Weekend Cooking 5/28/2011 – Substituting Ingredients

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Substituting ingredients : the A to Z kitchen reference

This is quickly becoming one of my favorite and most frequently used book on my cookbook bookshelf. Although by no means comprehensive, this A to Z guide does offer appropriate substitutions for the most basic and frequently used food items in recipes.

This is a $10 resource that I bought at Borders when they were going out of business at the mall. I always beeline straight for the cookbooks when bookstore go out of business because those are some of the most expensive, reusable books in the industry. This inexpensive find is definitely a great resource. I can’t tell you how often I have to leave food on the hot stove to look up substitutions on the Internet. Usually in that time, something either burns, or overcooks. This way, if I stumble upon an ingredient and come short, or am missing altogether, I can quickly assemble a respectable substitute without much haste. This is also a great way to use up the less frequently used items in my pantry.

Here are a few examples of the substitutions listed in this book.

Cloves, Ground
= allspice
= nutmeg
= mace
Oats, in baking 1 cup
= 3/4 cup white flour
Sour Cream
= 1 tbsp white vinegar plus enough milk to make 1 cup (let stand 5 minutes before using)
= 1 tbsp lemon juice plus enough evaporated milk to make 1 cup (let stand 5 minutes before using)
= 1 cup plain yogurt, especially in dips  and cold soups
= 7/8 cup cottage cheese blended to break up curds, mixed with yogurt if desired, and 2 tbsp milk and 1 tbsp lemon juice, blend well. 
= 6 oz cream cheese plus 3 tbsp milk
= 1/3 cup melted butter, plus 3/4 cup sour milk, for baking

This book is also reviewed as part of the Foodie’s Reading Challenge.
Book 1
Substituting Ingredients: The A to Z Kitchen Reference
Becky Sue Epstein
Sourcebooks, 2010
ISBN 9781402239243
191 pages


Find this book at your local library

10 responses to “Weekend Cooking 5/28/2011 – Substituting Ingredients

  1. What a wonderful resource! You are so right about the hassle of trying to look up this info on the Internet in the middle of cooking.
    Your idea about heading to the cookbook section when a store has a sale is spot on…cookbooks are really the only books that I actually re-read on a regular basis.

  2. How interesting! I didn’t even know that books like these existed! 🙂

  3. This sounds like a really useful book to have. I always have to tell the family that my plan to make a certain dish will fall through because I am out of some thing or other.

  4. What a great resource to have in the kitchen! Plenty of times I could have used a sub but had no clue. Thanks!

  5. Oooooh. I think I have to have this book. What a great resource.

  6. This is a book I should have on my shelves. Now with the internet it is easier to find out how to substitute. This is a great resource book.

  7. Handy post, lovely book to have! Now why don’t I have any bookshops going out of business around here? Oh wait, that’s a good thing, right? 😉

    Happy cookin’!

  8. I so love helpful books like this, and I am also always typing in things like pints and cups to figure out equivalents. :<)

  9. That is a really handy book. I didn’t know something like that existed. Very handy when you’ve just been to the shop and realise that you forgot one ingredient…

  10. Great resource. I am continually looking up substitutes. I imagine your copy is gettng well thumbed already.

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