Monday, 13 January 2014 04:00

Understanding a Recipe Guide

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Understanding a Recipe Guide





Learning how to cook is a fun way for you to be creative and learn some important skills along the way. Cooking shows you how to follow directions by reading and then interpreting the instructions that have been laid out in front of you. Secondly, cooking helps you make healthy choices because you learn about portion sizes and the nutritional contents of different food groups and how they are used in cooking. Lastly, cooking helps you with your math skills because you need to measure quantities, understand fractions and conversions.

Before you decide to pull out the beater and stirring forks though, you need to understand some fundamental terms that are paramount to the cooking process. These terms are directly related to understanding a recipe guide. A recipe guide is a set of instructions that explain all of the information you need to prepare a meal, snack, dessert or drink.

Recipe Name

The recipe name is the most important item in a recipe guide as it provides you with a basic description of the item you are going to prepare. For example: ‘Chicken Baguette with Salad’ lets you know that you are preparing a sandwich with chicken, lettuce, tomato and other salad options. It also provides you with other subliminal information like; does this recipe require a plate, a knife and fork or can it be eaten with your hands? Whether the recipe will take a long time to prepare and how involved the cooking process may be etc.

Nutritional Information

The nutritional information provides you with the raw data you need to make an assessment on the health status and quantity of the recipe you are about to prepare. The nutritional information will provide details like:

  • How many calories the recipe will have
  • How many people will the recipe serve
  • How much fat, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals does the recipe have
  • Lastly the nutritional information is important for children who have special needs or suffer from an illness or condition that requires that they monitor their nutritional intake.

Time needed to prepare your recipe

Time is important as it informs you how long it will take to prepare the recipe. Most of the recipes that you will prepare will not take very long however, you may be preparing dinner and thus may need to prep the recipe and then cook the recipe. Prep (or preparation) refers to the time you spend cutting, mixing and stirring the ingredients together as outlined in the instructions. Cooking the recipe occurs when the instruction list asks you to place the prepped recipe onto a stove, in an oven or microwave. With most of the recipes designed for children you usually don’t have any cooking time.

Ingredients needed for your recipe guide

The ingredients list which is usually displayed at the top of the recipe guide, lists all of the items and food products you need to make the recipe. Most ingredient lists in kids' recipes are easy to follow. Sometimes a recipe will also include special ingredient information like:

  • Your recipe guide may have optional ingredients, which aren't critical for the recipe, but can be used for added flavor or to make the recipe a little bit different.
  • Your recipe guide may have ingredients without a specific measurement. It might say; add extra ‘Sugar’ or add ‘Salt’, for taste.

Finally, some recipes may suggest variations to the recipe for children who have special needs or suffer from allergies. For example a child may be allergic to egg and thus the recipe guide may provide an alternative like milk or flour.

Serving Suggestions

Lastly some recipes suggest different ways that you can serve your food item. For example ‘Pumpkin Soup’ may provide a suggestion like: “Serve the meal with bread or croutons”.

It is important to remember that you are the Chef which means you decide what goes into your food item, how much you are going to make and how creative you are going to be with the recipe guide. A recipe guide is simply a set of instructions for you to follow and can be altered or changed as your experience grows and develops. The key is to have fun and enjoy the process as cooking is a fantastic skill that will hold you in good stead throughout life.

Read 2626 times Last modified on Friday, 07 March 2014 02:22

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