Here are top tips for diving into home cooking – The Argonaut

Living away from home for the first time as a college student can result in a mixture of excitement, nerves, and anticipation as students find themselves responsible for taking care of themselves day in and day out without the help of a parent or guardian.

Learning how to cook and how to properly use the kitchen to prepare your own meals as a break from the Domino’s kitchen or cafeteria can be one of the toughest transitions into adulthood.

Here are the top five no-order tips for home cooking in your Wallace condo or off-campus apartment.

Tip #1

clean as you go

One of the biggest mistakes and one of the hardest habits to break when learning how to use the kitchen is not cleaning dishes, ingredients, and utensils during the cooking process. It can be easy to forget those extra utensils on the sink, cutting boards, or leftover ingredients on the counter until you’ve finished your meal and left an hour to clean. If you put foods you no longer use in the fridge again, clear a counter or two and move dishes to the sink when you’re done with your errands, you’ll have an easy-to-manage workspace to clean.

Tip #2

Buy in bulk

Although it can be tempting to buy discounted single-use ingredients for pantry and snack items, it’s worth buying groceries in bulk whenever possible. By purchasing multiple items of healthy everyday ingredients to eat throughout the week, you can encourage yourself to prepare your own meals from home and spend less money. Additionally, it is often cheaper in the long run to purchase multiple items at a group price than to purchase multiple individual items for the same item over time.

Tip #3

Invest in quality utensils

One of the most frustrating things that can happen when preparing your own meals is to delve into the recipe and realize that you don’t have the right tool or tool to achieve the best results. To avoid this, and have a large set of tools that will last for years, be sure to get a variety of spoons, spatulas, tongs, can and bottle openers, bowls, plates, cups, silverware, knives, and pots/pans. You will open yourself up to a larger world of recipes by providing reliable and versatile tools for all kinds of different dishes. Plus, if you invest in reliable, high-quality brands, you’ll have these tools for years without worrying about replacement or damage.

Tip No. 4

Buy fresh produce when possible

I know, I know, the last thing you want to do when you start cooking for yourself is ask someone to eat your vegetables. However, it is very likely that the food you may purchase from on-campus stations or fast food restaurants / sit-down restaurants is not the healthiest or most balanced. To get a variety of nutrients into your dishes and diet, test the taste of the product you enjoy eating (your taste buds can always change!), and make sure you stock up on it in your fridge for everything from quick snacks to adding to the fridge. A more complex dish. Having a tomato or two, cucumber, green salad or fruit mixture on hand will inspire you to have a more balanced and fresh diet and find ways to incorporate these foods into your home-cooked dishes. You can experiment with making fresh salads, roasting vegetables, blending smoothies, or finding new creative ways to fry, steam or bake as you wish.

Tip No. 5

Spices, seasonings, seasonings

One of my initial cooking experiences during my first night alone in college led to me making a bowl of ramen only to realize I didn’t have garlic powder, onion powder, or paprika on hand. Spices and seasonings are essential to preparing a delicious dish, and we often take them for granted in our home kitchens. For a start, I recommend taking salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, Italian seasoning, sesame seeds, and chili powder at all times. You can adjust it according to your flavor platform and keep adding depending on what you end up cooking most often. Other flavors and ingredients that can add some flair to your dishes include ginger, soy sauce, Tabasco, sriracha, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, butter, milk, cream, and a variety of cooking oils. These ingredients can serve as the basis for the dish, or add some pizzazz to the final product. Keep these on hand and never be too cute!

These are just five cooking tips that have come in handy as I transitioned from living in a Wallace condo to a four-person LLC to my off-campus apartment with a full kitchen. No matter how much space or how many appliances you have, these tips are useful to keep in mind as you enter the world of home cooking.

The featured image in this story has been updated to comply with copyright and ethical laws.

Katarina Hockema can be reached at [email protected]

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