My husband decided to make us breakfast, which was nice because it gave me a few minutes to lay in bed...only to hear my name being called "babe I need your help!!" As I entered the kitchen I could see the chaos, with him making eggs, heating his oatmeal, trying to make us coffee, and cut his avocado all at once. I got stressed out just watching him. We both like to cook but I would say I'm the head honcho in the kitchen. When I'm cooking or baking I feel at peace, it's basically my happy place (except for when I cut myself with a Cutco knife). By no means do I consider myself a chef, nor do I want to be, but I've learned a few things along the way that can help build confidence in the kitchen.
1. Prep. Before I start cooking anything I make sure to lay out all of my ingredients, that means chopped, prepped and measured. This takes a few minutes in the beginning but totally beats scrambling around the kitchen trying to find an ingredient or racing to mince garlic while butter is burning in the pan.
2. Read the recipe all the way through. This one may seem like common sense but sometimes I'm guilty of getting ahead of myself on this one. Reading the recipe once or twice is so important when cooking or baking anything. I'm totally guilty of missing a step because I completely read over it or when you realize the butter you just pulled from the fridge is supposed to be at room temperature.
3. Invest in sharp knives. I'm fortunate enough to be married to a Cutco knife legend - so we have knives for days, literally. There's nothing more frustrating then a dull knife that can't get the job done.
4. Seasoning. We have a well stocked spice and seasoning cabinet, but if you don't cook often that wouldn't make sense for you. The most important seasoning to have is some kosher salt and a pepper mill. Tip: Season your food at the beginning of the cooking process because if you wait to do it at the end your food will just become salty.
5. Make sure to give the pan enough time for the oil to preheat. I get super antsy with this step but it's so crucial for getting a good sear or crust on your food. To know if the pan is hot or not, I usually flick some water into the pan with oil, if it sizzles then I know the pan is ready.
6. Don't crowd the pan. The temperature drops when you crowd a pan too much, which will steam your food and take longer to cook.
7. Pump the breaks on stirring. When you're constantly stirring and flipping your food, you're not letting it do it's thing. I always have to resist the urge to stir.