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Old 03-12-2015, 12:41 PM   #31
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Red Mike, the picture is lovely. But why is the gravy orange? I have never seen beef stew with orange gravy. It has always been a deep dark brown. The color of the meat.

I admire your desire to go out on a new adventure. But are you sure your knowledge is sufficient for this? First off, your "method" is difficult to read. Each step should have a space from the previous step. And each step should be numbered. It makes it a lot easier to read. Go to the library and look at some of the most popular cook books like the "Joy of Cooking". This book has been around since the early 30's and just grows in popularity due to the directions along with the recipe itself. It is an easy read for the cook.

I often will copy a recipe from this forum for my own file.

Meatloaf

Preheat oven to 350F.

Ingredients:
2 pound(s) GROUND BEEF; Lean.
1 clove(s) GARLIC; Minced.
1 package(s) (6 ounce) STUFFING MIX; Any Flavor.
1 envelope(s) BEEFY ONION SOUP MIX
2 EGGS
2 cup(s) CHEDDAR CHEESE; Grated.
1 3/4 cup(s) WATER

Directions:
1. In a large bowl, combine ground beef, garlic, stuffing mix, beefy onion soup mix, eggs, cheese and water. Mix well.

2. Press meat mixture into a large loaf pan; I used a 9 5/8 x 5 1/2 x 2 3/4 loaf pan with a jelly roll pan under it to catch any spill over.

3. Bake covered for 1 hour.

4. Remove cover and continue to bake for 30 more minutes or until meat loaf is done.

5. Cooking time may vary depending on the size of baking dish being used.

As You can see it makes for easier reading. This doesn't show it, but I centered with bold and underling. I did the same with the Directions. Only I didn't center it.

Any time I have a recipe that is going in the oven, preheating the oven is the very first thing I write down. Any home cook knows this.

For your beef stew, you seem to determined to say "halfway up". You need to measure just how much liquid you put in your pot. Even if the meat that the reader is using is larger or smaller, it gives them an approximate amount to expect to use. You also didn't state how much your piece of meat weighed. If you noticed in the meatloaf recipe, the weight was the first thing mentioned in the first item of ingredients.

Your presentation of the recipe and the directions needs a lot of work to make it readable.
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Old 03-12-2015, 12:51 PM   #32
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You have asterisks at the end of your recipe. You need one also at the item you are referring to. And the proper way to do it is to increase each item with additional asterisks.

Olive oil* One asterisk in the very first mention of olive oil.
If using fresh tomatoes....** There should also be two Asterisks after the tomatoes.
Brining the meat......*** There should be three asterisks after the brining also when brining is first mention.
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Old 03-12-2015, 01:14 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Addie View Post
Red Mike, the picture is lovely. But why is the gravy orange? I have never seen beef stew with orange gravy. It has always been a deep dark brown. The color of the meat.

I was wondering about the orange gravy too ... It looked greasy to me.

It also sure didn't look like it was made from the recipe as posted.
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Old 03-12-2015, 01:16 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Addie View Post
Any time I have a recipe that is going in the oven, preheating the oven is the very first thing I write down. Any home cook knows this.

For your beef stew, you seem to determined to say "halfway up". You need to measure just how much liquid you put in your pot. Even if the meat that the reader is using is larger or smaller, it gives them an approximate amount to expect to use. You also didn't state how much your piece of meat weighed. If you noticed in the meatloaf recipe, the weight was the first thing mentioned in the first item of ingredients.

Your presentation of the recipe and the directions needs a lot of work to make it readable.
Actually while I've never seen a beef stew recipe that called for liquid to half submerge the meat, I have seen it stated like that for some very good braising recipes (like short ribs or shanks). In such a case it is not necessary to specify an exact quantity since it's more important to have the right proportion of meat above the cooking liquid.

However, for stew you typically want a reasonable proportion of gravy or broth to the solid content, and as such I would tend to agree that a specific quantity should be stated, with the qualifier that the cook can adjust it for personal preference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Addie View Post
Any time I have a recipe that is going in the oven, preheating the oven is the very first thing I write down. Any home cook knows this.
Yes, again with a qualifier: If the prep requires an excessive amount of time, then the oven should not be started until about 15 minutes before the dish is to be placed in it. Also, for many dishes, like a stew, preheating is not really necessary and just wastes energy. I only worry about preheating when I'm baking, or when I'm doing a high temperature sear on a roast or some similar operation.
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Old 03-12-2015, 01:57 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RPCookin View Post
Actually while I've never seen a beef stew recipe that called for liquid to half submerge the meat, I have seen it stated like that for some very good braising recipes (like short ribs or shanks). In such a case it is not necessary to specify an exact quantity since it's more important to have the right proportion of meat above the cooking liquid.

However, for stew you typically want a reasonable proportion of gravy or broth to the solid content, and as such I would tend to agree that a specific quantity should be stated, with the qualifier that the cook can adjust it for personal preference.

Yes, again with a qualifier: If the prep requires an excessive amount of time, then the oven should not be started until about 15 minutes before the dish is to be placed in it. Also, for many dishes, like a stew, preheating is not really necessary and just wastes energy. I only worry about preheating when I'm baking, or when I'm doing a high temperature sear on a roast or some similar operation.
You are so right. I am not sure why he is cooking it in the oven though when it would be easier to do it stove top, But that is just my personal preference. You can keep your eye on it easier. Most of the work is done long before it is ready for the oven.
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Old 03-12-2015, 03:14 PM   #36
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Micheal I applaud your undertaking - a cook book is a big job and an interesting process. You get better at it as you go along.

I recently started making a cookbook for my family - a compilation of all their favorite recipes from my kitchen that will be bound and given as gifts. The biggest challenge for me was to find a page layout that worked and could be used consistently throughout. I thought I'd share a page of it with you so you can see what I like in a cookbook:
Ingredients list in one place in an orderly manner
a picture of the dish
basic assembly instructions
a tips and tricks section.
Pages in my book are 8 x 8 and laid out so that the ingredients list is always on the outside of the page, the pages are mirrored layout wise.

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I think that s you get further into your project you'll find your stride.
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Old 03-14-2015, 09:17 AM   #37
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Michael--do you have professional cooking or recipe development experience? If you want to write a cookbook for family and friends, including tips is a great idea. However, if you want to break into the cookbook arena, I think you need to team up with a professional chef/caterer.
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Old 03-14-2015, 11:24 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by CWS4322 View Post
Michael--do you have professional cooking or recipe development experience? If you want to write a cookbook for family and friends, including tips is a great idea. However, if you want to break into the cookbook arena, I think you need to team up with a professional chef/caterer.
Excellent advice Michael. I realize that you want your book to be more about tips than recipes. But cooking tips in and of themselves, can be a whole book alone with or without a complete recipe.

Such as: Under the letter "B" would be

Braising- Simmering meat or vegetables in a liquid until fork tender. (See recipe for Beef Stew)

With a professional chef that person could guide you as to just how a publisher would expect a book to be written and laid out. And it is the publisher who will have the last word. Sometimes if the publisher decides to publish a book, it may be sent back to the author several times for corrections and changes.
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Old 03-14-2015, 01:48 PM   #39
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I hope that Redmike wasn't run off by the offputting comments made by a couple of responders. He hasn't been back this week as far as I've seen.
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