I agree completely with you that if we don’t cook our own food, we’re not going to be eating well.

    Hanlie’s last blog post..HYC Update

  3. “Learning to cook is the key to taking back our food.”

    Isn’t that the truth. I think it’s a lot easier to be successful at consistently eating healthy now that I’m cooking more. The key to enjoying healthy food is making it taste good!

    Alison’s last blog post..This is What I Call Exciting

  4. What a great resource! That’s just too funny about the garlic bulb. I bet you couldn’t finish that meal 🙂

    You might want to consider adding conversion and substitution information as well.

    Lisa’s last blog post..Feta and Olive Salsa

  5. Good idea…definitely something on measurements/conversions, dry measuring cups vs. wet and vocab (ie. clove vs. bulb for garlic) would be good. Those seem to be a lot of questions we hear from people.

    The Duo Dishes’s last blog post..The Perfect Pair

  6. looks good so far.

    one suggestion: mention that if one cannot find a specific spice mix for a recipe, one may be able to mix spices already in the cabinet to get something pretty darned close.

    example (taken from Pioneer Woman’s post on Chicken Tikka Masala):
    instead of using garam masala spice mix (which i couldn’t find when i hit the store), mix up a bunch of spices most home cookers would already have. i had to buy all of 3 of the spices in the list to make up the spice mix, and MAN does it pack a punch!

    Laura M…ski’s last blog post..Blogging malaise?

  7. Love the new cooking section!

    I think people forget how much fun cooking can be – I feel so much better eating what I’ve created than going out. I would definitely add conversions/substitutions too. People always appreciate that stuff.

    Holly (The Healthy Everythingtarian)’s last blog post..All Over the Place

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