3 Easy Steps To Being a Better Cook

_MG_5594One of my most grateful experiences in life is that I'm surrounded by home cooks, single people who don't cook and non-foodies who aren't hip on the latest food trends. While I'm in the food business and think about food all day, it's refreshing to be surrounded by people who can honestly give less of a shit about a sauce reduction or what grape we're drinking. That said, it is also great r&d, as I get to see how every day people cook and eat at home. Here, I've compiled small, but effective cooking suggestions to institute immediately in your kitchen. They may seem innocuous, but they're game changers, I promise. Hit me with q's in the comments, if so inclined. oxo amyp

1. Blend, Baby. Blend. - When a recipe calls for you to put "x" amount of dry or wet ingredients in a bowl - blend them. So if you're making oatmeal cookies and  you have flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl, stir them once or twice before adding other ingredients. This ensures your final dish will be well-blended and steers you clear from missteps like eating an entire clump of baking soda in your cookie bite.

2. Buy a Flexible Rubber Spatula - Use a rubber spatula when transferring ingredients between bowls, pots, etc. A flexible rubber spatula expertly scrapes down the sides of cooking equipment and allows for alllllllll of the ingredients to be captured. I have watched countless home cooks leave behind 1/4 cup or more of batter, dough or fillings - not good. The expression "lick the bowl" does not exist in my kitchen, nor will anyone be licking batter from beaters anytime soon. I know, I know….bah humbug.

3. Calibrate & Preheat Your Oven - When a recipe tells you to preheat the oven, you must preheat the oven. And while we're at it, you should most definitely pick up a (cheap) oven thermometer next time you're at the grocery. They are less than $5 and a fabulous investment allowing you to gauge the actual temperature your oven heats to. Often, home ovens are off a few degrees and with the aid of a thermometer, you can make allowances (up or down) to bake at appropriate temperature called for.