EDITOR’S NOTE (January 13, 2021): Updated text.
To make a lovey presentation, top with toasted marshmallows and serve in a dessert bowl or glass.
Helpful Tips For Beginners: How To Read & Follow Any Recipe
Reading a recipe is an important life skill. It starts with knowing how to read a recipe’s ingredients, follow the instructions, prep ingredients, and knowing what type of equipment to use.
The following tips and strategies will help beginners or experienced cooks use a recipe to create a delicious dish.
Start with clean hands and organized kitchen. Wash hands thoroughly. Make sure kitchen and countertops are clean before making a recipe.
Create a relaxing environment. Play favorite music while in the kitchen. I love listening to classical or gospel music.
Read the recipe. Don’t just quickly skim it. Thoroughly read from start to finish. Visualize doing each step which will help you follow each step. No misses!
If you see ingredient that you and your family don’t use for whatever reason, try a substitute or omit the ingredient.
Pay attention to the order in which ingredients are prepped. For example, 1 cup of chopped pecans is not the same as walnuts, chopped (measure whole walnuts and then chop).
Know the assumptions. For example, when my recipe calls for “sugar,” use granulated sugar. If brown sugar is an ingredient, it will be written that way in the recipe.
Figure out the timing. Check the listed “prep time” and “total time” to be sure you have enough time to complete the recipe.
Look for hints, such as the words “meanwhile” or “at the same time,” which indicate two or more steps can happen simultaneously.
Watch Recipe Videos. If you’re a visual learner (like me), watch recipe videos. Perfect for when you’re learning a new skill or just want to see how a recipe is made.
Mise en place is a super time saver. This French cooking term translates as “putting in place.” It means prepping/measuring ingredients and chopping food before you start cooking. It’s the perfect way to get organized, use each ingredient and complete each step. Nothing is overlooked.
Organize your tools and kitchen equipment. Mise en place isn’t just for ingredients. Before starting, make sure you have parchment paper, aluminum foil, measuring cups, measuring spoons, the right pans, mixing bowls, and other equipment.
Make notes in your recipe. Note any special prep instructions and highlight cooking times. Make note of ingredients omitted, favorite substitutions and creative twists. The notes will be very helpful the next time you make this recipe.