While I love baking, living in New York City means I don’t have a lot of storage space — especially in the kitchen. The baking shelf in my pantry is stocked very simply with basics and essentials. While I’d love to keep things like cake flour on hand, it just isn’t practical since I don’t use it on a regular basis. Instead I have room for one bulky sack of all-purpose flour.
We are seriously big fans of the avocado around these parts. Here’s your avocado tip of the day: Did you know you can use avocado in your baking? It’s a simple way to cut out some fat! By substituting avocado for some but not all of your butter in baking you can cut the fat by almost 40%. Although we’re not big on watching such things, we are big on substitutions that we always have in the house and these days we have the green globes around more than butter!
We have an unremitting and unapologetic love for pad thai. We’ve been having a lot of fun playing around with different recipes for making it at home.One problem we keep running into, though: we have trouble finding tamarind paste where we live. Any suggestions for substitutes?The taste of tamarind is completely unique. It’s that bright sour taste that lingers hauntingly in the background of a good pad thai and many other Southeast Asian dishes.
Q: Are there any substitutes for shrimp? I adore shrimp, but my husband is allergic. I’m dying to try shrimp recipes, but he can’t eat it.Sent by TracyEditor: Tracy, I think this depends on the nature of your husband’s allergy. Often people who are allergic to shrimp are simply allergic to all forms of shellfish. If this is the case, you’re out of luck. Get your shrimp fix when you eat out, or when he’s away on business trips.
Q: I recently ran out of my favorite dark chocolate cocoa powder. Can I substitute a dark chocolate bar in place of the cocoa powder? If so, are 8 ounces of chocolate bar equivalent to 1 cup of cocoa powder?Cocoa powder always seems to be more expensive than chocolate bars, so subbing the chocolate bars could be cost effective too.Sent by SarahEditor: Sarah, we presume you are asking about baked good recipes here.
Q: I have a number of recipes (many passed down from my mother) that rely on a can of condensed chicken soup, but the last time I picked up a can, I checked the label and YIKES! The ingredient list was huge and included all sorts of things I couldn’t pronounce.Heard of a homemade version of this or know of a workable substitute?Sent by KateEditor: Kate, yes — it is very easy and simple to substitute something homemade for a can of soup.
Q: I live in Colombia South America, and I am doing a cake for my birthday, which is in two weeks. I am doing an inside-out Black Forest cake from Martha Stewart.But we don’t have buttermilk so I would like to know if I can replace with a type of fermented milk called Kumis.Sent by AngelaEditor: Tara, our hunch is that your Kumis is similar to kefir, which does make a good (yet tangier) substitute for buttermilk.
We are definitely not qualified to answer medical questions, so we’re a little stumped by this question from Selena. See our answers below, but can anyone help us out?I need help with ingredient subsitutions. My dear husband is allergic to mustard, and so many fabulous recipes I come across call for Dijon mustard. Is there any good substitute for dijon mustard? Thank you!!
Jamie Oliver’s new cookbook and television show bring us Jamie’s Italy. Jamie crosses Italy to find homecooks and sends their recipes on to us. Jamie’s trip reminds us that flexibility and simplicity are at the heart of cooking at home. If you want to serve stuffed lemons today, but don’t have anchovy filets, how about some olive paste instead? Basil leaves bring freshness and color, but parsley or arugula might do in a pinch.