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Welcome to Two-Minute Tuesday, where I share quick tips, tidbits, and ideas.
In today's second installment of Cooking 101, I'm going to give you a quick rundown on how to measure ingredients in the kitchen.
Last week, I explained measurements and abbreviations you'll come across when reading a recipe (including a free printable reference chart), so if you need to, brush up on that first. Otherwise, let's jump in!
There are two types of measuring cups: liquid and dry. In the picture above, the glass measuring cup is a liquid measuring cup, and the red one is a dry measuring cup.
Liquid measuring cups have marks up the side to indicate different amounts. To measure liquid ingredients, pour the liquid into the measuring cup up to the desired mark and check it at eye level to see if you have the right amount.
Don't try to read the measurement from up above, or it will be off! (Unless you have one of these special "read from above" measuring cups
made for that purpose.)
Simple, right? Measuring dry ingredients is just as easy. Dry measuring cups come in sets with multiple sizes, so just select the one you need (the amount is typically marked on the handle). To measure, scoop out your ingredient loosely. You don't need to pack it unless the directions in the recipe say so (I've only ever seen this instruction for brown sugar).
Once you've scooped up your dry ingredient, level it off. I use the back of a butter knife to do this (and I usually do it over the container or canister the ingredient came from, so there's less mess. But there's something appealing about messy piles of flour in pictures, am I right?)
Now your cup is full of the right amount of the dry ingredient to add to your recipe.
Follow the same steps for measuring ingredients with measuring spoons: pour in liquids to the desired amount, and level off dry ingredients unless the recipe specifies otherwise. In very rare cases you will run across a recipe that calls for a "heaping" tablespoon of something, in which case you just scoop it without leveling it off. If the recipe doesn't specify, then always level it off as shown above.
Check back next Tuesday for another quick tidbit, or later in the week for more in-depth posts on a multitude of topics. Until then, happy cooking!
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