1. Food

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:

http://video.about.com/busycooks/Tips-for-Reducing-Recipes-for-a-Small-Family.htm

was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

Video:Tips for Reducing Recipes for a Small Family

with Gina Miller

Reducing a recipe that makes too much food for a small family is a good way to still have some of your favorite dishes. Watch this About.com video to see instructions for cutting the amounts.See Transcript

  • All Videos
  • All Food Videos
  • Busy Cooks Videos

Transcript:Tips for Reducing Recipes for a Small Family

Most recipes are written for 4 to 6 people. So what do you do when it comes time to cook for a family of just 2 or 3? You have to reduce the recipe. It's not hard, especially if you use these tips.

Basic Tips for Reducing Recipes for a Small Family

Tip number 1: Determine your conversion factor.

I know this sounds like math, and, well it is. But it's simple. Use a calculator if you need to. Here's how it works. Take the number of people in your small family and divide it by the the number of people the original recipe was written for. This determines your conversion factor. For instance if the recipe was written for 6 people and you have 3 people in your family the conversion factor is .5. If you have 2 people in your family the factor is .333.

Tip number 2: Multiply each ingredient in the larger recipe by the conversion factor.

For instance, if your conversion factor is .5 then one cup of flour becomes 1/2 cup of flour. If your factor is .333 then one cup of flour becomes 1/3 cup of flour.

More Tips for Reducing Recipe Amounts

Tip number 3: If during the conversion you come up with an unusual measurement, convert it to a normal, equivalent measurement.

For instance, if your conversion factor is .333 and the larger recipe calls for 2.5 quarts, then you would end up with .832 quarts.

Of course most meausring utensils don't measure by partial quarts, so we need to first convert to ounces, an easier measurement to work with, then apply our conversion factor. Here's how you would do it.

A quart is 32 ounces. 2.5 quarts would be 80 ounces. 80 times our factor of .333 would be 26.6 ounces. There are 8 ounces in a cup so 26.6 divided by 8 equals 3.33 or 3 and 1/3 cups.

Other Tips for Reducing Recipes

Tip 4: Round down. If your converted measurement is still a bit above the typical measurement, just round the number down.

For instance if your conversion resulted in 16.3 ounces, simply reduce it to 16 ounces or 2 cups.

Tip 5: Unless your baking where measurments need to be exact,take your food and add a pinch more to the measurement if needed.

Sometimes all the math in the world can't outsmart your tastebuds.And those were 5 tips to help you reduce a recipe.

Thank you for watching and for more information visit us at About.com.

About videos are made available on an "as is" basis, subject to the User Agreement.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.