Remember that food is an art . . . these tips will help you have great success in the kitchen and will enable you to enjoy yourself. If you’re having a good time, everyone will enjoy the results no matter what.
Read Each Recipe Thoroughly
Read each recipe thoroughly. Look up words and ingredients you are unfamiliar with in our glossary or a dictionary. Understand the process involved. Understand when multitasking is necessary rather than waiting for each step to be complete before moving on to the next step.
Create A Clean Work Area
Before beginning any preparation, create a clean work area. Gather the ingredients in the recipe before you start. This ensures that you have everything you need, that you will know what you will be using as a substitute (if necessary), and eliminates time spent searching through cabinets. Gather your measuring spoons and cups, tools, and appliances. Preparing food in a clean and organized space is always easier.
Choice The Tools
Having the proper tools is essential to being able to whip food up quickly. It may increase your cooking time if you don’t have tools such as a garlic press, zester, citrus juicer, or blender. Work up to a fully stocked kitchen.
Although the recipes are designed to taste their best by your following the exact measurements, eventually you will learn to discover acceptable approximations. At some point, you will be able to look at two different cloves of garlic and know that one is about one teaspoon, and the other is about one tablespoon. In cases like these, don’t worry too much about measuring everything with ultimate precision. With baking, however, measurements need to be precise, since leavening is involved.
Use The Herbs
Some herbs, such as parsley, cilantro, or fennel, don’t need to be plucked from the thin part of their stems before mincing or chopping. Just keep them bundled together and chop into the whole bunch at once. The thin parts of the stems generally have the same flavor and, once minced, basically taste the same.
Cut stacks of veggies rather than each individual piece. Don’t separate celery stalks when you can cut into the whole bunch at once. The same goes for heads of lettuce and cabbage. Stack tomato, potato, or onion slices and cut them simultaneously.
The easiest way to sift flour is with a fine-mesh strainer. For accuracy, always sift baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder, and any spices that have lumps.
You don’t need to peel carrots, cucumbers, potatoes, zucchini, or beets unless specified; just wash them well. This is not only quicker but also helps preserve the nutritional content of the food.
One of the most important tips to help cut down on preparation time is to set aside an hour or so on one of your least busy days for advance prepping. Having prepped ingredients on hand makes it easier to create meals on the go. Here you can cut vegetables and store them in a glass container in the fridge. You can also cook a squash, grain, or pot of beans. You can then use these foods in recipes over the next few days. Consider preparing a pot of rice in the morning and using it for the evening meal.