5 small changes to improve your cooking

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Whether you’re new to cooking or you’ve been doing it for years, there are thousands of recipes out there. Even professional chefs had to start out somewhere, and most of them will tell you that cooking is about always learning. Trying new recipes, methods and dishes will keep your cooking fresh and delicious.

Learn your seasonings

Some people may prefer simple salt and pepper, but with so many cuisines out there, it’d be crazy not to try new seasonings. 

Try to stock up your cupboard and experiment. There are many guides available, and most recipes will state in their ingredients which to use. While fresh herbs are better, don’t feel that dried ones aren’t good enough. Basil, thyme, oregano, dried varieties can be just as flavorful.

Your food should always be seasoned, but learning the amount and combination can be tricky. Make sure to follow the recipe as a guide and you’ll soon learn which seasonings you frequently reach for.

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Plan ahead

Planning is one of the most important parts of cooking. If your recipe is complicated or you’re cooking multiple things at once, make a plan before you reach for the electric mixer. 

Sometimes just reading the recipe a few times can be the difference between a good and a great meal. Double-check the ingredients, times and equipment. Perhaps you misread a cooking time or you didn’t realize how many portions it made.

Simple planning can stop you from making mistakes in the kitchen. Sometimes recipes aren’t practical; you could be left with cooked vegetables or a sauce on the stove while you wait for the meat to cook. Once you know where you’re headed, you’ll be able to make your menu.

Look for inspiration

Cooking is for everyone, no recipe is out of bounds. If you see something on a television show, on social media or even just hear about it and it sounds tasty, there’s nothing stopping you from making it. Trying new recipes can be a good break from routine, and you might just find a new favorite dish.

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Different recipes will call for different cooking methods, so it’s a good opportunity to learn new skills. Perhaps you’d like to try making fresh pasta, or try a cuisine that you’ve never tried before. Each dish will teach you new skills that you can use in your future cooking.

Pair your food

Few people can expertly pair wine with food, but it is definitely a skill worth taking the time to learn. Knowing which wines go well with your meal can make an everyday meal feel like world-class cuisine. 

The general rule of thumb is that red wine pairs with meat, white wine pairs with chicken and seafood. There are many guides out there that can help you in deciding which to go for, and some bottles have recommendations on what to serve alongside them.

Take a look a Forest Wines for instance. They stock a variety of wines such as this Staffelter Hof for only £27.00; it pairs well with both spicy and sweet dishes, casseroles and pies. 

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Practice really does make perfect. Each time you make a dish, you’ll learn what to do for next time. Don’t be put off if something doesn’t go to plan while you’re cooking, most things can be fixed. 

No one is terrible at cooking, because practice can help you master even the most difficult of cooking skills. Things such as knife skills, timings and seasonings can be practiced and honed down to second nature, and so can hosting skills.


Cooking and hosting can often go hand in hand and influence each other. As you become more familiar with and skilled in the kitchen, your dinner guests will be all the more impressed.

Philip Okoye
the authorPhilip Okoye
Your favorite recipe author, faithful to every course. Mail me at

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