There is no need to fret or become overwhelmed. The trick to cooking is knowing a few kitchen basics, what recipes are best and where to find inspiration for mouth-watering meals.
In order to get off on the right foot in the kitchen, it’s important to know a few basics. Below are some tips and tricks to help you prepare dishes successfully and with ease:
- Choose recipes that aren’t too complicated when you first start cooking. Try recipes that don’t call for unusual ingredients or are too time-consuming.
- Read the recipe from the beginning to the end before you start preparing the meal. Make sure that you have enough of all the right ingredients, utensils, appliances, etc.
- Make sure you understand all the directions.
- Check the clock and make sure you have enough time to make the recipe. You don’t want to spend tons of time in the kitchen and with the right recipe you won’t need to. If you have to get dinner on the table by a certain time, figure out when you’ll need to start in order to have the meal ready.
- Assemble all your ingredients in one place before you start. Some chefs even like to measure out each ingredient ahead of time before cooking. I tend to do this when I bake because it makes the whole process a lot easier.
- Pull out the utensils, measuring cups and spoons you’ll be using and keep them handy so you won’t need to run all over the kitchen during the prep time.
- Wash your hands with warm water and soap before any kind of food preparation. It’s also a good idea to wash your hands several times as you cook, especially after touching raw meat, poultry, fish and egg products.
- Put cooked or ready-to-serve foods on plates, cutting boards, counters or other surfaces where you have not placed raw meat, poultry, fish or egg products.
If you feel like taking your cooking one step further, then let your creative juices flow! Once you get the hang of reading recipes and mastering some meals, start crafting some of your own specialties. You can start by doing the following:
- Try experimenting with different ingredients – substitute beans for meat, or crunchy green beans for carrots, for example.
- Learn to use herbs and spices.
- Bring out your artistic side by experimenting with different colors and textures in meals.
- Focus on one type of dish and learn variations.
- Try recipes from cultures other than your own.
- Invent your own recipes and try them out on family members and friends…and always ask for feedback!
And most importantly, don’t be afraid to fail a few times. Cooking is like anything else – it takes practice. If no one likes what you have prepared, the pizza place is only a phone call away!
What are some tricks that you use to help make preparing meals easier?