Simple ways of preparing dinner at home
Cooking is often seen as the domain of chefs only, but anyone can cook meals using simple ingredients and basic techniques. The key lies in knowing where to start and having a plan in place before you get started. Here are some simple ways of preparing dinner at home.
Plan your menu
It’s best to plan out what will be cooking ahead of time so that when it comes time to cook, you know what you need to buy or do. If you have specific ingredients planned for the night, such as tomatoes, mushrooms, chicken breasts, etc., then you won’t need to go shopping once you arrive home from work. Also, if you are planning on making a large dish like lasagna, you may want to double up on sauces, cheese, etc.
Pick an easy recipe
Don’t try to compete with MasterChef by trying to create something amazing – just stick to a simple recipe. For example, instead of doing a complicated pasta dish, make spaghetti bolognese, which uses tomato sauce and meatballs. Or instead of fancy desserts, make ice cream!
Make sure you have all the ingredients
You should always check to see that you have everything needed to cook your meal. Have spices handy, salt and pepper, oil, flour, eggs; anything else you might need.
Instead of starting big and finishing small, take things one step at a time. Having the whole meal prepared in advance means you won’t find yourself running back into town because you forgot half the spices.
Read through recipes carefully
This way you make sure that you don’t miss any important details in the instructions. Be careful not to skim too quickly though – you don’t want to waste time and end up overcooking the food.
Cook one dish at a time
If there’s only enough space in the oven for one thing, only bake that item until it’s done.
Use pans that fit inside the oven
Big roasting dishes or deep frying skillets aren’t very suitable for most people’s ovens. Opt for smaller pans and shallow dishes. They will heat things more evenly and avoid them burning, leaving you with less dishwashing to do at the end of the day.
Keep a close eye on food
When you’re cooking, keep a constant watch on how the food is progressing throughout the process. Sometimes you might even want to taste a bit of the food along the way. Knowing exactly when to stop is another great advantage of cooking in advance.
Freezing leftover food is a great way to extend the life of your groceries and prevent wasting money. Just remember to wrap each portion separately first, and label them well.
Do you think you could manage to cook dinner every evening without asking for help? Why not ask a friend or family member to bring over some ingredients, while you prepare the rest? Not only does this save you time, but also provides a chance for someone special to join in the fun.
Take it slow
Many people tend to rush through their cooking, especially if they haven’t done it before. However, rushing will usually result in bland and tasteless food. So instead, take your time and enjoy the experience of creating the perfect dish.
Wash dishes in between
While washing dishes may seem tedious, it can lead to better results. By keeping the plates separate, you’ll increase the chances of cleaning only those surfaces that need it.
Turn off appliances
Leaving the gas stove on or turning the oven on and forgetting about it is dangerous for several reasons, including fire hazards and excessive energy consumption.
People often eat late at night. But eating later than usual can cause health problems such as indigestion and heartburn. Avoid these by eating earlier.
Try new foods
There’s no point in having all the spices and equipment you need if you’re unwilling to try out different kinds of cuisines. Food blogs are full of great recommendations so try something new!
Making lists helps you plan. You’ll have an idea of what you should be making and can see whether or not you’ve got everything you need.
Cook once, freeze twice
If you can handle freezing food then why not use it to its fullest potential? It doesn’t matter if they’re not cooked yet just put them straight into the freezer. They’ll stay fresh much longer (and you’ll get to enjoy the benefits long after the season has passed!).
Cooking is one of the best ways to create wonderful meals for yourself and your loved ones. Whether you follow one of our easy recipes or prefer to improvise, we hope that these tips provide useful advice and inspire you to start experimenting in the kitchen right away.