by Alicia Orozco
Welcome to Day 8! I am so happy to have made it this far and I am sure you are feeling the same way! You’re in the home stretch! Not sure if anyone else had to go and get another round of groceries, but I did. I wasn’t sure how many other recipes I could come up with, but luckily, the Internet and my fresh set of groceries helped out with that. In fact, I’m overflowing with ideas and even if mistakes are made in the kitchen, I am prepared for that.
Day 8 –> When Mistakes Happen in the Kitchen!
Mistakes happen whether you are a seasoned pro or a fumbling beginner. I personally fall into the fumbling beginner category, so there are probably a few more mistakes happening in my kitchen than a pro’s, but everyone makes mistakes at some point or another.
That’s why its important to have a plan no matter your cooking skill level. In the past, I would simply kick up a storm and swear off cooking. Was it helpful to do that. NO. But I did learn a lot – like how pancakes needed to have bubbles in the middle of them before flipping over. Seriously, I didn’t even know that much! Yet through all my fumbles in the kitchen I have learned a few tricks to make through to the other side.
The Golden Rules of Kitchen Fumble Cover Ups:
- Have a back up plan that fits the occasion. If you are cooking lunch for yourself and a fumble occurs, find something easy to construct near by. Sandwiches are a great example of this. They aren’t complicated and can include a variety of ingredients you already have on hand. You can even go one step further and toast it on your stove top for added appeal. If your fumble happens during a more formal occasion, a sandwich may not be your best option, but there is still no need to panic. Instead, calmly take stock of your options. If you have a well-stocked pantry, you should be able to creatively replace either your main dish or side item with something readily available in your own kitchen. Veggies, beans, and rice can often work well as replacements.
- Burnt doesn’t mean you can’t eat it! You forget about the food you have cooking on the stovetop and suddenly are reminded only by the fact that the smoke alarm goes off! But before you throw that slightly-charred piece of food away, check to see if you can scrape the the burnt parts off. If so, you’ve saved your meal – if not, consider Golden Rule #1.
- The Internet is your friend in the kitchen. Whether you know a lot about cooking or very little, the Internet makes it super easy to identify ingredients you aren’t all that familiar with and lets you know how to incorporate them into a few of your favorite dishes. The Internet also provides you with almost a limitless supply of recipe ideas. If you find one that you like, make sure that you have it available in the kitchen while you are cooking. Don’t try to remember it – especially if it calls for a lot of ingredients or has many steps. Having your computer near by during while cooking can also allow you to search for ingredient substitutes if you need them. This can be a real meal-saver if you forgot to pick up one of the ingredients at the store or accidentally used it in a different meal earlier in the week.
- Stick with tried and true recipes on special occasions. If you are having a big dinner with loved ones, stick with a recipe you already know and love. Incorporating a new recipe into such an event can be added source of stress. Instead, make something that you are already comfortable with so that your stress levels remain under control and you can simply enjoy the time with your family and friends.
Hopefully, these stress-saving tips will help you all in the final days of the Eat at Home Challenge and beyond. These tips come from my own numerous experiences in the kitchen, and you will most likely find that the mistakes you make will only enhance your cooking abilities in the long run. At least that was the case for me. So good luck out there and don’t panic! You’re only a few mistakes away from being a master chef in your own kitchen.
Day 8 homework –> Come up with a contingency plan. Quickly jot down three possible back up plans in case a mistake is made in your kitchen. Post this list in your kitchen so you’ll be prepared for any kitchen malfunction.
Alicia Orozco is the talented blogger behind NeverEverBeenSkinny. As a healthy eating champion, Alicia shares her journey towards a healthier, happier life. You can join her on her inspirational journey by visiting her blog or by following her on Twitter and Facebook.