5 Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Started Cooking

I used to not cook much at all, but lately I really been trying to get better. I still make mistakes (as evidenced by the takeout ordered yesterday after a falafel experiment), but I can share some tips on what to avoid!

1. Read the recipe the whole way through and carefully. Don't just check for time, pans, and ingredients! I messed this one up by not setting a side of mushrooms, and instead letting them cook through another 45 minutes. I killed those beautiful, happy mushrooms. 

This is just a pretty picture I took, not related to this post

2. The recipe is a suggestion, not an order. I used to be so careful to 100% follow a recipe...I wouldn't want to change any detail of it! Now, I realize it's more of a "base" and I can add/season it differently. For example, I usually add in more garlic and onions than the average person (and yes, my breath is amazing). 

3. Just because a recipe exists does not mean it's good. I'm convinced that about half the recipes on healthy eating blogs are never actually eaten by human people. Now, I check food.com and other sources that have crowd-sourced ratings. 

4. Never leave the kitchen while cooking. I know it gets super boring, but food burns when you're watching The Office and lose track of time. Instead, bring your entertainment (music? tv?) into the kitchen. BOOM.

5. Demand feedback. This is a tough one, but important. If someone made you a dinner, would you tell them if it was terrible? Probably not. So...you see why it is important to ask for feedback. First, ask yourself what could have done better (should you have used more or less of one ingredient? more/less cooking time)? Then, ask your friends and family. Then, write it down! You really won't remember when you pull out the recipe next (even if you think you will).

What are your tips? What stepped up your cooking game?