Slow Cooking For Beginners

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Personally, I wasn’t always capable of staying upright on a bicycle. Similarly, I wasn’t always comfortable in the kitchen. To be fair, I did start cooking at a very young age (probably around the same time I was learning how to ride a bike without training wheels.) So the cuts and burns I had could have, at any moment, been from a pancake flipping incident or from when I was trying to catch mad air off a bike ramp my parents did not know that my brother and I had built on the Haro my cousin gave me. My point is, we all have to start somewhere with every new skill we try to learn.

I Was A Beginner Once Too

I have worked in the restaurant industry for over ten years at this point. While I primarily worked as a server or bartender for all of those years, I have worked in kitchens as well. Between always being around food prep at work, and constantly reading recipes and making my own creations outside of work, I do not consider myself a beginner in the kitchen. While I am not a seasoned (pun!) chef, I have industry standard credibility. I am here to help you make your way through these recipes. And I will be sharing my own experience making some of these recipes so you can see that mistakes can and will be made by even those of us who kind of know what we are doing.

Follow these simple rules I have laid out to help slow cooking for beginners not be so daunting.

Rule #1: Don’t Be Afraid to Have Fun

Slow cooking for beginners doesn’t have to be scary! Cooking should be fun and gratifying. Notice that I said fun. This is my most important rule. Do not forget to keep having fun. Especially if you are new to cooking, it can be very frustrating. Keep reminding yourself that at the end of this experience, you will be rewarded with a delicious meal!

I like to have a lot of fun in my kitchen, and I strongly encourage you to do the same. Put on some music and let the juices flow. (Note: Food puns are strongly encouraged as well.) Personally, I like to bump country while I slide around and dance my way across the kitchen. The trick is to not spill food, drop anything, or trip and fall on my face while I dance around the dogs (I have 3 and they only sometimes listen to “out of the kitchen”.)

The good news is, slow cooking was practically made for those lacking any sort of culinary artisticness.

Part of the fun in cooking is the mistakes that will be made, if I am speaking from my own truths. Maybe you will burn soy sauce until it turns into tar. Maybe your peanut sauce doesn’t thin out and your final dish will resemble a peanut butter topped chicken breast. Both of these maybes actually happened to me. The tar made for some funny stories. And the peanut butter chicken didn’t taste all that bad. Because it had peanut butter on it and that makes everything taste better. Unique and fun peanut butter recipes here.

Rule #2: Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

That being said, I am not going to hold anyone here to any sort of standard. Cook whatever recipes make you comfortable. If you don’t know how to do something, feel free to leave comments at the bottom of the recipes so I, or someone else, can help you out.

My own personal, very used, slow cooker.

If you are someone who simply has no idea what they are doing in the kitchen and would one day like to be able to eat something well…edible then let’s just start with you going to the store and buying a slow cooker.

Go ahead, I’ll wait.

The sooner you buy a slow cooker, the sooner you will be able to stop telling yourself, and everyone around you, that you can’t cook. Because you can. Everyone CAN cook. Now, whether you are going to want to eat what your “cooking” results in is another story. But here at The Slow Cooker Life, we are going to help you cook something that you WILL want to eat. Which is ultimately the whole point, isn’t it?

OOPS! A no bake chocolate peanut butter dessert I made for a friend’s birthday. Looks great. Tasted great. But it was rather soupy by the time we ate any because it had melted so much. Note to self: serve frozen next time.

Rule #3: Don’t Be Afraid of Imperfection

This is not a slow cooking for beginners boot camp. I am not here to turn anyone into the next Iron Chef. I just want to have a judgment free zone where recipes and cooking stories can be shared. I want the cooking rookies to know that they are not alone and to shake off the first-day-in-the-kitchen jitters. I want you to be okay with failing. Because if you are not, then what motivation do you have to even start trying in the first place?

I can tell you with the utmost confidence that when you make your first successful dish, you will feel so proud and gratified that you may even be willing to give this whole cooking thing another shot. Not to mention, if you are truly a terrible cook, your family is probably very aware of this as well. Imagine the surprise on Aunt Barbara’s face when you manage to bring a near-perfect green bean casserole to grandma’s 92nd birthday. Your dish will be a hit. And your family will think that your turned over a new leaf towards independent adulthood. So congratulations for being a star!

Cooking is an essential life skill. People should know how to cook for themselves. Especially people that are not financially set up enough to eat out every day. The $40 you are gonna spend on that one meal with your SO could be turned into several days worth of groceries. Or maybe you were just gonna spend $10 in a drive-thru to order a bag full of greasy, fatty, foodstuffs. That $10 could be used to for a couple of home cooked meals instead that are likely much healthier than the mystery meat you have in that brown paper bag.

Rule #4: Keep Cooking

“Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.”

There is so much truth to this old proverb. Like I previously stated, my goal is not to turn you all into gourmet chefs. My goal is to acquaint each of you with your

Mmmmm! The first time I ever made pecan pie was a huge hit. A self-proclaimed pecan pie connoisseur from New Orleans told me so herself 🙂

inner cook.

I do honestly believe that many people lacking confidence will instead decide to not make an attempt at something rather than run the risk of failing. That is why I will be openly discussing my failed attempts with you. And I ask that you all share your experiences with these recipes, good or bad, as well. Embrace human error. Gain confidence. Keep cooking!

Have any fun cooking stories you’d like to share? Leave them in the comments below 🙂
Find out more about me, the author and founder of The Slow Cooker Life, here.

 

 

 

 

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