This is an old post that I have decided to give a new spin on and give a much-needed update. This post is great for the beginner, or the seasoned chef who is looking for some new recipes! Mostly all of the recipes included in this series (and mostly all of my recipes) have pictures to accompany the step-by-step directions – making it easy for beginners to master.
How To Cook For Beginners – The Essentials
Learn how to cook by example and explore basic techniques in this simple explanation. I’ll teach you about general techniques, how to choose cuts of meat and seafood and countless tips for easy meal preparation.
When cooking it is important to remember proper knife safety. We will go into more detail of knife safety when we actually start using knives. It is also important to remember to wash your hands before cooking anything – God only knows who touched what before we touch it. And lastly, my biggest suggestion to you is to have everything in place before you cook. This gives you a chance to read the recipe, and really know it before diving in. The French call is mis en place – which literally means everything in place. If you prepare all of your ingredients, and have them in bowls or piles before starting cooking, your cooking time will be much quicker, and you’re guaranteed less stress when cooking.
How To Read A Recipe:
Before we jump right into cooking, here is a great reference of cooking and baking terms that you will be using in almost any recipe you make:
To cook by dry heat in the oven. This method is most often used for cookies, cakes, pie and breads
To mix quickly with a fork, spoon, whisk or stand mixer
To mix two or more ingredients together more gently than to ‘beat’
To cook a liquid until it begins to bubble
To put in the refrigerator or freezer for a short period of time to speed up the cooling process
To let food reach room temperature after it has been baked or cooked
To beat an ingredient until it’s smooth, soft and creamy
To stir a dry ingredient into a liquid until it disappears
To pour off liquid from a food.
To lightly sprinkle a dry ingredient, like powdered sugar or flour over food or a work area
When a liquid is beaten with a whisk until small bubbles form and create a foam-like texture
To mix very gently with a silicone spatula, going down through the ingredients, across the bottom and up and over the top again
The extra decoration placed on food to add color, flavor or texture
To coat a pan or any bakeware with a nonstick spray, butter or oil so that food will not stick to the pan
To push the heel of your hand into a dough or mixture while folding the dough over onto itself with the other hand
To turn a solid ingredient into a liquid by heating it
To remove the outer layer of a fruit or vegetable
To heat the oven ahead of time to the temperature specified in the recipe
When you bring an ingredient to room temperature, you remove it from the fridge at least 30 minutes before using it in the recipe
To put dry ingredients through a sifter or sieve
To cook a liquid just under the boiling point without letting it boil
To mix lightly and gently
To put air into a mixture by stirring with a stand mixer, hand beater or whisk.
Learn How To Cook The Basics
Whether you’re feeding yourself, your boyfriend or girlfriend, your family or a whole crowd, these recipes are simple and delicious, and best of all, most the them are ready in less than 30 minutes! Which is a bonus if you’re a beginner in the kitchen, because let’s be honest, when we get overwhelmed with something, we tend to give up, and giving up in the kitchen usually ends with take-out – which gets expensive and boring FAST!
The recipes below include all of the essentials you’ll need to eat a balanced diet, and to create a family friendly meal plan. The spaghetti sauce recipe is so simple and easy and you’ll use it in so many of the other recipes included – make an entire crockpot full and freeze the leftovers for quick and easy dinners on nights when you just don’t feel like cooking.