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i like cooking (simple things usually) and i think i have a pretty good taste for good food.
i have some basic cooking tips/rules that i would like to share...
1) don't mess with the cook. lol this rule is very important. i mean if i am multi-tasking, the last thing i need is someone telling me how to do something. unless you are going to be the one cooking it...shut up please. cooks also do not need anyone bitching about all of the pots and pans we use either. so it is best to just kick everyone out of the kitchen. you should be able to enjoy cooking.
2) you have to start with a clean kitchen. clean the dishes. bleach the sink, disinfect the counter tops with soap and water. doing this makes the kitchen a more comfortable place. plus you aren't dreading any piled up dishes.
3) try to accumulate an assortment of spices over time or grow your own. growing your own is a lot cheaper. i paid about $2 for a basil plant, which grew about 4 times it's size in a matter of weeks and now i can use basil whenever i want or you can go to the store and pay about $4 for like 10 leaves that always seem to spoil within a few days.
4) when using fresh ingredients i have a few tips...especially when it comes to tomatoes. DON'T refridgerate your tomaters okay people! unless you like mushy tomatoes. the only exception is after you have already cut into it. onions don't belong in the fridge till you cut them either. also you can wrap a paper towel around cilantro and green onion or really any leafy vegetable that is damp. this will help it from spoiling so fast in the fridge.
5) always use vegetables and fruits that have a good flavor and texture. this goes for every ingredient in everything you cook. if you use an unripe tasting tomato sauce in your food...your food is going to have a sour taste. very important. do the taste test.
6) of course always wash your hands. especially after handling any raw meats.
7) watch your food cook. some people like to leave the kitchen and let stuff cook but unless it is a roast or carefully timed you run the risk of eating charcoal for dinner. my sisters favorite! lol
8) if you are really serious about cooking, don't have a tile countertop. grout is a bitch to clean.
9) don't get all crazy with the salt shaker and don't add any salt or pepper when you are angry. lol that comes from personal experience. lol you can always add salt and pepper after your dish is cooked. besides some people are sensitive to salt. nobody wants swollen ankles or super high blood pressure in the morning. lol
10) if you have time, clean the dishes or what you can, while you cook. it really makes things easier. i mean you are already in the cooking mood. just do it. who wants to do the dishes after they eat? lol
11) have your refridgerator and cupboard organized. that way you know what you have and can use it before it goes bad. it helps prevent overstocking too. my mother has like 10 bottles of red wine vinegarette in her cupboard that accumulated over time. i was like "hey are you going to open a grocery store in here?" lol
12) don't feel that you have to follow recipes exactly. if you know something will taste good added or subtracted to it, do it! experimenting makes cooking a lot easier and more exciting. sometimes i will just use the temperature and cooking times and completely ignore the rest of the recipe, doing my own thing.
13) have the garbage in an accessible location.
14) be a mad scientist in the kitchen.
15) oh and don't ever think you know it all or that you are the best because everyone has something different and great to share when it comes to cooking. you learn new things all the time. so be open to new ideas. just don't put up with any crap once you have started cooking whatever you have decided to cook. lol
some really good things to try if you haven't already.
Hutch's spicy bbq sauce
yoshido's gourmet sauce
kikkoman teryaki sauce (different flavors)
la victoria salsa brava hot sauce
mccormmick chipotle mayonnaise
mexican food like carne asada tacos, chile verde burritos, carnitas, jalapenos, albondigas(Recipe #130775), basically anything hot and spicy. hot sauce LOTS OF HOT SAUCE! yum!
soft pretzels! Recipe #45006 (these are the best!)
japanese food, sushi(i think just about every kind), teryaki foods and seaweed salad.
seafood. oysters, clams, crab, mussels, lobster, shrimp cocktails, salmon, trout, tuna, you name it...i probably like it. :)
veggies-carrots, avacodo, asparagus, greenbeans, peas, corn, potatoes,romaine, a good salad, spinach ONIONS and GARLIC! i use garlic powder on so many foods... and then there is the ones i consider veggies but i am not really sure... tomatoes, eggplants, and cucumbers...but who cares they are great to eat!
just about every fruit.