When You’re in a Pinch

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When You’re in a Pinch

By The Paula Deen Test Kitchen

How many times have you been in the middle of cooking and realized that you’ve just run out of one of the last ingredients in your recipe? Or, when was the last time you wanted to make Paula’s famous Peach Cobbler, only to remember that you don’t have any self-rising flour on hand? Maybe you live in an area where it’s hard to find corn meal mix in your local grocery store, so you can’t make those delicious Corn Fritters. Did you know you could whip up your own at home?

Whatever the case may be, we’ve got some quick fixes for you to keep near and dear to your kitchens and recipe boxes that may prove to be your lifeline for those times when you’re in a pinch.

Share your own substitutions and quick fixes! We’d love to hear ‘em!

Buttermilk
Add 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar to 1 cup fresh milk; let sour for 5 minutes.

Cake Flour
Substitute 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour for 2 cups cake flour.

Corn Meal Mix
Having trouble finding corn meal mix in your grocery store? You can make your own by combining 1 cup corn meal, 1 cup all-purpose flour, ½ teaspoon salt and 4 teaspoons baking powder. You can store it in a tightly covered container for up to 6 months.

Corn Syrup
1 cup of sugar dissolved in ½ cup water equals 1 ½ cups corn syrup.

House Seasoning
1 cup salt, ¼ cup black pepper, and ¼ cup garlic powder.

Lemon Juice
½ teaspoon of vinegar can be substituted for each teaspoon of lemon juice.

Liquids
Instead of the water your recipe calls for, try juices, bouillon, or water you’ve cooked vegetables in. Instead of milk, try buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream. It can add a whole new flavor and improve nutrition.

Self-Rising Flour
To make your own self-rising flour, add 1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder and ½ teaspoon of salt to each cup of all-purpose flour.

Sour Cream
Use 1 cup of plain yogurt, OR 1 cup cottage cheese blended until smooth with 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1/3 cup buttermilk for each cup of sour cream

Sweetened Condensed Milk
Mix 6 cups whole milk with 4 ½ cups sugar, 1 stick of butter, and 1 vanilla bean (or 1 tablespoon vanilla). Cook over medium heat, reducing liquid, for 1 hour. Stir occasionally. Cool. Yields 4 ½ cups. This can be stored and covered in the refrigerator for several weeks. Cut recipe in half for immediate use.

Tomato Juice
½ cup tomato sauce and ½ cup water equal 1 cup tomato juice.

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Reader Comments:

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I love your low calorie recipes,

By Darlene Head on April 13, 2014

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Do you have any substitutions for egg? Some people have allergies. Thank you!

By Bobbi Sue on July 06, 2013

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Chcking in to find out do you all have a good recipe for Shrimp soup? My mother use to make a great one and I cannot remember what her base was for the broth? She had carrots in it and so good? Do you have a good one I could try? Thank you, Dusty Ga PS Love all the new lighter recipes

By Dusty on May 19, 2012

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Hi there sweetheart, you sure make my life better, because when you came along I had a partner in crime...LOL...I wasn't the only one cooking with good ol ham hocks, white meat,lots of butter and sugar and wow was I surprised when you soaked up the juice from your meat loaf with a piece of white bread and ate it yourself....Lordy that is GOOOOOOD !!! I love you and have the ultimate respect and admiration for you. You are a very genuine lady who loves her family and takes pride in being the best that she can be and making this mean old world a little more pleasant. I thank God for allowing me to be a part of your life. Thank you for all your hard work. Now you take care of yourself Paula, cause this world needs you honey. Heartfelt hugs, Cindy

By Anonymous on May 17, 2012

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I love to collect your recipes Paula. I was so glad to see the list of substitutions . One of my favorite substitutions in cooking is using applesauce instead of oil in cake recipes. Also, I substitute Chicken Broth for water when I cook potatoes to make potato salad. I simmer them coverd on Med Low heat so the liquid does not boil away so fast. Thanks for sharing your good cooking and your family will us!

By Judy ANn on May 16, 2012

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1 cup of salt?? Is this a misprint? let me know thanks I love your cooking like many others, but 1 cup of salt scares me

By janne girl on May 15, 2012

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i love your cooking

By Anonymous on January 21, 2012

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My granddaughter Amauri just came down stair looking at the grilled peach halves she say,nanny i know Paula made those can we make them to.I want to go see her this summer,please ask her can I come to see her.Love Amauri.

By Ellis West on January 14, 2012

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Hi Paula.I love your show i have everyone that i know watching it,because I love cooking I watch to see what i can make,I must say i can make most of it.My granddaughter I 7 yrs old she love you more than i do.We ask her what did she want for her birthday she said to go see paula Deen.She watches you everyday after school and ask to help with something i am making.I have people from North to south waiting to see Paula Deen.I love you and the butter.

By Ellis West on January 14, 2012

54321

What can I use in place of Brandy extract for snickerdooles...calls for Brandy and rum extract and I can't find brandy anywhere.

By Carol Collins on December 04, 2011

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When you have run out of vanilla, grab the bourbon and substitute the bourbon for vanilla. Now I don't have vanilla in the house and wow, does the pumpkin pie and sweet potato pie really taste good.

By Sally Coulter on November 15, 2011

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Paula, I just want you to know that you make me smile everytime I watch you. If you are feeling low my remedy is to just watch you and you will make someone just laugh with your sweet and funny self. I am from the south and talk alot like you do. I always say if I could just go eat your cooking for a week I would be in hog heaven. We love you Paula, Janice and family

By Janice on October 05, 2011

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Paula, I would love to cook you an Indian Taco!! I love fry bread and grew up eating a lot of it. My Cheyenne mommie and her siblings made it often for us, as well as her skillet bread, and I now have her recipe. So delicious, especially straight out of the skillet with butter, honey, and/or preserves!! Your chili recipe is the perfect match with the hot bread!! Love your show!! Love and best dishes from my Oklahoma kitchen to yours!!

By Robin Rednose-Ross on September 30, 2011

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PAULA, I JUST LOVE YOU SO MUCH, AND I WATCH YOUR SHOW EVERYDAY ON OUR FOOD CHANNEL 59 IN FL. I EVEN WATCH YOUR RE-RUNS. GOT TO LADY AND SONS AND JUST LOVED IT, BUT WAS HOPING YOU AND THE BOYS MIGHT APPEAR, BUT NO SUCH LUCK. GOT TO RIDE BY YOUR NEW HOME THAT WAS BEING BUILT. I SURE COULD PICTURE MYSELF IN THAT guest house!!! also got to ride by Bubba's restaurant. hope to get back again some day soon. THIS NOTE COMES FROM MY KITCHEN TO YOURS!!!!!

By DORIS HENDRZAK on September 28, 2011

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Love the substitutions and quick fixes. Thanks, Nedra

By Nedra Wright on September 28, 2011

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O!Paula, just watching you programs makes me feel that I have known you for ages. I love seeing your kids and hubby, cook along with you. Now is fun. I love to cook by myself because I won't feel like I have to pay attention to what Iam cooking, nor I have to remember the ingredients I am using because, I am systematic person, but I cook for alot of parties and many people,who are my husband's family. I guess I am the knowledgeable in the bunch, because they are complementing me on my cooking and asking me what I put in it and how much, so now I bring a dish or dishes and bring the recipes along. I love to see you and your family working together, here I am the only one to cook. Enjoy your shows and keep on cooking. Love Feliz Rios

By Feliz Rios on September 28, 2011

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Most people you talk to and ask where they dream of going and it is usually to some exotic island. For me, I dream of going to meet Paula Deen and to eat at her restaurant in Georgia. She cooks just like my Mother taught me and my sisters to cook and she loves good food. It is so therapeutic to get in the kitchen, no matter how ill I am, and cook a big pou8t of foup or stew. I am lovingly known as "the soup lady" at the Senior Living Apartments where I live. I don't miss any of Paula's showsw and record most of them. Thank you Paula for just being you. Love You Girl, Edwina

By Edwina Collins on September 28, 2011

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Thanks so much for the e-mails, they are so good! Thanks for the substitutions, I catch myself running out of things all the times. I have learned so much, at nearly 70 years old, from you that our meals are so much more different and exciting to cook. My husband says "well, what's for supper tonight Paula? Ha. I just love your shows and seeing your good looking boys and your so sweet little Jack. I must have at least 150 recipes printed off the computer and 3 of your cookbooks. Love you, Joyce

By joyce townsend on September 28, 2011

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THank you so much for all this information. I will print it and hang on my frig! Say,"hi" to family, take care and keep on cooking! Lynn

By Barbara "Lynn" Hester on September 27, 2011

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this is a tip that i thought paula would like...... to keep the breading from falling off when you fry pork chops or cube steak... use enough oil to cover skillet and add about a tablespoon of BUTTER.. when hot add the meat.... works for me !!!!

By suzi bryant on September 27, 2011

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