Whether you’re just starting out cooking as a teen in your mom’s kitchen, or are 30 and determined to break the fast food cycle, or you’re switching from cooking standard american food with many pre-packaged ingredients in favor of whole foods and traditional recipes, these tips will help you make sure the recipes turn out.
- Double check your recipe. Did you find it on Pinterest and does it seem super different than what you’d expect (ie no eggs in a cake, or only 3 ingredients in a casserole)? Check out the comments, or do a quick Google search of the recipe title. Sometimes recipes end up on Pinterest that haven’t actually been baked before, and the picture is just taken off another person’s site and a made up recipe is used.
- Once you have a recipe from a reputable blog or cookbook, read all the way through before beginning to make sure you have all the needed time, ingredients and equipment.
- Plan on making the recipe first without any substitutions. If you have allergies, or can’t find an item, choose a different recipe that meets your needs.
- Write your shopping list for what you don’t have that the recipe calls for.
- Purchase needed ingredients. If you’re not sure what something is, a quick search on Google Images can help, as can most grocery store clerks.
- Give yourself plenty of time to cook. Even if the recipe says it can be made in 10 minutes, it often takes a beginning cook longer. That’s okay! You’ll get faster with practice.
- Now start with a clean kitchen – I like to take out the trash, make sure all the dishes are done and the sink is empty so I can wash as I cook. Clear countertops will help keep the process streamlined (click here for help keeping a clean and organized home)
- Get out all your ingredients and start the recipe as instructed.
- Pay careful attention to phrases such as ‘add the remaining…’ or ‘add all flour except for 1 tablespoon’ so that you don’t end up with extra ingredients that you forgot to add, or don’t add too much of something when you’re supposed to save some of it for later.
- As you use them, put the ingredients away. This way you’ll know if you forgot to add the eggs later, they’ll still be on the counter. Or you’ll realize that you *did* already add that baking powder, since it’s put away.
- Only try one new dish per meal. Food pictures can be inspiring, but it’s confusing and can get frustrating to try to do more than one new thing at once.
- Enjoy the process! Delighting in the daily routines such as cooking and cleaning help us to live a more fulfilled life.
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