How to Write a Recipe | The Daily Dish

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How to Write a Recipe

5 Comments | Written on July 12, 2013 at 5:00 am , by

Whether you are writing down a family favorite, starting a blog, or entering a recipe contest, learning how to properly write a recipe is a valuable skill any food lover can use.

Below I have outlined a few standards and general rules of thumb when it comes to writing a recipe.  It is important to accurately communicate the ingredients and process, so your recipe can be recreated by others.

Keep reading for 7 easy tips!

As a guide, this is the form we use here on Better Recipes, but this format should help for anyone looking to write down a recipe to share!

1)  Recipe Title:

This is the  name of your recipe using words that accurately describe the dish.  Feel free to have a little fun and make it catchy!  You want people to keep reading and be inspired to make the recipe themselves.

2)  Description:

Now is your chance to make the readers mouth water!  Give a brief background on the recipe or share a bit of history behind the dish.

3)  Source:

If you are putting your name on a recipe, it should be your own work.  Especially if you are entering a recipe contest, original recipes are a must!  That means you should never copy from a magazine or cookbook, or lift a recipe from a blog or website.  This goes for recipe photos as well.  Never use images without the owners consent.

Food bloggers:  If you are sharing a recipe from your own blog, this field is a great place to put in a link back to your site!

Anytime you are sharing a recipe from an outside source, make sure you give credit where credit is due.

4)  Time and Servings:

-Preparation time includes all the measuring, chopping and other preparation of ingredients.

-Cooking time refers to the total time the food takes to cook, including any preliminary cooking needed.

-Remember, these times are just a guide for the reader.  Try to be generous with the timing, keeping home cooks in mind.

-Also, include the number of servings based on reasonable portions.

5)  Ingredients:

-List ingredients in the logical order of use in the recipe to make them easy to follow.

-Whenever possible, list items as you would buy them in the supermarket, such as “1 package (4 ounces) sliced mushrooms,” instead of “4 cups mushrooms.”

-When listing ingredients, watch how they are modified.  For example, when listing sifted flour in baked goods, “1 cup flour, sifted” implies the flour needs to be measured first, then sifted.  If you write “1 cup sifted flour” it implies flour that has been sifted then measured.  “1 cup whipping cream, whipped” or “1 cup rice, cooked” implies the ingredient is measured first.

-It is always important to specify exact measurements and/or package sizes of all ingredients.  For example, 1 cup sugar, or 1 teaspoon salt.  Using terms like “handful” or “pinch” can vary the outcome of the recipe.  This is especially helpful when you are writing down family recipes that have been enjoyed for generations.  You want to make sure a favorite dish can be recreated and enjoyed for years to come!

-If your recipe calls for an ingredient that many cooks may not be able to attain easily, suggest an alternative

6)  Directions:

-Recipe directions should be numbered in logical steps.

-Write preparation directions in complete sentences.

-Make sure all ingredients listed above are included in the preparation directions.

-Include exact sizes of pots, pans and casseroles.  For example, a large sauté pan or a 2 quart casserole dish.

-Indicate exact cooking temperatures and times.

-Add a tip on how you know when the food is done cooking.

7)  Notes:  

-Use this area to communicate anything additional information someone would need to know to recreate your recipe at home.

-You can also offer ideas for alternate ingredients, tips, or serving suggestions.

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