Food is a wonderful part of life, and for many of our newspapers, food is a wonderful part of our lifestyle sections. This is especially true around the holidays when we are sharing our favorite recipes with our readers. But don’t cook up any trouble! Make sure you’re sticking to these AP guidelines so your readers have an easy time recreating your dishes in their kitchens.

  • Capitalize the title of the recipe.
  • Include the start to finish time immediately below the title, noting the active time in parentheses.
  • The number of servings appears directly under start to finish time.
  • Be specific with salt! Savory recipes that call for salt should always refer to kosher salt. Recipes for baked goods should refer to table salt, written simply as “salt.” However, recipes that do not call for volume can just write salt, such as “salt and ground black pepper.”
  • Don’t use abbreviations for measurements. Spell out teaspoon, tablespoon, etc. Use numerals for all measurements, times, and oven temperatures. However, when two numbers follow one another, write out the first one for clarity such as “two 15-ounce cans.”
  • Write instructions in short paragraphs. Begin sentences with equipment and technique, not ingredients.
  • If available, include the nutritional information following the instructions.
  • Finally, if the source is not the writer of the story, include their information in parentheses at the bottom.

Here’s a great example for a yummy recipe by Katie Workman of The Associated Press that recently ran in The Cap Cod Times.


Start to finish: 55 minutes (20 minutes active)

Servings: 8

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus extra

3 1/4 cups whole milk, divided

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup cornmeal

2 cups corn kernels (from 3 to 4 ears of corn or frozen kernels)

Large pinch cayenne pepper

4 large eggs, separated and at room temperature

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Heat oven to 400 F. Butter a shallow 1 1/2- or 2-quart baking dish.

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the butter, 3 cups of the milk, the sugar and salt. Bring to a simmer. When the butter has melted, reduce the heat to medium-low. Whisking constantly, add the cornmeal in a slow, steady drizzle. Whisk in the corn kernels and cayenne and continue whisking for another 4 or 5 minutes, or until the mixture is thick. Remove from the heat and transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and remaining 1/4 cup of milk. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form.

Add about 1/2 cup of the cornmeal mixture to the bowl with the egg yolks and stir quickly to combine. Turn the yolk mixture into the bowl with the rest of the cornmeal mixture and whisk to combine. Fold about 1/3 of the egg white mixture into the cornmeal mixture, which will lighten the batter, then gently fold in the rest of the egg whites so that they are almost incorporated. You will see a white streak or two, which is fine.

Transfer the batter to the prepared baking dish and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the top is browned and puffy. When you shake the pan the spoonbread should jiggle slightly, though not so much that it looks liquidy in the middle. Remove pan from oven and cool slightly on a wire rack. Serve warm.

Nutrition information per serving: 230 calories; 110 calories from fat (48 percent of total calories); 12 g fat (6 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 135 mg cholesterol; 320 mg sodium; 24 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 7 g sugar; 8 g protein.

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