This cooking tip is not about following a recipe, adding ingredients, baking, grilling or anything else. This tip is about the most common mistake novice/beginner cooks make i.e., a tip that is the most practical lesson you will ever learn about preparing meals.
Whether cooking dinner for your family or entertaining a large group, I urge you to practice what I am suggesting here. This tip will save you time and frustration.
I would like to give you an example of why I feel this tip is number 1 in 'Cooking 101'.
I planned a 50th birthday party for my husband. Thirty people said yes to the invite. Did I ask for help? Not on your life... I wanted to do this all by myself.
Out came the recipe books, I made a list and I got to work. All in all, I had 11 items on the menu. What an undertaking!
"I can do this" I told myself. Well, I did manage to get through the day but I was not overly pleased with the outcome. The grilled ribs were not cooked to the 'falling off the bone' stage... I simply ran out of time. Three salads were waiting for last-minute ingredients, sangria was not yet finished... yikes... I'm getting tired of just thinking about it.
And there's more: I made a birthday cake that required last-minute attention. The chocolate ganache was yet to be made for pouring over the cake. I had made savory crackers with a special dip and... you guessed it... the dip was not yet made. All the last minute preparation was overwhelming. Thank goodness I had friends who were willing to help. I was in over my head!
I'll stop now because I'm sure you get the idea.
The meal was okay. Everything, kind of, got finished but I was really disappointed because it was far from perfect. I ran myself ragged and, woe is me, I cooked all day long while everybody enjoyed themselves.
Things became so over whelming, I vowed never to attempt such a huge menu ever again.
Just think about how much easier it would have been if I had a menu of:
Decadent, honey garlic ribs, a crisp green salad, baked potatoes, corn on the cob, homemade dinner buns and, of course, a cake.
I could have prepare most everything the day before and... actually... enjoyed the day.
So... the moral of the story is
Keep it simple!
If you can keep this simple idea in the forefront of your mind when cooking a family meal or cooking for a group, you will get wonderful results and enjoy cooking at the same time.
If you would like to learn more "most common cooking mistakes" people make, you can check them out here. http://sandyscookingblog.com/learn-how-to-cook-3-most-common-cooking-mistakes/