Posted: Jun 12, 2014 10:00 AM
Your kids are occupied, your apron’s on and you’re about to make something fabulous when disaster strikes: You’re out of that one ingredient you really need. We’ve got you covered with common cooking conversions that are so ridiculously simple, you’ll never run to the store in a cooking craze again.
Photo credit: tanjichica7/ iStock/360/ Getty Images

We've all been there. Our perfect meal planning is thwarted because the key ingredient in that great recipe? Missing. It turns out that last-minute phone calls of Hello? Do you deliver? and crazed runs to the store — again — are completely avoidable by having a few ingredient substitutions up your sleeve. Betsy Haley cooks and blogs at Betsy Life where she shares a sunny perspective on food, pets and creating the life you crave. Haley says, "A recipe doesn't have to stop or be abandoned if you're missing an ingredient. If you familiarize yourself with substitutions, then you can continue cooking without missing a beat." These cooking conversions are truly recipe life savers. Pin now, substitute later.

If you're missing this, try that

Basil — Basil can be substituted with an equal amount of an Italian season blend, marjoram, mint, tarragon or a combination of thyme and oregano.

Baking powder — You can use 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar mixed with 1/4 teaspoon baking soda instead of 1 teaspoon baking powder.

Buttermilk — Pour 1 tablespoon regular vinegar or lemon juice into a 1/2 cup measuring container then add enough regular milk to bring the quantity up to 1/2 cup.

Cake flour — 1 cup all-purpose flour minus 2 tablespoons is a great replacement for 1 cup of cake flour.

Chili powder — A dash of bottled hot pepper sauce plus a combination of equal parts oregano and cumin will give you the hot flavor you're looking for.

Cream of tartar — You can replace 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar with 2 teaspoons of lemon juice or vinegar.

Dry mustard — 1 teaspoon of dry mustard powder can be substituted with 1 tablespoon prepared mustard.

Eggs — Whisk together 2 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon corn or vegetable oil and 2 teaspoons baking powder to replace 1 egg.

Lemon juice — 1/2 teaspoon vinegar or 1 teaspoon white wine or 1 teaspoon lime juice are all perfect substitutes for 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.

Oregano — Oregano can be substituted with the same amount of thyme, basil or marjoram.

Sage — A same amount substitution of marjoram or rosemary works perfectly.

Season salt — You can make a copycat season salt recipe by combining 2 teaspoons salt, 2 teaspoons sugar, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1/4 teaspoon turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon onion powder, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/4 teaspoon corn starch. This makes 1/4 cup of a spot-on version of season salt.

Self-rising flour — Replace 1 cup self-rising flour with 7/8 cup all-purpose flour, 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Sour cream — 1/4 cup milk or cream mixed with 3/4 teaspoon white vinegar can be mixed, left to stand for 10 minutes then refrigerated until thick (this can take up to 24 hours) to replace sour cream. If you're short on time, a same amount substitution of plain yogurt can be used. Some cooks add 1 teaspoon baking soda to thicken and sour the yogurt flavor a bit.

Vinegar — 1 teaspoon vinegar can be replaced with 1 teaspoon lemon or lime juice or 2 teaspoons white wine.

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