Help! I have a kitchen, and I don’t know how to use it!

July 29, 2013 | By | Comments (5)

Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. But the heart of the statement is absolutely true—I’m more than a little lost when it comes to cooking healthy for myself (I do make a mean batch of ultra-chocolate chip brownies, but—sadly—they’re not CL-approved.)

I blame this on two factors:

1) I’ve been in college and living in a dorm for the last four years. As a result, any meals I cooked often didn’t get more complicated than “Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes.”

2) My family was never one that cooked often. My mom rarely cooks anything that doesn’t involve a slow cooker, and my dad’s cooking usually involves a hot grill, an appliance I never learned to use due to the fact that it terrifies me.

But now that I’m out of college and on my own, nutrition and finances (mostly finances) have dictated that I start making the majority of my own meals. This necessity has since resulted in many instances of me standing in my kitchen wondering what in the world I’m supposed to do.

Thankfully I’m in a job (I’m the new digital fellow here at Cooking Light, hi!) that exposes me to gobs of new and tasty recipes every single day. Combined with Google and the glory that is Pinterest, I’ve finally found the motivation to stop making my umpteenth bowl of pasta and actually teach myself to cook.

It has been an interesting little journey so far. I’ve learned how to caramelize, (which was much more eventful than it should have been), I’ve been introduced to at least three new cheeses, and I have not once cut my finger when mincing garlic. Not everything has turned out pretty and perfect, but even a little cooking success is a big personal victory in my book.

My status as a kitchen novice is still very much intact, but I’m going to keep working on it. My next goal is to go an entire week without resorting to making a PB&J. Wish me luck!

Sad PB&J

Tell us about your first cooking experience! When did you learn to cook and who taught you? 


  1. » Kitchen Novice: Mashed Potato MiseryBeautiful Life

    […] I’ve mentioned that my family never cooked much, but I have one very distinct memory of my father making an incredible batch of this starchy […]

    September 10, 2013 at 10:01 am
  2. Kitchen Novice: Mashed Potato Misery – Simmer and Boil | Cooking Light

    […] I’ve mentioned that my family never cooked much, but I have one very distinct memory of my father making an incredible batch of this starchy […]

    September 9, 2013 at 10:45 am
  3. Velma

    When I got married I didn’t even know how to make sweet tea!! Seriously, I had to call a friend and ask. My mom made more of a punch type tea. Yes, there is hope….keep trying and experimenting!

    August 2, 2013 at 6:35 am
  4. Linda

    I’m in my 60’s now, grew up in the time of the first TV dinners, which my family practically lived on. So I just gradually taught myself cooking after my daughter was born. The best place now, I’d suggest, is watching Food Network – at least the healthier shows : ) I’ve learned how to cut/dice like an expert thanks to them.

    July 29, 2013 at 12:58 pm
  5. Debra

    One of my early attempts at cooking featured a beautiful glow in the oven…which turned out to be flames. It’s gotten better since then. Keep experimenting! Even better, keep writing about it. 🙂

    July 29, 2013 at 10:45 am

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