How to Measure

There's a right way and a wrong way to measure and by measuring right, you will get the consistent results you are looking for.   

To measure liquids:  Use a clear glass measuring cup, one designed for liquids.  Fill it to the mark and set it on the counter or on a shelf at eye level and look through the glass.  Never try to hold the glass up to your eyes--it will never be as level and steady as on the counter. 

To measure dry ingredients:  Use a dry measure of the capacity you wish to measure--either a spoon or a cup.  For a cup, stir to loosen and unpack the ingredients then lightly spoon them into the cup.  Level the top with a spatula or the back of a knife.   Except for brown sugar, never pack the ingredients into the measure.  When using a measuring spoon, scrape the top level as you do when measuring with a cup.

To measure herbs:  Lightly fill the spoon to the top with herbs but do not level with a spatula as you would with powdered ingredients.  Dump the herbs into your hand and crush them to release the flavors before adding them to the recipe. 

To measure shortening:  Pack the shortening into a dry measure with the back of a spoon or spatula pressing to force out any air pockets, then level it by scraping the top of the cup. 

Flour can be tricky to measure.  We always use a scale to get accurate, consistent measurements.  If you use a dry measuring cup, stir the flour to fluff and loosen it--packed flour will weigh considerably more than loosened flour--then spoon it into the measuring cup.  Also, scooping the flour out of the bag with the measuring cup rather than spooning flour into the cup will give you significantly more flour--enough more that the results of the recipe may vary considerably.