What to use in a pinch, when out of this or that


When you're out of an ingredient, improvise. It's more convenient than making a frantic trip to the store. Check your shelves to see if you can substitute other ingredients already on hand. To remember how, clip this handy chart and post it in a kitchen cupboard.


* 1 tablespoon cornstarch (for thickening) equals 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour.

* 1 teaspoon baking powder equals 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar plus 1/4 teaspoon baking soda.

* 1 cup sugar equals 1 cup packed brown sugar, or 2 cups sifted powdered sugar.

* 1 cup molasses equals 1 cup honey.

* 1 square (1 ounce) unsweetened chocolate equals 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder plus 1 tablespoon shortening or cooking oil, or one 1-ounce envelope pre-melted unsweetened chocolate product.

* 1 cup whole milk equals 1/2 cup evaporated milk plus 1/2 cup water, or 1 cup water plus 1/3 cup non-fat dry milk powder.

* 1 cup buttermilk equals 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar plus enough milk to make 1 cup (let stand 5 minutes before using), or 1 cup plain yogurt.

* 1 cup light cream equals 1 tablespoon melted butter plus enough whole milk to make 1 cup.

* 1 cup dairy sour cream equals 1 cup plain yogurt.

* 1/2 cup liquor (rum, bourbon or whiskey) equals 1/4 cup unsweetened fruit juice or broth.

* 1/2 cup wine equals 1/2 cup apple or white grape juice for white wine, or 1/2 cup unsweetened grape juice for red wine (taste recipe before sweetening; you may need less sugar).

* 1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs equals 3/4 cup soft bread crumbs.

* 1 small onion, chopped, equals 1 teaspoon onion powder or 1 tablespoon dried minced onion.

* 1 tablespoon prepared mustard equals 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard plus 2 teaspoons vinegar.

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