Category Archives: Equipment
I am often asked “What’s the difference between measuring cups and why does it make a difference which type I use?”
To answer this I’ll give you a very basic way to remember which is which:
LIQUID measuring “cups” are typically clear/see-through and most have a spout for pouring. These are clear because liquids should be measured at eye level. They are marked with ounces and cups on the side (usually metric on the other side). An example of LIQUID is any ingredient which is “pourable” such as milk, melted butter, honey and oil.
DRY/SOLID measuring “cups” are typically solid, not see-through. There is a different “cup” for each measurement: 1, 1/2, 1/3 and 1/4 “cups”. Some sets come with even more increments. These “cups” are used to measure DRY/SOLID ingredients such as flour, sugar, oatmeal, chips and fruit. To measure dry ingredients, simply scoop into the ingredient container and level the “cup” off with the back of a knife or a spatula. (DRY measuring “cups” are also used to measure semi-solids such as sour cream or yogurt.)
MEASURING SPOONS – These are incremental spoon shaped vessels used to measure small amounts of ingredients, such as baking powder and baking soda and salt (the chemical ingredients).
Since baking is a science involving chemical reactions, it is important to use the proper measuring tools for accuracy.
Marlene writes: “I really don’t have a lot of tools in the kitchen. Is it worth my while to get a nice big mixer for like breads… could I use it for other things? If It is worth it, what is the best value “find” you have seen?”
Well, Marlene, I have a 20 Qt. Thunderbird Mixer, but that’s probably a bit too large for you 😉 For home cooks/bakers, I suggest a Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer. They have different sizes ranging from 5 Qt – 6 Qt. size bowls, from original “home” models to professional models. I have the 6 Qt. Professional line.
Pros: It is multi-functional in the kitchen. Along with the bowl and bowl guard, it comes with 3 attachments: a dough hook used for breads, a flat beater for most batters and doughs and a whip for things which require air whipped in such as whipped cream and egg whites. Other attachments can be purchased which include a sausage stuffer, pasta roller, ice cream maker, and slicer/shredder.
Cons: It does take up a bit of counter space and is quite heavy to be lifting up and down from cupboards.
Where to get one/Cost: A google search will allow you to find the lowest price available. These mixers typically go from $300-$500+ dollars. I don’t believe in paying full price for anything if I don’t have to. I found mine after a brief look on Craigslist. Often people receive them for wedding gifts, receiving more than one or actually not knowing how to use them or not having the time to, they end up selling them (hard to believe, I know!). I got mine for only $150. and it had only been used twice!!
Send your questions to me at http://firstname.lastname@example.org