Cooking Basics to Help You Relax and Enjoy

Cooking is and should be enjoyable. With today’s economy people are eating at home more and learning ways to create their favorite meals and save money.

Cutting back on your food budget and saving time in the kitchen are both possible. Cooking shows on TV are a great inspiration and recipes for any type of food can be found on the Internet. The added benefit for you and your family is healthier eating. You will be amazed at how much less fat and sugar you consume when eating homemade.

Owning a few basic pieces of cookware and adding to them as finances allow and skills improve will create excellent meals. The following is a list of kitchen basics that are a good start and very versatile. When you have the right equipment, cooking becomes less challenging and more fun. An experience enjoyed by the whole family.

Pots and Pans

  • 10″ Cast Iron Fry Pan
  • 12″ Non Stick Sauté Pan with lid. Sauté pans have straight sides as opposed to the sloping sides of fry pans.
  • Sauce Pan with lid – 1 and 3 quart Stainless Steel
  • Cast Iron Dutch Oven – 6 or 8 quart with lid
  • Large Stock Pot
  • Large Clay Baker for Turkey, Chicken and Roast Beef
  • Baking sheets – 1 cookie sheet and 1 jelly roll pan with turned up edges.
  • Cake Pans – 1 8″ square, 2 round, 1 13″x19″ rectangular baking pan
  • Cooling Rack
  • Casserole Dishes – 2 or 3 ranging in size from 1 1/2 quart to 3 quart

Cutlery

  • Chef’s Knife – great all-purpose knife for all kinds of chopping and slicing
  • Bread Knife – serrated edge knife
  • Paring Knife – a shorter knife of 3 to 5 inches

Kitchen Tools

  • Digital Instant Thermometer – essential for grilling and oven roasting
  • Tongs – short and long
  • Whisk – 1 small and 1 large
  • Turners – 1 or 2
  • Measuring cups for both dry and wet ingredients
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Pastry Blender – this U shaped device is used for cutting butter into flour

When it comes to herbs and spices remember less is more for the novice cook. Always start out with a small amount, whether it is pepper, garlic, or cinnamon. You can always correct the seasoning right before serving or next time you make the recipe. But, you don’t want to ruin your meal with an overly seasoned dish.

When preparing recipes, remember that most recipes are not an exact science. Take chances, experiment, try new foods and substitute. Just because the recipe calls for beef doesn’t mean you can’t use chicken. If you don’t have fresh tomatoes use canned. The regular grocery store has hundreds of items that can make your meals special and healthier.

If you have questions while cooking, hop on-line, there is a plethora of knowledge and recipes available all over the web. Begin right at home by asking friends what they would do in a certain situation. Most cooks love what they are doing and are more than happy to help and share their creativity!! Bon Appétit!