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Old 02-11-2006, 08:32 PM   #11
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Don't listen to people who say "you HAVE to do it this way" or "you ALWAYS need to do this when cooking x". Cooking is an art and while there are a lot of "rules" there are times when they can be broken. Experiment. What works for one person may not work from you and vise versa. Let your own experiences be your guide. If something works for you then go with it.
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Old 02-11-2006, 09:23 PM   #12
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This is quickly going to be a frequently visited topic for me! I look forward to the excellent advice. Kudos for starting the topic! I'd give karma, but t'aint working right now, at least for me.

Constance, my dear, you are a wealth of knowledge just looking for an avenue to provide your expertise to any and all who will listen! Keep it up! I look forward to your posts!

GB and the others have wonderful advice as well. Don't want to leave them out!
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Old 02-11-2006, 10:25 PM   #13
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I always prepare as much as I can before hand - prepare and measure out ingredients, get pans out, etc. I usesd to do this only when I had company, but since the birth of my son, dinnertime is his fussy time - therefore, if I want to cook dinner, it needs to be with him on my hip - everything is done except for the cooking while he is napping. Makes things much easier and faster.
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Old 02-12-2006, 08:04 AM   #14
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That sounds corny....

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdswife
You start a lot of good topics!

My favorite hint is .... HAVE FUN... if you don't like what you're doing

it won't taste as good. Also add a tablespoon of LOVE to everything you cook! : )
....but truer words were never spoken. It not only applies to cooking, either. Thanks for the reminder.
For cooking tips, keep your knives very sharp to help prevent accidents. I think more people cut themselves with dull knives.
My wife and I both work. So, many times on Sunday we prepare the main course for several meals. It makes dinner much easier during the week.
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Old 02-12-2006, 08:47 AM   #15
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My number one tip is "make it with love". If you don't use this special ingredient it won't come out as good. Secondly, use simplicity and foods you like but always keep an open mind to try new ones.
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Old 02-12-2006, 11:36 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michelemarie
...since the birth of my son, dinnertime is his fussy time - therefore, if I want to cook dinner, it needs to be with him on my hip...
That brings back memories, Michele. I cannot count the meals I ate with a baby on the breast. Do they still make those little wind-up swings? My little ones loved them.
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Old 02-12-2006, 04:06 PM   #17
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Funny Constance, I nursed my son until he was a year old - when he was little, I planned dinner around nursing - so I could eat! I would lay him on a boppy (a fancy name for a hard pillow for babies) on my lap and he would nurse and I would eat - usually the only meal of the day! Normal babies like the swing, he didn't. He is now 19 months old but still very fussy at dinner time. So now I hold him in a sling while I prepare dinner. His favorite thing to do is play in the plastic play kitchen and cook on the stovetop with plastic pans and food! Future chef maybe?
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Old 02-12-2006, 06:22 PM   #18
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I will have to agree and repeat mise en place - it can be crucial to the outcome of a dish. Note in the recipe those things that can be added at the same time and just throw them in one dish if possible.

Not so much a tip but an observation - most recipes with a big, huge list of ingredients usually aren't that bad. Most times it's a lot of spices/herbs, etc.

Cook something beyond what you think your knowledge is - you'll find out just how smart you are!!!
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Old 02-12-2006, 07:14 PM   #19
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If you can make a big batch of things like beans,spaghetti sauce,soup,chicken wings and so on and freeze them that way you can have an almost instant meal when you really dont feel like cooking.There are alot of things that freeze well.Its a life saver for me as I live 45 miles from the nearest town and the food isn't that great anyway so there isn't going to be any take out,eating out or delivery out here.
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Old 02-12-2006, 07:17 PM   #20
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I didn't see it mentioned before, but consider it very important - start with an empty dishwasher. It keeps everything so much neater and better organized to stash the dishes as soon as it is finished. Also have as much chopping, shredding, etc as possible done before starting to cook. Cooking goes much more smoothly if you don't have to stop and chop.
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