Pantry Pointers

A Bit about Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic vinegar is made from sweet white grapes and aged in wooden barrels for at least 10 years (that explains the hefty price!). You can substitute cider vinegar or a mild red wine vinegar.…

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About Baking Soda

Baking soda is used as a leavening agent in cakes, quick breads and biscuits. It requires acidic ingredients such as buttermilk, lemon juice or molasses to activate it. Many recipes call for 1/4…

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About Foil

When covering a baking sheet with aluminum foil, it makes little difference which side is up. However, experts recommend that cookies be baked with the shiny side of the foil down.

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About Shortening

Shortening is 100% vegetable oil that is solid at room temperature. It’s commonly sold under the brand names Crisco and Spree.

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Baking Soda and Baking Powder

Baking soda and baking powder are both leaveners that cause baked goods to rise and give them a light texture. But - and this is a big but - baking soda neutralizes acidic ingredients (buttermilk,…

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Bouillon or Broth Substitution

One bouillon cube or 1 teaspoon of granules dissolved in 1 cup of boiling water may be substituted for 1 cup of broth in any recipe.

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Brown Sugar Substitute

There’s no need to run to the store if you’re out of brown sugar—you can substitute 1 cup granulated sugar or 2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar for 1 cup brown sugar. (It’s important to sift the…

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Butter Alternatives

I’m always looking to save fat and calories where I can. I discovered that I can replace butter or margarine with Molly McButter or Butter Buds in mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, stuffing,…

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Canola vs. Vegetable Oil

When a recipe calls for vegetable oil, canola oil can be substituted in equal amounts. There should be no difference in the final product.

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Chocolate

Bittersweet and semisweet chocolate are sometimes used interchangeably. But true to its name, bittersweet is not as sweet as semisweet. It's available in packages of 1-oz. squares, chips and candy…

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