If you promised yourself you’d hone your cooking skills in 2017, but are still struggling to operate the defrost setting on your microwave, you’re not alone.
Deciding that you’re going to become a culinary queen might happen overnight, but putting it into practice definitely doesn’t.
By acknowledging that you won’t be whipping up gourmet meals any time soon, you’ll give yourself a chance to arm yourself with the tips, tricks and tools needed to become a better cook in no time.
Ladies, we’ve got you covered.
1. Assess your knife collection
You wouldn’t try to write an essay or report with a broken or leaking pen, and the same should apply in the kitchen.
Sharpen your knives so they’re actually functional when you use them.
Struggling to handle your ingredients a result of shoddy implements is enough to put anyone off cooking.
2. Invest in a good frying pan and saucepan
Like knives, you wouldn’t believe the difference durable pots and pans make when you’re learning to cook.
Spending your hard-earned euros on kitchen equipment doesn’t sound in the least bit appealing – we know this, but believe us, it’s worth it.
Ruining what has the potential to be a great meal because your pan is an old rustbucket is the last thing you want.
3. Learn how to chop an onion (no seriously)
Onions are used in so many dishes, so it’s worth your while learning how to chop them properly.
(No one likes picking a giant hunk of onion out of their teeth, right?)
Cut off the top of the onion, and bin it. Peel off the outer layers, and chop the onion vertically. Then, chop it horizontally, and you're sorted.
4. Learn how to cook rice
The sign of a good cook is someone who can cook rice without looking like they're intending to feed (or poison) the entire town.
The key to cooking rice is to use the 1:2 ratio, so it's one-part rice, two parts water.
And a fist-sized portion of rice generally counts as one serving.
5. Bulk buy chicken breasts
Chicken is so versatile, and so easy to cook as well.
Bulk buy and store in your freezer, so you know for certain you will always have the basis for a quick and easy meal.
6. Invest in a cookery book
And actually study it.
Do your research and choose a publication which features simple meals suitable for any beginner.
Don't get overwhelmed by the content at the start, and instead tell yourself you'll have conquered all the recipes by the end of the year.
7. Focus on three recipes
If you try to master too many recipes at once, you'll have a meltdown and jack in your resolution for good.
Instead, focus on three recipes (breakfast, lunch and dinner) or three evening meals, if you'd rather, and master them before moving on.
Cooking is all about confidence, so the moment you've mastered three meals, you'll be much more prepared to tackle the next set.