Start with Goals
We’ve covered a lot the last 10 days.
Keeping essential ingredients on hand makes it easier to cook because you’re ready for almost anything.
Dijon mustard and capers can immediately elevate the elegance of a dish.
Fats are our friend; each fat has an appropriate place in cooking, and some are better at the task than others.
Using a mandoline or grater can alter the texture of vegetables, and that increases the ways you can use them.
Freezing food is a preservation strategy to keep fresh food close, and you can use this to shorten your cooking time.
Repurposing food is a creative outlet for keeping meals dynamic.
Eggs are a multipurpose tool for enhancing or completing a meal and can transform the most basic ingredients.
Time is the number one ingredient when cooking at home, and that’s OK. It’s in your best interests to slow down for your sustenance.
The right equipment is integral to your enjoyment of the process, especially when you’re just beginning.
Now for some goals.
Get to Know a Food
Take it slow and pick one food every other week to experiment with. Maybe try a new grain and then a new vegetable. Every two weeks is a reasonable amount of time to gather your thoughts around what to try and how to use it.
Get to Know a Recipe Source
There’s a ton of food bloggers, chefs, and cookbook authors out there. When I first started cooking, I struggled with choosing a recipe to make. The decision was the main obstacle to my cooking progress. I eventually figured out that when I found a recipe I liked, I was likely to enjoy other recipes by the same source. I began to build trust with that source. The decision of which recipe to make was no longer an obstacle, because I was confident that if I used a recipe by someone I already liked, I’d most likely have success with them again.
This situation is why I started my YouTube channel—demonstrating recipes by sources I’m confident in so you’re one less obstacle away from trying it yourself. (And also to demonstrate a recipe’s process.) If you’ve never made it before, how do you know you’re doing it right? You’ll also see if something’s done wrong (or not quite right) and how to move forward regardless of a misstep. That’s another point to remember when cooking. You will mess up. And your food will be OK. Keep going as you can and learn.
Aim to get comfortable with 15 recipes to keep on rotation. These can be your quick go-to choices—something you keep in the back of your pocket when you’re wondering what to cook for dinner. 15 recipes is enough to cycle through and not feel redundant. This can be full entrees or just vegetable side dishes that you pair with an egg.
I highly recommend easing into the habit. Big changes in lifestyle tend not to stick around. You want to gradually increase cooking more. If you start with pulling rice out of an orange box and boiling it in a bag, that’s a start! Nothing is too simple.
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