Cooking and eating just isn't the same today as it was for previous generations. Over the last century, cooking changed from something that focused on family and nourishment to convenience and time efficiency. Family meals used to be a time to congregate and chat about the highs and lows of the day. They used to be about sharing wholesome, nourishing food that was made from scratch. Somehow, these traditional mealtimes have faded. It seems that fewer adults know how to cook and even fewer families sit down together regularly to break bread. What happened?
There are so many causes for this shift in family mealtime: the necessity of two-income households, the convenience of processed and fast food options, and 24/7 technology - to name a few. An interesting byproduct of the 2020 Covid-19 crisis is that suddenly, families were at home more. We saw an influx of home cooking and baking - it was a culinary renaissance! However, there was and still is a large population of people who yearn to cook but have no idea what to do in the kitchen. If this is you or if you know someone who faces this issue, this blog is for you!
When I started Trendgredient, my goal was to make cooking and meal-planning easy and approachable. I wanted to introduce the basic foundation of food preparation: essential tools, fresh ingredients, and basic cooking techniques. This, my friend, is where you can start. Let's jump into the culinary world together! I will hold your hand while you venture out of the unhealthy world of processed and fast food and jump into the world of delicious, nutritious food that makes your family want to congregate at the dinner table.
How to Get Started
When I began researching for my blog, my main focus was connecting with people who don't have a whole lot of experience in the kitchen. When asked, many of my readers responded that the most daunting thing about learning to cook is knowing HOW to start.
Tips For Success When Learning to Cook
Cooking does not have to be a scary thing. Just like any skill, there are several things to take into consideration as you begin the learning process. Here are some words of advice I wish I had when I started cooking.
Cooking is a learning process.
Learning to cook is NOT going to happen overnight. Also, you will make mistakes! The key is to keep working hard and do not give up. The more you practice, the more comfortable, confident, and successful you will be. You will begin to learn what flavors go well together. Texture will be taken into consideration. You will even know what ingredient to add to kick your dish up a notch. Food will begin to taste different and you will find yourself thinking about how a squirt of lime juice or a dash of red pepper flakes might improve the dish you are eating. When you know how to cook, the world of food takes on a very different role in your life.
Cooking is easier when you are equipped with a few key items.
Here is my Expert Guide: 9 Tools For A Well-Equipped Kitchen. I have done all the research for you. This article contains what I consider to be the most important kitchen tools for a beginner's kitchen, why each tool is necessary, and a link to purchase each item. The best part – you can furnish your kitchen with ALL of the items on the list and it will cost under $200! This list will take the guesswork out of what you need to purchase. Once you have most of the items on the list, you are good to go!
All cooks begin by learning some Back Pocket Recipes.
What is a Back Pocket Recipe? It is a standby recipe - a recipe for every occasion. It is an easy, delicious recipe that you can make and serve to other people at any given time. My very first Back Pocket Recipe was my Easy Caprese Pasta Salad. It is so simple and delicious and it is always a hit at a potluck or holiday gathering. As I continued learning to cook, my list of Back Pocket Recipes grew. Yours will, too!
Know where to research and read the recipe first!
I think it is important to know that not all recipes on Pinterest are high quality. I have stumbled upon some very questionable recipes on Pinterest in the past. Some recipes contain very poor ingredient measurements (especially when baking!) and vague instructions. You want to READ every recipe before you buy the ingredients.
I also think it is very important to vet the blogs and websites you use as you learn to cook. Watch out for blogs that are poorly written, sloppy, and have less than appetizing photography. A picture is worth a thousand words. Finding a website that has been built properly with the home cook in mind will save you a thousand headaches.
You're Ready - Let's Do This!
Let's go! Let's embark on this journey together! I'm ready for your questions and comments. I want to know how you are doing. Tell me what challenges you are facing and I can help you come up with solutions. Tell me about your biggest successes in the kitchen and I promise, I will be your biggest cheerleader! I can't wait to see how you progress. You've got this!