• How to follow a recipe

    Nicole Lowe | July 31, 2023

    A recipe provides instructions on how to make a specific food or dish. A recipe can help you make foods and meals with new ingredients. When you try new recipes, it can help you learn new culinary skills.
    Not all recipes look the same, but most have the same information. Most recipes will have a title, a list of ingredients, directions, total servings (sometimes called ‘yield’) and recipe notes.

    • A recipe title will describe the food or ‘dish’. Below the title a description of the recipe may be included.
    • Ingredients will be listed with the amount needed to make the dish.
    • Directions should be followed in order. Directions may include steps that you need to do before you start cooking. Set out the cooking tools, equipment and ingredients for the recipe.
    • Total servings or yield is how much the recipe makes. A recipe may include suggested portion sizes.
    • Some recipes will have recipe notes, which can include tips for storage, ingredient substitutions or changes, and nutrition information.

    Try following these steps when reading a recipe. It can help you make the recipe more easily.
    1. Read the entire recipe before you start.
    • It can tell you how much of each ingredient to use, and if an ingredient is being used more than once.
    • It can tell you the steps you need to do before making the recipe, such as cooking ingredients.
    • Plan and give yourself enough time to complete all steps in the recipe. Some steps will take longer than others.
    2. Collect the ingredients.
    • Look in your cupboard and fridge for the ingredients you already have.
    • Start a shopping list for the ingredients you don’t have or need more of. It may be helpful to write down how much you need.
    3. Get your equipment or cooking tools ready before you start.
    • Take out bowls or measuring spoons.
    4. Review the order of the steps. See what you need to do before starting, such as preheating the oven or cutting vegetables.
    5. Note how to tell when it’s done.
    • Recipes include cook time. The cook time may change with different ovens and how thick foods are chopped.
    • Often recipes will say how you can tell the food is cooked. Checking your food often can help make sure it is not overcooked or undercooked.
    • Use a thermometer when cooking meat.

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