G…uest #19: Ways to Easily Improve Your Cooking Skills

Please meet Christy Birmingham Freelance Writer and Author from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada @ When Women Inspire
When you imagine improving your cooking abilities, you may feel overwhelmed with the seemingly daunting task. I am nodding as up until about a few years ago I often felt less than adequate in the kitchen. Here are some pointers to help you navigate more easily and efficiently around the kitchen.

Christy

You Are Not Alone

A great start to improving your cooking skills is by realizing that you are not alone in your apprehension towards the task. Not everyone is born with a love of cooking or an ease for kitchen-related tasks. Feeling ashamed of your cooking skills only limits your ability to improve them. You will feel less afraid and more open to learning new culinary techniques when you realize that not every adult is a deluxe chef. No one can be perfect at everything, including being a cook.

Create a Cookbook

Add a building block to the seed of self-confidence by grabbing a blank notebook to devote to your time in the kitchen. Write down the dishes that you have previously prepared on your own. These dishes can be breakfast, lunch, or dinner items. Write down the title and, if you wish, include notes underneath explaining how to make each dish. Notes are optional but serve as great references to jog your memory if you want to make the dish again, and you have not prepared it for some time. Simply grab your notebook and start cooking!
Creating a personal cookbook will also likely reveal that you are capable of creating more dishes than you realized! Make your notebook personalized and fun. My notebook, for example, is covered with M&M character patterns as I collect M&M memorabilia. The personal touch of the book makes you more likely to turn to it in the kitchen and continue to be enthused to cook.

Be a Helper

Another great way to improve your skills is to help someone whose cooking abilities you admire. No, I am not referring to Martha Stewart here, but instead to someone you actually know well (unless, of course, you are friends with Martha). Said person could be a parent, sibling, friend, or another acquaintance. Think back to meal invites and whose foods or techniques you enjoyed. Ask that person to make a meal together as a way to strengthen your independence and confidence.
Do not be embarrassed to approach him or her. Remember that person started out where you are now, searching for tried and true cooking techniques. Your contact person will likely be flattered by your request. Offer to buy the ingredients as an extra way to get him or her on board. When I asked my mom to help her make dinners, she said she appreciated the assistance and found dinner was prepared more quickly with the extra set of hands. Your contact person will likely also appreciate your help.
Plan to meet regularly each week, if schedules allow. Write the lessons into your daily planner and treat them as appointments you would not cancel. By writing down the sessions and conversing with your acquaintance, you will be held accountable to following through with improving your cooking skills. You will become more at ease cooking with someone else as well as cooking for more than one person.
Christy Cook Confidently
The dishes do not need to be complex four-course meals, but instead simple, affordable foods that you would be able to make on your own. By improving your basic cooking skills under close guidance, you will be able to build to more complex meals.
Build up to switching roles, with you taking the reins as lead cook and your partner becoming the helper. Reward yourself after a month of regularly scheduled cooking sessions as an incentive to keep learning new skills. A reward could include a new kitchen utensil or saucepan. The reward solidifies your achievements in the kitchen and encourages you to continue learning new skills.

Cooking Videos

Improve your skills further by watching cooking videos on websites such as YouTube. Try searching for “how to cook (insert ingredient name)” or “best cooking recipe for (insert dish name)” and you will find lengthy lists to begin your search.
Advantages of video include the ability to pause as you watch, save to view again and see procedures in motion rather than still pictures. Add the video’s recipe title and any useful notes to your personal cookbook so that you will be able to cook the dish without having to watch the entire video again.
With DVR for television (called PVR here in Canada), you can do similar tasks as on YouTube. For instance, save and pause shows while you take notes or try a technique. Multiple cooking shows can be viewed on the Food Network channel and other food-oriented channels.
Although I still do not consider myself the next Rachael Ray, I can make several dishes now and have more confidence standing in front of the stove. Progress has to have a starting point, so let’s start improving your cooking skills today!

Want to Connect Further with Christy?

Find Christy Birmingham blogging about ways to enhance your life and live fully at When Women Inspire. Also, you can find her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+
Guest Bloggger

62 Comments
  • September G…uest Post Roundup | The Recipe Hunter
    Posted at 20:15h, 30 September Reply

    […] G…uest #19: Ways to Easily Improve Your Cooking Skills […]

  • dgkaye
    Posted at 12:53h, 04 September Reply

    As usual, Christy comes here bearing wise advice. These are wonderful tips for everyone, especially those who are ‘cooking challenged’. Such a treat to see beautiful Christy here. <3

    • cookandenjoyrecipes
      Posted at 13:08h, 04 September Reply

      Yes everyone can benefit from her tips and advice. I am so happy that she agreed to a Guest Post with us

    • Christy B
      Posted at 14:17h, 08 September Reply

      Thanks Debby! Let’s go have some biscotte soon with Esme and some coffee 😀

      • dgkaye
        Posted at 14:21h, 08 September Reply

        I’m in! Wish it were for real. <3

  • Christy B
    Posted at 11:02h, 04 September Reply

    Emse! There’s so many wonderful comments here! Thanks again for the great experience 🙂 Have a lovely week ahead <3

    • cookandenjoyrecipes
      Posted at 12:35h, 04 September Reply

      I am so glad you love it – anytime in future your more than welcome again

  • CAROL
    Posted at 03:41h, 04 September Reply

    Hi Christy and Esme! This is a fantastic post! I am quite a bad cook, actually I should repharse, I am getting better with cooking. Like you mentioned, there’s heaps of videos on youtube and they are so easy to watch and copy. Since having a baby, I have learnt to cook more, and with practice, comes perfection. But, I am far from perfection haha! Xx

    • cookandenjoyrecipes
      Posted at 09:45h, 04 September Reply

      Carol, please do not belittle yourself, you can cook I am sure of that! Let me know if you would be interested to do a Guest Post, no need to be food related, any topic that you will do on your blog will be great. Looking forward to hear from you.

      • CAROL
        Posted at 13:42h, 06 September Reply

        Hi there! Oh thats a wonderful idea! I’ve never gone any guest posts and would definitely be interested! Let me think about what to write and I’ll get back to you? 🙂
        Thank you so much! I think with practice I am getting better with cooking! 😊 xx

        • cookandenjoyrecipes
          Posted at 05:09h, 09 September Reply

          Just drop me an email and sorry if I do not respond immediately as I am out of country with limited connection but I will get back to you

    • Christy B
      Posted at 10:51h, 04 September Reply

      I hear you Carol, I’ve been known to burn many dishes! I’ve been practicing though and don’t feel you’re alone ~ We’ll get there 🙂 🙂

  • Teagan R. Geneviene
    Posted at 03:20h, 04 September Reply

    Hi Esme. Thanks for a lovely joint post.
    Christy is right about the practice. And yes, it does apply to almost any craft, or even talent. I always say that I “used to be” a good cook. It’s been many years since I’ve had time, or reason to do much in the kitchen. Have a great new week. Hugs!

    • cookandenjoyrecipes
      Posted at 09:47h, 04 September Reply

      Thanks for visiting and your comment dear. I am sure you still do some cooking, as one has to eat, but how about you do a post for us, any topic. Let me know if you would be interested. Thanks in advance for considering.

      • Teagan R. Geneviene
        Posted at 11:55h, 04 September Reply

        Oh my! Esme, I’d be honored, but I’m not sure what I could do. What if I worked a short story into it? How does that sound? Hugs.

        • cookandenjoyrecipes
          Posted at 12:08h, 04 September Reply

          That will be just awesome – as mentioned before, no need to be a food related post. Just drop me an email @ [email protected] then I can answer any questions you may have and I can send you the invite. Looking forward to this collaboration

      • Teagan R. Geneviene
        Posted at 14:21h, 04 September Reply

        Okay — sending to you from my Yahoo email. 🙂

    • Christy B
      Posted at 10:53h, 04 September Reply

      Hi Teagan, I’m sure it’s like a bicycle where it comes back to you once you’re in the cooking spirit again 😉 May your Labor Day Monday be brilliant xx Esme is kind to host me here and so nice to see you visit!

  • shehannemoore
    Posted at 15:06h, 03 September Reply

    The amazing Christy xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    • cookandenjoyrecipes
      Posted at 16:38h, 03 September Reply

      Thank you for visiting again and enjoying this Guest post. Just love it to have so many awesome blogging friends willing to share their stories here with us. ♥

    • Christy B
      Posted at 10:55h, 04 September Reply

      And YOU are amazing to stop by to support me and Esme, Shey!! xo

  • Sue Dreamwalker
    Posted at 12:40h, 03 September Reply

    Wonderful post Esme from Christy, Thank you Christy for sharing those tips.. Nothing like learning cooking skills from others you admire.. I learnt a lot from my Mother and Gran in the baking dept.. and Hope to pass it along to my Granddaughter 🙂

    • cookandenjoyrecipes
      Posted at 16:41h, 03 September Reply

      Thanks for visiting Sue Dreamwalker. Seems like I may have just landed another blogger who I would love to know if you may be interested to share some of what you learn from your mother and Gran in the baking department. Please let me know if you would be interested to Guest Post with us. Looking forward to hear from you

      • Sue Dreamwalker
        Posted at 04:35h, 04 September Reply

        Thank you Esme.. You have invited me.. and I so thank you.. And I have the link in which to do so, so thank you my friend.. And promise one will be forthcoming at some point.. 🙂 Love and many thanks..
        Christy is a long time blogging friend, so was very happy to see her here.. <3 🙂 Sue

        • cookandenjoyrecipes
          Posted at 09:44h, 04 September Reply

          Awesome – looking forward to your contribution. Just drop me an email once done with the images and approval to use a pic of you which I ask that you also email me, and approval to link to your blog. Take care and happy long weekend, should you have one as we do.

          • Sue Dreamwalker
            Posted at 07:46h, 06 September

            Many thanks Esme, and will be sure to do that, and a Happy Weekend to you also.. 🙂

          • cookandenjoyrecipes
            Posted at 08:49h, 06 September

            Perfect dear, no rush whenever you cqn, just drop me a note and we will get your post out there. 🍾🍾

          • Sue Dreamwalker
            Posted at 06:26h, 07 September

            Will do and thank you again 🙂

          • cookandenjoyrecipes
            Posted at 13:41h, 09 September

            🌹🌹

          • cookandenjoyrecipes
            Posted at 13:59h, 09 September

            Perfect

    • Christy B
      Posted at 10:59h, 04 September Reply

      I love the idea of passing down family recipes, Sue, and so glad you agree xx Lovely to see you and please do feel free to take Esme up on her guest posting offer here. Hugs!

      • Sue Dreamwalker
        Posted at 07:34h, 06 September Reply

        I will be sure too, in a little while.. 🙂 And good to see your lovely contribution.. <3

  • Marje @ Kyrosmagica
    Posted at 11:29h, 03 September Reply

    Sometimes simple cooking can really be wonderful too and having a good friend to cook with sounds awesome. My cooking heroine has always been my mum. She’s a fabulous cook, nobody can compare to her when it comes to asian cooking (she’s from Malaysia) but she can also make a very tasty shepherd’s pie and trifle!

    • cookandenjoyrecipes
      Posted at 16:45h, 03 September Reply

      Hi Marje – Thank you very much for visiting and your beautiful comment. Would you like to share some of your own stories or from your heroine’s fabulous Asian cooking with us. No need to be food related, anything topic will be awesome. Please let me know, as I am interested to do a Guest Post with you as well.

      • Marje @ Kyrosmagica
        Posted at 23:27h, 03 September Reply

        Yes I will do Esme, you’re on my list. Once I’ve caught up with everything I’ll definitely write a post for your blog about Asian cooking, looking forward to it. 🙂

        • cookandenjoyrecipes
          Posted at 09:50h, 04 September Reply

          That will be awesome. Just drop me a note when ready, no rush, then I will do the invite and you get the link to do the post direct on my blog. Take care and talk to you soon

    • Christy B
      Posted at 11:00h, 04 September Reply

      I love your words about your mom’s cooking, MJ! I love my mom’s pancakes so it’s neat to hear about your mom’s own delicious dishes 🙂

  • Christy B
    Posted at 10:22h, 03 September Reply

    Thank you again Esme. You are a wonderful host and it’s been a pleasure to come by here <3 Wishing you a great long weekend!

    • cookandenjoyrecipes
      Posted at 16:46h, 03 September Reply

      Thank you so very much for your participation and awesome post. Just love it to work together with all these inspiring bloggers. Should you ever wish to do another, feel free to just drop me a note and we can do it again. ♥

  • Christy B
    Posted at 10:21h, 03 September Reply

    Reblogged this on When Women Inspire and commented:
    Thank you Esme for having me over to her kitchen this weekend! With practice comes improvement, when it comes to cooking and other crafts. I took yesterday off for rest and rejuvenation and am doing the same today. Just wanted to share this one in the meantime. Hope you are enjoying a nice Labor/Labour Day weekend! ♥

  • blondieaka
    Posted at 08:12h, 02 September Reply

    A great post with some good tips on improving your confidence in the kitchen 🙂

    • cookandenjoyrecipes
      Posted at 08:13h, 02 September Reply

      We all need to extra confidence to test and experiment. ♥ it

    • Christy B
      Posted at 11:00h, 04 September Reply

      More confidence can lead to a whole lot of yummy dishes! Thank you 🙂 Esme is a great host!

  • RedAndGoldWeb
    Posted at 08:03h, 02 September Reply

    When teaching my now grown up daughters the life skill of cooking I used to ensure they started with very simple recipes and built their confidence from there. There’s certainly no shame in learning how to poach an egg before you learn how to do more complex meals.

    • cookandenjoyrecipes
      Posted at 08:09h, 02 September Reply

      Thank you so much for stopping here and visiting. Yes, teach them young and they will not be hesitant to test and create in future. I have done the same with our daughter and son and although I saw so myself, both turned out to be wonderful cooks for their own families.

    • Christy B
      Posted at 11:01h, 04 September Reply

      YES! Start small and simple. Actually eggs took me a long time to master! It looks easy but not so much in my experience 😉 Thanks for being here!

  • Osyth
    Posted at 06:35h, 02 September Reply

    What a brilliant post! Such excellent tips for anyone and certainly for someone wanting to improve

    • cookandenjoyrecipes
      Posted at 07:01h, 02 September Reply

      Thanks for hopping over and enjoying this awesome post by Christy.

    • Christy B
      Posted at 11:02h, 04 September Reply

      So nice of you to say that 🙂 Esme’s blog is one that supports for sure!

  • Mr. Militant Negro
    Posted at 20:08h, 28 August Reply

    Reblogged this on The Militant Negro™.

Post A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: