Aspen’s Guide to Avoid a Pintastrophe

If you’ve been keeping up with our recipe posts, you know that almost all of our recipes come from some kind of online inspiration. Sometimes I’ll go out searching for something specific, but a lot of my ideas come from Pinterest. Pinterest and online recipes are such a double-edged sword… You never know for sure all of the different variables that go into a recipe, and I can say now from personal experience it can be really hard to capture every step in an efficient blog post. Throughout the course of my Pinterest experience I’ve had great recipes and total “pintastrophies.” Here’s 5 steps I’ve learned about how to follow an online recipe with success:

1) Read your recipe all the way through before you commit
Something may sound really simple by reading the recipe name or small description, but often times there are hidden elements that might not be as easy for the novice chef. For example, sadly I do not have a stand mixer (yet), and many times I’m drawn to recipes that require a stand mixer. Sure there are ways to get around this, but you’re taking a risk unless you know your back-up technique is a sure shot replacement for what the recipe calls for. Reading the whole thing will help you avoid getting half-way through cooking and realize there’s a critical component you’re missing.

2) Know your ingredients
Just like reading the instructions, you want to be sure to look at all the ingredients. Sometimes you can substitute things in a pinch (example: greek yogurt for sour cream) but with a first time recipe it’s not always advised (see #5). Be sure you have everything on hand so you’re ready to go in the kitchen. In a worst case scenario though, a quick google-search usually yields good suggestions for substitute ingredients. Also, reading the ingredient list helps you prep ahead of time. For example, some recipes call for room-temperature butter so reading ahead insures you have time to let it sit out.

3) Do your prep work
A pet peeve I have is when recipes list cook times that are completely unrealistic. I’ve fallen victim to jumping into a recipe (and not following the advice from #1) and realizing the prep work will take way longer than the time allows… cut to dinner on a Wednesday night at 10:00 PM! When you’re reading your recipe take note of what you know will take you longer (i.e. chopping a bunch of veggies) or things you need to do ahead of time in general (i.e. pre-seasoning meat or pre-cooking ingredients).

4) Read the comments
You can get so much juicy insight from the comments! You have to take it all with a grain of salt, but don’t discount the valued opinion of folks who have already tried out the recipe. Again, there are so many variables in cooking that you can’t trust that everyone’s advice will work for you, but reading the comments can be the best way to save yourself from certain pintastrophy! Many commenters will let you know things that don’t add up in the recipe, modifications that are needed to make it work, or wonderful praise that will make you even more excited to try it out. And pay it forward, leave something once you’re done to let people know about your experience!

5) Stick to the recipe
I can be a huge hypocrite with this, but it’s always good advice to try out the recipe as-is before you make modifications. You can’t really judge the quality if you don’t follow the instructions exactly, so give the recipe a chance before you deviate too far away. Modifications are great for a second or third try, but let the first one stay true to the inspiration.

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One Response to Aspen’s Guide to Avoid a Pintastrophe

  1. Darren says:

    Thanks for finally talking about >Aspens Guide to Avoid a Pintastrophe |
    Games & Grinds <Loved it!

    Like

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