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Cookbooks and magazines had been ravaged for that one unique recipe of perfection. It had been hunted down relentlessly, but finally found when that last ray of hope was fading into that realm of ultimate finality of giving up.

The exact utensils have been carefully laid for the anticipation of this incredible creation.

The praises falling from the lips of everyone getting the opportunity to taste this delectable treat could already be heard.

It had to be perfect; it had to be exact. Even though all the ingredients are on hand, we find we do not have enough of a certain needed ingredient. What do the great cooks do? Use substitutes? Most definitely!

Low on buttermilk, and recipe specifically calls for buttermilk, don't panic. If a recipe calls for 1-cup buttermilk, use 1-cup milk and 1 tablespoon lemon juice, or vinegar. Let stand 5 minutes and magically something as good as the buttermilk ingredient appears.

There are many substitutes that can be used in place of an original ingredient and make the dish come out as good, and in some cases even better, than it would have otherwise.

To substitute recipes calling for 1 -cup sugar, use 1 cup packed brown sugar, or 1 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar. Also, 1/2 cup dark brown sugar1/2 cup granulated sugar can be used in place of 1-cup light brown sugar.

How about if the recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of lemon, well the dilema is over, just use 1 teaspoon of vinegar for every teaspoon of lemon the recipe calls for. In the event you are looking for the substitution of 1-cup honey, use 1 1/4 cups sugar and 1/4 cup water.

Find a list of substitutes and place them with your recipes. With a little practice a good cook will be able to improvise and come up with some great substitutes of her/his own.

Some cookbooks list them, but great cooks have found these tried and true remedies by trial and error. In the process some of the greatest dishes have been created just because someone ran out of the right ingredients.