Monday, June 1, 2009

In a Pinch

One of the most aggravating situations is finding you're out of a certain ingredient when you're already committed to the recipe. Sometimes, though, you've got a satisfactory substitution at hand. It just takes a little know-how. Today's blog will help you get that know-how.

Out of baking powder? Make your own with 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar plus 1/4 teaspoon baking soda.

Out of sour cream? Put 1 tablespoon lemon juice in a measuring cup and add evaporated milk to the one-cup line.

In the happy situation you're out of dried herbs and are blessed with an abundance of fresh, the general rule is one tablespoon of fresh chopped herbs is equivalent to a teaspoon of dried.

On the other hand, if you're out of fresh onion, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder is equivalent to 1 teaspoon of fresh, minced onion.

One teaspoon of garlic salt or 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder is equivalent to 1 clove of fresh garlic.

And finally, if you're making brownies or cookies and don't have unsweetened chocolate, you can substitute 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder with 1 tablespoon butter or margarine added to it.

Hope that helps you out. You may find you even prefer some of these substitutes to the original ingredients. After all, cooking is an art, as well as a science!


  1. Hi Karen,
    What fantastic tips. I'm going to print them out for my hubby, who is the dessert maker in the household. You're amazing. Would love to come to your house for dinner some time.

  2. Wouldn't that be fun! I've got some more tips but didn't want to overload today.

  3. Hi Karen,

    We used to use a little vinegar in regular milk to replace buttermilk in a recipe. Worked just fine.

    Also, did you receive my e-mail that you won the drawing for the review copy of my book?


  4. Oh, wow! I am printing this out. Excellent information to have in the kitchen.

    Thanks so much for these very useful tips!

    Nancy, from Just a Thought…

  5. Hi Patricia! Wow! I'll check my email.Have whittled them down from 2,500+ (not making this up) but haven't finished yet. Thanks! Yippee!!

  6. Hi Karen~
    These are great tips! I never would have guessed that lemon and evaporated milk could be a substitute for sour cream. Very helpful post.
    Great blog!
    Thanks~ Karrita

  7. Two things strike me here. You are way to practical…ops, (Note to Self: Check Karen’s blog site title before making dumb statements.) Aaaannnnd…practical is a really good thing because it matches your blog site title. (Galen does a goofy grin.)

    The other thing is, how useful, practical is. Huh? You know what I mean. I’m gonna make sure my wife, who is a pretty darn good cook…school trained, actually…gets this info.

    Best Regards, Galen.

  8. Thanks Karen. Good tips all around. I'm constatnly running out of items to finish a meal and find myself Googling for solutions so I don't have to run to the store.

  9. Good tips Karen, I have saved it in the laptop among my recipes for future reference. Last time I ran out of sour cream and didn't know what to do. Thanks.

    In Quest of Theta Magic


Blog Archive

About Me

My photo
~ I'm the author of Headwind: The Intrepid Adventures of OSS Agent Katrin Nissen. If you're a WWII buff, you'll like it here!