Wednesday, March 11, 2015

How I Taught Myself to Be an Amazing Cook


If you read my previous post, Confessions of a Kitchen-Challenged Mom, you have seen my struggles in the kitchen.  I just couldn't seem to get anything right, no matter how hard I tried.  I'm happy to report that things have changed.  Big time.  
I became a stay-at-home Mom about a year ago, and I decided that I was going to learn how to cook if it killed me.  And I did!  My husband says he now truly looks forward to coming home so he can see what we're having for dinner.  He brags about my cooking to family and friends.  And the kids have proclaimed me to be the best cook in the world!  Of course, I still have the disaster here and there.  I made pot roast a few weeks ago and my husband almost choked on it and said his gums were sore afterward because it was so hard to chew.  But overall, things have improved and here is how I turned things around:
  • I scour over every recipe.  I read it several times before I attempt it so that I don't realize half-way into it that I should have been marinating something hours ago (this used to be a problem)
  • I am always on the lookout for good recipes.  I click on links people post on FB, I search online forums like AllRecipes, I joined a recipe subscription site called The Scramble.
  • I throw out the recipes we didn't like so I don't forget and accidentally try to make them again.
  • I got the dog out of the kitchen while I'm cooking.  I used to trip over her constantly and felt bad locking her up, but now she's not allowed in there and it makes it much more fun to be in the kitchen.
  • I embraced spices.  I used to just leave them out, thinking they didn't matter.  They do!  And I love the spices from Penzey, they can make the entire difference between a blah meal and an amazing one.
  • I finally realized the real key is finding things I want to eat.  This sounds simple, but I truly used to find what looked the easiest, the fastest, or what my husband would like.  Now I look for ingredients that I enjoy, and even if it takes 15 minutes longer, it's worth it.
  • I try not to make anything I find online unless I can see reviews for it.  If the reviews are so/so, it usually comes out that way.  If the reviews are great, it usually is.  I also read the comments after any recipe, for tips and tricks on improving it to suit our tastes.
  • I do preparation before dinner, such as cutting vegetables, putting sauces together, etc., so that my life is easier at mealtimes.  That way, I can still enjoy family time but make a great meal too.
I hope these simple tricks have helped you!  Trust me, if I can improve, you can too!
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1 comment:

  1. Very helpful tips on cooking. I have started reading reviews before I cook an on-line recipe too. And also before I buy anything. Sometimes I have to put not only the animals out of the kitchen - but also the kids! Or else I'll need to check off what we have added - especially with baking. Thanks for the ideas!

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