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Kids' Cooking


Getting Ready to Cook

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  1. Dress properly. An apron will help to keep your clothes clean. Wear short-sleeved clothes rather then long sleeves which may get in your way while washing up.

  2. Wash and dry your hands before getting started. Use plenty of soap and scrub those finger nails.

  3. Choose your recipe. Read the recipe carefully and ask your mother or father to explain anything you do not understand.

  4. Get out all the ingredients the recipe calls for.

  5. Get out all the utensils you will need including the pans, cups, spoons, and bowls, etc.

  6. Put everything together on the kitchen counter or table. This will save time when you begin to cook. Being organized makes the kitchen less messy and clean-up easier.

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Basic Cooking Tips

  1. Measure accurately!

  2. Follow directions for combining ingredients. After you measure out your all your ingredients, close the containers and put them back in the cupboard or cabinet. This will keep your working space from being cluttered.

  3. Set oven 5 to 10 minutes ahead of baking time if a preheated oven is suggested in recipe.

  4. Prepare baking dish as directed before combining ingredients. Use pan or dish of recommended size. See Baking Pan Substitutions.

  5. Place food to be baked on center rack in oven, unless otherwise stated in recipe. Leave at least 2 inches of space around baking pan. Overcrowding causes uneven cooking.

  6. Follow baking time to the letter unless you know that your oven is not accurate. Then test for doneness toward end of stated baking time.

  7. Do not increase oven heat to speed cooking. Cooking just can't be hurried.

Keeping the kitchen clean as you move along will help save time and make your cooking experience fun.

As you finish using the measuring utensils and mixing bowls put them in the sink to soak in hot soapy water. By the time you finish getting everything mixed or into the pots and pans half the cleanup is done!

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How to Measure

If you want your recipes to turn out good every time, you must measure everything exactly and in the right way.

To understand the abbreviations used in recipes for measuring see Standard Cooking Abbreviations, and also see Common Cookery Measurements.
[ measuring spoons ]Check your recipe to see what measuring utensils you will need.
  • A measuring cup which has the 1 cup mark at the rim and a nest of 4 cups consisting of 1/4 cup, 1/3 cup, 1/2 cup, and 1 cup.

  • A set of measuring spoons including 1/4 teaspoon, 1/2 teaspoon, 1 teaspoon, and 1 tablespoon.
All recipes use level measurements unless the directions state differently. So if your recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, it means a cup leveled off at the rim, not a heaping cup.

Measure Flour:
Follow directions to see whether you have to sift the flour before measuring. To measure sifted flour, sift flour onto wax paper. With a spoon, pile sifted flour into measuring cup (Do not pack the flour). Use a spatula or edge of a table knife to run across the top of the measuring cup to level off the flour.

Measure Sugar:
Spoon sugar into the cup and level off using spatula or the edge of a table knife. For brown sugar, first roll out the lumps on wax paper with a rolling pin. Then pack it into the measuring cup.

Measure Baking Powder, Salt, and Spices:
Select the correct measuring spoon. Dip the spoon into the can or package until spoon is piled high. Level off with spatula or edge of a table knife. When leveling, be sure to hold the spoon over the can or box to catch what is scraped off.

Measure Butter, Margarine, or other fat.
Pack the fat solidly on the spoon or in the cup, then level off with spatula or the straight edge of a table knife.

Measure Water, Milk, or other liquid.
Set a glass measuring cup on a table and slowly pour into it the amount called for in the recipe. Then bend until your eye is on a level with the side of the cup and check to be sure the liquid is level with the mark on the cup.

Vanilla extract and other flavorings are usually used in small amounts and are measured by spoonful. Select the correct measuring spoon and pour the flavoring slowly until level with the edge of the spoon.

To measure a sticky liquid like syrup or molasses, lightly grease the inside of the spoon or cup with a fat before pouring in the liquid. This will prevent sticking and make it easier to pour from the measuring cup or spoon.

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Cleaning Up after Cooking

After you have finished cooking, clean up the kitchen. This will make mom very happy and she will be more willing to have you cook again. If you are cooking something that needs to be baked, you can do most of the cleanup while it is baking.

  1. Put away all the food packages you have used.

  2. Wipe off the kitchen counter, kitchen table, and the top of the stove if you used it.

  3. If you spilled anything on the floor get out your dust pan and broom and sweep the kitchen floor.

  4. Be sure to turn off the oven if used, and be sure all the burners of the stove are turned off.

  5. Wash and dry all the pans, cups, and other utensils you have used and put them away. Hang up the disk towel to dry.

  6. If you spilled anything on the floor check to see if you need to mop the floor so that it is as clean as it was before you started cooking.

  7. If you used up any of the ingredients your kitchen had before you started cooking be sure to put that item on a shopping list so the shopper in your household will know to buy some more :)

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