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7 Easy Tips to Boost Your Kitchen Confidence

For some people, looking at all of the equipment at the gym—and trying to figure out what you're supposed to do with it—is enough to make their palms sweat. For others, spatulas and chef's knives are more anxiety-inducing. If you fall into the latter category, you don't have to resign yourself to a life of takeout and frozen dinners. Just follow these tips from Kelsey Nixon, author of the upcoming cookbookKitchen Confidenceand star of the Cooking Channel showKelsey's Essentials, and your cooking insecurities will disappear in no time.

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Invest in the Right Tools
Sometimes, when you mess up a dish, it's not you—it's your cookware: "There's nothing worse than trying to make a basic rice dish in a really sad aluminum pot you got in college from a big box store and then burning it," says Nixon. "If you had the proper pan, that rice would have turned out perfectly." You don't have to spend a ton of money, but it's worth it to invest in a few high-quality basics, like a chef's knife and a cast-iron skillet (for a full list of Nixon's must-haves, check outKitchen Confidence).

Start with a Dish You Love
Rather than making a kale salad or some other healthy dish because you feel like you should, start with a recipe for one of your absolute favorite foods, whether it's lasagna or cheesecake. "It might sound like a silly trick," says Nixon, "but it gets you in the kitchen and motivated to make something. And then when you make it and enjoy it because you already love this food, that satisfaction you get is the best thing you can do to start developing your confidence."

Read the Entire Recipe Before You Start Cooking Anything
If you get halfway through a recipe and realize you don't have the amount of flour or vinegar that it calls for, thenof courseit's not going to turn out like it's supposed to. Read the whole recipe before you start, and make sure you have all of the ingredients (and sufficient amounts of each) on-hand. And try to follow the recipe to the letter the first couple of times you make it (this is particularly important if it's a baking recipe, where precision is key). Then,afteryou've mastered the basic version of the recipe, you can move on to trying out some variations if you'd like, says Nixon.

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Taste and Season Your Food Before You Serve It
Don't even think about setting everything out on the table until you've sampled the dish, says Nixon. If it tastes a little bland, add some salt and/or pepper. It may sound like a simple trick, but it works: "Having the confidence to say, 'It needs a little bit more of this or that'—that's where you go from being a good cook to being a great cook," says Nixon.

Always Have the Ingredients for at Least One Meal On-Hand
You know the panicked feeling of wondering what you're going to do about dinner? Making sure you always have something in your pantry that you can whip up—even if it's just dried pasta and jarred marinara sauce—will help eliminate a lot of that anxiety. "I've got a coupe of pantry recipes I always have the ingredients for, and when I make that emergency recipe, I buy those ingredients the very next time I go to the store," says Nixon. "It really helps for those Wednesday nights when I get home and have no idea what I want to make."

When Grocery Shopping, Start in the Protein Section
If you start by picking up chicken thighs or ground turkey, then you'll have a much better sense of what you'll be making for dinner and which other ingredients you should buy, says Nixon. "It's so much better than going up and down the aisles and spending 0, only to realize you don't even have the ingredients to make one dinner," she says.

When Cooking for Others, Stick with What You Know
"It can be so exciting to want to try a new recipe for an event, but I can't stress enough: Do what you do best," says Nixon, who encourages her fans to come up with a signature recipe. "Finding that good thing you're really good at making definitely builds confidence," she says. Because whowouldn'tfeel awesome about her cooking skills after receiving requests for "those amazing brownies you make" or "your delicious stuffed mushrooms"? 

Ready to start cooking? Check out our  for some fun (and do-able) recipes.






Video: 4 simple DIY ways refresh your entire kitchen over a weekend

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Date: 12.12.2018, 16:14 / Views: 45162