FAQ and Disclaimer
I hope this page answers some of your questions about the
recipes on my site. It also covers some of the more common
cooking questions I've received. If you
have any questions, please
Are these your recipes?
Most of these recipes are not "mine" and I did not
originally create them. The majority of these recipes came from
the MasterCook mailing list and other cooking related newsgroups.
The rest came from friends, family, visitors to this site, and
recipes I've picked up and tried along the way.
Have you tried all these recipes?
No. I like to collect recipes and share them with others by
making them available on my Web site. I don't test out each
recipe (I'd weigh 500 pounds if I tried all those cheesecake
recipes!) and many times I don't even read through the recipe
because the title is intriguing enough to make me want to save
the recipe to try later. Although I have not tried every single
recipe, I have tried many. I'll do my best to answer your
Are you a professional cook?
Hardly. I'm a technical writer and this Web site is my hobby.
I mainly like to bake desserts and try out new tasty recipes for
dinner. Growing up, I watched
my dad cook and
learned from him, but I still have a lot to learn.
I tried a recipe that was great/awful. Do you want
to know that?
Yes, definitely contact
me. I really depend on people who write back with comments
to improve the site. The best feedback I receive ranges from
"that was great" to "it was good, but I changed a few things to
make it better...here's what I did" to "that recipe simply did
not work and here's why." On the other hand, please refrain
from sending me angry e-mails about recipes you've tried that
were not successful. I will ignore e-mail from people who blame
me for ruining their dish. It's fine to be upset, but don't take
it out on me.
How do I save or download a recipe?
Refer to the instruction I've provided on how to
Why is this page also called a Disclaimer?
According to the Cambridge International Dictionary of
is a statement that something is not true or intended. In other
words, if you are a company or person who has a registered
trademark or copyrighted material, and you have found me in
violation of trademark or copyright infringement,
contact me immediately and
I will take the appropriate action necessary to comply with the
law. I maintain this site because I enjoy it, not to steal
business from others.
Hey, that's my recipe! Why are you posting my recipe?
I want to give credit where credit is due. If I miss someone
please accept my apologies and
contact me so I can correct
the mistake by either removing the recipe or by giving you
credit. This includes errors in accidental trademark or
Is that really an Olive Garden recipe?
Probably not. The Olive Garden recipes on this site
are known as "copycat" recipes, which means someone created a
recipe to recreate an original recipe.
Do you have a recipe for the Olive Garden's Pasta e Fagioli?
If you are looking for a copycat version of the
Garden's Pasta e Fagioli, refer to Top Secret Recipes.
I'm not permitted to post their recipes for legal reasons.
I own a Web site and would like to use one or more of your
recipes. Can I link to or copy the recipe?
I have no problem with you copying recipes from my site and
posting them on your site. If you would prefer to link to a
recipe on my site directly, that's fine too, but please note
that the next time I update my site, the URLs might change and
you might find a broken link on your site. If this happens,
contact me along with the
exact name of the recipe and I'll give you the new URL. Also, do
not link to every single recipe on my site. A few links is
flattering, but when your entire recipe site consists of just
linking to all the recipes on my site, that's poor Web etiquette.
I want a Web site and would like to copy your files. What
will happen if I do this?
Don't do it. I will send you a polite e-mail letting you
know that you cannot steal the HTML files from my site and to
remove those pages from your site immediately. The
recipes may not be copyrighted, but my Web site is. People who
steal portions of my site and then pass it off as their own work
are in violation of copyright infringement. I do not take these
matters lightly. See the Wall of Shame
Can I use one or more of your recipes in my publication?
It really depends on a recipe by recipe basis so it's best
if you contact me so we can
discuss this further.
Cakes, Baking a Butter Cake
Q: I'm a cake-baking newbie. What do I need to know making
a chocolate birthday cake (or some other type of butter cake)?
A: Here are some tips on making a butter cake:
- PREPPING THE PAN: Refer to the recipe on how to grease and
flour the pans. I usually rub butter inside the pan, add a little
flour, shake it until every area is covered with a thin layer of
flour, and then shake out the excess flour.
- DONENESS CHECK: See if the cake has started to pull away
from the pan. Next, lightly press the top. It should spring back if it's
done. Finally, insert a wooden toothpick in the center. It should come out
clean and dry.
- COOLING: Remove your cake from the oven and let it rest in the
pan on wire racks for 10 minutes to cool. Next, remove it from the
pan by sliding a knife around the sides of the cake. Place
the wire rack on top of the pan and carefully flip. You may need to shake
the pan a little to remove the cake completely. Finally, turn the cake
right side up onto a second rack and cool completely before
- Also see Solving Pound Cake Problems.
Cakes, Baking a Sponge Cake
Q: What do I need to know to make an angel food cake
(or some other type of sponge cake)?
A: Here are some tips on making a sponge cake:
- EGGS: Overbeating the eggs for a sponge cake does not make the cake
better. For best results, make sure your eggs are at room temperature
before beating them. Depending on what the recipe states, egg whites
should be foamy or make peaks when you remove the beaters. If you are
folding beaten egg whites into a mixture, do exactly that: fold. Do
not stir or beat the mixtures together or you will loose the fluff.
- PREPPING THE PAN: In general, you should not grease pans unless
the recipe states otherwise.
- DONENESS CHECK: A sponge cake should be golden brown. Lightly
press the top. It should spring back if it's done.
- COOLING SPONGE CAKES: The challenging part is preventing the cake
from falling. Gravity is your friend. Remove your cake from the oven and
if possible, invert the cake pan by resting the center tube on a bottle, cup,
or some other surface that allows it to cool in the pan. Remove the cake
only after it's cooled completely.
Cakes, Cracks and Splits
Q: How do I prevent my cakes from cracking on top?
A: In addition to placing the cake in the center rack
of a uniformly heated oven, the best way to prevent cake cracks
is make sure the oven temperature is not too hot. An overly hot
oven can cause the outside of the cake to bake and form a crust
too quickly. If this happens, cake center continues to cook and
rise, and eventually bursts through, causing the top to crack.
Q: What kinds of cakes are there and how are they different?
A: There are two types of cakes: butter cakes (think
pound cake or chocolate cake) and sponge cakes (think angel food
cake). The main difference between these cakes is how they rise.
Butter cakes need baking powder or soda whereas sponge cakes rise
because of the air beaten into the eggs.
Cheesecake, Cracks and Splits
Q: I hate how the top of my cheesecake cracks. How do I prevent
this from happening?
A: Here are a few suggestions:
- If you grease the sides of the pan first, the surface will not
crack when the cheesecake starts to shrink on cooling.
- Use a metal spatula around the edges immediately after removing
the cheesecake from the oven.
- Avoid overmixing and drastic temperature changes. For instance,
don't stick a warm cheesecake from the oven in the refrigerator.
- See Preventing Cheesecake Cracks
and Preventing Cheesecake Cracks - Water Bath
for more hints.
- If all else fails, throw some fruit or topping over the
cracks and no one will ever notice!
Q: Can I freeze cheesecake?
A: Yes. See
to learn how.
Q: I found a recipe that calls for sour milk. Is
there a product called sour milk? That sounds awful! Can I use
A: The idea of using sour milk goes back to when milk spoiled
easily and nothing was wasted. There is no product called sour
milk. I think buttermilk is too rich and sweet to be used instead
of sour milk, but according to
Thesaurus, you can use buttermilk instead. You can also "sour"
milk intentionally by adding 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice.