Keep Track of What You’ve Added to a Recipe

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This tip comes from my friend Shirley at gluten free easily.  It’s something I need to try, because I do have this problem at times.  Shirley says,

“When you are making a recipe, to avoid losing your place when you are interrupted (or simply if your mind wanders … hehe) and hence not know if you’ve already added an ingredient or have forgotten to add it, assemble ingredients to the right of your bowl, skillet, etc. Move them to the left after you add them.

This tip is particularly helpful if you’re adding a lot of spices and seasonings. Note that if you are left handed, you may want to move your ingredients from left to right.”

Have you used this method for keeping track of what ingredients you’ve added to a recipe?  Do you have a different method?

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About Linda Etherton

Linda has been gluten free since 2000 when I was diagnosed with celiac disease which propelled me into the world of gluten-free cooking and baking. I am convinced that gluten-free food can and should be delicious, and I never apologize for serving it.
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  1. I do the same thing only I have a counter right behind me when I’m working at my baking counter and I transfer the ingredients to the counter behind me as I add things to the bowl.

  2. I have been doing this for years, and it especially helps as I am getting more forgetful over time. But I do a variation of that. I put all the spices, baking soda, vanilla and other ingredients out on the counter. Then I put them back into the counter or spice rack just after I add them, as I have never had counter space to have 2 groupings. Doing anything in a systematic way is always better. . .

  3. This is a brilliant tip. I have never heard of it, but I will certainly start doing it! I am not very neat or methodical when cooking (I’m more like a mad scientist) so this would be very helpful!

  4. I gather all the ingredients on the counter. Whisk any Dry Ingredients together. Mix all of the Wet Ingredients except the added liquid like water or milk. Therefore, I never miss anything in a baked item.
    I do the same for dishes, gather all of the ingredients, prepared, ready to go in the dish……sort of like you see on TV, already cut, chopped, sliced. If adding spices, I mix them into a small cup or bowl.
    Here is an example of how I made pasta sauce. The instructions say to mix the spices!

  5. Personally, I dont gather all my ingredients before I make something.. unless its something like butter or eggs that need to be at room temperature.

    I get the ingredient out, use it & put it back up immediately! That way, nothing is left out and I dont have a major mess to clean up later.

    This was taught to me by my mom who was an Arts/homeEc major.. When I was about 8 years old I’d be cooking something & it looked like a bomb went off in the kitchen when I was done..

    Im 51 years old now & I still remember my moms face that day when she walked in the kitchen that day & when she showed me “the way.” :)

  6. Thanks for sharing my tip, Linda! I admit that I am loving everyone’s input. My problem with getting out an ingredient and then putting it back right away is that when I am distracted I seriously may still forget that I’ve already added an ingredient. I need them all out in front of me, but I like the idea of putting the containers back right after adding them. I probably won’t do it, because I don’t want to stop adding the ingredients until I’m done, but I think it’s a great idea. I love that this post has Kim remembering her mom … so sweet. :-) Thanks to all!


  7. Great idea! I find when I am using a recipe with a long ingredients list and tons of directions I am constantly adding things in the wrong order !

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