Lola’s Kitchen is a feature on Lola’s Reviews where I talk about all things related to food, cooking and baking. These posts can be recipe posts or more discussion type posts about food. I love cooking and spend some time in the kitchen almost every day, so I wanted to give it a place on my blog as well. The banner for this feature is designed by Michelle from Limabean Design.
I am so excited to introduce my new feature: Lola’s Kitchen! I’ve been planning this since November, Michelle kept urging me to do something with my love for cooking and then one fatefull morning I finally decided I was going to give it a try. I’ll be mainly talking about food and sharing recipes.
Today I want to give you some general cooking tips, some of these you probably know already, but when I started cooking I hardly knew anything and these tips really helped improve my cooking.
General Cooking Tips
- Want more Vegetables in your dinner? My advice is to throw in an onion in almost every dish, onions don’t have a overwhelming taste but they are healthy and easily contribute to eating more vegetables without even realizing it. Another tip is to keep some corn, green peas and lentils in your storage, for example when cooking for more people then expected you can easily trow in some of these to add more vegetables in your food.
- Taste your food while cooking. This one sounds so logical, but it’s really important. I always taste my food during cooking. I saved many dinnners thanks to this, I can remembering making a curry recipe and when I tasted it, it was way to bland and after that I threw in more spices and it went from bland to great!
- Mix the spices before throwing them in the dish. I used to throw in the spices directly from the jar in the saucepan. If you mix the spices before throwing them in the saucepan you can easier see how much you throw in of every spice and you prevent the steam from getting into the jar and clot the spices.
- How to give your sauce the right thickness? Your best friend is cornstarch or potatoes. I always make sure I have some cornstarch in storage as I like thick sauces. When a sauce isn’t thick enough just mix some cornstarch with water and then throw in in the saucepan while stirring. Another way to get your sauce thicker is to cook the potatoes together with the sauce. Pieces of potato will mix with the sauce and cause it to thicken in much the same way as cornstarch, although cornstarch is a bit more effective in my opinion.
- Does your food taste too bland? Throw in a bouillon cube! No need to mix it with water first, just crumble it between your fingers and throw it in the dish and stir well. I recommend using low-salt bouilon cubes, they taste almost the same but with less salt. I always use vegetable bouillon cubes as I am a vegetarian, but you can ofcourse also use other flavours.
- Plan your recipes for the week ahead. I always plan all my recipes for the week ahead to make sure I only have to go shoping once and I know what to cook. I usually make a list of the recipes I plan to make and based on the list I make my shopping list. I always have all the ingredients I need. The only bad thing about this, is that it leaves less room for spur of the moment descisions.
- Take Your time. For me there’s nothing as stressful as having to hurry while cooking. I prefer to eat around 6pm, so I always start around 5pm so I know I have enough time to cook even if something takes longer then expected. I make more mistakes when I hurry and I hate ruining dinner due to some mistake I made, so to make it easier for myself I start early so I don’t have to hurry.
- Tweak recipes when necessary. Some recipes are pretty perfect already, but quite often when I make a recipe I make tweaks. I add some vegetables or leave out some ingredients I don’t like. Most often I have to add more spices then the recipe indicates and I got a good feeling for which spices I can easily throw in some more and with which spices I have to be more carefull. When I first started cooking I often followed the recipe step by step, but I found being a bit more flexible and tweaking the recipe where necessary can really help a lot.
- Pinterest. I always had trouble coming up with ideas for what to cook, ever since I found Pinterest that problem’s solved. When I am at a loss for what to cook next week I scroll around Pinterest for a bit or visit my Delicious (Looking) Food board to get some inspiration. Pinterest is a great resource for people who love to cook!
Okay that’s it for my first Lola’s Kitchen post! Come back next friday for my first recipe post!