Are You Embarrassed By Your Cooking Skills? Here’s What To Do
Stop Trying High-Level Recipes As A Beginner
I am of the belief that we are all victims of cooking shows and incredible online recipes for one primary reason: the average person isn’t a chef. When you first set out to try to cook more, it is easy to want to choose something that looks fancy and delicious, but it is probably best to check yourself. If you know that your cooking history involves mac and cheese and toast, it is probably best to avoid making a recipe that professional chefs struggle with.
When you first start, you want to keep it simple. Simple recipes will help you to understand cooking techniques and flavors more. This is helpful because down the line; you will need this knowledge to guide what you are doing. Think of easier recipes as a way to improve your knowledge and background before you jump into any complex cooking techniques. You should understand the “why” behind how you cook a meal.
Choose Dishes You Can Identify Ingredients In
Cooking is about a million times easier when you actually know what you are cooking. Sure, you can add the occasional odd ingredient or even mix up a sauce, but cooking is a lot easier when you know what you are looking at. Using recipes with clear ingredients can help you to better understand the actual cooking bit since you will be able to watch the food transform.
If you think this is limiting, it isn’t, don’t worry. Meals like stir-fry, fancy ramen (a staple in my house), and even protein and veggie-focused dishes make it really easy. If you can see the food change, you’ll have a better understanding of when it is done. Even better, if you finish and find it overdone or undercooked, you’ll have the knowledge of its changes, so you know what to look for next time.
Look For Quick, Simple, Or Easy
Even if you can barely cook today, that doesn’t mean you can’t be a talented chef later on. The thing is, it probably won’t happen tomorrow. If you really want to nurture a cooking habit, avoid making meals that take up a lot of time and energy. When you first start cooking, you want to stick to quick and easy recipes. This will help you to feel energized rather than drained, which will make it much easier to commit. We could all benefit from more at-home eating, so don’t hesitate to start small and build your way up. It’s a great way to avoid being discouraged.
Experiment With Your Own Flavors
Nutrition doesn’t have to look or taste a certain way despite what the magazines say. We all have the ability to eat foods that we like instead of what we think that we should be eating. Sure, too much of one thing can be bad, but don’t eat certain foods just because everyone else is. If you really want to learn to love cooking, it is best to make food that you will actually like.
Recently, I’ve been learning a lot about veganism. Considering steak is my favorite food, I’m a bit at odds with it, but I’ve decided to try a challenge to see what all the hype is about. Going in, I knew I wanted to have a plan. I also knew I wanted it to be mine, so I made some random veggie tacos filled with ingredients that I knew I liked. I literally just picked stuff up that I enjoyed, and guess what? They were the best tacos I’ve ever had. Choose ingredients and flavors that suit you. You know what you like, and that’s a good place to start.
Make Dishes You Know You Like
When you look at recipes online, there will be so many that you have never heard of. Out in the world, all kinds of random chefs are making a wide range of totally random meals. While that’s totally awesome, you don’t want to take your cooking energy and devote it to something you might not like early on. It’s completely discouraging. Worse, you won’t know if it’s the recipe or your cooking.
As an entry to your new fabulous cooking lifestyle, focus on making foods that you already know that you like. When I first started cooking, I knew that I liked tacos, so I decided to learn how to season meat and made my own tacos. I knew what a taco should taste like, and I was thrilled to learn that I could make good ones at home.
Find Your Staples
Cooking, especially if you want to get better, should be a habit. Unfortunately, there will be days when you just don’t feel like doing anything too fancy. This is when you will feel tired and not want to cook, which is when your staples should come in. Having easy household staples means that you are always within thirty minutes of a good meal. Find your go-to items and lean on these to keep your habit alive after long days.
Avoid “Miraculous” Tutorials
As a blogger, I, of course, wish that everything on the internet could be true, but that isn’t the case. In fact, there is an entire shady online industry of “miraculous” tutorials that are designed to make difficult processes look ridiculously easy. These are hugely popular in the cooking space, as well as the world of life hacks. Don’t fall for it. If you find yourself watching a two-minute video on how to make a crazy complex dish quickly, it’s probably just a video made to draw traffic to make money and won’t actually yield good results.
Buy Pre-Mixed Spices
Pre-mixed spices are an absolute lifesaver, and most of them even tell you how to use them! Look for flavor combinations that tell you what they pair well with on the side. This makes it easy for you to dress up basic meals with an insane flavor boost. People will be so impressed with the flavor and they won’t even need to know that you just sprinkled it on top and cooked it. Even better, this allows you to add variety without forcing you to change effort levels every night.
Focus More On Flavor Than Appearance
It is so easy to want the picturesque dishes that you can happily show off to your friends, but the presentation should always come second. If you make a dish that tastes good, no matter how ugly it is, call it a victory. Instead of aiming for what you think it should look like, sample your food and make sure that the flavor is in the right place. The more time you spend cooking, the better it will begin to look over time as you refine your process.
Buy Your Food When You Plan To Make It
For maximum flavor boosts, you want fresh ingredients. I’m not going to say that you can’t shop for the week or have to skip out on canned foods, but I will say that it makes quite a difference in flavor. Fresh foods purchased around when you plan to cook them tend to just make for better ingredients. These ingredients will have a stronger sense of flavor and will be more likely to make your entire dish taste better.
Lean On Pinterest
In the olden days, people had to rely on shady recipes from recipe books, but we have Pinterest. Now, we all have access to entire collections of easy recipes that are perfect for those who are looking to get started. My favorite thing about Pinterest is the fact that it lets you choose by type and ingredients. Even better, as you spend more time curating recipes, Pinterest will learn your tastes and send you more that you might like!
Cooking isn’t a skill that we all have, but it is one that we can all gain. When you make cooking fun and interesting instead of into a chore, you come a long way in boosting your diet and your life skills at the same time. Even if your cooking is embarrassing today, it doesn’t have to stay that way. Start small, and you might just be amazed by what you are actually capable of!