I’ve become a better cook in the past two decades as a wife and mom. I honestly just used not to know how. I’m still not a famous chef or anything like that, but I’m not afraid to cook anymore. Of course, trying a new recipe can be both exciting and nerve-wracking, but I want to share some tips on how to get that new recipe to turn out well.
Read the recipe
When cooking a new recipe for the first time, it’s essential to read it thoroughly before you begin. I say this from experience. Nobody needs surprises while they’ve got things mixing and heating. This way, you’ll know what ingredients and supplies you need, and you’ll be able to plan ahead so that everything is ready when it’s time to start cooking.
Cookbooks are your friends for both inspiration and instructions.
Prepare all the ingredients
Just yesterday I texted a friend who is coming over later this week: What soup sounds good? She gave me a couple of ideas, and then I was able to buy the ingredients I needed to make Tortellini Corn Chowder. Planning meals is a good way to make a grocery list and ensure you have food your family wants to eat and you want to cook.
I usually get out all the ingredients before I get started so I can mix and assemble them as I go along. If you really wanted to be prepared, you could measure out all the specific ingredients and then prepare the dish.
Do you have any foods incorporated into your holiday traditions, such as black-eyed peas for New Year’s Day? I don’t love black-eyed peas specifically, but I do love a good Crock Pot recipe and foods as traditions.
Follow the recipe
Yes, getting creative in the kitchen is tempting, but I found I have the most success when I follow the recipe – at least the first time! Of course, after I’ve made a recipe once, I may start tweaking it to fit my preferences. I don’t love green peppers, but bring on all onions. Or maybe I will give my husband the mushrooms nobody else in our house wants.
A perk of cooking is definitely eating! Tasting the dish as you go is another way to ensure that your new recipe turns out perfectly. This will help you balance the flavors, adjust seasoning if necessary, and ensure everything comes together as planned.
Don’t be afraid to add more of a certain ingredient or spice if it needs it. Cooking is a science, but it’s an art too! One of our favorite easy summer meals is what my kids call “green pasta” – aka the Pioneer Woman’s Pasta with Pesto Cream Sauce. One evening we were eating this on the porch and my son said, “This would be really good with bacon in it.” You better believe we eat it with bacon now! (I also use pesto from a jar, which makes this recipe even easier!)
Now, back to cleaning those dishes from the last meal we cooked!
Here are some related posts that may encourage you in the kitchen: