This is so TRUE. Every day I become a better cook. Like everyone, I make mistakes but I learn from those mistakes, move on and do it better next time. In this 3-step series, “How to become a better cook”, I’m sharing with YOU 3 of the most important tips I’ve learned over the years to give YOU more confidence and encourage you to keep on cookin’.
Step 1 is… Read the recipe FIRST.
We’ve all been there…halfway through a recipe and you realize, “Ugh, I didn’t chop up the onion!” Or worse, “I forgot to buy tomato sauce!” This starts a downward spiral of panic, frustration and hatred of all things cooking. Never fear. If you follow step 1, you will avoid the panic and cooking will be a much smoother and more efficient process.
What exactly does that mean? Before you start cooking or even consider following a recipe, read the ingredients list (making note of the preparation*) and directions. If you don’t, you will inevitably forget something, make a mistake, or worse, ruin your food while frantically chopping or searching your pantry for the one spice you need RIGHT NOW. And well written recipes will tell you how to prepare your ingredients ahead of time, list the ingredients in the order they are needed, tell you what kind of pan you will need and what temperature to keep your oven or stove. So pay close attention to detail. And, stop! Drop! And read!
*Ingredients are generally listed in 1 of 2 ways:
- Measured ingredient, preparation
- Prepared ingredient measured
Let’s use 1 cup of strawberries for example:
- 1 cup strawberries, sliced
is different than
2. 1 cup of sliced strawberries
In example 1, the strawberries are measured whole, then sliced. In example 2, the strawberries are sliced then measured. In some recipes, the difference is minimal. But in others, it can make a big difference. So, really take a close look at the ingredients before you begin your prep.