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6 Tips To Become A Great Cook In 1 Month

6 Tips To Become A Great Cook In 1 Month

So, you finally realized that you will have to do some cooking for yourself? You should feel glad that you are thinking about making this step in your life and that you have no fear about going through with it. A lot of people don’t have the confidence to try and cook something by themselves. They may have tried a couple of times before, failed, and now they think that cooking is something they can’t do.

If this has happened to you as well, think about it a bit more and ask yourself this: did you really prepare yourself for preparing food? The answer is probably no. Preparing for cooking a meal includes many things: getting the right ingredients, using the right dishes, mixing flavors, and actually cooking the food. I know that it may seem complicated, but making decent, tasty meals that are healthy and don’t take much of your time is not that hard.

Forget about professional cooks and their meals; they have been doing their jobs for years. Furthermore, you simply might not have the talent that they do. Still, becoming a decent cook is not hard, and with a learning mindset, work, and a bit of direction, you can do it. Here is what you need to know.

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1. Learn to accept failure

The first thing you need to do is to let go of the illusion that everything will go perfectly. Relax — don’t be such a scaredy cat. All famous cooks have thrown out, destroyed, or burned a lot of food before they learned to cook their meals right. Be prepared to make bad meals in the beginning, to fail a couple of times. Remember: you can learn from failure. For example, when you burn a certain ingredient, next time you will know how much heat it can take.

2. Switching tasks

Cooking includes a lot of multitasking and finishing small tasks in a short period of time. As a beginner, all of this may seem chaotic, but when you decide to make that bold move and make an effort to speed-clean your kitchen while cooking, cutting vegetables, and serving the food, you will realize that it’s not that difficult. When cooking, there is almost always downtime, like when roasting meat in the oven. These free windows of time should be used to either clean your workspace or prepare something else that goes along with the meal.

3. Get appropriate kitchen tools

When it comes to cooking a decent meal, you can’t actually make one if you don’t have the necessary tools for it. Some more complex meals simply cannot be prepared well if you don’t use adequate dishes. Furthermore, a low-quality dish can paste together your food and ruin the whole thing. And to think that all these years, you though that the meat you burned was your fault. Here are the essentials you need:

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  • Knives: A block full of knives may look nice, but you only need to have three different knives — a serrated knife, a chef’s knife, and a paring knife. Don’t buy the cheapest ones you find as it is worth buying more expensive knives. Also get an electric knife sharpener and you can rest assured that they will serve you well for a long time.
  • Cooking boards: Get two so that you can switch between them when cooking to avoid mixing flavors.
  • Mixing bowls: You should get a set of stainless mixing bowls as they can save a lot of space because they fit in each other.
  • Spoons and cups for measuring: Since you aren’t experienced in cooking, these items will come in quite handy for adding adequate doses of ingredients.
  • Cookware: Get non-stick skillets to avoid pasting food with the dish. You should avoid scratching the surface with metal objects.
  • Electric mixer: Baked food can be prepared much more easily with mixers.
  • Blender: With a blender, you can easily make salad dressings or smoothies

4. Get good, healthy, and simple food recipes

Find some decent, simple recipes with which you will start practicing your cooking. You can go with something that you find interesting and tasty as well. Before you start cooking, read a couple of cookbooks to learn simple cooking terms so that you don’t get confused in the middle of frying something. Furthermore, you will learn “the flow” of cooking a meal and in which order things go.

5. Shop for ingredients

Once you choose a meal that you want to cook, go to a nearby grocery store and get the ingredients you need for it. Try and find fresh ingredients only and avoid buying similar items. Ingredients are very important, and if you don’t stick to the recipe or they aren’t fresh, your meal won’t turn out as it’s supposed to. Still, like I’ve said before, you should go with some simple meals that require basic ingredients you can find at any local grocery store. After you get experienced with cooking, you will learn what ingredients you can change, but still make tasty food.

6. Prepare in advance

Before you actually turn on your oven or your stove, you should prepare things that can be prepared in advance. For example, cut all the ingredients, peel vegetables, and set aside all the spices, meat, and other ingredients after measuring them. This way, you will have time to check the cookbook and make sure that you’ve got everything covered. Simply follow the steps and add ingredients as you go. Forgetting about something or getting confused will be much more difficult if you have everything prepared by your side.

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Essentials in cooking

Learning a few simple techniques will help you prepare a variety of simple dishes.

Boiling pasta:

A lot of meals include pasta. To make it perfect every time, use a large pot and fill two thirds of it with water. The more water, the lesser the chance that the pasta will stick to your dish when cooking. For a gallon of water, add a teaspoon of salt. Wait until the water boils and then add your pasta. Stir and cook for around 13 minutes. Try it to make sure it’s cooked.

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Cutting vegetables:

Whip out your cutting board and knife, wash your veggies and dry them. Use your dominant hand to hold the knife and the other to hold the vegetable you are cutting. Curve your fingers so that you hold the vegetable with just the tip of your fingers. This way, you will avoid cutting yourself. Use the knife for cutting only and your other hand for handling vegetables.

Scrambling eggs:

Not only are scrambled eggs one of the simplest and tastiest breakfast meals, but once you learn what you can do with eggs, you will also learn how to mix them in other foods. The trick with eggs is to mix them just before you cook them. Use your mixer and mix them for 20 seconds to get that fluffy, yellow mixture. One you put them into the pan, mix them slowly. When you see that they are getting solid, when all of the eggs appear cooked, remove them from the pan. If you leave them too long, they will become dry and lose their texture.

Be creative and always try to learn new things when cooking. Once you cook your first meal, you will be amazed by how satisfying it can be — not just for your belly, but for your mind as well. It’s in human nature to cook and you will see how rewarding it can be to cook for yourself and your friends as well. Always make sure to taste your food and ingredients while preparing them. You can quickly learn by the color of the food or by its taste whether or not it’s well-prepared. Explore cooking and have fun!

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Nemanja Manojlovic

Editor at MyCity Web

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Last Updated on January 15, 2019

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

Listen carefully:

We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

1. Pray Daily

You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

3. Smile Often

Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

4. Organize Your Working Desk

A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

How do you do that? This is my formula:

First, go to my website (find my website here in my profile) and take the smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

8. Go Exercise

Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

The Bottom Line

It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

More Resources About Mindfulness

Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

Reference

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