10 Amazing Tips For Ladies Who Want To Become Better Cooks
They say that the best way to a man’s heart is via his stomach. And although I never want to settle into the role of housewife who cooks and cleans every minute of every day, I have always wanted to become something of a domestic goddess who can satisfy my man’s appetite like no one else.
A year ago, I was literally the world’s worst cook. I invited dates round to my apartment on the promise that I’d cook them up a feast, and I even suggested that what I was going to make for them would be better than anything a restaurant could offer.
I couldn’t have been my wrong. My culinary skills were so bad that men ran away from my apartment screaming (well, almost) and headed straight to the nearest fast food joint, no doubt cursing my name (and my soufflé).
I was down at my heels and knew I’d blown yet another chance to embark on a relationship with someone I genuinely liked. If I couldn’t cook a man a hearty treat after a long day at work, what use was I?
But then I had a lightbulb moment: Why don’t I learn how to become a better cook?
Over the next twelve months, I honed my skills in the kitchen and became the domestic goddess I always aspired to be. And today I’m going to teach YOU how to become a better cook, too, with some amazing but simple tips and tricks.
The easiest way to learn how to do anything in life is to just do that – and then do it again and again.
The best chefs are those who have spent their entire lives mulling over recipes, sweating over boiling pans and slicing and dicing vegetables. The only way to get better at cooking is to cook as much as you can. Experiment, try new things and get out of your comfort zone. Learn new techniques each week, and stand in front of your oven at least four days per week.
Organise Your Work Station
A cluttered kitchen leads to a cluttered mind – which leads to a messy meal.
Organising your kitchen so that everything is logically laid out is essential before you start cooking. It’s important that you know where everything is so that you don’t get stressed, which will only have a negative effect on your cooking.
Keep your mind alert and alive by keeping your kitchen tidy.
Make Something You Actually Enjoy
Making a punishing healthy meal that takes you all day can leave you feeling doubly exhausted if you don’t actually find it all that tasty. In fact, it’s going to leave you so disappointed that you probably won’t want to see an oven ever again.
This is totally the wrong way to approach cooking. If you’re a beginner, it’s important that you start with meals you know you’ll enjoy. The more tasty a meal is, the more you’ll be encouraged to cook again and again.
If you love chocolate cakes, cook chocolate cakes.
If you love casseroles, cook casseroles.
If you love curries … you get the picture.
Keep Your Pantry Full And Varied
Did you fancy making something more experimental today but can’t because you’ve not got all the right ingredients? Too bad, but sometimes you can substitute an ingredient for something else.
Unless you don’t have the substitute either.
To ensure that you’re always experimenting and ready for new challenges, keep your pantry full with a variety of ingredients.
Invest In The Right Tools
I remember the days when my scrambled eggs were not very scrambled at all. I was using an old, plastic ball whisk that just didn’t do a very good job. But I was stubborn and refused to invest in a new one.
If you don’t cook with the right tools, you’ll forever struggle to improve as a cook. Just like you can’t fix a car without the right tools, you also can’t cook without the right tools, too.
Using the right tool will save you a heck of a lot of time, and most of them are not expensive at all. Whether you need a new pan for your omelettes or a ladle for your curries, buy whatever you need.
Don’t Overdo It With Liquid
If you want to bring as much flavour out of your dishes as possible, it’s important that you don’t use too much liquid. This includes sauce, stocks and water.
Don’t Be Afraid Of Herbs And Spices
Herbs and spices really do have the power to take your cooking to the next level. They’re healthy and they taste divine.
Don’t be afraid of adding them to your dishes. Your guests will certainly thank you!
A cook often knows the rules – but they’re afraid of breaking the rules.
And unless you break the rules, you’re probably never going to get better than you are now.
For example, great chefs push the boundaries and take risks. Instead of adding a pinch of salt like you or I would, they’ll add a dash more. Not too much – but just enough to add even more taste.
Sticking to the rules can leave your cooking a little bland. Use your imagination and think outside the box.
Cook For Others
When you cook for just yourself, you naturally want the food to taste great (otherwise, what’s the point?). The problem is that cooking yourself means you aren’t really accountable to anyone, and this means you’re often not as compelled to push take your cooking to its highest level.
Cooking for others really pushes yourself to do better. You are forced to work harder and do more so that everyone is pleased with your creation. You could cook for your date (maybe not such a good idea if you’re at the level I was last year), your family or your friends.
Use Your Hands
Your hands should be an invaluable tool when it comes to cooking, yet so many beginners shy away from using them.
As well as using your hands to mix ingredients together in bowls, you can also use them to test when dishes are done. For example, meat feels soft when rare and firm whenever well done.
The more you touch your food, the more you will be able to detect when something is ready to be awesome.