10 Tips for the Beginner Cook

Cooking is fun, but sometimes cooking can be hard. Especially, if you are a novice chef, you may not know exactly where to start. Here are 10 tips for beginner cooks to make your time in the kitchen a little less stressful and a lot more fun!

1. Store spices in a cool, dark place

To avoid you herbs loosing their flavor, keep them away from humidity, light, and heat. Definitely do not store them above your stove!

2. Cook pasta 1 minute less than the package instructions

To make sure you do not overcook your pasta, cook it for 1 minute less than the package instruction and cook it the rest of the way with in the pan with sauce. This way your pasta stays al dente!

3. Get rid of garlic hands!

After you are done chopping up garlic, rub your hands on your stainless steel sink vigorously for 30 seconds before washing them. This will help to remove the odor.

4. Baking with eggs & butter 

For best results when you're baking, leave butter and eggs at room temperature overnight.

5. Recipes not Laws 

Remember that recipes are only a guideline, not the Bible. If you prefer one spice to another (and they are comparable - i.e. Thyme and Oregano) then feel free to substitute one for the other. When cooking, make what tastes good to you & alter recipes to meet your dietary needs.

6. Keeping herbs on the cutting board...

When chopping up fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley, toss a little salt onto the cutting board. It will keep the herbs from flying around. 

7. Taste as you go

As you go about your cooking, make sure to smell & taste your food along the way. This will help you to modify the dish as needed. You don't want to get to the end and not like the way your hard work tastes.

8. Cook with other people

It's important to cook with other people who want to learn how to cook or already know how. This will help get you inspired in the kitchen, learn more tips & tricks, and have fun with your friends!

9. Smelling and Tasting

Use quality oil when you are cooking. Smell and taste it before you start! If it doesn't' taste good by itself, it won't taste good on your food either. Some of my favorites include Avolio, Bertolli extra virgin olive oil, and Lorenzo No. 3.

10. Cook more often

Practice makes perfect. So the more you cook, the better you will get! That being said, cooking at home is also a great way to save money, eat healthier, and get creative. Another sub-tip for college students & busy adults is to meal prep. Cooking a lot of diverse food at the beginning of the week and packing it up into meals for each day helps you to eat fresh food without needing to bust out your pots & pans everyday. 

Please let me know in the comments what your favorite tip was, what tips you have for me, and what else you would like to see from Emi Eats!