Many people are very familiar with two kitchen appliances: the freezer and the microwave.  As convenience foods take over grocery stores, there is less and less actual cooking going on at home. 

In fact, some young people do not even know how to make chicken broth for delicious soups, stews, and beans.  If they forgot to buy a pre-packaged carton of broth, Thanksgiving dinner will be ruined.

If you feel like a "kitchen pioneer" exploring uncharted territory, here are a few basics:


Chicken is a favorite meat that people of all ages appreciate.  It is also relatively cheap, so even those who are operating on tight grocery budgets enjoy flavorful pieces of chicken. When you are cooking chicken, always remember to check for doneness by slicing through the thickest part.  If the juices have a slightly pink tint, the meat must be cooked longer.

To avoid dry, tasteless chicken, always marinate the meat for several hours before cooking.  Use a marinade that contains an acidic ingredient such as vinegar or lemon juice to tenderize the meat.  Then, baste the meat with the marinade as it cooks to get tender, moist chicken.


If french fries are the only vegetables that you eat, it is time to make some changes.  However, you do not have to gnaw on raw carrots and celery to get your vitamins.  Try other veggies like sweet potatoes, okra, squash, bell peppers, and green beans to wake up your tastebuds.  Vegetables can be steamed, baked, boiled, fried, and even grilled.  With a little butter and the right seasonings, you may actually crave the fresh taste of veggies!


Pasta is another mealtime favorite that is easy to prepare--as long as you know how!  It does not matter if you are cooking spaghetti noodles, macaroni, penne, or egg noodles, the process is the same.  Simply boil a large pot of water and throw in your uncooked noodles.  Stir them around, and keep the water at a boiling temperature.  The cooking time for different types of noodles will vary, but you know they are finished cooking when you can easily cut them with a fork and the ends turn white. 

Want to learn more?  Come visit me in my virtual kitchen and learn more basic cooking tips!