Here’s a secret: the joke about “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” is actually not a joke – and the longer I’m married the more I realize it. There is an invisible tube that connects the stomach to his heart. I’m sure of it.
Frankly, who doesn’t love a good cook? Cooking a scrumpt-diddily-umptious meal is one of the biggest blessings you can drop on anyone! Every woman, and I repeat, every woman should learn how to be a good cook. It’s actually not that hard and at the end of this post I’m going to tell you the BIGGEST secret on how to be the BEST cook in the world!
Let me tell you a little sob story from my past. About 16 years ago I was seriously crushing on a super hot, soccer player who was in my grad program. (The type of crush that lasts for four years, which was probably more of an infatuation verging on the edge of obsession!) We had some of that “he showed interest /slash/ I didn’t know what to do with myself-nonsense”, so I unintentionally shot him down. (All in God’s plan, mind you.)
After a couple years of just “hanging out” and nothing developing, one day he asked me, “So my brothers think I should go out with this other girl …. she’s really nice; she invited me over for dinner. What should I do?” Guess who won the man? The other girl who knew how to cook, of course. And it was not me. I did not know how to cook anything besides chicken to top on a salad, and no man wants to eat that for the rest of his life!!
After getting over being devastated, I learned my lesson. When my future husband started hanging around and asking me out on dates, what did I do? (I really wanted this guy and was NOT going to lose this time). I had a strategy: “O you poor starving seminary student, working so hard to study to be used by God….thank you…. would you like to come over for dinner? (Hook) After dinner: “I made a couple lunches for you to take to school in these tupperwares. (Line) When you’re done eating them just give them back to me and I will refill them. (Sinker – BAM, and that’s how I won the man!!!!)
Let me tell you, these were not the best meals in the world, but they were definitely a step up from the heads of lettuce (not even cut up), and cans of tuna he was dumping on top to eat. That story ends with ME walking down the aisle.
Now that you’re amped up to learn how to cook, let me give you 10 common mistakes kitchen newbies make so you can win those stomachs, I mean men, over!!
Here are some serious DON’Ts you might be committing:
10. Wait to the end to clean spills. Instead, clean as you go. Have a wet wipe cloth ready and swipe as you spill. A wet dribble is 10 times faster and easier to erase than a crusty hard one.
9. Make assumptions about your ingredients. In other words, not all: butter is unsalted, eggs are large, flour is unbleached and all-purpose, salt is table salt, pepper is black and freshly ground.
8. Improperly cut foods. They are prone to over or under cook. Google images of minced, chopped fine, chopped coarse, cut into chunks, etc. so you know how big or small to slice your ingredients.
7. Forget to read the whole recipe. This is a simple step, but can be disastrous if you realize after you’ve started cooking that you’re missing an ingredient.
6. Fail to prepare. Cooking goes a lot faster and better if you organize your gear and prep your ingredients. You’re prone to make less mistakes if everything is ready…especially if you are multitasking on dishes.
5. Forget to monitor the dish as it cooks. Ovens and stoves can cook at different temps so cooking times are not exactly the same for every kitchen. Make sure you’re checking to see if it’s cooked enough or to guard against overcooking!
4. Use the same oil for everything. Know your cooking oils. Oils have different burning temps. Some, like olive oil, burn and get denatured at medium high temps. Know what temperature your oils burn despite what recipes says. (See the chart on What’s a Smoke Point and Why Does it Matter?)
3. Use the same measuring utensils for dry and liquid ingredients. There is a difference between wet and dry measurements. If the recipe calls for 4 ounces of a liquid, use a liquid measuring cup. If it calls for 4 ounces of a dry ingredient, use your scale. Liquid measuring cups spill less when using wet ingredients than dry measuring cups.
2. Just scoop dry ingredients with a measuring cup shake off the excess and hope it’s “good.” Instead, dip your measuring cup into the ingredient and sweep away the excess with a straight edge like a chop stick or spatula.
1. Eyeball liquid measurements from above the cup. Stop being lazy and place the cup on a flat surface, then bend down to read it at eye level. Better yet do a repetition of 15 squats and check off exercise for the day!
Now to that SECRET to being a Super Good Cook: Learn all the details of what your eater likes, their favorite meal, and the specifics of how they like it. When they eat it, they will think you are THE best, most amazing cook in the world. It works for me every time–I guarantee it.
Please Share: What has been your biggest kitchen mishap?