Cakes, brownies, and other batter-based recipes aside, when a recipe calls for a separate bowl for whisking a dressing, making a sauce, or tossing together veggies and oil, I look the other way and head straight to the next step. Why? Because I am Team One Less Dish.
Streamlining the Cooking and Cleaning Process
On Team One Less Dish, we're all about streamlining the cooking experience, which invariably includes washing dishes and loading the dishwasher. With that as one of my governing principles, I do kitchen acrobatics to avoid one extra dish.
Naturally, there are some instances when that extra dish is necessary — like when you're making a batter-based recipe. But if you're whipping up a salad and the recipe calls for separate bowl, I say skip that step. In fact, what you should do is get out a larger bowl (that's better for preparing a salad, anyways) and make the dressing directly in the bowl. Then add the ingredients for the salad directly to the bowl. You need to be decisive and quick when cooking like this, though. If you aren't moving quickly and let the salad sit in the dressing, it will get mushy and limp, so make the dressing, add the remaining ingredients, and quickly plate it up, twinkle toes.
The same goes for roasted vegetables. They get tossed with garlic, spices, and olive oil directly in the pan. Deft hands are required here as well. Those shallow jelly roll pans don't have much of a lip, so you can easily make just as much of a mess, but I find it much easier to wipe off a spill on the counter than add another bowl to the sink.
Perhaps this feels like cutting corners, or maybe it's a bright idea. It depends on who you ask. Overall it represents the veto power we have in our own kitchens to change recipes to fit our own needs. And personally, every now and then, I like to stage a little kitchen rebellion — even if that rebellion is as small as skipping over an extra bowl.
What about you, what do you skip over in recipes? How do you cut to the chase?