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Review: Substituting Ingredients The A to Z Kitchen Reference

Cinnamon Gummy Bears for Cinnamon
Better Substitutes in the Kitchen
We’ve all been there. In the middle of a recipe, you realize you are a tad short or don’t even have one of the ingredients. A moment of panic strikes, and you wonder if it is a necessary ingredient. Panic turns into a moment of insanity as you trash your cabinet looking for a substitute. Admit it; I’m not the only one who, in the middle of making Oatmeal Raisen Cookies, has sorted out the raisins from Raisin Bran cereal!
I have a favorite cookbook. Ten years ago, I put on my salesperson hat and gave the best sale of my life, scoring my grandmother’s 1942-1943 The Good Housekeeping Cookbook. It had been her mother’s, and she hated to part with it. I HAD to have it. It has a blue section that includes World War II rations. It also has an amazing section on substitutes. I keep it sealed in a gallon-sized Ziploc baggie and handle it with extreme care–gloves are often required to handle this trophy.
Now, there’s a book I don’t have to suit up for to handle. It’s compact, and its purpose is solely Substituting Ingredients. Kudos to Becky Sue Epstein for her compilation of all things that work in a recipe and organizing it for a glance in her book, Substituting Ingredients The A to Z Kitchen Reference.
In this book, Ms. Epstein takes substituting to a whole new level. It’s more than a book to save you from the panic of missing an item in a recipe you’re making. My kiddos would love her as a mom because instead of saying, “You don’t like it? You get what you get and don’t throw a fit!” (That’s my Mom Trademark statement), Ms. Epstein instead says, “No problem, Substitute!” AND when my seventeen-year-old declares he can only eat the best of the best, which I may not be able to afford, this book allows me options…Substitute! ;)
Like, did you know celery seed can be substituted with dill seed? Or cream of tartar with Lemon juice?
From the Becky Sue Epstein Website:
Out of something? Look it up here!

1,000 kitchen substitutions!

Whether you’re making a simple weekday meal or an elaborate dinner for a celebration, whether you have time constraints, financial restrictions or food allergies once you have this book in your kitchen, you’ll use it again and again.

Substituting Ingredients contains over 1,000 substitutions, food, measuring and temperature equivalents, simple formulas for household cleaners and easy directions to make dozens of common condiments.

This book offers a measurement equivalent guide. This is helpful to me as my grandmother and mother BOTH told me the incorrect equivalent for the number of teaspoons in a Tablespoon. Who knew you weren’t always supposed to listen to your elders!
Page 176 starts my absolute favorite part of the book. “Too Much, Too Little, Too Late: Remedies for Common Kitchen Disasters.” I read through it and could, unfortunately, relate to too many of these disasters…the fixes are simple and made me shake my head at how silly it was that I didn’t think of the cure at the time, like adding a sprig of parsley to a stew with too much garlic—or boiling browned potatoes (after sitting after slicing) in milk to whiten.
There’s even a section with recipes for Household Cleaners!
This book is a great resource and should be a staple in every kitchen. It would be a perfect gift for a child going off to college or a bride-to-be.
You can purchase Substituting Ingredients The A to Z Kitchen Reference through
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