Adulting 101: Beginner Cooking Tips

Written by Senior Alli Duncan

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With all the intellectual knowledge students are gaining at Transy, it’s important to not forget about the simple things we need to know to function as an adult. Cooking is a great skill to have that will help you eat healthier and add more money to your wallet. It can also be a great stress reliever and creative outlet. Below I have outlinedĀ a few simple tips that everyone should know when starting to cook.

1. Wait to Wash Produce. By washing your fruits and veggies immediately after purchase you add more moisture to them, which speeds up their decay. Instead, simply store them and wash them right before cooking or eating.
2. Salt and Potatoes. If your dish is too salty just add potatoes, which naturally soak up salt. Also, if you are cooking potatoes you will need to add more salt to your dish because of this.
3. Defrosting Meat. Letting meat sit out to thaw at room temperature or setting it in a bowl of hot water will cause unsafe bacteria to rapidly spread. Instead, try putting it in the microwave, fridge, or in a bowl of hot water. On a side note, make sure to fully defrost meat before cooking to prevent dryness or toughness.
4. Spice it Up. Salt, pepper, and lemon juice are simple ways to spice up almost any meal. Cumin will add a kick to beans and meat and smoked paprika goes well with rice dishes and soups. If you want to experiment with a variety of spices try one spice with your egg each morning.
5. Perfect Pasta. To prevent your noodles from being bland salt the water that you boil them in. Boil the pasta under it is 90% done then add it to your sauce to cook the rest of the way. This ensures that the flavors of the sauce blend into your noodles.
6. Grilled Cheese. To cook the perfect grilled cheese use shredded or thin slices of cheese to ensure the cheese is fully melted and cook on medium to get your bread crispy. To spice up your grilled cheese try using provolone or pepper jack instead of American.
7. Contrasting Textures. It’s important to have a variety of textures in your dishes. Add some crispy red onions to your mashed potatoes or some crackers crumpled over your mac and cheese.

Now it’s time to get cookin’!

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