Here are three different types of tips & hints for beginners that I wish I had when I started:
1. I purchased a Wilton offset icing spreader knife from the wedding cake section of Wal-Mart (about $4.00) and use it exclusively to spread such items as mayonnaise, mustard, and peanut butter. Rather than use an ordinary table knife, which can be difficult, particularly when nearing the bottom of the jar, and messy, the icing spreader has a longer blade and handle and a broadly rounded tip, making scraping out the final bit a lot easier. And the offset blade makes spreading a snap. I find that I use it daily.
2. To turn an ordinary pork chop into something different; When turned onto the final side of frying or baking, sprinkle a tablespoon of Parmesan or other shredded firm and salty cheese onto each chop. It adds a whole new dimension to pork!
3. The secret to making superior pie crusts or making batters of all kinds, from pancake to tempura, is to use non-chlorinated ice cold water.
4. Have fun!
Never trust a skinny chef!