Cooking 101

Whether it’s because you never learned how or you were afraid to try, EVERYONE needs to know how to cook.

Why? Let me lay it out plain:

  • You save a TON of money — eating out is expensive
  • You get to control the type and quality of ingredients used in whatever you make yourself
  • You choose how it is prepared — deep frying versus baking is huge in the calorie/health department
  • You can explore a ton of different cuisines from around the world — and experiment, once you get the basics under control


How? First of all, no one over the age of 3 or 4 is too young or too old to start:

  • Learn from a family member. Personally? I started really young. In fact, one of my earliest kitchen memories is of me standing on a chair (so that I could reach the countertop), learning how to roll out pie crusts at my mother’s elbow
  • Learn from a friend. My friend Michelle walked me through my very first roast (in my late 30s no less!), including how to “tent” the meat before serving
  • Take a cooking class
  • Watch “how-to” style YouTube videos
  • Read cooking blogs geared towards newbie chefs


What I don’t recommend..?

  • Opening a cookbook and jumping in (if you have zero cooking experience, that is) UNLESS it is a basic, step-by-step style book WITH pictures. (I cannot emphasize how important visuals are when you’re just learning.)
  • Trying something super fancy-pants you just saw on a food channel. (We’re aiming for simple, with reliable results, to start.)
  • Attempting complicated dishes or sauces before you’ve mastered the basics
  • High expectations or perfectionism: you will have some pretty epic disasters in the beginning, but that’s all part of learning something new!


Let’s jump in straight away. Here’s a common scenario: you want to make a meal to impress a special someone, but you haven’t strayed far beyond the realm of microwave popcorn and boxed mac n’ cheese. Below are simple (but yummy!) recipes you can cook without any “special” skills. Tips and hacks are included to help you along the way!

Just look for the Newbie Notes at the bottom of each recipe!

101 Recipes

Basic Pasta Sauce