Cooking can be a fun and rewarding activity, and it doesn’t have to be difficult. Today in this life skills series, we will cover how to cook. We will cover some basic steps to help you get started and then I’ll give you some simple recipes even a beginner can prepare.

How to Cook: Life Skills Everyone Should Master

Stay tuned for more in this Life Skills Series. I will cover everything from personal skills, health and safety, physical habits, vehicle maintenance, home skills, professional skills, and financial skills. If you missed the first post, check out the information on how to use a calendar/schedule here. Today we will cover: how to cook.

You can get my free printable Life Skills Checklist for you to download and print from home. It is a digital product and will be delivered instantly to your email for you to download and print from your device.

How to Cook: Life Skills Everyone Should Master

  1. Choose a recipe: The first step to cooking is deciding what you want to make. Start with a simple recipe that doesn’t require too many ingredients or complicated techniques. You can find recipes online, in cookbooks, or from friends and family. Love a recipe? Get my free recipe page printable here.
  2. Gather your ingredients: Once you have your recipe, gather all the ingredients you’ll need. Make sure you have everything before you start cooking to avoid any last-minute trips to the grocery store.
  3. Prep your ingredients: Before you start cooking, prep your ingredients by chopping, slicing, and measuring everything. This will make the cooking process much smoother and more efficient. You can find my free printable food labels here.
  4. Cook your dish: Follow the recipe instructions carefully, taking note of cooking times and temperatures. Keep an eye on your food as it cooks, stirring or flipping it as needed.
  5. Serve and enjoy: Once your dish is cooked, remove it from the heat and serve it up. Garnish it with any additional toppings or seasonings, and enjoy your delicious creation!
How to Cook: Life Skills Everyone Should Master

Here are some additional tips to keep in mind:

  • Start with simple recipes and work your way up to more complicated ones. I have a few simple recipes below.
  • Food Safety: Always wash your hands and sanitize surfaces that come in contact with raw meat. Don’t reuse dishes or surfaces that have touched raw meat. Use a meat thermometer to test if foods are safe to eat. Refrigerate or freeze foods in a timely manner. Don’t allow foods to remain at room temperature for longer than necessary. Check expiration dates regularly.
  • Read the recipe all the way through before you start cooking to make sure you understand the steps and timing and to make sure you have all of the ingredients.
  • Keep your workspace clean and organized to make cooking easier and more enjoyable.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with flavors and ingredients to make the dish your own.
  • Practice makes perfect, so keep cooking and trying new things!

You can find my free weekly meal planner printable page here. Remember, cooking is a skill that takes time to develop. Be patient with yourself and have fun with it!

If you are following a recipe, you may be confused by the terms. Here are some basic cooking terms and their meanings:

  1. Boil: To heat a liquid until it reaches boiling point, where it starts to bubble and steam.
  2. Simmer: To cook a liquid at a temperature just below boiling point, where there are small bubbles forming but the liquid doesn’t boil vigorously.
  3. Chop: To cut something into small pieces with a knife or other cutting tool.
  4. Dice: To cut something into small cubes.
  5. Grate: To shred something into small pieces using a grater.
  6. Saute: To cook something in a small amount of oil or butter over medium-high heat, stirring frequently.
  7. Stir-fry: To cook small pieces of food over high heat in a wok or similar pan, while stirring constantly.
  8. Bake: To cook something in an oven, surrounded by dry, hot air.
  9. Roast: To cook something in an oven using dry heat, usually for larger cuts of meat.
  10. Fry: To cook something in hot oil or fat.
  11. Season: To add salt, pepper, herbs, or other flavorings to food.
  12. Mince: To chop something into very small pieces, often used for garlic or herbs.
  13. Whisk: To mix ingredients by vigorously beating them with a whisk or fork.
  14. Blend: To mix ingredients together using an appliance such as a blender or food processor.
  15. Knead: To work dough by pressing, folding, and stretching it with the hands.

What are some very easy recipes that beginners can cook?

Below are some very easy recipes that beginners and supervised kids can cook or prepare:

How to Cook: Life Skills Everyone Should Master
  1. Grilled cheese sandwich: Spread butter on two slices of bread, place a slice of cheese in between, and grill in a pan until golden brown.
  2. Scrambled eggs: Whisk eggs in a bowl, add a splash of milk, and cook in a pan over medium heat, stirring constantly until they’re cooked to your liking.
  3. Spaghetti with tomato sauce: Cook spaghetti in boiling water according to package instructions, and heat up a jar of tomato sauce in a separate pan. Once the spaghetti is cooked, drain it and mix with the tomato sauce.
  4. Baked chicken: Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper, and bake in the oven at 400°F for 25-30 minutes or until cooked through. Use a meat thermometer to test it to make sure it is cooked thoroughly. You can serve this with veggies. There are many frozen vegetable varieties that can be steamed in the microwave.
  5. Tuna salad: Mix canned tuna (already cooked), mayonnaise, diced celery or pickles, and diced onion in a bowl, and serve on top of lettuce or in a sandwich.
  6. Ground beef burrito: Brown some ground beef in a skillet. Heat some canned refried beans. Add beef and beans to a tortilla to form a burrito. Garnish with cheese, salsa, veggies, or sour cream.
  7. Chili: Brown your ground beef or turkey. Add canned tomatoes, beans, and chili seasoning. Garnish with cheese, onions, crackers, or sour cream.

These recipes are simple and require minimal ingredients and equipment, making them perfect for beginners. As you gain confidence and experience in the kitchen, you can start experimenting with more complex recipes and techniques. Don’t be afraid to use box mixes and bagged mixes. These same time and usually taste great with minimal effort.

What if you are cooking for just yourself?

You can find lots or frozen meats and vegetables in your grocery store freezer section. Many types of meat, such as chicken breasts or hamburger patties, come in resealable bags. You can use what you need an save the rest for another meal. You don’t have to rely on premade frozen meals. You can pull from these bags and cook as much as you need. Just remember to pull what you need and thaw ahead of time in a small freezer bag in the refrigerator. You can thaw meat in a microwave but it tends to taste better if you thaw it overnight in the fridge instead. You can also find biscuits and sausage patties in the freezer section in resealable bags. Also, don’t be afraid to freeze your leftovers and serve again for a future meal.

How to Cook: Life Skills Everyone Should Master

You can cook very easily with the help of a few small kitchen appliances. A microwave can be very useful for heating food quickly. A toaster oven can be used in place of a real oven if you lack the space. A slow cooker can be used to slowly prepare meals over the course of a few hours. Putting food in a slow cooker can be such a time saver as you can have a meal fully cooked and waiting on you after you have had a long day at school or work. There are many easy recipes you can cook in a slow cooker. Browse pinterest for some inspiration.

I hope this has been helpful. Learning how to cook is not a difficult as it seems. As you learn how to cook, you can easily expand your knowledge and experience to create more complex dishes.

Here are some more easy recipes for beginners.