Thursday, February 13, 2014

Easy Meals for Busy Moms: Building Up a Cooking Repertoire

When it comes to cooking a meal for the family, it's easy for some and difficult for others. But I'd say, with a heart to please our family and a desire to satisfy their daily dietary needs, it will get easier.

I didn't start off being a home cook myself. I remember having to call my mom on the phone to help me get through cooking a dish while I cook at the same time. I've my fair share of failed attempts in cooking and baking which ultimately landed whatever I've baked or cooked in the bin.

I've received many compliments and criticisms from family and friends about the food that I've prepared and I think, I've come a long way. Not that I have achieved pro chef-level in the area of home cooking/baking but I am confident to present a meal to my family on a daily basis and am ready to bake a birthday cake for a loved one anytime when the need arise.

It isn't difficult and here are some of the steps I've taken as I build up my confidence and experience in cooking and baking.

Be Bold
When it comes to cooking or baking, don't be afraid to try new things and don't be afraid to try again after a failed attempt. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect.

Be Observant
Observe your favourite chefs at work eg. attend a cookery/baking class or watch a Youtube video. Pick up tips and tricks as you learn from your favourite chefs or even home cooks. I also realize along the years as I begin to accumulate more cookbooks, besides delving right into the recipes, there are plenty of great tips offered by the authors and I have benefitted loads from it. So take time to read the side notes or sharing made by the authors when you flip through the cookbooks.

Be Willing to Experiment
When it comes to something I had on mind to try (eg. Fish & Chips), I'll usually watch several Youtube videos and read through food blogs about the same dish. I'd pick out the common and different ingredients they use on the dish and will experiment a mix and match of different ingredients in varying amounts and thereby concoct my own recipe.

None of us become great cooks overnight, but given time and experience I am sure we can cook a decent meal for our loved ones.

Before I end this post, here are a few books and a few Youtube channels I go to very often. I've found them really useful and have helped me pick up a thing or two about cooking and even baking.

 Youtube Channels
Channel Link Here
DayDay Cook is chock stocked with loads of short videos on daily dishes for families that enjoy chinese food. The recipes are very simple and easy to follow; some of the instructions are given in Cantonese.

Channel Link Here
I tuned into this channel daily as Sarah Carey shares a new recipe everyday 5 days a week. I've adapted quite a number of her recipes in my daily meals as most of them are one dish meals and they are O-So-Easy to prepare!

Channel Link Here
I enjoy Chef John's dry sense of humour at times but his recipes are great and I especially love his cream of mushroom recipe which I've used over and over again.
Channel Link Here
Laura Vitale was one of the earliest chefs I've followed on Youtube. I like her videos as she's very clear and detailed about the ingredients and the process in each of her videos.

You might like to borrow these books from the National Library first and if you feel it's something you'd want to keep, then buy them from online bookstores such as Book Depository or Fishpond it's usually cheaper.
Jamie Oliver needs no introduction. This book is packed with his sharing on how to cook and it sure has enlightened me in many areas about cooking. 

Read sample pages from this link here
This book is a lively collection featuring more than 850 foolproof recipes and dozens of tips and techniques in cooking. 

In this cookbook, Martha Stewart offered lessons and recipes for the homecook, teaching how to hold a chef's knife, select the best ingredients, truss a chicken, make a perfect pot roast and many more great tips and ideas.

Till my next sharing, happy cooking!

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Rose said...

Thanks for sharing. I am doing the same thing as well

Mamabliss said...

Hi Rose, that's great! :)