Ten Tips: Learning To Cook

In the last year and a half, since starting this blog and writing my cookbooks, I’ve talked to a lot of people about food, cooking, and learning in the kitchen. Not surprisingly, a lot of people learned to cook from their parents or grandparents. What does surprise me is that a lot of people don’t cook either because they never learned much about cooking, or because they hate cooking.

You know, I’m not judging here. I love to cook. I started young at learning about meal planning (4-H Club, parental encouragement, personal interest). I write about food. I take pictures of food. I am fascinated by regional cooking, flavors, techniques…the history of food…you get it. I love to cook, like I said. But there are days when I don’t want to deal with cooking. Didn’t have time to get groceries. Don’t have much time to get dinner on the table. Just plain want a day off.

So when I write about cooking for the home cook, I’m talking to everyone. From those with mad skills in the kitchen, great utensils, pots & pans to those who barely boil water without a struggle. We’re all home cooks.

I hope that by providing ideas, techniques, recommendations for kitchen tools, tricks, tips and great cookbooks with simple language, I’m helping everyone here to enjoy their time in the kitchen. Even on a bad day.

Ten Tips for Making Your Kitchen Week Better:

  1. Make a dinner menu for the entire week, including leftovers and going out to eat.
  2. Make a grocery list and shop for the entire week.
  3. While you make Sunday dinner, prep for other nights. For instance, cut vegetables, make marinades, sauces, and store them for re-heating or cooking later in the week.
  4. Prepare one slow-cooker meal each week, prepared ahead and ready to simply place in the cooker and serve later.
  5. Encourage (or require) family members to take responsibility for one or more meals, including adding all items needed to the grocery list, preparation and planning.
  6. Make sure at least one dinner yields enough leftovers for a second night.
  7. Crack open a cookbook and select (at least) one new recipe to try every single week. This makes cooking more interesting. You learn new spices, techniques, flavor profiles, and learning makes you a better cook.
  8. Ask for help. Assign jobs to family members such as setting the table, washing the dishes, chopping, grating, stirring, or whatever you need help with. Helpers make the kitchen more fun. Those who help might also become better cooks.
  9. Pick a day each month to prepare things that can be frozen such as meatballs, marinara sauce, chili, broth or stock. These things not only make life easy when you’re planning and preparing for a week of dinners, but they help you avoid processed foods for convenience.
  10. Follow M Delish Boutique on facebook and instagram: mdelishboutique! Shameless self-promotion, I know, but I post all sorts of ideas, links, recipes, and hopefully other things that help make your kitchen week better!

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