There are only a handful of people I know who say, without hesitation, “I’m a chef”. I tend to just think of myself as the cook of the house and I know that what I put together for parties and dinners isn’t magic. It’s actually pretty easy if you know what you’re doing. Here are some of the tips and advice that I have to repeat to myself every so often:
#1 Don’t feel guilty
Not everything you make has to be 150% from scratch. You’re cooking. You’re making it as best you can. That’s as close to “homemade” as I think anything needs to be. You can use canned vegetables. It’s not cheating. You can use a pre-made spice or mix package. It’s okay. Don’t put crazy expectations on yourself so that you feel guilty and like you haven’t done right if you use some shortcuts that tend to make your cooking taste better or just as good anyway.
#2 Give yourself time
There’s nothing worse than rushing around the kitchen trying to make sure 5 different things aren’t about to burn. As hard as it sometimes is, try to give yourself more than enough time to make everything you want. A good way to make this happen, even if you know you only have 30 minutes to make dinner, is to do prep cooking. Anything you can do the night before and just stick in the fridge will be a godsend of at least 20 minutes the next day. That’s how the professional chefs do it, though they generally have some low-paid interns do their prep work.
#3 Try new things
Don’t be afraid to innovate on recipes, even if it’s out of necessity. I will never forget one morning when I was making breakfast I went to go make some biscuits only to find that my milk had gone sour. I decided to try out using some leftover ricotta cheese instead and, man, those biscuits were tasty! It’s only food. If it doesn’t work you can just throw it away or give it to the dog. Ordering pizza is always an option.
Author Bio: Gina Vasselli is a professional writer on a number of topics, from travel and golf, to the best way to cook canned vegetables.