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4 Ways To Step Up Your Baking Skills

4 Ways To Step Up Your Baking Skills

People who work in the food industry sometimes say that cooking is an art and baking is a science. When a person is cooking, he or she can add or omit recipe ingredients according to personal preference. With baking, however, exact amounts of ingredients must be used and certain methods should be followed. If you’ve been looking for a way to improve your baking skills, here are four ways to step up your game.

1. Read Cookbooks

Some of the best recipes for baked goods have been contained in the pages of cookbooks for many years. Whether you’re looking for a new variation on cream puffs or seeking advice on how to properly prepare an apple-walnut bread, there’s a good chance that the information can be found in a cookbook. Cookbooks are great because they give you step-by-step instructions. That means if you follow them exactly, you should be able to create a masterpiece!

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2. Watch Television Cooking Shows

A broad spectrum of cooking programs are regularly aired on lots of different television networks. Check the TV listings to see when shows devoted to baking are scheduled. Most of the instructional baking shows that are aired on television are taught by very qualified instructors. You can also record shows that are dedicated to baking or look them up online. That way you can pause, rewind, and fast-forward as needed. You never have to miss a step again.

3. Enroll In A Baking Class

Nothing beats hands-on experience when it comes to stepping up your baking skills. There are all sorts of baking classes offered at community colleges, local cooking schools, culinary schools, local night school programs, and even at supermarkets. When you decide to further your baking knowledge, you can usually find classes that fit into your schedule. There is definitely no better way to learn something than to get hands-on experience. Also, by taking classes, you can learn tips and tricks from a professional baker. Those are things that you may not be able to learn anywhere else. Taking classes is definitely worth the time and money.

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In addition to learning more about baking techniques, you will probably be learning about the science of baking. There are many things to learn about temperatures, measuring, and even common uses for sodium bicarbonate. More commonly known as baking soda, sodium bicarbonate is a chemical agent that causes cake batters to delightfully rise when they are baked. Sodium bicarbonate is also useful for soothing upset stomachs and treating some allergic reactions. This product also works great as a refrigerator deodorizer. Simply place a box of baking soda on a shelf in your refrigerator and it will help to absorb any unpleasant odors that may be present.

4. Research Baking Recipes And Techniques Online

There are many Internet websites that provide excellent content related to improving one’s baking skills. Plenty of recipes and baking tips are offered, and video baking tutorials are often available. You can also find basic tips and tricks to help your food turn out even better! You can learn things like how to make your bread fluffier or how to make your brownies not stick to the pan. The internet is home to a ton of really great resources, all you have to do is look for them.

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No matter how long you’ve been baking, there are always lots of new recipes, tips, and techniques that you can learn. Baking isn’t always easy, but it definitely can be a ton of fun for you and your whole family.

With this information, you will be baking better bread in no time! Check out more kitchen hacks with 55 Special Uses For Baking Soda You Never Knew.

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Featured photo credit: Pixabay – Couleur via pixabay.com

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Kara Masterson

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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