Growing up we didn't have anything much fancier than a simple Shake ‘n Bake or plain spaghetti on a regular basis in my house. So I never used to think much about the food I cooked as an adult — it was just serving the purpose of keeping my belly full. But this all changed when cooking shows started to gain in popularity, the charming hosts and exotic locations sucked me right into the culinary world. Suddenly, I found myself fascinated by the whole process of mixing together ingredients to create a delicious meal in my home, too.
I love chopping up a bunch of veggies and watching them sizzle in the pan with the perfect amount of salt and seasoning. I’m also constantly on the lookout for any tricks or tips I can find to make each dish even tastier than the last. That’s how I stumbled upon author Margaret Eby’s list of the best lessons she learned while taking a six-week course in Culinary Techniques at the International Culinary Center. Things like starting soups with a hearty, homemade stock and dishing up hot recipes on a warm plate definitely struck a chord with me. But one tip stood out from the rest: to get rid of your measuring cups and spoons.
“By the end of the course [measuring cups] were one of the only things in the kit that I hadn't even taken out of the plastic,” Eby said. On top of learning the art of eyeballing measurements for recipes, she also relied on kitchen scales rather than the traditional cups when it came to adding more precise amounts. “I knew that bakers swear by using scales… But [the course] really drilled into my brain how much better measuring by weight is than relying on measuring spoons and cups.”
It makes sense when you think about it — the weight of things like sugar, flour, various spices, and other ingredients we typically use those cups and spoons for can all be vastly different. Plus, it can be a hassle to clean those individual measurers when you end up using multiple sizes for one recipe. If your recipe lists cups as the form of measurement, you can use this Calculator Site to convert to ounces.
Thankfully, food scales are a pretty inexpensive addition to your kitchen. You can find basic models like the NUTRIFIT High Accuracy Multifunction Food Scale ($13.99, Amazon), or splurge a few more dollars on a multifunction option like the Super-Chef Food Scale with Removable Bamboo Cutting Board & Tray ($23.99, Amazon). Whichever way you go, you’re sure to love how they help you whip up yummy meals. Bon appétit!
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