How To Start Cooking For Your Family
Source: Open Talk Magazine 12/12/2010 21:19:00
You love food but have always been apprehensive about cooking for yourself and your family. There’s no better time than now to put on your apron and get dirty in the kitchen. Here are a few tips guaranteed to get you excited about making your first entree.
These days it’s become fashionable to tell people that you just don’t have the time to cook with your busy schedule. Such statements usually convey the message that you have a budding career, a family to take care of which includes: PTA’s, soccer practice, ballet practice, car pooling, walking the dog and such—while at the same time; a social life on the weekends, so where is the time to cook and prepare good old-fashioned meals? With so many restaurants and fast food chains offering yummy cuisines and even free delivery; it’s no wonder we prefer to take the easy way out.
The very thought of cooking intimidates lots of people. This may be because they’ve never attempted to get their hands into actual dish preparation; they may have faced a few kitchen disasters or they may believe that nothing they make can match-up to mom’s signature dishes. If you need some inspiration to get started, I suggest watching an animated movie called “Ratatouille”. The underlying theme simply states that ‘anybody can cook’ and so can you. Here are a few pointers to help you begin your kitchen adventures-
Take the time to learn
The best person to show you the ropes is mom. If you can, take the time to learn a few simple dishes from mother. The next time you have dinner at a friend’s place; help out in the kitchen when dinner is being made. To prepare healthy meals for your family, it’s also important to have some idea about the nutritional values of all food products. For instance, if your spouse is trying to lose weight, the last thing you want to prepare is a fattening potato in cream bake.
Do the research
Leaf through magazines for recipes and interesting articles about cooking; cut out the ones that catch your interest for later. The Internet is a wonderful storehouse of information and a little bit of research can teach you all you need to know. Websites such as ‘www.startcooking.com’ are ideal for beginners as they have plenty of tips & techniques, easy to make recipes, cooking videos and even step by step photo tutorials. You really can’t go wrong with such expert guidance at hand.
Make the right investments
If you’re going to start cooking at home, make sure you have the basic utensils, cookware and bake ware that you will need. Also consider buying a few cookbooks by renowned chefs which have easy to make recipes that can be prepared in short time.
You may be tempted to make dishes with grand names, but it’s best to take it one step at a time. Begin with fool proof dishes like salads and soups, which do not take a lot of preparation time. Slowly move on to appetizers, the main course then desserts. Many beginners underestimate the importance of an oven. Oven baking is one of the healthiest options to consider as it does not require unhealthy, fatty cooking oils, and can be a great asset when you’re in a hurry to make a meal.
Practice and experiment
The only way to get better at playing a game is through practicing; this also works for honing your cooking skills. Try cooking on weekends and other days when you have ample free time. Your first few experiments may end-up disasters, but that’s no reason to stop trying. Getting a dish perfect comes with trial and error; in time, you will get it just right!
Get the family involved
Cooking is a wonderful family activity and can be the perfect time for bonding. Ask your spouse to help with cutting, slicing or dicing the vegetables and meat. If you have kids, give them the chore in decorating the dishes, laying the table or helping you clean up. It’s been proven that children who help out in the kitchen tend to eat healthier as well as learn to cook themselves. Moreover, you can be sure that your family will appreciate all your efforts when they give you a hand.
Home cooked meals are a much healthier and cheaper option when compared to purchasing meals from restaurants and fast food chains. It’s never too late to try your hands at experimenting in the kitchen. You’ll feel great knowing that you are providing your family top-notch nutrition which equates to happier healthy lives.