Food Editing Guide

(added 10/15/19)

TOC

  • Confirm page numbers.
  • Make sure any specific claims made in each blurb match what is included in each story.
    We share five simple recipes…  Are there five?
    …including pies, cakes, cupcakes, and cookies.  Are each of those represented?

 STORY OPENERS

  • Make sure any specific claims made in the opener match what is included in each story.
    We share five simple recipes…  Are there five?
    …including pies, cakes, cupcakes, and cookies.  Are each of those represented?
  • Make sure story opener font style, font size, and color match across the title.

 RECIPE TITLE

  • Are all of the ingredients named in the title used in the recipe?
    Creamy MapleSweet PotatoSoup with BaconCheddarCrostini.
  • Make sure the recipe title font style, font size, and color match across the title.
  • Be consistent with use of “and” and ampersand.
  • See Food section of BHG Stylebook regarding capitalization and hyphenation of recipe titles.

HEADER

  • Timings in header must match timings in method; keep track as you read.
  • Don’t abbreviate timings: minutes, hours
  • List timings in recipe order. Prep, Bake, Cool, Chill, etc.
  • Start to Finish recipes are generally reserved for recipes that are 30 minutes or less.
  • Don’t include Cool times that are less than 10 minutes.
  • For recipes that use the oven, list as: Bake X minutes at 350°F, Roast X minutes at 425°F
  • For recipes that use two different oven temperatures, list as: 45 minutes at 450°F + 10 minutes at 375°F
  • Does the oven temperature in the header match what’s in the recipe?
  • For slow cooker recipes, include the range for timings, the cooker setting, and any additional timings:
    6 to 7 hours (low) or 3 to 3½ hours (high) + 20 minutes (high)
  • Lowercase any words in timings.
    up to 4 hours, overnight
  • Include “Pictured on page XX” if there is a photo of the recipe on a separate spread.

INGREDIENTS LIST (IL)

  • List ingredients in order of use in method.
  • Abbreviate measurements.
    gal.
    lb.
    ml (no period)
    oz.
    pkg.
    pt.
    qt.
    Tbsp.
    tsp.
  • Abbreviations are singular.
    3 Tbsp., 2 gal.
  • Make sure that tabs align.
  • Don’t use en dashes between numbers.
    2 to 3 tsp. dried basil
  • Watch for suspended hyphens.
    18- to 20-oz. bottle spicy barbecue sauce
  • Watch the singular and plural of ingredients.
    ¼ chopped green onion; 1 cup chopped green onions
  • Abbreviate and italicize page references in IL.
    (tip, p. x)
  • Specify the type of sugar in IL and method when more than one variety is used in the main recipe or subrecipe.
    granulated sugar, powdered sugar, brown sugar, etc.
  • Specify the type of pepper in IL and method when more than one variety is used in the main recipe or subrecipe.
    black pepper, cayenne pepper, jalapeño pepper, red sweet pepper, hot pepper sauce, etc.
  • Include drained or undrained in IL. If needed for space reasons, move to the method and italicize.
  • Using a bay leaf? Make sure it is removed later.
  • Using an asterisk? Make sure there is a matching tip or note.
  • If IL calls for 12 ciabatta rolls, 6 pork chops, etc., be sure the recipe yield is 12 sandwiches, 6 servings, etc.
  • Is the amount appropriate for the recipe? Have we accidentally called for 10 cups sugar rather than 1 cup sugar?
  • If an ingredient is listed as optional, be sure “if desired” is included in the method.
  • Don’t leave one ingredient hanging on its own at the top of a column. Three lines is preferable.

METHOD

  • Make sure steps are numbered correctly.
  • Make sure all ingredients are accounted for and in order of the IL.
  • Make sure all timings add up to match the header information.
  • Indicate “preheat oven” at the beginning of recipe or at another appropriate point in the recipe, such as after a long chill time or after rising for bread. Don’t repeat oven temperature in baking instructions.
  • If combining several ingredients, use whichever is shorter:
    Combine X, X, X, and X”

    “Combine first five ingredients (through X)”
    “Combine next five ingredients (through X).”
    Say “Combine all of the ingredients” if you can combine all.
  • When two ingredients are listed in the IL with “or” between them, call only for the first ingredient in the method:
    1 lb. yams or sweet potatoes (call for yams in method)
  • When two ingredients are listed in the IL with “and/or” between them, call for both in the method:
    1 lb. yams and/or sweet potatoes (call for yams and/or sweet potatoes in method)
  • If a partial ingredient is added, be sure the remaining portion is added later.
  • If ingredients are set aside or reserved within the method, be sure they are added later.
  • Eliminate, for the most part, “the” as a modifier.
    add reserved sauce mixture; combine milk and sugar.
    Exception: Do use “the” ahead of a measurement of water so the reader is aware of the measurement.
    Add the water
  • Eliminate, for the most part, “and” between clauses and use semicolons instead.
    Uncover pasta mixture; spoon cheese over top. 
  • Do use “and” for one-word constructions.
    Cook and stir 3 minutes.
  • Eliminate “for” in all timings.
    Bake 6 to 8 minutes, beat on medium 1 minute
  • Always do the math. If IL calls for eight slices of bread, the recipe should yield four sandwiches. If IL calls for 12 lasagna noodles and method adds them a few at a time, be sure all 12 are added.
  • Using an asterisk? Make sure there is a matching tip or note.
  • Label additional information as a tip if it is instructional.
    Tip: To toast almonds, put them on a baking sheet in the oven at 350°F for 15 minutes.
  • Label additional information as a note if it is explanatory.
    Note: You can find premixed rim salts at the liquor store.
  • Watch the singular and plural of ingredients. If the IL calls for 1 large apple, chopped, the method should refer to apple rather than apples.
  • Spell page and italicize page references in the method.
    (tip, page x)
  • Italicize ingredients not listed in the IL (except water that is used only to cook in or soak an ingredient). Don’t italicize the additional or optional use of an ingredient already used in the recipe (e.g., 3 tsp. snipped fresh thyme in IL; garnish with fresh thyme sprigs in method) unless the ingredient used in IL is a full package, such as yogurt.
  • If an ingredient in the method is added optionally or “if desired,” be sure it is labeled as such in the IL.
  • Use numbers with measurements; spell out otherwise. eight plates, two of the oranges
  • Don’t break a fraction or a number and its measurement (or other corresponding information) at the end of a line. (3 cups) It’s OK to leave a number at the end of a line when its corresponding information comes before it.(Step 3)
  • Don’t leave the first line of copy in a paragraph hanging on its own at the bottom of a column. Don’t leave the last line of copy in a paragraph hanging on its own at the top of a column. Three lines is preferable.
  • Don’t use hyphens to break syllables in rag format unless the hyphens indicate compound words.
  • Don’t use en dashes between numbers. Bake 7 to 9 minutes, 2 to 3 tsp. dried basil
  • For dimensional measurements (e.g., 13×9-inch pan), create a dimension X in InDesign. Don’t use an x in its place. (See Design Elements, below)
  • Use fractions (¼) rather than writing 1/4. InDesign and Microsoft Word will usually generate the fraction for you. To create a fraction in either program, see Design Elements, below.
  • Don’t italicize or boldface ingredients in subrecipes or variations.
  • For variations with a separate NA, include all nine (or eight) numbers. See Nutritional Analysis, below.
  • For serving language at the end of the recipe:
    1. For a standard or healthy recipe, include the number of servings plus amount for each serving, or an appropriate unit:
      Makes 6 servings (2 cups each). (NA is Per serving.)
      Makes 10 servings (1 short rib + ½ cup noodles plus ¼ cup sauce each) (NA is Per serving)
      Makes 60 cookies. (NA is Per cookie.)
    2. If the recipe makes a unit that is a volume or quanties:
      Makes 2 loaves (24 slices). (NA is Per slice.)
    3. If it is a canning title or a sauce or liquid recipe:
      Makes 4 pints. (NA is Per ½ cup or whatever the measure.)
      Makes 6 servings. (NA is Per 2 Tbsp.)

NUTRITIONAL ANALYSIS (NA)

  • Information in the NA is italic.
  • NA has nine numbers, including 0 amounts. Exception: If the fat amount 0 g, don’t include sat. fat.
    (X cal., X g fat (X g sat. fat), X mg chol., X mg sodium, X g carb, X g fiber, X g sugars, X g pro.)
    (X cal., 0 g fat, X mg chol., X mg sodium, X g carb, X g fiber, X g sugars, X g pro.)
  • Watch for the correct use of g (with fat, carb., fiber, sugars and pro.) and mg (with chol. and sodium).
  • Per serving or per portion (cookie, slice, loaf, tablespoon), depending on serving information in method.

INDEX

  • Use the letter-by-letter system of alphabetizing. In this system, alphabetizing continues up to the first parenthesis or comma, then starts again after the punctuation point. Word spaces and all other punctuation marks are ignored. Both open and hyphenated compounds, such New York or self-pity, are treated as single words. The order of precedence is one word, word followed by a parenthesis, and word followed by comma, number, or letters.
  • Disregard “the” or “a” as an alphabetizing element at the beginning of a recipe title.
  • Alphabetize the categories.
  • Alphabetize the recipes within each category.
  • Confirm all page numbers in the index and those overprinted on photos.
  • Make sure that tabs align.
  • Watch for consistent leading between each category.
  • Don’t leave one recipe title hanging on its own at the top of a column.

RECIPE HIERARCHY

Recipe title
Header
Photo directional
Ingredients list
Method
Subrecipe
Tips, notes
Recipe variations (if same NA as main recipe)
Make-ahead directions, storing directions
NA
Recipe variations (if different NA than main recipe; include all nine (or eight) numbers)

GIRLFRIEND RECIPE STYLE

  • Use numbers for all ingredients, even if the number does not correspond with a measurement, such as tsp. or cups. Chop 2 apples.
  • Boldface all ingredients but not the measurement or the form of the ingredient.
    ½ cup chopped fresh parsley,8 oz. softened cream cheese, four slices whole wheat bread

PHOTOS AND CAPTIONS

  • Confirm that each photo caption matches the name of the corresponding recipe.
  • There should be captions on all photos when there are multiple recipes and/or photos on a spread.
  • There should be no caption on photos when the corresponding recipe prints over the photo or when there is one photo and one corresponding recipe per page.
  • All photos that correspond to a recipe on a separate spread need a caption (Recipe title, page XX) and the corresponding recipe must have a photo directional (Pictured on page XX).
  • Compare each photo to the IL for the corresponding recipe. Are all of the ingredients in the IL accounted for in the photo and vice versa?

DESIGN ELEMENTS

  • There must be at least one folio/page number on each spread; the folio must match the title.
  • There is no space between the recipe title and the header information.
  • There is a space between the header and the IL and between the IL and the first recipe step.
  • Watch for smart apostrophes and quotation marks, which are almost always curved or slanted and are rarely straight up and down.
  • Create a dimension X using the Convert Characters script in InDesign. Highligh both numbers on either side of the x, click on Convert Characters, and click on the boxes for Dimension X and Use Symbol Font for Dimension Conversion.
  • Create fractions by highlighting the X/X in InDesign; InDesign should generate a fraction pop-up that you click and to replace X/X. If InDesign doesn’t generate the pop-up, use the Make Fractions script in InDesign by highlighting the X/X, click the Make Fractions script and choose Make Fractions for Selection.
    To create fractions in Microsoft Word, format your document by clicking on Word in the menu bar, Preferences, AutoCorrect, and AutoFormat As You Type. Under Automatically As You Type, click on the Fractions with Fraction Character box.
  • Punctuation marks should be in the same typeface as the words they follow. However, for parentheses:
    • Opening and closing parentheses should always be the same type style. If the type inside is roman or a mix of italic and roman, make the parentheses roman. If the type inside is entirely italic, italicize the parentheses. If the type inside is entirely bold, make the parentheses bold.
  • Subrecipes, tips, notes, variations, make-ahead directions, storing directions, and Per serving information should be small caps.

RESOURCES

  • Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition
  • The Chicago Manual of Style
  • Food Lover’s Companion, Fifth Edition
  • Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book, 17th Edition (Searchable on Google Books)
  • Words into Type
  • BHG Stylebook, including Food section; Word List; and Cheese, Pasta, and Wine Lists
  • Also helpful:
    • The Gregg Reference Manual
    • The AP Stylebook

SPELL-CHECK EACH TIME YOU READ A MANUSCRIPT OR LAYOUT!

CHECK FOR DOUBLE SPACES EACH TIME YOU READ A MANUSCRIPT OR LAYOUT!

For Food Editing Checklist

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