Sunday, January 19, 2020

How to Enjoy Cooking In the Kitchen More #lovetocook #jumpinandlearn

Are you a novice cook? If you're here, you most likely have at least some interest in cooking! For inexperienced cooks, the kitchen can be an intimidating place...but it doesn't HAVE to be! Today, The Weekend Gourmet's correspondent is sharing some great tips to help you foster a love of cooking! We all have to start somewhere...and we all make mistakes. Even experienced cooks like yours truly!
Cooking in the kitchen tends to be something you either love or hate. Your childhood -- and the influence you had in your own family kitchen -- will help shape your relationship with the kitchen. It’s important to have fun in the kitchen! Doing so can certainly help improve your view of food/cooking...and how to properly balance healthy and unhealthy food. Here are some tips to help you enjoy cooking in the kitchen.
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Keep Your Kitchen Space Clean
As a rule, it’s important to keep your home clean, because it’s healthy to live in a clean environment. The kitchen is one area of the home that can get messy very quickly -- so it’s good to always keep this area clean. Make sure that every time you cook, you clean up as you go. That’s the best way to ensure everything stays clean, including work surfaces and appliances.

If you’re not someone who likes cleaning as you go, work with your partner or family to delegate kitchen roles. For example: you may prefer preparing food, while someone else might like cooking the food. That frees you up to clean as they’re cooking. Having respect for your kitchen area is important! If you don’t look after the space you’re cooking in, it can be very easy to avoid cooking at home all together. Make sure you have a good selection of cleaning products on hand that work for the various appliances and dishes that need cleaning.

Get the Right Appliances
The appliances you can get for a kitchen are vast, and they're a lot smarter and more advanced than the equipment found in kitchens decades ago. Think carefully about the appliances you need to make cooking easier, rather than making it more of a struggle. A dishwasher is important to ensure your dishes and cutlery are clean, and a microwave can help utilize more space than what your oven provides.

There are also a wide range of kitchen utensils -- including electrical versions of whisks, etc. -- that are worth having to make food prep easier. A good coffee maker or using a moka pot can elevate your coffee experience, and is definitely something worth getting. A food processor is also worth having if you enjoy baking and making food from scratch. Finally, a slow cooker is worth having if you want to leave a meal to cook hands off over a long period of time. 

Declutter the Kitchen to Create Space
A clean kitchen space is one thing, but it’s good to have more space when you’re cooking in the kitchen. It can definitely be frustrating to constantly move equipment to make room to cook. Like anything within the home, try to declutter your kitchen space every so often to make more room. Cupboards are definitely an area of the kitchen that can store old food containers and other small items that take up space. A good tip when it comes to saving on space is to use tiered storage for plates and other cooking utensils more room. These tier levels can maximize the room you currently have. Finally, think about anything you could add on the walls to to help free up some additional kitchen storage space. Creativity is key!

Start With What You Know
When you’re new to cooking, it can feel quite overwhelming. So start with what you know...and go from there! Even if the dish feels basic, you can always ease yourself into it and start working toward similar dishes that you might feel confident enough to try next!Image Source
Once you start with what you know, expand your knowledge with online resources or cookbooks. This can help with understanding how different foods are prepared and cooked. When you don’t have much experience, it can be tough to know how everything works if you’ve not had enough kitchen experience. Take your time and have fun -- if you get stuck, you can always consult the online world of the internet. You can literally find everything online to help with your cooking and kitchen queries.

Experiment with Herbs
Herbs are really good to incorporate flavor into your dishes! Once you start discovering all the different herbs and spices out there, it will certainly elevate your food! Start with the basics like basil, coriander, salt, and pepper...then start trying other options like cumin, dill, sage, or tarragon. Herbs can add so much more flavor to your dishes. They can also make cooking more enjoyable by experimenting with different herbs and combining them in different ways. 

Cook with Others
With cooking, it’s much more enjoyable when you're cooking for more than just yourself. If you live alone, try cooking shows where you cook along with the chef or host. You can also invite friends or family over for dinner -- to help in the kitchen or eat. If you live with a partner, then why not make cooking an activity that you do together? It can make cooking a lot more fun if you share the responsibilities together. Share the stages of cooking, put on some music, and enjoy a glass of wine as you cook. These little extras can definitely help to make cooking a more enjoyable process!

Remember: Everyone Starts Somewhere
It can be difficult when you’re not an experienced cook, and it feels like you’re in over your head. However, everyone starts somewhere! Knowing this can help you find the confidence you need to become a better cook. If you mess up, don’t worry...because it happens to everyone! A burnt cookie or a slightly over-seasoned casserole is something you’ll only learn from if it happens. Look at these mistakes as something you learn from. With each lesson you learn from, you’ll find yourself getting better and better in the kitchen. It can take time; however, the more confidence you get in your cooking, the more skilled you’ll be.

Learn the Basics
The basics are what you might or might not already know. Foundational task like boiling an egg or cooking pasta. The logistics and timing need to be learned first before moving forward to more challenging dishes. Start off with what you know, of course, but make sure you know the bread and butter of cooking skills. It’s these foundations that will help learning the other levels of cooking a little easier. After you’ve secured basic skills, you’ll definitely be able to conquer areas of cooking you might not have as much experience in.

Being able to have kitchen skills is really important! They define your relationship with food....and how you see it as part of your life. The more cooking skills you have under your belt, the better dishes you can create. That itself will make the entire cooking process more enjoyable for you. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes -- they'll help improve your craft and skills in the kitchen. Learn the basics and develop your knowledge of dishes and herbs from there! It’s also something you can enjoy with the rest of the household.

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