Your Questions Answered: Encouragement in the Kitchen

it seems like you really enjoy cooking. It is definitely something i have a desire to learn, but it seems really overwhelming. my mother wasn't a cook and she never taught me. i try to read recipes online, but i get really stressed out. and i also think most recipes are a waste to make for just one person. i suppose i should cook for my boyfriend, but i'm too nervous! i was wondering if you might have any tips for the kitchen or helpful resources you have used to learn. thanks so much!

I can definitely relate to your feelings regarding cooking, although I didn't really develop a desire to learn until I was married, which made the process even more stressful!

It's definitely gotten easier for me, and part of that has been finding recipes that work for me. I am not into gourmet recipes and if they include more than one or two ingredients I don't keep on hand regularly, I usually go on and pass them up. And that's OK!

One thing I would suggest is to break up cooking into small goals. I decided to try one new recipe a week for awhile that helped me find my groove in menu planning.

Also, since it's just you, what I would suggest is finding recipes and halving them. Most recipes are made to serve 4 people, so half the recipe and you'll have dinner for tonight and leftovers for tomorrow. Plus, if the recipe is a flop, then you won't have wasted as much food!

Another tip I would suggest is being aware that you can freeze stuff. When I first started cooking, I balked at the idea of buying a whole box of chicken stock for a recipe that I only needed a 1/4 cup for (since, of course, I'm a big fan of cutting recipes down into more manageable sizes!). What I soon learned is that there are a LOT of things you can easily freeze to keep your waste down. When in doubt, just do a quick online search to see if you can freeze something. You can also do this with food you've already cooked, like baked lasagna or cooked ground beef, etc.

As for finding recipes, I have had the best luck pulling from fellow bloggers, but it definitely is a gamble. I can't say that I've found one source that always has stellar recipes; I've had to pull from all over to amass my favorites. You might want to browse through this site which has collected a massive list of their favorite food blogs with summaries about each.

Finally, if there's an older woman in your life who is a good (or even just half-way decent!) cook, you could always ask her if you could come over sometime and help her make dinner, so that you can learn from her. Most people would be flattered by that, and it could be a good way to ease your way into the cooking sphere until you feel comfortable going at it alone!

If you have any other questions for me, just let me know! Feel free to browse all the questions I've tackled in my Q&A series.

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Learning to Cook: An Art I Neglected for 26 Years


  1. The world of blogging has definitely made me more interested in trying to make things that my friends post about.

    But I've recently discovered the joy of's recipes because every single one has beautiful photos for every single step. That really makes things easier for me to understand through the process and more apt to try them. It's really made me more excited about cooking just because her pictures are so pretty!

  2. ive just come across your blog. such a sweet one.
    great tips. i suck at cooking. good thing my husband is a chef.

  3. I love your blog & I'm following! My boyfriend is an amazing cook but as time has gone on I've decided I want to really delve in and learn the art of culinary masterpieces ;)
    Sometimes I get frustrated because he tries to take over and show me the right way...and I decide that the best way is for me to "figure it out" but then I realize how lucky I am to have someone so patient and willing to show me how to do it!


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