I’ve wanted to write about cooking tips for housewives for quite a while, and I never really got around to it. But since it’s a lazy Saturday, my beau is at work, and the kitten is finally asleep, I feel now’s the time!
A short intro: when I moved in with my fiancé, I could cook exactly three meals: eggs in all shapes and forms, home-made pizza, and cheese pie. It’s fair to say I could have benefited from some cooking tips and tricks. But alas, I ended up having to learn it all from scratch, via trial and error, much like when it comes to healthy eating.
But you don’t have to, if you follow these completely random, tried-and-tested tips!
Simple Cooking Tips for Beginners
Tip #1: Don’t go out of your depth.
If you’ve never cooked anything in your life but instant noodles, know your limits. It’s okay to start with a simple omelette, a nice sandwich, or a rice+cinnamon dessert. For the first few weeks, I had numerous “meals” go to waste because I felt that as long as I follow the recipe, it has to turn out right. But if you don’t know some of the basic cooking tips and techniques, it might not.
Tip #2: Always use fresh champignon for your pizza.
For those of you who are like “duh”, well done! But if you’re a bit lazy like me, you may go into a smaller store and not find fresh ones. And if you don’t, go look for them elsewhere. What I did on one such occasion was buy marinated ones, thinking it’ll be A-okay. The very next day, I ended up vomiting every 20 minutes until they were completely gone from my system (and no, it wasn’t morning sickness yet). My fiancé didn’t react that way, and you might not either, but why not stay on the safe side if you can?
Tip #3: Always marinate chicken.
One of the first cooking tips for meat worth learning is – chicken that’s not marinated will undeniably end up being dry and tasteless. No matter how many spices you add, it won’t compensate for the lack of marinade. There are so many different ones you can try – yoghurt and curry, red wine and honey (my personal favorite), and it’s almost always the stuff most of us have at home. You can start your transition into a pro chef by making quick meals with chicken – simply marinate it, cut some potatoes, put it into the oven, make a salad and voila – you’ve got yourself a proper meal!
Tip #4: Keep water in your mouth when cutting onions.
If you’ve heard this one and labelled it as dumb, trust me – it’s far from it! It’s one of the best cooking tips and tricks for beginners out there. I have to admit, I never actually bothered to check the science behind it, nor why, for me at least, it works better with red onion than it does with the regular one. The only thing that matters is that it does work. Simply fill your mouth with as much water as you can, start cutting, and you’ll either feel no pain at all or just traces of it. Extra cooking tips for housewives: be sure to do it BEFORE you start cutting, or it may not have a desired effect!
Tip #5: Use a toothpick to check if a meal is ready.
I struggled so long with half-cooked meals because I could never tell if they were done on the inside. It turns out that a toothpick is all you need. Simply stick it all the way in, and if you can see pieces of dough on it, it means it’s not cooked yet. It’s that easy!
What’s a good quick meal to cook?
The next segment will be all about quick meals you can make when you either don’t have time to cook, or you’re just too lazy for it (personally, I’m baking frozen lasagna today because it’s just that kind of day).
Tip #6: Homemade tagliatelle is super easy to make, and so much tastier.
All you’ll need is 200g of flour, two eggs, half a teaspoon of salt, a tablespoon of oil, and yeast. Make a hole in the flour, add other ingredients, mix and add flour/oil if necessary until the mix is hard and in one piece. Then separate it into smaller parts, take out a rolling pin, add flour so it doesn’t stick, and start rolling. Once it’s thin enough, cut it into strips, add to boiling water with a bit of oil and salt, cook until it’s soft, and voila – that’s all the cooking tips and tricks you need for tagliatelle! I love making it with white sauce and chicken, and I always make sure to add some basil to it.
Learn how to cook like a pro with Chef & Dish. 45-minute 1-1 online sessions with top cooks will have your family and friends asking for seconds and thirds every time!
Tip #7: Buy yourself a pizza pan.
Though its title may be misleading, you can make quite a few very quick meals in it. If you are making pizza, you need to make sure you get the recipe created for this special pan. It needs to be pizza with a thin crust because this type of pan simply can’t heat itself enough for a deep-dish pizza. Trust me, I tried and ended up throwing away two of them during my first week here. If you’re short on time, making meals like risotto or paella in this type of pan is insanely quick. Some more cooking tricks and tips: always go for risotto recipes that include grated cheese, and you’ll love the result!
Tip #8: Never make pancakes in a pancake pan with designated holes.
If you have the one that lets you easily cook pancakes from both sides, good for you! However, that still means you’re making one at a time. In a simple shallow pan, the kind you use to warm tortillas in, you can make 3-4 of them at the same time, and they’ll be so tasty! Whichever recipe you go for, though, make sure it says to separate egg whites and egg yolks for that puffy result. Now, why am I ending this with cooking tricks for pancakes?
Because I bought one of those special pans, and it was horror.
No matter how much or how little I poured into those holes, turning the pancakes around was mission impossible. The dough stuck everywhere, every pancake was somehow undercooked and overcooked at the same time… But as soon as I moved to the most regular pan ever, I was able to make them into a great breakfast. And the final on my first list of cooking tips for housewives: try making neutral pancakes as well, aka don’t add sugar to them. We’re all used to eating them with maple syrup, fruits, and chocolate cream, but eating them with some sausages can give a whole new dimension to your Sunday breakfast.
Final Words of Wisdom
If you’re feeling frustrated over not being a pro in the kitchen yet, trust me when I say – it’s a process! Not only will you have to go through some bad meals to get to the good ones, but your partner will likely hit you with all those “I don’t like this” and “I prefer that”s.
One of the most important cooking tips for housewives I can give you is – have patience! Look for simple recipes in the beginning until you get the hang of it, and when you notice you don’t need to measure oil and spices anymore, you’ll know you’re ready for bigger challenges. Oh, and if you need motivation cleaning up afterwards – thank me later!