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Make the Most of Your Brand-New Kitchen

One of the best things about buying a brand-new home is getting the chance to step into a spotless cooking area with unused appliances. However, even though lots of homeowners love the idea of a modern kitchen, some may feel intimidated at the idea of actually using it.

Learning to cook is a great way to save time and money every day, and to discover new dishes that you and your family may enjoy. Even beyond the practical benefits, there is the fact that lots of people really enjoy cooking as a leisurely activity.

Becoming someone who can prepare healthy, tasty meals probably isn’t as difficult as you might think, especially if you have a brand-new kitchen to work with. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

Become a Master Shopper

Cooking great meals is a lot easier when you start with the right ingredients. But that doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune on gourmet brands. Most chefs at top restaurants use supermarket-quality products, and you can become a great cook by following their example. Just concentrate on learning which items are in season, what good prices are for various types of products, and which “extras” are worth spending a bit more on.

Think Safety First

Most things in the kitchen are either hot or sharp, as the old saying goes, and you don’t want to ruin your cooking adventure with a series of minor injuries. Check out a few videos on kitchen safety to develop good habits, and memorize guidelines on freshness and temperature to ensure that you’re always preparing food that’s safe to eat.

Start With the Basics

A lot of new cooks struggle because they try to jump right into complicated recipes. Instead of attempting to make seared duck with nine different sauces, begin with basic dishes (even following directions out of a box is just fine). After you’ve learned a few fundamentals, you can start to expand your knowledge and try more complex meals.

Follow the Recipe

On television, celebrity chefs often seem to be making things up as they go along A pinch of this, a pinch of that, and everything turns out tasting great. Remember that they are professionals with decades of experience though, and most of us need to follow recipes and measure ingredients if we want to get things right. You may be able to improvise on the fly someday, but don’t risk it as a beginner.

Cook for Your Family, Not a TV Judge

Speaking of celebrity chefs, they are often seen on widely-watched programs concocting unusual dishes with blowtorches, liquid nitrogen, and very unusual flavour combinations. That makes for fine TV, but how many families would actually want to eat that kind of food on a nightly basis? As a rule of thumb, it’s a better idea to cook something you think your family will like than it is to emulate something you’ve seen on a gourmet menu.

Refine and Experiment

Over time, you’ll start to naturally develop a sense of when you can deviate from a recipe, or which flavours and ingredients might work well together. One of the joys of cooking is that you get to experiment and create. Just be sure you have a solid base of knowledge and experience before you try to come up with something outlandish and unconventional.

When you learn to cook, you save money, gain control over your diet, and may even find you have a hidden flair. So don’t be scared of staying in the comfort of your own home and breaking in your brand-new kitchen… jump right in and put it to great use!

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