Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Five Tips for the Beginning Cook

When we first learn to cook we make LOTS of mistakes and we learn as we go. When Kelly from Kelly the Kitchen Kop said she wanted posts relating to "Rookie Tips", I knew just exactly what I wanted to share with the budding chefs that might be reading.

  1. When starting a new recipe, follow it verbatim the FIRST time. The second time you try it, play with it and tweek it for your family.
  2. Make notes in the recipe. So you will remember what worked and what didn't work. That way when you try the recipe again you will remember "oh yes, that needed a little more spices" or "Those cookies only need to bake 10 minutes, not 17 like the recipe states"
  3. When baking, be precise with your measurements. When you are not baking however, don't be afraid to put in a little of this and a little of that. I rarely measure in regular cooking. Your palm makes a great place to measure (to eyeball) about a teaspoon or a tablespoon here and there.
  4. Clean as you go. Such a simple thing, but I find that if I start a pan of soapy water when I begin cooking that I can clean as I go and I don't have a huge mess to clean up at the end of my cooking session. While it seems like a simple thing, lots of people are repelled from cooking because they don't want to deal with the mess. If you clean as you go, then when the cooking is done, so is the majority of the cleaning.
  5. Don't be intimidated. Do you think Julia Childs, Paula Deen, or even Martha Stewart started off the cooks that they are now? Do you believe they have never made a mistake in the kitchen? To become really good at something, or even just to truly enjoy it you shouldn't be limited by fear. Don't be afraid to try something you've never done before or branch out to a new style of cooking. If you just get in there and try you'll improve your skills and also find a new joy in feeding your family.
For more kitchen tips about Real Food, swing by to see Kelly the Kitchen Kop for Real Food Wednesdays.


  1. Lisa, these tips are SO perfect and will be very helpful to the beginners out there. Thank you so much, this is just the type of post I was hoping for with this topic!

  2. Really helpful tips. I actually love cleaning as I go, but I'm terrible at remembering to write notes on the recipe. Thanks for the reminder!

  3. Thanks so much Kelly. I loved participating!

    Thanks for the nice comment Catholic Mommy Brain.

  4. Lisa these are great tips! The "clean as you go" tip is one I've been trying to stick to and it really helps a lot.

  5. Very Good Tips. I clean as I go too. It sure makes a difference.


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