Your shopping cart swerves into the condiments aisle, you grab what you think is hoisin sauce, and then you get home to find you've bought Asian plum sauce. Or you sprint through the meat department and pick up turkey thighs instead of chicken. While you may be able to make do with your alternate (e.g., interchangeable poultry parts), sometimes it won't be such an easy swap. That's where helpful sites like the Cook's Thesaurus
come in. The former is a cooking encyclopedia of sorts that covers thousands of ingredients and will tell you, for instance, that you can make hoisin by mixing soy sauce, plum sauce, flour, spices and honey. And Chowhound's massive pool of members can tell you what to do with those turkey thighs—and if they'll work in tikka masala or not.