I have compiled a list of some tips to make your cooking experience more enjoyable, whether you love it or you are not so keen but still like to eat nice things. I tend to follow all of these and they work for me, so I thought I would share them here!
- Set the mood that works for you: whether it’s windows open, music on and glass of wine at hand, or silence, or loud chatter in the background from a party of friends, do what works for you to make your cooking experience more pleasant.
- Organize your time: read the recipe, plan ahead and see how long things can take. Establish a timeline of the things you have to do and see which ones can be done simultaneously or during the times where others are stopped (e.g. you can get started on a sauce while meat is roasting).
- Use ingredients that you like and also good quality ingredients. This makes a difference in the final dish and also makes cooking much more enjoyable. If you need to substitute something, make sure it won’t impact the end result in such a way that you won’t enjoy the dish.
- Clean up as you go: have your sink empty and your bin/recycling bin fairly free so you can clean up and discard things as you go. Overcrowded surfaces, filled with dirty bowls and spoons can put you off from cooking or having a good time. If you’re not using a utensil or equipment anymore, take it straight to the sink/dishwasher. Also, wipe out the surfaces every so often as well.
- Taste everything: even when following a recipe, people like different things, so make sure to give it a taste while you’re making a dish to ensure everything is working for you. Also, spices, herbs and seasonings can differ, so it’s better to go with taste rather than with grams sometimes. Taste throughout your cook, make sure everything is well seasoned.
- Pay attention to details and follow instructions. Sometimes skipping steps or taking shortcuts doesn’t really pay off that well. Some dishes and techniques require effort, so be patient in order to achieve good results.
- But also: tweak and improvise, have fun! There are cases when you don’t need to follow a recipe to the dot. It’s okay to change things a bit, have some fun and be creative. (That being said, remember that baking or some techniques do require a lot of precision).