Food blogger Sinead Delahunty shares her top tips for getting busy in the kitchen, even if you have no natural cooking ability!
You don’t need to be a chef to be in a kitchen. Most people admire chefs but relate far more to home cooks and cherish the gift of being able to feed friends and family with healthy, nourishing food.
The kitchen for me is the home and heart of any house. It’s a meeting place for all, a place of nourishment and comfort. And often a location where deals are done, thoughts are thrashed out, tears are shed, secrets are cherished and ideas become masterpieces.
Food is fuel for life. The quality and type of food you like to fuel your life with is your choice. However, fueling your life through real food is a great place to start. Real food is the only food I believe anyone needs to know about. This is food based on ingredients. Wholesome ingredients like fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, herbs, spices and whole grains. These ingredients have a natural shelf-life and aren’t pumped full of preservatives.
Cooking with real food allows you to develop a sense of appreciation for flavour and ingredient combination. This may take some time to develop but that’s where practice, patience and perseverance comes into play. Cooking is a skill and, like any skill, it takes time to master.
Here are my five top tips to help you get comfortable in the kitchen:
Read the recipe in full
It may sound simple but forgetting an important ingredient or step can be the difference between delight and disaster. If you don’t understand a step or term, Google!
Read the ingredient list in full. Check your cupboard and supplies to see what you already have in stock. Make a list for the remaining ingredients. Go shopping and follow only your list. Once home, arrange your ingredients on your work space. Weighing out and preparing ingredients as instructed.
Re-read the instructions
This will refocus you on your task. Double-check that you have all the required ingredients in the correct quantities and types. Take note if an ingredient like like butter is required, does it need to be hard or softened? Does meat need to be at room temperature or do items to be whipped?
Now you’re ready to start cooking! Take your time and follow your gut instinct when it comes to cooking times and most importantly, smile and enjoy the experience. Always taste as you go to make sure your dish isn’t too sweet, spicy, salty or acidic. Remember you can always add more of any flavour to your personal preference after serving, but you can’t take out those 2 tablespoons of chilli powder!
I personally get a huge sense of accomplishment from cooking. I love trying out new recipes and sharing the creations with my family and friends. You should feel proud of your kitchen creations, enjoy the murmurs of approval and clean plates after tasting.
Sinéad Delahunty – chartered physiotherapist, gaelic footballer, food blogger and author is extremely passionate about real food! Not just the simple pleasure of eating good food, but food in all its contexts from growing fruit and vegetables at home, to tending to the hens and cattle on the family farm and now to sharing her own creations via her food blog and cookbook – DELALICIOUS. For more information visit delalicious.com