When a recipe calls for "1 cup nuts, chopped," what does this mean? Should I measure a cup of nuts first and then chop them? Or do I chop the nuts and then measure them to make a cup? —D.B. St. Paul, Minnesota
That's a good question and an important one, too, because chopping an ingredient before or after measuring it can make a difference in the outcome of the recipe. Here's a trick that might help you remember. If the word "chopped" comes before the ingredient when listed in a recipe, then chop the ingredient before measuring. If the word "chopped" comes after the ingredient, then chop after measuring. Using your example of "1 cup nuts, chopped," you should measure 1 cup of nuts and then chop them.