My Cooking Truths

My Cooking Truths - From Val's Kitchen

I was never taught how to cook. It took me years to get comfortable enough to even try making something that wasn’t premade. Our early years of marriage consisted of the same meals over and over again, the top four being frozen salisbury steak, frozen chicken patties, spaghetti with either jarred sauce or butter. As I started to actually read recipes and learn a little about cooking I started different rules being mentioned. There are a lot of them!  I cannot be alone in saying that I break some of these rules all of the time. Here’s the ones that quickly come to mind.

Eggs over easy

I’m just going to say it. I cannot make eggs over easy. They are one of hubby’s favorites so I have tried many times over the years. Truth be told, in over 30 years I have only successfully made an egg over easy three times. Yes, that’s 3. I’ve tried cooking on lower temps, tried different spatulas, tried flipping and all sorts of other ideas. My yolk breaks almost every time.

Butter – salted vs unsalted

I don’t much care for unsalted butter so I rarely use it. In my mind it sort of works out though, since I don’t add salt while cooking then if I’m using salted butter the recipe gets a little there.

Raw refrigerated cookie dough

Yes please. I know it’s not good for you but it just tastes good.


Beautiful food photos make me back away. They sort of intimidate me. I like recipes and photos where the food looks real, not like a dish you had to go to culinary school to know how to make.

Always Boil Pasta in a Large Pot of Water

You will almost always find me boiling pasta in about 2 quarts of water.

Don’t overcrowd the pan

I don’t even know why you’re not supposed to overcrowd a pan. Anyway. I tend to fill the pan right up. Two pans? That’s unlikely unless I am cooking two things as I don’t want to wash more pans.

Salting the pasta water

I know you’re supposed to add a really good amount of salt to the water when boiling pasta. I haven’t in years, since I stopped cooking with salt back when I lived at home with my parents and diabetic grandma.

Cooking on low

I don’t cook most things on low. I am a tad impatient and inevitably wind up cooking things somewhere between medium and high depending on the food and the dish.

Cooking low and slow

I will not cook something in a slow cooker on low for 8 hours when I can cook it on high for a lot less time. I just don’t have the patience.

Follow the recipe

For baking I always follow the rules, as I am not confident about baking from scratch. For everything else I’m sort of on both sides of the fence. If using someone else’s recipe for the first time I do follow the recipe. After that I may and usually will make adjustments and experiment.

Clean as you go

I generally don’t clean as I go, since I try to make my recipes come together in as little time as possible. I will stop to rinse or wash a cooking utensil if I need it again but other than that I prefer to just keep on cooking in my groove and worry about cleaning up later.

Use “prep” bowls

I try not to use tons of bowls when cooking. And yes it’s exactly why you think – I don’t want to wash more then I have to.

Don’t use dented or dinged cans

When buying canned goods I do check the condition of the can. If there’s a small ding I will usually look for another can tht doesn’t have a ding. If it’s the last can I will likely use it anyway. Growing up I was always told not to buy dented, bloated cans. There’s a difference between a tiny ding and a big dent.

Use the right knife

I think block knife sets should come with labels. I don’t know what some of the knives are for. I always wind up either using a knife that I really like the feel or grip of or a knife that I like the way it cuts.

Don’t use oil when cooking pasta

I have always used a very small amount of oil when cooking pasta. As a teen I remember hearing it kept the pasta from sticking together. Since my pasta hasn’t really every stuck together I have to presume it’s worked.

Use a garbage bowl

I refuse to give myself something else to wash. Instead I put a paper plate on the counter for things that need to go into the trash, such as egg shalls, trimmed fat, etc.

Do you have a cooking truth to share?

About the Author

I’m a Jersey girl, I was born and raised here and have lived here for almost my entire life. I’m a mom of 2 boys – TJ, a 21 year old, and CJ, an 18 year old with Down Syndrome. I am the oldest of four children. I am also a social media enthusiast, cat person, and Down syndrome advocate. I love coffee and milkshakes. My favorite dessert is cheesecake. I love rock music, tech, travel and food. And cheesecake. I HATE the misuse of the word retarded. I take it personally and find it very offensive. Did I mention that I love cheesecake?

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  1. I break rules all the time when it comes to cooking and I never use a garbage bowl – it’s usually a paper plate. I also dice onions on a paper plate instead of my cutting board because I hate the smell the onions leave behind – even after cleaning the board. I do, however, love big, bright photos of food.

  2. Too funny. One of my cooking truths is foil is my crock pot liner. I use my crock pot/slow cookers all the time and I usually forget to buy crock pot liners. I will line a crock pot with foil in a heart beat.

  3. Cooking should be an experience not always following by the book. Changing up something to meet your family needs is the best. Pictures are so doctored to make dishes look good it turns me off as well. Life is picture perfect.

  4. I would have to say I just don’t enjoy cooking. I am totally with you on that dirtying up another bowl. Typically I cut it and just throw it all in the garbage can in the second I cut it. These are some pretty good and funny tips.

  5. I love this. I’ve been known to break many a rule. Especially when it comes to baking and that’s more of an exact science!

  6. I am not great at cooking. I was raised by my grandmother, and while we did some cooking, just not a whole lot. I have had to learn a lot of skills on my own by going online and also watching YouTube videos.

  7. I hate to create more dishes to wash so a garbage bowl is definitely out for me as well. I can relate to so many of these.

  8. I have a small NYC kitchen so the idea prep bowls is laughable. If I used prep bowls, I would have no counter space to make a meal.

  9. I totally agree with following the recipe! Even if it’s something I’ve made a dozen times, I always check the recipe just in case haha! These are all so great! Loved this!

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