Happy Herbivore Blog

Cook Like a Pro (Cook from Sight!)

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: FAQ

Math in the kitchen is fun!

Over the weekend I taught a couple virtual cooking lessons (they're always a blast!). At the start of one lesson, my student said to me, "I'm so embarrassed but my little daughter has hidden my measuring cups and spoons -- I gave them to her to play with and all I've retrieved is the 1 tbsp... I guess we need to cancel?"

I said not so fast -- I sometimes cook with only 1 tbsp or even 1/4 tsp, so we're on! 

Here's the tsp/tbsp/cup breakdown:

3 tsp = 1 tbsp 

1 1/2 tsp = 1/2 tbsp

4 tbsp = 1/4 cup (8 tbsp is 1/2 cup and so on)

5 heaping tbsp - 1/3 cup  (technically it's 5.33 tbsp)

Cooking from Sight:

Except for baking, you don't need to worry about perfect precision with cooking -- wing it:

once drizzle around the pan = 1 tbsp

a decent pinch = 1/4 tsp

a few shakes of a spice = 1/8 tsp

1 loose handful of greens = 1 cup

1 clenched handful of oats = 1/4 to 1/3 cup

Every time you measure something -- add it to whatever you're making and look at how much it spreads or how much it looks like. Over time you'll be able to eyeball almost anything...

and remember: more or less of a spice usually won't make or break a dish. Only be strict with baking -- and hot spices!

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