I try to use fresh herbs whenever possible. Fresh garlic is a must and I would never recommend or use bottled crushed garlic. It’s just not as good as fresh and certainly not as healthy and I use organic whenever I can find it.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil will absolutely make your food taste better – use it
Some of the spices and seasonings I use regularly (other than salt & pepper) and you will need for my recipes:
Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
Lawry’s Garlic Salt
Essential spices to have on hand
Red Pepper Flakes
Good cooks share a simple secret: Have and use the right tools for the job at hand.
A proper selection of knives and cooking gadgets will make food preparation a lot easier and reduce the complications that come with being ill-prepared.
These are my recommendations for building a well-stocked kitchen drawer:
Kitchen Drawer Cooking Essentials:
Cooking utensils are vital to a well-stocked kitchen as well. You will need a good set of knives and an electric knife sharpener, a set of rubber spatulas for scraping, cooking spatulas for turning hot foods, wire whisks, wooden spoons, a pasta fork or 2 for both cooking and serving, a good garlic press and at least 1 soup/sauce ladle.
These are just the essentials. You will realize what else you need as you become a seasoned cook and begin preparing more complicated dishes.
A well-stocked kitchen cabinet will make your life as a cook much easier.
You will need a complete set of pots and pans, from a small pot or frying pan to heat the little things to a large stock pot or frying pan for the bigger tasks. I also use an electric skillet for many recipes.
A griddle pan is ideal for making pancakes, burgers, steaks and more.
If you’re making pasta, you will absolutely need a good sized colander for straining spaghetti or large amounts of any pasta and a mid-sized colander for draining veggies or smaller amounts of pasta. A small strainer is also essential for mini jobs.
I don’t ever recommend forcing a child to eat anything they find distasteful, whether just because it grosses them out or because they genuinely don’t like the taste.
I do ask that my kids at least try something new so they’ll know for future reference if they like it. Works really well and my kids eat a lot of foods most other kids would shriek about. This has worked with their friends, too.
It’s especially gratifying with the kids who are “picky” eaters … they usually always find something to eat at our home that they’d never dreamed of eating and they like it. They get the same rap as my daughters: “Just try it … you can spit it out and you don’t have to like or eat anything that doesn’t taste good to you …”