i love grouprecipes and my new cookbook. don’t get me wrong. but i’ve never run into this until i started pulling recipes from both:

1/3 c chopped onion


1/2 c diced tomatoes

if i haven’t bought pre-chopped onions or tomatoes (which i pretty much never do, since it’s more expensive in the long run), how do i know how much to cut up? just cut in small quantities until i’ve filled the measurement? that is ridiculous. what happened to, say, 1/2 an onion chopped or 2 tomatoes, diced? what’s wrong with that?

is this a chef thing? like, in a chef kitchen they’ve got giant quantities of everything pre-diced, chopped, peeled, seeded, etc., so that when they do their recipes they can measure this way?

well, hey. i don’t. i chop, dice, peel, seed, etc. while i’m making the recipe, and this is not only confusing but terrifying. what if i buy too little of whatever i need to make the recipe? what if i have left-over things that i don’t know what to do with? how long will extra ingredients last in the fridge? this may not be a big deal for actual cooks who know what they’re doing, but for the beginner it … well, it sucks. it’s already discouraged me from trying a few recipes because i don’t want to waste what ingredients i have — my  food budget is too tight for that.

what i need is a conversion chart along the lines of, “1 tbs minced garlic = 2 cloves, minced”. anybody have one? or better yet, anyone know off the top of their heads?