Cooking

Tips in cooking with a recipe

When all you have done in your life is eat the food
that is already prepared, cooking it will be very much
like waking up in a world that you are not familiar
with. This is where recipes and cookbooks come in.

These self-instructional guide to different dishes is
your answer to that confusion. The cook book will give
to you a step by step account of what you should do,
from preparing and gathering the ingredients to
actually cooking the dish.

You actually don’t need to ask anything because
everything is already provided for you. But despite
the blow by blow account of what you should be doing,
many still find cooking with a recipe arduous and
confusing. Some do not get the results that they want.
Others do not get to cook it at all, stumped at the
first step in the recipe.

Here are some tips that will help you breeze through
this cooking manual and make cookbooks your bestest
cooking buddy in the world.

1. Know the terms

Recipes may tell you what to do but they may not
always be as simple to follow. Some cookbooks use
terms that only seasoned cooks know.

Words like batter, medium rare, tablespoon, minced and
cubes will be like alien words for those who do not
have any experience with cooking a dish.

One solution to this is to always have a dictionary
with you. That way, you can look at the meaning of
each word and then proceed from there. You don’t have
to panic when you see those words. They are all in the
dictionary, I assure you.

If a dictionary will not work for you, you can always
buy a cook book that are especially made for the
novice. Some cook books even have a section, where all
the cooking terms are explained not only in words but
also in illustrations. If a dictionary is not for you,
you can always buy these simple cookbooks instead.

2. Always arm yourself with measuring materials

Measurement is the most important part in cooking a
dish. If you have not measured your ingredients well,
chances are your dish will not taste as it should be.
Too much of flavoring and you will have a too salty or
too sweet a dish. Too little flavoring and you will
have a bland-tasting dish that your kids will not
touch for a million years.

3. Go slowly.

Great food is never achieved in speed. If you want
great tasting dish, let the meat boil for an hour and
not 15 minutes shy of an hour. The quarter of an hour
that you did not boil the meat will spell a lot of
difference in the meal that you are cooking.

The same goes for instances when you are over the time
frame. That is why it is important to always have a
clock in your kitchen counter or if possible a timer.
This will make timing the food a lot easier as you can
always put an alarm to remind you. It is also a good
idea to put more lead time for you to cook the food.
If the recipe book says, 1 hour, then allot 30 minutes
more. Do not be in haste to cook the food as this will
only spell disaster.

Tips in cooking Italian recipes

If cooking burgers and barbecues, sunny-side ups and
omelet, try cooking Italian food and you will find a
fast portal to cooking with stress. Cooking Italian
food is hard even with a recipe to guide you on your
way.

Recipes of Italian food may contain a lot of words
that you will not be able to find in ordinary
dictionary. This is perhaps because Italian food is
often being cooked by those who already have the
experience in cooking.

But still, who’s stopping you from trying out the
different recipes that you will find in an Italian
cook book? Who knows, you might even master one dish
and another through practice.

One advantage of having a cook book is that everything
is already laid out for you. This means that you
already have a guide on what to do to make an Italian
dish. All you need to do is prepare the ingredients
and follow the cooking procedures to the letter. But
this is of course easier said than done. Here are some
tips that will at least lessen the hardships of coking
Italian food.

Buy a good recipe book A lot of the procedures
involved in Italian cooking is sometimes very hard to
comprehend in words. Sometimes you need a real life
demonstration to go with it. Unfortunately, you don’t
have a real chef in front of you. All you have is a
recipe book.

If this is the case, which is often are, then buy a
recipe book that will at least explain the very basic
procedures that you will encounter in Italian cooking.
Some recipe books have a section that explains all
that. Some even have illustrations and pictures of the
procedure per dish so that readers will have an idea
what it is being done.

Research in TV There are a lot of cooking shows in the
market that will help you a lot in improving your
skills in cooking Italian food. And with the TV, you
will have a first hand demonstration of what is being
done with the various ingredients. Even if you are not
actually there with the chef, you can still see what
he or she is actually doing.

Know the terms Constant research and watching of TV
will expose you to a lot of the terms of Italian
cooking. This will help you a lot in terms of cooking
the other dishes that are in the recipe book.
Remember, the procedures are actually all basic and
are being done in many of the dishes so all you need
to do is master each one and you are already good to
go.

Be precise In cooking, whether Italian food or other
cuisines, you need to make sure that your measurements
are correct and precise. The taste of your dish will
depend upon the rightness of the ingredients that you
put into it. A small difference in the ingredients can
alter the taste. Too much salt will make it too salty.
Too much flour in the sauce will make it gooey. Too
much water will make it bland and thin. And it goes on
and on. The flavorings that you put and the amount of
the ingredients will factor a lot in the food that you
are preparing so be cautious and use those measuring
tools.

Tips in cooking corned beef

School is about to start once again and the kids will
definitely need a power breakfast to give them the
energy that they need to keep up with the home works
and projects. One of the breakfast staple that mother
love to cook is the corned beef. Corned beef is easy
to prepare and what is more, it can be coupled with
other ingredients to make it healthier. Corned beef is
in fact the most versatile of dishes that you can
find. Here are some ways to cook a different corned
beef and also ways in cooking your corned beef so that
it will taste even better.

1. Brine your beef for at least two days.

If you want corned beef that is soft, juicy and with
the right saltiness to it, you should brine your
corned beef for at least two days. When you say brine,
this means that you should saturate your corned beef
in a bowl of water with salt. This will help put
flavor into the beef and set the taste.

2. Use fresh ingredients Although it is a lot easier
and faster to use corned beef that came from a can, it
is healthier and better tasting to use only the
freshest ingredients. Use beef that you purchase from
the market and cure the beef yourself. This ensures
that what you are letting your kids eat is clean and
safe and of course without the chemicals that may
cause health problems.

3. Boil your beef for one hour A lot of people swear
by to boiling. This locks in the flavor on the inside
and also ensures that the meat is soft and chewy as
opposed to as hard as rock. Cooking it will also be a
lot easier as you don’t have to worry about softening
the meat while frying or apply meat tenderizers to
soften it a little more.

4. Put a different ingredient It is always good to
experiment with taste and texture. Once you have
mastered the art of coking corned beef, you already
have a license to play with the ingredients to suit
your taste. You can actually add anything that you
want as long as you taste it before you serve it of
course.

Your kids will also welcome a different kind of corned
beef because for sure, they are already fed up with
the same old corned beef that you have been serving at
breakfast and at dinner. If you have the time, you can
even serve a different corned beef in the morning and
then a different one at dinner. All you need to do is
to add some ingredients into it.

5. put some sauce Although corned beef is served often
as dry flakes, you can always flout convention and put
some sauce into it. This will make your corned beef
less dry and more juicy. Put some tomato sauce and soy
sauce and then just rely on the natural juiciness of
the corned beef to add to the flavor.

6. Add some veggies The standard corned beef is often
cooked with onion rings but there are some corned beef
dishes that are cooked with potatoes. You can also add
some pineapple or even tofu. It is actually all up to
you. As mentioned before, cooking corned beef is a
breeze and you don’t really have to exert much effort.
All you need is just a little imagination.

Tips in buying cooking materials

Cooking is already hard as it is without having to
deal with defective cooking materials and equipment.
Besides, not only will you slow down the cooking
process when you buy substandard materials, you will
also put your family and your house at risk of fire
and other injuries that defective appliances and
cooking materials may cause.

Good cooking equipment need not be expensive. Just as
the ingredients that you use for your meals, cooking
materials should not be the top of the line. You can
make do with the cheaper versions as long as you make
sure that the quality is good and it is new. Below are
some shopping tips when buying cooking equipment for
your home.

Buy new ones. Yes. You can support thrift shops but
you can support them in other ways without having to
sacrifice the health of your family and also their
safety. Cooking equipment from thrift shops are often
from homes that have been either sold because the
owner died or have been donated because they have
served their purpose well in the household. In other
words, they are worn, dirty and old. Would you want to
prepare meals for your family using those kinds of
cooking materials?

Go for Sales. If you want cheap prices and yet have
new stuff to use, watch out for mega sales and
discount sales on the items that you want. They often
cut their price down when they have new models that
are coming out or have a lot of stocks that they have
to get rid of. Factory outlets are also great places
to find great bargains. You just have to have the
patience to hunt for the items that you really really
need.

Use an alternative If a cooking material is outside
your budget and you just cannot afford to buy a new
one, you can always use an alternative. If your mixer
broke down, use the old-fashion way of mixing- with a
spoon! Measurements need not be done with measuring
cups and spoons. You can always use the cups that you
have in the pantry or the teaspoons and spoons that
you use for eating. Be imaginative.

Test it. One common mistake of people is to not test
an item before buying it because they feel that they
can return it anyway if it does not work. But because
of their busy schedules, most people will not bother
to go there and return the item. The money they paid
for the item is actually the same as the gas money
that they will spend if they go to the store. So if
you do not want the hassle anymore, try it out first.
It will not cost you anything but a few seconds.

Metal are better Hands down, if you have the money to
spend, go for equipment that are stainless steel. They
are rust proof and are easier to clean compared to
plastic materials. They are also safer because they
are not easily breakable unlike glass which may be
dangerous to kids. One disadvantage though of
stainless steel is the fact that they are not easily
handled because metal can be hot on the surface. Other
than that, metals are great materials to cook your
food in.

So before you buy your cooking materials, remember
these tips to make sure that you get the best bargain
that you can have.

The Catering Career

If you are interested in putting your cooking skills
into a career that involves « putting on the Ritz » then
catering may be a career choice for you.

Cooking can be fun, but, catering can be a full fun
filled experience.

Catering not only involves cooking, it involves and
aptitude to create a masterful display of food for
many, many people.

Caterers work long and hard hours, often on weekends,
but, the right candidate for this career will love it.

As the head caterer, you will meet with your client,
help him/her decide on a menu. This menu may consist
of appetizers, drinks, entrées, buffets or sit down
meals, and deserts.

You may be asked to put on a beautiful display of
tables with glamorous china, silverware, crystal and
more.

The creative possibilities are enormous.

You have the challenge and thrill of knowing that
putting on a good catered event will be remembered by
all of the guests that attend.

Your name will be remembered for the good or the bad
presentation you serve. Although stressful, the
challenge to make it an event to remember can be a
great and wonderful experience.

If catering is on your mind, then culinary training
may be a good place to start. Get familiarized with
what is expected of a caterer and what can make a
catered event one to remember.

A great career choice for the person who loves to cook
and who loves to entertain; with a career in catering,
you get to have the best of both worlds.

Skills you need to develop to improve your cooking

If you think cooking involves opening the refrigerator
and putting the frozen diner inside the microwave, you
are wrong. It involves far more than you think and if
you want to improve your cooking, you will take this
to heart. It requires a lot of preparation, testing,
cutting and tasting. And in some cases, even the
washing after you are done with making the perfect
dish.

In short, cooking is not easy. Ask any chef or you
mom; or better yet why not try yourself? You will soon
find out that making a dish is not some simple task
that involves a swish of the magic wand. It is hard
work that involves precision, readiness and timing,
perfect timing.

If you want to improve your cooking skills and produce
dishes that your family will marvel at, here are some
of the skills that you need to develop.

Measuring in precise terms Although professional chefs
no longer rely on measuring tools like cups and
spoons, remember that you are far from being a
professional. In fact, you are just learning and until
you master cooking, you need these tools to stay in
the game an produce at least a passable dish that you
family can stomach to eat!

Measuring cups and spoons are there to help you
determine just how much ingredients you need to put.
How much salt or how much sugar. In cooking, measuring
is everything, not unless you want your dish to taste
like saltwater.

Timing A lot of timing is involved in cooking. For the
professionals, timing is more of an instinct or
expertise. They know upon seeing the meat if boiling
should already be stopped or if the vegetables should
be pulled out of the pan before it becomes overcooked.

But for those who are just learning the ropes, timing
is the number of minutes that is indicated in the
recipe. That is why a watch is one of the essentials
that you need to have if you are cooking. In fact,
some even put an alarm so that they will be reminded
that it is already time. Food can be really delicate.
A minute more than what should be can be disastrous to
a dish.

Taste Some have it, some don’t but the good news is
for those who do not have the developed palate that
chefs have, the art of tasting a dish can be learned.
Taste is very important especially in determining if
you should add a little bit more of flavor to the
dish. Should you add salt to make it tastier or should
you add water to lessen the saltiness. A lot of
decisions are involved in cooking and you need a good
palate to determine just what will be a hit to the
people who will be eating what you prepared.

Picky attitude The foundation of a good dish is not
just the talent of the person who cooks it but also
the quality of the ingredients that were used to
prepare it. This means that no matter how good the
chef is, he cannot make stale ingredients taste
delicious.

Old fish will still taste like old fish no matter how
many flavorings you add into it. That is why it is
important to also develop the skill of looking for
fresh ingredients. Ask around and let people in the
marketplace teach you how to spot the fresh veggie. If
you really want to improve your cooking, lowering your
pride will not be so difficult.

How to prep up for cooking classes

One of the best things that you can learn to do in
your life is to learn how to cook. Cooking is a life
skill that you will need all throughout your life and
you will never be at a disadvantage if you know how to
cook. That is why cooking classes are pretty popular
especially during summer with young students and
during schooldays with mommies who want to improve
their cooking skills.

If you have already enrolled in a cooking class and
you are worried that you may not know as much as your
classmate about cooking, get over the thought. You
enrolled in the class to learn so who cares if your
classmate knows more than you. He or she would have
wasted their tuition fee if that is the case.

Still, there is no harm in preparing for the cooking
class and making sure that you have all that you need
to make the cooking class easier and more fun for you.
Here are some tips.

1. Bring notebook and pen or a tape recorder

If you do not have a photographic memory, then it is
best to bring a pen and a notebook when you go to
class. This will help you keep up with what the
teachers is saying in the class. If you have a tape
recorder, this is much better as it will be able to
capture much of what your teachers are saying unlike
with writing notes when you are held back by how fast
you can write down the words. If you are a slow writer
and you know it, then a recorder is the best option
for you.

2. Do illustrations. You may not be the best artist in
the world and you may not even be able to draw a
straight line even if your life depended on it, but
illustrations will help you a lot especially when
remembering the steps that you have to take to prepare
the food. Drawing the procedures will help jog your
memory about the process and it will also clear up the
procedure for you, something that words will not be
able to. If you do have a video camera, ask your
teacher if you can tape the session. Do not do this
unless they have consented because 90% of the time,
they will not allow it for fear that it will be mass
produced and sold to other people.

3. Sleep early When you go to your cooking class, you
want to be at least awake and alert to really learn
from what the teachers is saying. If you had a late
night the previous night, what the teachers are saying
may not register well to you. If that is the case,
then you should prepare for the possibility and bring
a recorder. You may not be very awake to listen to the
teachers but at least you have a tape recorder to do
the listening to you.

4. Ask questions The best way to learn is to make sure
that you have understood everything that the teacher
was saying. If you do not understand any of the
procedures that he or she is teaching, then don’t
hesitate to ask questions and clarify. After all, you
are preparing for the cooking class and you have the
right to really learn the lesson.

How to look for a good cooking school

Cooking may seem hard to do and it actually is, to the
novice. But once you learn the various techniques, you
will find out that cooking is actually a breeze. There
are processes and techniques that will help you
prepare a mean dish for your family and you can learn
all this from a good cooking school.

There are many cooking schools out there that have a
wide range of lessons that they offer… for kids, for
moms, for hobbyists, or anybody who just want to cook
a good meal. With so many to choose from, it might be
a little hard to select which is a good choice. So
here are some of the things that you should consider
when looking for a good cooking school.

1. price range Unless you have a lot of money stashed
away in the bank, the tuition fee will figure a lot in
the kind of cooking school you want to enroll in and
the kind of program that you wish to take. For those
who have the budget, a full program is recommended as
this will teach you all you need to know at a fraction
of the cost when you combined all the other short
courses. However, if you do not have the money to
spend, look for a class that you like that is within
your price range and then ask for a discount should
you decide to take the class after that.

2. Materials Some cooking class will already be
providing the materials for you while some will ask
you to buy your own. Clear this up with the cooking
school you are eyeing before enrolling because this
will figure a lot in your budget.

3. Lessons and range This will really depend on just
what you want to learn and how much experience in
cooking you have. Lessons can range from something
simple as broiling and grilling to something as
complicated as baking an elaborate cake complete with
the decorations. It is actually all up to you. One
advice that you should heed is to always determine
first what you want to learn about and to make sure
that you have all the other skills You see, some
classes and programs have pre-requisite lessons that
you have to first accomplish before you can take it
up. For instance, you cannot bake a cake if you do not
yet know how to fry, boil and heat food properly.

4. Location Another very important factor in finding a
good cooking school is the place where you will be
taking your class. Is the school at your neighborhood
or do you have to drive there in the morning. This is
especially important with people who have a lot in
their plate like cooking for family members or classes
in school. Ideally, it should be along the way fro
your work or from your home.

5. Student:teacher ratio You cannot learn much if you
are 20 in the class and there is only one teacher. You
need a class that is smaller in size so that the
teacher can help you individually with the lesson. It
will also be easier for you to ask questions when you
are just a few in the group. Student:teacher ratio is
also important in comprehension as this means that you
are much closer to your teacher when she explains.

Guide to cooking and preparing food the right way

Cooking may seem easy when you look at it but the
truth is it involves a lot of hard work. When you are
cooking food, you are not only putting them inside the
pan and stirring them, you are also cutting the food,
curing the meat and peeling them. The preparation in
fact is 50 percent of the whole procedure.

Preparing and cooking the food will take a while to
master especially when you don’t have much experience
doing it. But you don’t have to take the hard road and
learn the lesson the hard way. By heeding these small
pieces of advice, you can be cooking and preparing
your food the right way and in the easiest possible
way.

1. Master the measurements

Measuring tools are actually your best friends next to
recipes. They are the ones that will help you achieve
the taste that you are looking for. If you use them
well, you will be having great tasting food every
time. You see, a lot depend on the measurements that
you do. Too little salt will make the food bland while
too much of it will make the flavor too salty. Too
much flour will make the food taste like flour.

The balance that you achieve with your ingredients
will help you a lot in coming up with a dish that your
family will be able to eat. That is why it is
important to invest in good measuring tools like a set
of measuring cups and spoons. This is the standard
measurements that recipes use and you need these tools
to help you put the right amount of ingredients into
the dish that you are cooking. You can use ordinary
tablespoons and coffee cups but the measurement will
not be the same. Remember that the taste of you dish
will depend on the precision of your measurements.

2. Follow the time After you have measured the
ingredients well, make sure that you are following the
instructions in the recipe to the letter. Pay close
attention to the time that is often indicated in the
recipes. If it says 15 minutes, then let it simmer for
15 minutes. No more, no less. You cannot just stop the
procedure just because you feel like it. The time is
there for a reason and unless you are a sous chef, you
cannot just change it at your will.

To ensure that you are following the procedures to the
letter especially with the time, put a timer near you.
Use the ones that you can set to alarm after a number
of minutes. That way, you will be reminded of the
time. If you do not have a timer, then a clock is a
good alternative. If it alarms, better. If not, then
you should just rely on your memory.

3. Use the right ingredients Never ever substitute one
ingredient from another. This will only complicate the
process and also the taste. Although the ingredients
may seem the same, the end result may not be as each
gives different texture and taste. For instance,
substituting one part of a beef, for instance a
sirloin to a shank, to another is not a good idea.
They may be both beef but sirloins are a lot leaner as
compared to the shank which may have fats in between
the meat. The oil from these fats may interfere with
your flavoring.

Cooking With Your Kids

Kids love to help when it comes to cooking. Getting
them involved early is a good way for them to learn
responsibility and a skill they can use in life.

Cooking with kids can also be a time of bonding for
child and parent.

Kids can help in various ways; age appropriate tasks
are best.

Your younger child cracking the egg may not be the
best choice. However, if you crack the egg open and
let him/her put the egg into the bowl it can make them
feel that they have truly helped.

Kids love to taste test.

There’s nothing more delightful to a child then being
able to lick the beaters after you’ve made a bowl of
chocolate frosting. Kids learn by getting involved.

A little icing on the fingers and cheeks won’t hurt
them. But, the time you spend with them cooking will
last a life time.

Showing kids simple things they can do will make them
feel important. Using sharp utensils isn’t the best
idea, but, letting a child roll a ball of dough in
their hands and placing it on the cookie sheet plays
with all their senses.

It’s a way of having fun with your children, and the
fun thing about cooking with your kids is, that they
are learning a skill, they just don’t know it!

Cooking with your kids and as a family is a great way
to keep your children talking. Keeping them involved
in things like cooking lets they know you think they
are special.

Don’t fret about the little messes they make, enjoy
the thrill of watching them taste their creation.
Remember this moment always. Kids grow up in a hurry,
giving them something special to remember is special
and cooking with them is a memory they will take with
them through life.