guest post: kelsey from kelsey’s essentials …

April 19, 2011

our next guest post is by kelsey of the cooking channel’s, kelsey’s essentials.
kelsey is a highly talented chef, and this past year has landed her own cooking show kelsey’s essentials on the cooking channel.  
i’ve had the pleasure of working with kelsey on the zupas blog, and she is just as sweet as can be in person, and is just overflowing with talent.  
today, kelsey will be sharing her process for writing recipes from scratch. 
thanks again kelsey for taking the time to guest post today!  

As the host of a cooking show, one of my biggest responsibilities is creating original recipes. I’m just entering my second season and have been hard at work creating a new batch of original recipes for my series. Typically a “season” is 13 episodes, with each episode featuring 4-6 recipes. This translates to about 60 original recipes (heaven help me!). Needless to say, writing original recipes has been on my mind lately and I’m getting lots of good practice!
Writing original recipes in my opinion, is a skill that I still continue to work at and refine. It’s not always that easy and requires taking very copious notes and following guidelines. My recipes must follow the style guide that Food Network/Cooking Channel use. Knowing how to properly write a recipe can be super helpful if you are planning to compile family recipes, blog your own recipes, or have a desire to ever write a cookbook. Challenge yourself to create your own “style guide” so that every time you write down a recipe or even adjust a recipe that you have from another source, it is done in the same format. I like having a template on my computer that I open up every time I start a recipe.
First, let’s consider the Ingredients:
– Always list ingredients in order of use.
– Include the full measurement words (tablespoon instead of TBS)
– If your recipe has multiple components (sauce, vinaigrette, crust), break up the ingredients with a header to avoid confusion.
– When listing cans or packages, always include their weight/volume in parenthesis- “1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese”
– To simplify method directions, if the preparation of an ingredient is simple, include the description in the ingredient list- “3 eggs, beaten” or “1 shallot, minced”
Next, the Method:
– Avoid being wordy. Keep your directions clear, yet concise.
– Each step should indicate a new paragraph.
– When a recipe has multiple components, separate the methods with different methods just as you would with the ingredient list.
– Describe the size of cookware and tools to be used and the level of heat- “In a small saucepan over medium-low heat…”
– Give a range for cook time and always give additional descriptive cues for doneness- “Roast 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and crisped.”
– Always list a serving suggestion; including temperature to serve the dish, garnish, and what to serve with it. (if applicable)
 Consider keeping a “kitchen diary” in your kitchen where you can write down original recipes as you cook. I’ve also even recorded myself before so that I don’t have to worry about picking up a pen to jot a measurement down. After writing your recipes, be sure to put them through a testing process to make sure that nothing has slipped through the cracks.
A recipe is something that can last forever & for me it’s like leaving a legacy. It’s also a fantastic and thoughtful gift paired with the dish itself. There is great satisfaction in having a few signature recipes that represent you in the kitchen. Challenge yourself to write your own recipe down and share them with your favorite foodies!
– Thanks a million Caroline! I really appreciate the opportunity. 

3 thoughts on “guest post: kelsey from kelsey’s essentials …

  1. dandee

    I love Kelsey's show! We met briefly at Alt, and you're right. She is sweet as can be.

    Really great tips, even for a novice foodie like me. Thanks!

  2. Erica

    It is so awesome how far you have gone to accomplish your dreams. I am so happy and so impressed with all that you have done. I am sure the journey has been tough, but you have accomplished a lot. Thanks for sharing your talent with us 🙂


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